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Pittsburgh Steelers Benefit From Wild Week 2 In The AFC North, But Are Fans Going To Be Happy With The Current Approach?

Karl Roser/ Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers Benefit From Wild Week 2 In The AFC North, But Are Fans Going To Be Happy With The Current Approach?

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the New England Patriots on Sunday 17-14. It was a depressing moment for most of Steeler Nation, losing to a bitter rival. The offense was not very imaginative, and the defensive strategy was not much better. When you play like the Steelers early in 2022, you must win all three phases of the game, or at least tie to expect a victory Monday.

Steelers Defense

Credit: Karl Roser / Pittsburgh Steelers

The defense ultimately won their matchup against the Patriots’ offense, but it was close. The Steelers’ offense scored 14 points on three scoring drives and if not for a glaring special teams’ mistake, that would have been enough to win the game or at least change the way the fourth quarter was played by both teams. The offense was not effective, special teams’ mistakes lost the game and ultimately the Steelers are 1-1 heading into Thursday night against the Cleveland Browns.

Steelers, Tomlin, Belichick

Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick (left) shakes hands with Steelers head coach, Mike Tomlin (right) / Credit / Associated Press

Mike Tomlin is a successful head coach but like Chuck Noll and Bill Cowher before him, he needs to make adjustments. Cowher and Noll both tried to play perfect football and it led to some heartbreaking playoff losses and losing seasons. Noll spent a decade playing good defense and running the ball but forgot that the first half of his career featured a quarterback who could open up the offense when necessary. Cowher reversed Noll, playing conservative offense and good defense, and until a newcomer from Miami, OH came along, he had no championships to show for it.

As a long-time Steelers fan, these iterations have all been successful in some fashion, but the championships came when Hall of Fame quarterbacks started throwing the passes. The Steelers should not resurrect the run and shoot but opening up the offense is going to make them a contender in the AFC. The same may not be true for the AFC North. The Steelers find themselves atop the division in Week 2 at 1-1 by virtue of their division win against the Cincinnati Bengals in the opener.

Steelers Offense

Credit: Karl Roser / Pittsburgh Steelers

The Cleveland Browns are 1-1 after two extremely close games against the Carolina Panthers and New York Jets. They gave up 55 points to two less than dynamic offenses but managed to score 56 points on offense. Jacoby Brissett has generated 28 points a game with lots of help from a high-powered running game, but he has a real connection with Amari Cooper. The Browns have raced to big leads in the first two games and then allowed an avalanche of points late in the game.

If the Steelers correct the lack of pressure generated on Mac Jones and can keep the game close into the third quarter, it could bode well for the black and gold. However, it may be best for everyone involved if the Steelers are forced to play from a touchdown behind and open up the offense. Really, 17 points a game is a disastrous recipe for Pittsburgh, they need a jump start and the Browns’ defense might provide it.

Steelers Mike Tomlin Hints At Issues With Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky’s Decisions After Weak Performance In Week 2 Loss

The Baltimore Ravens blew a 35-14 lead against the Miami Dolphins but with Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill running around on the football field, which might be the wrong adverb. The Ravens did make some curious decisions down the stretch, like not playing over the top of both playmakers but they did not burn the clock and pick up first downs when they had the ball. The Ravens have an element of cuteness to the franchise, and it burned them on Sunday after defeating the Jets on opening day.

The defending AFC champions in Cincinnati are more likely to get Joe Burrow killed at this point than win 10 games, but he is still the best quarterback in the division. Only a great player could turn the two dominant defensive performances into three-point losses. There is no such thing as a moral victory in the NFL and they will ultimately right the ship on offense. It might be next season at this rate, but that skill position group is very talented.

steelers, Mitch Trubisky,

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA – SEPTEMBER 18: Mitch Trubisky #10 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws a pass during the second half in the game against the New England Patriots at Acrisure Stadium on September 18, 2022, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania / Credit: Justin K. Aller / Getty Images

The state of the AFC North currently cries out that the Steelers’ close, the conservative approach could win the division. It will produce ugly football, and fans will be frustrated. If Trubisky and the offense produce nine more just barely good enough performances, that’ll produce a 10-7 record and a division title, will that satisfy the fan base? Based on the chants in the stadium for the rookie Kenny Pickett and the mood of Steelers fans on Monday after watching the performance yesterday, probably not.

What do you think Steeler Nation? Are you content to play conservatively and compete for the AFC North? Comment below or on my Twitter @thebubbasq.

#SteelerNation

I have been rooting for the Steelers actively since 1975. I love the Black and Gold and support them through thick and thin. I am a Navy Veteran, living in Jacksonville, FL and never miss a chance to go to the neutral site games here in Jacksonville. I am new to the Steeler Nation website, but I love discussing Steelers Past, Present and Future.

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