Marshall Faulk asks, "can you describe your team, right now, in one word?"
There are many one-word answers here, Marshall. Off a knee-jerk reaction, the short list contains "hopeful, sloppy, undisciplined, powerful, erratic and explosive."
Mix all those together and you get a healthy-but-unappetizing "mediocre." That's the word, but it includes a bullet. We should also be adding a dash of "improving." We saw a considerably more-disciplined defensive performance in Week 5, with notably strong games from cornerback Cortez Allen and outside linebacker Jason Worilds. It seemed James Harrison actually performed well overall in only his second game this season.
The impending returns of Ryan Shazier (not likely this week) will boost the team's depth as Sean Spence continues to hold down the fort. Ike Taylor and Jarvis Jones are out likely until mid-November, but their return in time for the final quarter of the season provides some optimism, while the rest of the team continues to find its way.
But right now, it's tough to describe the Steelers' blend of high performances followed by the dismal ones as anything but mediocre. The team isn't good enough to go 1-4 in the red zone. Put that on the coaches as well as the players.
Iron needs to be sharpened with iron, and the Steelers haven't quite forged their iron yet. I think it's coming, but we'll likely see another Week 4 performance mixed in with a Week 3 performance again this season.
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