While Pittsburgh Steelers fans can rest easy knowing their favorite team is 8-2, they should be excited knowing this team has a lot of improvement which can still take place.
Yes, without a doubt, this team can be better than what they have been.
Winning ugly has become the new norm for the Black-and-gold, but if they were just to straighten out a few things in their game, this team could be nearly unstoppable on both sides of the ball.
Here’s the rough draft of areas of the Steelers’ game which can still improve in the last six games to help make them the Super Bowl contender fans have expected since Day 1.
- Red-Zone Offense
Pittsburgh has struggled mightily in the red-zone, but often has no problem moving the ball between the 20s. If the Steelers could just improve to slightly above .500 it would help provide a bigger cushion for a defense which hasn’t surrendered more than 20-points in a game since Week 5 vs. the Jaguars.
Tackling has been poor across the NFL, but the Steelers have had some back-breaking issues on the defensive side of the football. On countless occasions we’ve seen one or two tacklers having a ball carrier ‘dead-to-rights’, only to let him slip away for a big gain. Cleaning this up will go a long way.
- 3rd-down Offense
Similar to the red-zone issues, if the Steelers can improve their 3rd-down offense, it would help extend drives and allow their defense to remain fresh. In Week 11 vs. the Titans, Pittsburgh had three straight three-and-outs, and it certainly took its toll on the defense. Play-calling comes into the picture in both of these scenarios (3rd down and red-zone), but execution trumps all, in my opinion.
Are there other areas where the Steelers could improve? Without a doubt. But if these three could be rectified during the last six games of the season, it would make the Steelers a very tough team to beat.