There’s always so much to talk about when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers. But the inquiries surrounding the black-and-gold are definitely ever-evolving, especially this week with the Steelers losing their third straight game of the 2020 season and all of their offensive woes that have been plaguing them to a point where it seems like no return is possible. BTSC tries to answer some of the poignant wonderings ahead of time. Take a gander and a listen to some bold statements on this and more as we label them as fact or fiction.
Are we on point? Only time will tell.
JuJu’s dancing on opposing team’s logos was harmless
While the Steelers receiver surely meant no harm with his dancing for his Tik Tok videos on opposing team logos during pregame warmups, they did end up causing plenty of problems to his brand and the team. Mike Tomlin’s dismissal of it a week before during his press conference was short-sighted as well. Sure, teams aren’t solely motivated by a slight to get up for a game. They absolutely should be going all out to win every week. Cincinnati had plenty of reasons to want to beat a division foe with an 11-2 record. But when No. 19 possessed the ball, they seemed so much more motivated to hit him. I’m definitely not suggesting a bounty was in play, but I’m sure that being the one to exact a vengeful blow on JuJu was a source of locker room competition for what the Bengals deemed to be disrespect. The hit on Smith-Schuster in the first half caused a fumble that very well could have been avoided had the Bengals not had a reason for headhunting.
The Steelers players only meeting will not prove to be productive
There was a lot of worry when news surfaced that Ben Roethlisberger called a players only meeting this week after the inconceivable loss to Cincinnati on Monday Night Football. The meeting was called to “express where we are and what we need to do moving forward,” according to the veteran quarterback. It’s not known what was actually discussed or solved in the meeting, but if the veterans were able to provide leadership and perspective and get on the same page, the Steelers can possibly rally. Players only meetings can be productive if they are done right. If this particular meeting was and the Steelers can adopt a cohesive “us against the world” mentality...the Men of Steel could become bullet proof again.
Vince Williams absence last week against Cincy was a killer
Ryan Finley only dropped back to pass 13 times and completed 7 balls for 78 yards in the game against the Steelers. That’s usually a good sign. But when the Bengals gashed the Steelers depleted rush defense for 152 yards, with Finley (a player not known for his rushing prowess) dashing for 48 of them...that’s bad. Vince Williams is a stalwart against the run and his absence due to Covid-19 was debilitating. The Steelers started to come alive in the second half, but their defense couldn’t stop the run and allowed Finley to destroy them with key first downs with his legs. Had Williams been in there, Cincy possibly wouldn’t have gotten away with it.
The Steelers need to attack Phillip Rivers with both Colts’ starting tackles out suddenly
The two things that the Colts do well, the Steelers are best at countering it. The Colts are second in the NFL (to the Steelers) with 16 sacks allowed. The Steelers are first in the league by sacking quarterbacks 47 times. As far as turnovers go, The Colts have only turned the ball over 12 times this year, while the Steelers are second-best in the league with forcing 25. This can change on Sunday with both starting tackles, Braden Smith and Anthony Castonzo, out and unable to play against the Steelers. With this development, the Colts could be weaker on the edges and be much more susceptible to surrender sacks and turnovers T.J. Watt and the Steelers defense could have a field day against backups with very little preparation time.
With the Steelers in the postseason, this is not a must-win game against the Colts
It most definitely is a must-win situation for the Steelers against the Colts. Sure the team has already earned an invitation to the playoffs, but momentum and seeding is very huge for Mike Tomlin’s team going forward. A loss not only puts them in a division do-or-die conundrum on the road in Cleveland, but it is also probable that the game could be flexed to prime time where the Steelers have faltered the previous three weeks. A win this week helps the Steelers to wrap up the AFC North and give starters a much-needed rest in Week 17 against Cleveland.
Are these statements valid? We will soon see. What matters most are your opinions on the matter. Please state them in the comments below or on our social media.
Check out the Fact or Fiction podcast to learn even more about these topics, and their status, heading into this week’s game: