The Pittsburgh Steelers identity has eluded them throughout the 2021 season. While a team can find success as any type of offense or defense the Steelers really haven't made anything stick. But perhaps they need to look to the past for inspiration for the present. You already know the story, the Steelers have relied on stout defense and a hard-nosed rushing attack throughout their entire existence. Sure there are some flashes of a high powered passing attack, but despite barley being removed from those days they are still in the review mirror and shouldn’t be called upon with any frequency.
The Steelers should start getting some their defensive stars back against the Cincinnati Bengals. That will help the team’s defensive issues. No more of this no-name defense nonsense that put the Chargers game out of hand. Despite having one of the best pass rushers in football in T.J. Watt, the Steelers should in fact still send the pressure. The Steelers aren't blitzing as much in 2021 like they did last season, and sure they are without the likes of Mike Hilton and Vince Williams around anymore they don't have as many quality blitzers. But that shouldn’t scare the Steelers off as the blitz will open up T.J. Watt and Cam Heyward to more one on one matchups. Sending the heat, even with the ‘no-names’, will reduce the time opposing quarterbacks will have in the pocket and in turn reduce the time the defensive backs have to cover.
As for the offense, we already know how much of a weapon Najee Harris is. The Steelers need to continue to use him as the focal point of the unit. Most importantly the Steelers should never exceed at 50:50 run pass ratio. We’ve seen the Steelers get away from this in recent weeks. Like when Mason Rudolph threw 50 passes against the Lions and it only gave the Steelers 16 points on offense. Harris needs to be the key feature of the group and the Steelers need to get one of the other back up running backs going to alleviate some pressure. With that, the Black and Gold need to continue to get the receivers involved in the run game to keep defenses on their toes. But the fact of the matter is Najee Harris needs the ball as much as any quarterback gets drop backs for this team.
But what do you think? What/s the biggest key to the Steelers success against the Cincinnati Bengals? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.