Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Steelers Have Changed the Narrative in Dramatic Fashion

A defense that was groping to accomplish the simplest of tasks has started to dominate. The offense has stopped getting in its own way and started exploding scoreboards.



Embed from Getty Images

All of a sudden, they’re unstoppable.

Seemingly ready to be left in the dust a little more than a month ago, the Steelers’ resurrection reached a resounding crescendo via Thursday night’s 52-21 ambush of the Panthers.

Carolina is a contending-caliber team, and yet the Steelers made the Panthers look amateurish.

And they had fun doing it.

“We’re having a blast,” outside linebacker T.J. Watt gushed late Thursday night. “We’re having a great time out here.”

Added quarterback Ben Roethlisberger: “I don’t know that I’ve had that much fun playing football in a while.”
 

Embed from Getty Images

The last time Heinz Field had staged a night game, back on Sept. 30 against the Ravens, the Steelers got pushed around on both sides of the ball, they got physically dominated in a 26-14 loss that dropped them to 1-2-1.

They haven’t lost since.

A defense that was groping to accomplish the simplest of tasks has started to dominate.

The offense has stopped getting in its own way and started exploding scoreboards.

And on special teams, even Chris Boswell has started making kicks again (hitting all seven of his extra points and a 50-yard field goal in the Carolina game was a significant step forward).

The perception of the Steelers as they approach mid-November doesn’t remotely resemble what it had been at the end of September.

They still shouldn’t be perceived as the equal of the Patriots or the Chiefs, as the team to beat in the AFC.

But it’s no longer inconceivable that we might soon be having that conversation.

The Steelers, after further review, are proving more than capable.

They’re also becoming more confident with each successive victory in a winning streak that’s now reached an attention-getting five consecutive games.

It’s either that, or that they’re winning now because of the confidence they somehow never lost while stumbling through the season’s opening month.

“I think it’s a bit of both,” guard David DeCastro suggested. “But I think we’re building confidence.

“I think you can see it in our play, for sure.”​

Roethlisberger has maintained throughout that this Steelers team had such a streak in them this season, even when they couldn’t beat Cleveland.

Credit the Steelers for remembering the regular season is a 16-game endeavor.

Credit the Steelers for, among other things, maintaining their perspective.
 

Embed from Getty Images

“Part of it is because I’ve been here long enough, I’ve been around some teams where we struggled at times and where we’ve been great at times,” Roethlisberger explained. “You have a feel, right?

“I think our team, the core group of guys are veteran enough that you kind of let some of those early struggles roll off your back. You know it’s early. You know you’ve been there before.”

There’s a lesson in there somewhere about how wrong you can be when you rush to judgment.

“For us it was like, ‘Listen, we know what we’re capable of, we know our potential,’” Roethlisberger continued. “It was more about us reaching deeper and bringing that potential out, which I think we’ve done, than it was, ‘What are we going to do now?’”

And now, suddenly, the question has become what might they be capable of next?

The really fun part, in retrospect, might be just getting started.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Perspectives: Finding Grace in #MomLife

A Pittsburgh television reporter learns to embrace the imperfection that comes with being a working mom.

The 400-Word Review: Pledge

IFC Midnight's collegiate terror tale is mostly for genre fans, but it lands a few decent punches.

Capel’s Basketball Resurrection Has the Zoo Rocking Again

Head coach Jeff Capel is restoring respectability and re-establishing the relationship between Pitt’s students and Pitt’s student athletes.

Why Did No One Tell Me Cirque du Soleil is Awesome

A skeptical novice takes in the troupe's "Corteo" production and is stunned at his own delight.

Three Rivers Champion: Julius Boatwright

Boatwright works to connect everyone who needs it with mental health support.

Turkey Devonshire: Reviving a Classic Pittsburgh Sandwich

The once-famous sandwich originated here but now is largely forgotten. We dive into its history and argue that it's time for a revival.

Navigating the Future of Public Transit in Pittsburgh

Six Pittsburghers share their struggles and hopes for the region’s public transit system.

Why Jamison Farm Is a “A Napa Valley for Sheep”

How a former coal miner and his wife use the resources atop rolling Westmoreland County hills to produce the best lamb in the United States.

Pittsburgh Restaurant Review: Fish nor Fowl

The sixth standalone concept from the Richard DeShantz Restaurant Group, is DeShantz’s most exciting restaurant yet.

Our 50 Years: When We Tried to Predict the Future

25 years ago, we predicted what the Pittsburgh of 2019 would look like. We were ... close?

Help Pay Tribute to a Pittsburgh Jazz Legend

Mary Lou Williams began as a teenage piano prodigy in the Hill District and made it to Carnegie Hall and beyond. This month, you can discover her musical legacy.

Their's was a Starry-Eyed Pittsburgh Romance

John Brashear dedicated his life to science — and his wife, Phoebe.

She Became Pittsburgh Radio Royalty by Making Music Matter

Rosemary Welsch, longtime DJ and senior producer at WQEP-FM, has shepherded the station from startup to institution.

He Tries to be a Blessing to Someone Every Day

Doug Williams helps men facing homelessness with hard work — and example.

Restaurant Road Trip: Why It's Worth Stopping at Zack's

It’s worth driving to New Bethlehem for a locally sourced meal in an unexpected location.