I don’t have to tell anyone twice that the Steelers’ secondary is currently their weakest link. Their kryptonite, if you will. We’ve seen them exposed far too often this season. And the season before. And the season before that one.
The Steelers’ front seven is as mighty as they’ve been in forever. They’ve proven that they can reach the quarterback with ease. Yet, there is one obvious theme that reoccurs whenever the linemen or linebackers make a play: the defensive backs actually did their job.
Opposing offenses figured out long ago that the way to bypass the pass rush was to simply release the ball quickly. They knew their secondary couldn’t cover for the life of them, so those quick throws tore the Steelers apart.
Now that Pittsburgh is in the playoffs for the second consecutive year, they have to tighten up all loose ends. Teams that are in the playoffs are there for obvious reasons. They execute when they need to and minimize their mistakes.
Cincinnati is just itching to get back at the Steelers for that embarrassing loss a few weeks ago. A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert are prime targets for the deep ball, no matter if its AJ McCarron or Andy Dalton slinging the rock their way.
William Gay has done wonders for the Steelers lately, but it isn’t enough. Mike Mitchell has had himself quite a year as well, but it isn’t enough. Ross Cockrell seems like a bargain player right now, but it isn’t enough. Brandon Boykin FINALLY had some decent playing time, but it still isn’t enough.
Their A game needs to be on their A game if they’re serious about this whole “super bowl” thing. If they can play some shutdown football like they did in the second half against Denver, then there’s no doubt in my mind that Pittsburgh will hoist the Lombardi once again. With that lethal offense on the flip side of that coin, there’s no team that can keep up.
However I can’t escape from using that same word over and over again: if.
Its been the same story all season. If only the Steelers had Chris Boswell from the beginning……If only Ben Roethlisberger hadn’t been injured……If only Le’veon Bell hadn’t taken that hit………
Its all hypothetical until they actually do it. The Steelers win dealing only in absolutes.
Stats and info courtesy of NFL.com and Steelers.com