Steelers Promising Future Despite Ugly Win
The Steelers went into Buffalo week 1 of the 2021 NFL season and upset the Bills 23-16.
Despite a slow start from the Steelers offense, the Steelers defense came ready to play.
Linebacker T.J Watt, signed a $112 million deal with the Steelers just 2 days before the game. Espn explained this would make him the highest paid defensive player in the league. People worried about a slow start from him as talks of Watt’s contract loomed all week. However, Watt finished the game with 2 sacks,5 QB hits,and 1 forced fumble, leaving off where he started from last year.
He’s had a heck of a week,” says Defensive Captain Cameron Hayward, “For him to go out there and handle it the way he handled it and capitalize on it, with a win like this, pretty proud of him. I know it wasn’t always pretty for him.”
Along with Watts’ good game, New York Times says the rest of the Steelers defense looks promising again.
With Bud Dupree gone this year at defensive end, the Steelers picked up Melvin Ingram for the pass rush. This leaves the Steelers with a 3 man rotation on the Defensive line. “Those three edge guys that you guys have been asking a lot about — Watt, Highsmith, and Ingram — they delivered today,” coach Mike Tomlin said.
The Steelers had MVP candidate Josh Allen looking frustrated and not himself all game.
New York Times says the biggest play from the Steelers defense came from a blocked punt returned for a touchdown. The Steelers were up 10-6 when they blocked a punt and returned it in to go up 17-6. This was a turning point in momentum for the Steelers as they cruised to a victory from there.
The offense took a little while to get going. According to Steelerswire.usatoday, Coach Tomlin uses the word, “unacceptable”.
In the first half the Steelers looked a little slow on offense. Miscommunications between Ben Roethlisberger and his receivers looked to be an issue. As a result the Steelers had 65 total yards and 0 points at half time.
“We didn’t do what we wanted to do, but we didn’t turn the ball over,” Ben Roethlisberger told the media after the game.
Along with these New York times states, Najee Harris, the Steelers new rookie running back, struggled to get anything going early. He came out with 8 rushing yards on 7 seven attempts in the first half. However Steeler fans shouldn’t worry about his production in week 1.
Along with the addition of Harris the Steelers bring in 4 new offensive lineman. With that and a rookie running back, they’re going to need some time to gel together according to New York times. The bright side to this, the Steelers used Harris on every snap they could. New York times says that Harris is not to be worried about for Steeler fans.
In the second half the Steelers offense looked brand new.
Espn stated Roethlisberger threw a touchdown pass to Dionte Johnson, who showed incredible concentration, patting the ball and bringing it in.
Johnson led the league in dropped passes a season ago and looks to improve in that region this year. This year he invested in a tennis ball machine to help his hand eye coordination. No drops in week one for Johnson.
Only 262 total yards from the Steelers, yet it’s enough for week one. The Steelers will look to improve on this as week 2 they face the Raiders coming off a good win versus the Ravens.