False start, holding, illegal formations - you name it and the Steelers have probably committed it... numerous times this season. Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

Can Steelers Find ‘Themselves’ Against Titans?

It’s been a strange 2012 season across the NFL.  Up is down, left is right, and interceptions are touchdown catches.  But most strange of all is the uncharacteristic behavior of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Maybe it was the installment of the replacement refs that messed with the mojo of the season.  Maybe it was the particular injuries that occurred in the offseason.  Or maybe the team is going through some unexpected evolution due to the changes in personel.  Regardless of the how, the Pittsburgh Steelers are not themselves lately in just about every facet of the game.

The defense is as porous as ever.  It is mediocre in its effectiveness in stopping offenses in either the pass or the run.  The inconsistencies with the inconsistencies is frustrating to watch unfold.  One minute the secondary can’t cover, the next a running back is breaking out a 50+ yard run.  They struggle to hold onto a lead and fail to sustain pressure on the quarterback in the second half – as if they almost forgot how to blitz.

The offense is becoming a pass heavy group relying on Ben Roethlisberger to carry this team on his back.  The team has more yards in penalties (346) than they do in rushing yards (331) in four games.  In fact, the team leads the league in penalties averaging 9.2 per game.  I wouldn’t imagine that by playing the usually penalty crazed Oakland Raiders that the Steelers would themselves become penalty crazed.  Mental mistakes on the offense, aggressive physical play on the defense, and a few illegal hits have put the Steelers on pace to break a franchise record for penalties this season.  This team of veterans are making mistakes like a team of rookies.  Oh and that 331 rushing yards – worst start in that department in a looooooong time.  A team that is so reliant on ball control and a run game that knocks defenses flat on their keister is averaging 82 yards per game.  I couldn’t help but be full of envy watching Arian Foster and the Texans run all over the Jets on Monday night.  Foster punished would be tacklers and helped lock up the Texans’ 5th win and stay undefeated.  Their average? 143 yards per game and a rank of 6th in the league in rushing.  Tell me rushing doesn’t play a key factor in winning football games.

This is all far from the Steelers we are used to.

The Steelers are on a short week and have little time to reflect and work out how to correct everything that is going on.  The defense won’t get figured out overnight.  The offense won’t find a balance for quite some time.  One thing they can do and correct immediately are the penalties.  Focus and play smart and most of those penalties go away.  Although, I have a sneaky suspicion that most of the penalties have a direct correlation with the lack of running game and the inability for the secondary to cover receivers.

I wonder what the over/under is in Vegas for penalties on Thursday night?


Next Steelers Game View full schedule »
Thursday, Aug 2828 Aug7:30Carolina PanthersBuy Tickets

Tags: Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Kimmy

    Honestly I think one of the biggest issues with this team is the penalties. Whether or not the replacement refs’ incompetence accounted for the majority of them in the first 3 games, they’re still committing costly penalties now. They’re giving up yards that they can’t afford. If the offense can only score 16 points, you can’t give up almost 100 yards to penalties whether all the calls are valid or not. Ben stuck up for Willie Colon and said some of his 4 holding penalties weren’t warranted but if Willie was getting called early he should have adjusted his play to keep the refs eyes off of him. It’s disappointing because I think the O-line played a great game protecting Ben and Willie particularly blocked well for the run game but the penalties kind of overshadowed that.

  • david

    Nice.Telling it just like it is.The group of Steelers called veterans either cannot inspire the younger guys or the younger guys dont really give a rats xxx.Wille Colon Cmon Man what kinda of crap are you playing a major blame for penalties can start there.
    how about Diesel stepping up? He looks slow and like he never gets his hands up to block the ball anymoer basic stuff.Against terrible/losing teams we somewhat look like we are good but reality is we havent found the Steeler pride and guts to play like Champions and be feared like we once were.You said it well the Texans look like we used to.Been a Steeler fan my whole life and can see the writing on the wall for this season.Lets hopeBen stays healthy and we get some good draft picks were we so badly need them and maybe in a year or 2 see the Black and Gold back in the elite status we have been so use to seeing and can be proud of as fans
    Here We Go Steelers
    Nuff Said