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Cam Sutton: “This game won’t define us as a team”

Karl Roser / Pittsburgh Steelers

Cam Sutton: “This game won’t define us as a team”

Sunday night’s loss vs the Los Angeles Chargers now marks two disappointing back to back games for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Last week’s tie should be solely blamed on the lack of offensive production led by Mason Rudolph and company, after they failed to match the level of play that our defense was showcasing that particular week. That being said, this week’s matchup was completely different as our offense was able to move the ball down the field efficiently with future Hall of Fame quarterback Ben Roethlisberger at the helm. Although many believed Roethlisberger and this offense would come out with a slow start after he missed last week’s game and attended all of this week’s practice virtually. Instead, the Steelers threw the ball 44 times including 3 touchdowns, while only rushing 18 times, mostly due to being in comeback mode much of the game. 

What surprised me was the lack of production on the defensive side of the football, the unit that is usually this organization’s anchor. Chargers second year quarterback Justin Herbert lit this secondary up throwing for 382 yards and three touchdowns. It seems like the Chargers game plan from the jump was to throw the football and attack the Steelers depleted secondary, and that is exactly what happened. They used the success they had throughout the game passing the ball and were able to balance a rushing attack with that, ultimately being just too much for our depleted defense to handle. 

 

 

One defender who seemed to be in on every play was cornerback Cam Sutton. Not only did he come up with a huge interception tipped by Cam Heyward towards the end of the game that gave the Steelers an opportunity to win the game late, but he also made some big tackles in key situations on 3rd down to allow the Steelers to get the ball back. Herbert was smart and did not target Sutton much during the game, instead he attacked the middle of the field and went after the younger defenders with less experience in the secondary. Although Herbert and the Chargers offense was successful throwing the ball, the second-year quarterback killed the rushing attack with his legs when his other options were not open, scrambling for 90 yards on just 9 attempts and made it almost impossible to get their offensive unit off the field. Sutton was asked if they were prepared for Herbert’s running ability pre game.

“You can’t take any athletic ability away from anyone. Old or young. If they have an opportunity and it’s there for them, it might not look the same but he exploited that. I don’t know if that was the game plan or just in the moment type of thing for him. He [Herbert] did a great job maneuvering around the pocket, extending plays and hurting us in those moments with his feet.” 

 

That being said, this defense is fully aware of what they were up against in last night’s contest. Two of their biggest stars on the defensive side of the football were ruled out of the game due to illness/injury with both Minkah Fitzpatrick and T.J. Watt both being ruled inactive. Obviously these are both huge parts of what this defense accomplishes on a daily basis and are the focal point of any opposing offense. Not having these guys active leaves holes in this defense that would not normally be there, and last night was a good example of just how valuable both these players are. Even with both out, the Steelers made a comeback and took the lead late in the game and had plenty of opportunities to win the ball game. It is that exact reason that Sutton ended his post game interview with this response:

“Guys are not hanging their heads. Guys are not down on themselves. We know we put ourselves in this position defensively but even then, we need to learn how to close out games and put ourselves in the best position to come out with a win. This game won’t define us as a team.” 

 

 

It doesn’t get much easier for the black and gold coming up. They have two straight division games coming up in back to back weeks against the Cincinnati Bengals, followed up with a matchup at Heinz Field against the Baltimore Ravens. These are huge games that will impact how the division plays out in the end. Obviously, the Steelers are still in search of that AFC North crown and they have a good chance to put themselves in a good position these next few weeks. Hopefully, this defense can get back to being 100% healthy and anchor this 2021 Steelers team, just like everyone had hoped.

 

WATCH FULL POST GAME INTERVIEW HERE:

 

Do you think the Steelers defense will bounce back next week in a rematch against the Bengals? Comment below!

#SteelerNation

I am a 24 year old die-hard Pittsburgh Steelers fan from upstate NY. I can safely say that I have not missed a single Steelers game over the last 16 years. Always thankful to my dad for raising me a fan of the black & gold. Love writing about anything Steelers related, trying to get the breaking news to the best fans in the NFL! Follow me on twitter @JonClark_7 & HERE WE GO!

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