After a huge win in Buffalo in Week 1, the Pittsburgh Steelers dropped their first loss of the season as Heinz Field opened its doors back up to Steeler Nation. It was an ugly loss. The offense couldn’t get any consistency generated, the defense dropped personnel like flies, and the Las Vegas Raiders moved on to 2-0.
There is no doubt about the state of the offense. It’s looking bad. There are some plays that give you hope like a 14-yard run… then you see three plays and a punt. You see Najee Harris score a 25-yard catch and run… then a punt on 4th and 1. You have seen a lot of ups and downs. The big question everyone has is: will they get any better?
The offensive line is young, raw, and struggling. The talent and upside is there, but the consistency is not. The skill position guys are immensely talented and have the ability to break games open, but their communication and execution are very spotty. Ben Roethlisberger looks like he still has some moves like Jagger, but he also has made some poor decisions and throws. When you look at the Steelers under Roethlisberger however, you will see that the September woes aren’t anything new. It’s been that way for a while.
Ben Roethlisberger now has a career record in September of 26-25-1. In those 52 career games, he has posted 78 touchdown passes, 44 interceptions, 13,344 yards, a 63.7% completion rate, and has been sacked 124 times. During that same span, he’s had a 91.3 passer rating. That doesn’t sound too bad, right? The win-loss puts the brakes on that thought.
And in this tough time, especially after an embarrassing loss, I bring to you a reason for optimism: October.
Ben Roethlisberger’s offenses have all rebounded greatly from slow Septembers. That win-loss record in October jumps from 51% to 77.8% (42-12). In those 54 career games, Roethlisberger has posted 100 touchdown passes, 44 interceptions, 13,847, a 67% completion percentage, and sacked only 112 times with a 99.9 passer rating. All things considered with the mathematics of it all, that’s a significant difference.
I am not telling you this will all magically turnaround. The Steelers have a heavy dose of competition in October including: at Green Bay, vs Denver, vs Seattle, and at Cleveland. There’s no guarantee of how things will pan out. What I will tell you is: let’s get through the halfway point before we got into full panic. There must be a sense of urgency of the Steelers players and coaching. There must be better execution, communication, and overall quality of play. But if there’s one takeaway from these first two weeks, the chances of things getting better for Roethlisberger and offense is more likely than not.