The Pittsburgh Steelers are 6-2 at the midway point of the NFL regular season, and although some blemishes on the record likely still have fans’ feathers ruffled, the team is moving in the right direction.
So now it’s time to look back on the first four games and assess the progress of the units involved. Today, we focus on the offense by position, and give out an overall grade to the group.
Ben Roethlisberger is the only player to take a snap at the quarterback position, and his play has been inconsistent at best. Sure, he’s shown some improvement at times, but the misses have outnumbered the strikes, and this has been a major problem for the underachieving Pittsburgh offense. Can he get better? No doubt he can. Will he? Only time will tell.
Le’Veon Bell has been the predominant workhorse for the Steelers, as he should be, with James Conner filling in on occasion and Terrell Watson handling short-yardage duties. Bell had a slow start, but he’s heated up and looks every bit as good as he did a year ago. If he can turn into the receiving threat he was in 2014, it’ll help make this offense even more dynamic. Only a slow start to the season has kept this unit from getting an “A”.
Antonio Brown is the best in the business, Martavis Bryant is underachieving, and JuJu Smith-Schuster has burst onto the scene like a fresh-faced 20-year-old. Actually, he is a fresh-faced 20-year-old, but you get my drift. Although neither Eli Rogers nor Bryant have panned out as many expected they would, Smith-Schuster and Brown have kept this unit afloat, often in a big way. The receiving corps is the only position which truly relies on the quarterback to make plays. This unit has made more plays than it’s missed when opportunities have presented themselves.
OFFENSIVE LINE/TIGHT ENDS
While sometimes struggling in run-blocking earlier in the season, the offensive line has played extremely well this season, and not always with five starters in the lineup. B.J. Finney and Chris Hubbard have subbed admirably for Ramon Foster and Marcus Gilbert through their injuries, and haven’t missed a beat. The five offensive lineman have earned quality grades, especially in pass protection (only allowing 10 sacks in eight games). The tight ends, on the other hand, have struggled. Vance McDonald has turned it on as a blocker, and Jesse James is sporadic at best, but the Steelers seem okay with this type of production from the tight end position group. The tight ends are keeping the offensive line from an “A” grade.
OVERALL GRADE: C
What grade do you give the Steelers offense at the midway point?
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