I understand that NFL teams cannot technically “lose” a game in the first quarter. Unfortunately for those of us who have watched them this fall, the 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers are digging themselves into early game holes on a weekly basis.
During their 2-6 start to the regular season, the Steelers have been outscored by an incredible 61-19 margin in the first quarter of play.
To be fair, no unit can be singled out for the team’s struggles early in games this fall.
The offense has been plagued by turnovers, poor play-calling, and an inability to simply execute. In addition to the offense, the defense has forced only one first quarter turnover, the lack of consistent pocket-collapse has allowed opposing quarterbacks to get comfortable, and “splash plays” and poor execution have hurt the unit as well.
Pittsburgh has been shutout in four of their nine games so far, and they have yet to post an opening drive touchdown or score 10 more points against any of their opponents in the first quarter as well.
Heck, if one takes away the safety which Darius Reynaud handed the team on the opening kickoff of the season, the Steelers would only have scored 17 first quarter points up to this point!
While the issues I alluded to above have extended into the second, third, and fourth quarters of Pittsburgh’s games this year, the fact that this team is -42 points in the first quarter of play through their first nine games is unacceptable. Playing from behind is never an easy task, and the Steelers have been playing “catch-up” for most of the 2013 campaign.
Until Pittsburgh can stop digging themselves out of early game holes though, the tallies will continue to mount in their “Loss” column.
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