Steelers Rams

Steelers Survive Out West Against Rams

The Steelers have done it again! The most hilarious 4-2 start ever. Despite a slow first half, the team rallied in the second half to secure a victory against the Los Angeles Rams, even making it feel like a home game with all the Terrible Towels in the process. Their competent offense left fans in awe, highlighting the potential this team holds when they bring something to the table.

First Half: A Defensive Battle

In the first half of the game, both teams struggled to make significant headway, with the Steelers only managing to score three points. 

The Steelers’ offensive line, and offense led by Kenny Pickett, struggled to get anything going against the Rams’ defense. As if nothing changed during the bye week, the first half ended with the Steelers trailing by only six points thanking the defense once again.

The Struggle of the Offensive Line

In the initial half, the Steelers’ offense, ranked at No. 30 oversell, found it challenging to make substantial progress. The time of possession was totally lopsided which is part of the formula in a losing effort.

With a total of 29 yards rushing on 10 rushing attempts, it looked like the Steelers’ bye week hadn’t made much of a difference. However, the second half painted a much different picture.

Second Half: Points Off Turnovers

The defense brought out the jumper cables right from the opening second half kickoff. Forcing a turnover was the start of the second half turnaround for the Steelers. Their rushing offense, which had been virtually non-existent in the first half, came alive. Spearheaded by Kenny Pickett, Jaylen Warren, and Najee Harris, the Steelers managed to score three rushing touchdowns. I had to pinch myself to confirm it was all real, because until that point, the Steelers had not scored a rushing touchdown through the first five games. 

Kenny Pickett’s 1-Yard Sneak

Make it stupid simple for an offense that has played all year simply stupid. Glad they finally didn’t get cute near the goal line, as Pickett’s 1-yard sneak into the end zone early in the third quarter marked the beginning of the Steelers’ resurgence, and provide them the rhythm they needed to close out the game. 

Jaylen Warren’s 13-Yard Burst

Loved this. Following Pickett’s touchdown, Jaylen Warren made a significant contribution in the next offensive drive and then polished it with a 13-yard touchdown run. He skillfully maneuvered through the holes created by left guard Isaac Seumalo, as he got good movement upfront and covered up the linebacker at the second level, letting Jaylen Warren show what he could do in space. 

Najee Harris’ Inspired Performance.

Najee Harris further bolstered the Steelers’ comeback with a 3-yard burst and he needed it. Highly criticized, I liked Najee’s game yesterday overall. Some runs he tried to hit home runs, but when he’s locked in he nicely glides while running in between the tackles. He hears the chatter and showed his value to the team yesterday. 

This touchdown, combined with Pickett’s and Warren’s, helped the Steelers overcome a 17-10 deficit and give them a 24-17 lead. 

The second half of the game just showed that competence for this offense is within reach. I am unsure why it takes Kenny Pickett three quarters to really start cooking but I guess the fast start is the next step in his growth and development. 

The Impact of the Bye Week

The bye week played a pivotal role in shaping the Steelers’ strategy for the game. Harris and Center Mason Cole used this time to scrutinize the Steelers’ runs from their first five games. 

Even though it took some game reps to implement, their analysis paid off, enabling the team to fine tune their strategy in the second half to create enough functionality to win the ball game.

The Role of TJ Watt

I am not sure what needs to be said that has not been said already. I absolutely laugh out loud because he always finds a way to get the football. 

TJ Watt made an incredible play in the third quarter, lining up as a linebacker, off the line of scrimmage, in coverage intercepting a pass from Rams’ QB Matthew Stafford. 

The Rams tried to take Watt out of the game as a pass rusher with the constant chips and double teams but he still managed to make his impact on the game. I hate to say it, but if he is not out there the Steelers could very well be 0-5. He is that important and I am not taking any Sunday I watch him for granted. 

This interception set up a one-yard touchdown on a QB sneak by Pickett. Watt’s interception was a game-changer, preventing the Rams from potentially taking a two-score lead and putting the Steelers out of reach early in the 2nd half. 

Next Week

The Steelers’ victory against the Rams showcased the team’s potential when their offense brings any sort of competence to the table. 

Next, they host the 5-2 Jacksonville Jaguars who will have an extra few days to prepare as they last played on Thursday Night Football. As a team who has scored 25+ points in 4 out of 7 of their games this season, the Steelers will need to bring that same energy from the 2nd half right out of the gate against Jacksonville. 


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