The schedule is noticeably more complicated than it was a year ago, but Pittsburgh’s performance serves as a warning that, when at their best, the Steelers remain a threat within the AFC.
PITTSBURGH – The difficulties of the process of which Ben roethlisberger I had warned they were unmistakable.
The completely renewed offensive line of the Pittsburgh steelers did not generate much in the running attack, leaving the runner Najee harris, his first-round pick in the last draft, little room to maneuver.
The special teams allowed a great return on the kickoff of the match. And for a half, the defending champions of the North Division of the American Conference They looked as muted as during that 1-5 span with which they ended their 2020 campaign.
And none of that mattered. Not with a Tj watt who showed he’s worth every penny of his amazing new contract he signed last week, which made him the highest-paid defender in the league. NFL.
Not with a secondary defense that handcuffed a Los Angeles offense. Buffalo bills which is supposed to be among the best in the league. Not with a Roethlisberger commanding a second-half comeback that ended with a 23-16 win and, in the process, raised modest external expectations around the Steelers.
“I don’t want to say it was a dominant performance, because obviously there is still a lot on the table and I’m sure there will be a lot to analyze on video and make corrections,” he said. Watt after knocking down the Los Angeles quarterback twice Bills, Josh Allen.
“But I’m very happy with where we are, especially in week 1. I love playing with this group. We are everywhere. We handle adversity really well. “
It certainly seems so. In the 89-year history of the franchise, the Steelers have trailed double digits in the first game of the season fourteen times. And in all those games they ended with a loss. Before a noisy audience and a team that reached the final of the American Conference just nine months ago, Pittsburgh He came out with a win that revealed what could be expected of the team in 2021.
The offensive stalled for long periods. But he did not lose the ball. The defense looked better than a year ago, when it led the NFL in sacks and finished third in yards allowed.
The special teams picked up the road after their poor start and blocked a punt for a touchdown late in the third quarter to hit the Steelers a 10-point lead that was never at risk.
“We knew it would be difficult,” said the head coach. Mike tomlin. “They have a great defense. They have continuity, not only of players, but of schemes. We were at his house. We have a lot of new parts. Today we are not concentrating on being spectacular. We just had to win this game. “
A triumph that could send the Steelers in a similar direction to 2020, when they won their first 11 games en route to a divisional title before it all exploded with a first-round playoff loss to the Cleveland browns.
The schedule is noticeably more complicated than a year ago, but the performance of Pittsburgh serves as a reminder that when they are at their best, the Steelers remain a threat within the AFC.
“The last times we played [contra Buffalo], we had not had our best level, “acknowledged the defensive end Cam Heyward. “But it is a victory. We are happy to have a win, but we have another 16 to go ”.