The Pittsburgh Steeelrs haven’t been 0-3 in over a decade, but according to the way they’ve looked in their first two games, it’s going to be hard avoiding that fate, especially when facing the Chicago Bears, who are mistake prone, but have enough tools on both ends of the field to make up for them.
When you talk about mistakes, Jay Cutler is the man in question. His offensive line is better than it was last season, but Cutler can’t help himself but steer away from the short and quick passing game designed for him. He has already turned the ball over four times this season (three interceptions), which makes his connecting with Martellus Bennett at the end of their game against the Minnesota Vikings even more perplexing.
Cutler is completing 67.6% of his passes in the West Coast offense he gets to run, and is trying to move away from complete dependence on Brandon Marshall as his rescue partner. So far, Bennett has finally given him a tight end option worthy of constantly throwing to, catching 10 passes for 125 yards and three touchdowns.
On the other end, everything seems to be a mess. The Steelers are 0-2, with Roethlisberger unable to move the chains due to wobbly protection and a non-existent running game, as the Steelers are averaging a woeful 38 yards per game on the ground. Their top rusher, Felix Jones, has 37 yards on 10 carries so far this season.
There’s been a problem with our functioning. There’s been a problem with our production. There’s been a problem with our points. You can point to whatever you want to point to in regards to that, and obviously if the plays aren’t working well then we’re susceptible to that judgment.
The Steelers still have a defense that can create turnovers and give teams who decide to test their secondary plenty of problems. But the biggest issue with this team seems to be that over the last couple of offseasons they believed that the name of the team was enough to ignore the problems created by age and a departure of talent, leaving them as one of the worst teams in the NFL right now.
Prediction – No personnel change in the Steelers’ offensive line, even if Heath Miller is playing, means Ben Roethilsberger will be under the same pressure and without a running game once again. The Bears aren’t perfect, but they’re good enough offensively to take advantage of that and move to a 3-0 start.