After every recreation within the 2023 Pittsburgh Steelers season, I’ll spotlight the occasion or sequence of occasions within the recreation that constitutes the turning level. Not the entire turning factors shall be earth-shattering, however are supposed to present a singular take a look at how we arrived on the recreation’s consequence, one which may be troublesome to see on the reside watch.
The Pittsburgh Steelers led the Indianapolis Colts by two scores within the first half per week in the past, however the protection did not play complementary soccer. Notably as the sport progressed, the struggle of attrition at security despatched the Steelers’ protection right into a tailspin. They let the Colts get again into the sport earlier than halftime, permitting them to take care of a balanced assault, finally exposing the Steelers in the midst of their injury-riddled protection.
It was a unique story towards the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 16. After going up 7-0 early within the first quarter, the protection allowed a 10-play drive all the way in which into the pink zone earlier than S. Patrick Peterson picked up an errant throwaway in the long run zone.
The offense took full benefit of the turnover, driving 80 yards on a ten-play drive for his or her second rating. When the Steelers then bought the ball, they have been compelled to punt after gaining solely three yards. ILB Elandon Roberts was injured on the primary play of the drive and it began to look eerily just like the Colts recreation the week earlier than. Roberts has been a stabilizing drive for the within linebacker group and he wears the inexperienced dot on his helmet to choose up communications from the sideline. May the Steelers protection undergo one other damage at heart?
S Eric Rowe put an finish to these doubts and virtually put the sport away a number of performs later by intercepting QB Jake Browning. He ran the ball again to the 14-yard line and arrange a simple landing for the Steelers to make the rating 21–0.
The Steelers by no means actually felt the total results of Roberts’ damage, as they stored their foot on the gasoline pedal and went into halftime up 24-0. The Bengals almost gave up the run and their one-dimensional passing recreation relieved a whole lot of strain on the protection. Browning needed to make photographs down the sector and will not depend on the run or use a fast passing assault. Longer dropbacks allowed the Steelers defenders to show their ears again and make life troublesome for the younger quarterback. Browning was sacked 3 times, however was hit eight occasions in whole. The match went like this because of the good complementary soccer.