The Pittsburgh Steelers were blown out in Week 1 by the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football. After the 33-3 shellacking, the Steelers were left to pick up the pieces and head back to Pittsburgh to prepare for the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2.
While the fan base sees absolutely no positives to come from this game, the writers at Pro Football Focus (PFF) see otherwise. In their re-focus article, which recaps the good and bad from every game, PFF gave T.J. Watt plenty of credit for the work he did in Foxoboro, primarily against double teams, but said plenty of bad regarding Ben Roethlisberger’s downfield passing, Alejandro Villanueva surprisingly poor play and even how Devin Bush was being pushed around in the run game.
Check out their recap:
T.J. Watt was the best player for the Steelers’ defense. While he didn’t have a great game in run defense, he was a constant in the backfield on passing downs, giving Brady fits early and often.
After playing just 20 snaps in the preseason, Ben Roethlisberger seemed rusty in Pittsburgh’s season opener. He completed a ton of short passes, but he struggled with accuracy down the field, completing just two of 12 passes targeted over 10 yards downfield prior to their final two drives. He forced the ball on multiple occasions, made a horrible misread that should have resulted in an easy interception but was dropped, and fumbled once, too.
Typically one of the better left tackles in the league, Alejandro Villanueva had far more issues than normal against New England. While he never gave up a sack, he did allow a handful of pressures on the night. He also was called for two holding penalties, half as many as he had all of 2018.
Starter Devin Bush made a few plays in coverage running sideline to sideline as Pittsburgh’s top off-ball linebacker, but he really struggled against the run.
It was good to see someone give Watt credit for the job he did on Sunday night. Sure, he didn’t register a sack, but was a presence in the backfield and even got his hands on Tom Brady’s throwing hand, but as Brady’s arm followed through it actually completed a pass to Julian Edelman.
As for Roethlisberger, Villanueva and Bush, they encapsulated the entire team. They just didn’t play well, and against the Patriots you will get abused if you don’t show up and are mentally sharp. As difficult as it may be right now, it is just one game of fifteen, and the Steelers need to bounce back in a big way in Week 2 vs. the Seattle Seahawks.
What do you think of PFF’s thoughts on the game? Agree or disagree? Let us know in the comment section below, and be sure to follow BTSC leading up to the home opener at Heinz Field in Week 2.