You can look at the scoreboard from today’s 33-20 win over Cincinnati and think that the Steelers’ offense was up to its’ usual tricks but that’s not quite the case. The Steelers’ offense scored their only touchdowns of the game on the opening drive and then late in the fourth quarter when they were provided with a short field.
In between, William Gay had a pick-six which opened the third quarter and kicker Chris Boswell provided 12 points of his own via four field goals.
Credit the Cincinnati Bengals’ defense with limiting the Steelers’ offense to just two touchdowns and credit them even more for forcing the Steelers into those four field goals. When you look at the distance of Boswell’s three-point makes you’ll immediately notice it wasn’t as if the Steelers were in the red zone every time.
Boswell made three second quarter kicks of 42 yards, 47 yards and 45 yards. That pretty much means the offense couldn’t penetrate any further than just over the Bengals’ 30 yard line. His fourth and final field goal came at the opening of the fourth quarter from 31 yards.
On that drive, the Steelers’ offense was able to move the ball as far as the Bengals’ 13 yard line but the offense could proceed no further following an incompletion, a one-yard pass to Antonio Brown and a run by DeAngelo Williams for no gain.
Don’t get me wrong, the Steelers’ offense possessed the ball for 11 minutes more than did the Bengals did today but they struggled to move the ball into the red zone where they were two of three on the day including where one drive which started at the Bengals’ 16 yard line.
Earlier this season I said that DeAngelo Williams would be the Steelers’ most important player in 2015 and I’ll gladly toot my own horn on that call but there could easily be another argument made. After literally playing “musical kickers” for the first portion of the season, Chris Boswell came in as an absolute nobody yet he has made 20 of his 22 field goal attempts.
On a day when the offense could only muster two touchdowns Chris Boswell banged home field goals to keep giving the Steelers the cushion they needed. That same formula is not likely to work with an even better Denver defense coming to town next week.