Bleacher report title What’s next for the Steelers?
article The Pittsburgh Steelers have been on a roll over the past few weeks.
Coming off of a 12-1 season, the team has won 11 of their last 12 games, including a stunning 27-27 victory over the New England Patriots on Sunday night.
They also beat the Cincinnati Bengals 30-21 on Sunday.
With a win over the Patriots on the line, the Steelers should get their act together this week.
Here are five takeaways from the Steelers’ bye week:1.
The defense is starting to gel.
It was good to see a lot of players return after missing most of the season with injuries.
I would be shocked if Pittsburgh missed any players this week after this win.
Second-year outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, who missed the last two games with an ankle injury, is a big part of that.
The Steelers are getting better in every facet of the defense, from their front seven to the linebackers.
The secondary is the other area where Pittsburgh has a lot to improve.
Cornerback Josh Norman is still dealing with a hamstring injury and is expected to miss the rest of the year.
It will be interesting to see if he is able to return to full health before the end of the regular season.2.
They’ll be a lot better on the offensive side of the ball.
The best part about this team over the last few years has been their offensive line.
That group led the league in sacks last season, and it was a huge reason why Pittsburgh was able to dominate the AFC.
The team has struggled with an inability to run the ball in the past two seasons, but the line has shown no signs of slowing down.
Pittsburgh ranked third in the league with a 4.0 yards per carry average last season.
They are a better rushing attack now, with Joey Bosa averaging 1.2 yards per rush, and Markus Wheaton at 1.7 yards per.
That is a massive improvement from the team’s first three seasons.3.
It’s not over until they get it done.
Pittsburgh is on a bye this week, and while they will be without two of their starting quarterbacks, the secondary is a strength that can be counted on.
The only thing they will not be able to count on is getting the first down in a game.
That was the case Sunday night against the Patriots.
After the Steelers got the ball back with 1:10 left in the first half, they had just over a minute left to win the game.
With the Patriots coming to town, the pressure was on Pittsburgh to take advantage.
The Patriots made a mistake on downs with just over five minutes to go.
With that much time remaining, the defensive line did its job and forced two turnovers and a fumble.
Pittsburgh was still able to win that game, but this team has to be a little more consistent and solid down the stretch.4.
The linebackers will need to stay sharp.
The offensive line has struggled to replace injured starters, but they did show some improvement against the Bengals.
Cornerbacks Antonio Brown and Josh Norman both missed time with injuries, and Jones was one of the best players on the team with a sack.
That showed how important Jones is to this unit.
Jones will miss most of this season with an injury, but he is a player who should be ready to return this season.
He has the ability to take on a bigger role this season, but his best days may be behind him.5.
They’re going to be better off without Le’Veon Bell.
Bell is expected back after missing all of last season with a torn ACL.
The Pittsburgh offensive line is solid, and the defense will benefit from a healthy Le’veon Bell in the lineup.
He will likely see a bigger share of the snaps this season than he did last year, but Pittsburgh will still be a good team when Bell is healthy.