The Steelers Unsung Hero

Behind the Steel Curtain

By: Sean McGeown, @seanpmcgeown


Life is pretty good right now for Pittsburgh Steelers fans. The team is 3-0 for the first time since 2010, led by a balanced attack from all three phases of the game. They haven’t all been pretty, but the team is finding ways to win.

The obvious headlines are the defense (which has racked up 15 sacks and 5 turnovers so far), Ben Roethlisberger (having a hell of a comeback so far with a 7-1 touchdown ratio and 777 yards passing), and the run attack that has posted three straight 100-yard rushers (with James Conner having back to back monstrous weeks).

This is all well and good, and I am certainly here for ALL of it. However, there’s another story from this team that may not be getting the recognition it deserves. The right side of the offensive line has looked really strong, particularly at the tackle position. This is because right tackle Chukwuma Okorafor has been outstanding and the absolute unsung hero of the line since taking over for Zach Banner who was lost to injury week 1 versus the New York Giants.

Since coming in, Okorafor, known by his nickname, Chuks, has been crucial in keeping Roethlisberger as clean as possible, and he hasn’t faced easy competition. Last week he faced off against Denver Broncos defensive end Bradley Chubb , and this past Sunday he faced off against the Houston Texans three time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, JJ Watt. He is showing he can certainly hold his own. Take a look at Watt’s stats going up against Okorafor last game:

Not bad Chuks, not bad at all.

He was crucial in pass and run protection in Pittsburgh’s 28-21 victory. Last week, the rookie guard Kevin Dotson got the game ball for his standout performance in his first start, and if it were to go to a lineman for this game, I think Okorafor is the obvious selection.


How do you feel about Chuks as a starter so far, Steeler Nation? Is it the real deal? Or beginners luck? Let us know in the comment section below, on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Instagram!


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