It’s safe to say the 2020 Pittsburgh Steelers are pretty good at this trap game thing.
In another ho hum effort, Pittsburgh snagged the Jaguars, 27-3, at TIAA Bank Field on Sunday in a contest that really was never in doubt. It seemed like it could be in doubt, early on, when Jacksonville jumped out to a 3-0 and Chris Boswell failed to tie the score, thanks to his first missed field goal in 26 attempts.
But after that, the Steelers remembered who they were, scoring 27 unanswered points the rest of the way—including two touchdown passes by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who didn’t seem all that concerned about establishing the ground game, as the veteran attempted 46 passes on the day and completed 32 of them for 267 yards.
The game was a little sloppy in the beginning, but that’s just semantics, that’s just nitpicking. Speaking of picking nits, that ground game, the one that took up most of everyone’s opinions in the days leading up to Sunday’s contest, did rebound to the tune of 106 yards. James Conner provided the bulk of those yards with 89, while Benny Snell Jr. pitched in with a one-yard touchdown late in the first half.
That touchdown made it 17-3, which proved to be all the insurance Pittsburgh would need. Right around the time the Steelers remembered who they were, Jacksonville rookie quarterback Jake Luton remembered who he was, as he started passing out interceptions like it was Christmas and not Thanksgiving. All-in-all, Pittsburgh’s defense collected four on the day—including two, that’s right, two, by safety Terrell Edmunds. Fellow safety Minkah Fitzpatrick collected the other two, but that’s nothing new for him.
Speaking of old hat, the Steelers defense, one that had been concerning folks during most of the team’s first eight wins, dominated for a second-consecutive week, limiting Jacksonville to a measly 206 yards.
The Steelers performance wasn’t pretty, but it wasn’t ugly, either. That’s basically been the theme of Pittsburgh’s 2020 campaign through two-and-half months of action. 373 total yards and 36:29 in time of possession for the offense. One for one inside the red zone. The only real blemish on the day was an end zone interception thrown by Roethlisberger on the last play of the first half. The Steelers were already up by two touchdowns at that point, and they were probably as shocked as anyone to be close enough to take a shot at another score following Edmunds’ first interception on the day.
I don’t know what more can be said about these Steelers. There isn’t a lot of critical meat left on the bone to chew on. The Steelers are 10-0 for the first time in team history, and they have a Thanksgiving Night date with a now 6-4 Ravens’ team that will be coming to town ripe for the plucking following an overtime home loss to the Titans.
The Steelers just avoided the snare of three-straight trap games after they were expected to be put in their place by the Titans and Ravens.
These Steelers just keep on doing their thing week in and week out. In fact, no team in the NFL seems to be as comfortable in their own skin as do the Steelers.
With the AFC North championship a mere formality at this point, it appears all that’s left for the Steelers to do is go after that number one seed and the only bye the AFC has on the menu. There’s also the matter of finishing the regular season with zero losses, something that shouldn’t be hard to chase with the Chiefs still hot on their tail.
The Steelers still have a lot to accomplish over the final six weeks of the regular season, and it doesn’t appear that they have any intention of taking their eye off the prize.