Week 9 saw the Pittsburgh Steelers win their third straight game, and their fourth out of their last five. Beating the Indianapolis Colts saw the black-and-gold hit the .500 mark, 4-4, for the first time in 2019.
But is everything copacetic for the Steelers?
The team remains in a state of flux, especially on offense. While the team moved the ball well, only punting once, they stumbled in the red-zone, 1-of-4 on the day. The defense continues to shine in the sack and takeaway department, but have their own red-zone issues.
The folks at Pro Football Focus broke down the team’s Week 9 win and talked about some good, and bad, from the week that was...
Mason Rudolph avoided putting the ball in harm’s way through the air today, although he took a bad strip-sack in the end zone that almost cost Pittsburgh the game. He relied heavily on underneath routes by his backs and receivers but was able to make just enough key throws to lead Pittsburgh to victory.
Trey Edmunds was a surprise contributor, as he was effective as the No. 2 running back today. He showed solid speed for his size, as he ripped off some big plays with his ability to exploit holes opened up by his line.
Rookie linebacker Devin Bush had a rough first half but recovered nicely in the second. He was responsible for a touchdown into his coverage early, and he struggled with his angles, but he turned things around with two solid pass breakups in man coverage.
Cameron Heyward was strong against the run, which is notable considering he saw significant snaps one-on-one against guard Quenton Nelson. He held his ground well against double teams and made multiple stops.
Speaking of Quenton Nelson, considering he is regarded as one of the top offensive guards in the entire league, his bad outing should be seen in two ways. First, a bad day at the office, but second a tremendous job by the Steelers’ defense, mainly Cameron Heyward, of dominating the one-on-one matchup.
Here is what PFF had to say about Nelson’s day:
Quenton Nelson has played like the best guard in the game this season, but today was a rough outing. He was beaten on a number of blocks, including getting walked back into (and stepping on) his quarterback on a pass block.
That “walk back” was from Mr. Heyward, and it resulted in a knee sprain for Jacoby Brissett. Not the best look for a guard some are saying is the best in the game.
The Steelers’ win wasn’t perfect, and some might even call it lucky, but the truth is a win is a win. Sure, some wins might be prettier than others, but they all look the same in the win/loss column. With that said, the Steelers continue to stack wins and are now preparing for the Los Angeles Rams to invade Heinz Field for the third of three straight home games in Week 10.
Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold as they turn the page from Week 9 and start preparing for Week 10.