The Pittsburgh Steelers defenses have seemingly always struggled with running backs out of the backfield. That was clear in Sunday’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, as their backup running back, Samaje Perine, ended up with three receiving touchdowns. The defense struggled as a whole, giving up 37 points and 408 total yards to their AFC North rival.
After the game, star defensive lineman, Cam Heyward reflected on the unit’s poor performance as a whole. He discussed what went wrong, and what was most frustrating from the 37 points that they gave up.
“I think we didn’t make them settle for field goals enough. We didn’t stay glued to our guys. Three touchdowns to the running back, [it’s] mind-boggling. We didn’t hit home enough.”
The Bengals running backs had a good day through the air, and it wasn’t just Mixon. Perine finished with four catches for 52 yards and three TD’s, but starter Joe Mixon also had three catches for 42 yards. In total, those two combined for seven catches, 94 yards, and three TD’s. Things won’t get much easier these next few weeks, as the defense will face some talented running backs from the Indianapolis Colts and Atlanta Falcons.
The Steelers defense made Perine look like Alvin Kamara en route to Sunday’s loss. Robert Spillane, in particular, had a bad missed tackle on one of the touchdowns. Spillane had a phenomenal game in Week 10 against the New Orleans Saints, but that wasn’t replicated in Week 11. The defense has been picking things up as of late, so it was disappointing to see them take a step back.
What was the most disappointing aspect of Sunday’s loss to the Bengals? Who do you blame for Perine’s three touchdowns? Should Spillane be seeing the field less despite his good performance last weekend? Share your thoughts in the comment section below, as well as on our social media sites!
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