2017 preview: Pittsburgh Steelers offense


With the exception of Antonio Brown, no Steelers offensive player has had a particularly good game this season.

Baltimore moved the ball better in the second half, and got within striking distance at 19-9 after a 50-yard scamper by Collins and 16-yard touchdown strike from Flacco to wide receiver Mike Wallace.

After punching across a meaningless touchdown in the fourth quarter of a 44-7 loss to Jacksonville in London, the Ravens again reached the end zone only once in a 26-9 defeat at home against the Steelers on Sunday. All of those games look like losses for Baltimore if the Ravens can't find a way to generate points to keep up with their opponents.

You can decide if that accounts for Baltimore's league-worst 121.3 passing yards per game, dead-last in the league.

-Pittsburgh's pass rush kept quarterback Joe Flacco on his heals for most of the game.

Brown has gained over 1,100 yards in five of the last six seasons, and he's caught over 10 TD's in each of the past three seasons. Too often in recent seasons, the Steelers defense would complete 60 minutes of football without doing any of those things, let alone doing enough of them to be a reason why the team won.

To that, Brown said Friday he'll get open regardless. The problems on the road are nothing new for Pittsburgh.

If Ben can stay healthy he could have another huge year, but that is a big "if" at this point in his career. Baltimore's stout defense won't exactly be welcoming. For the Steelers, is also included something more rudimentary, but almost as unexpected - a sputtering offense that was casting their Super Bowl aspirations in doubt. How do they enjoy football season? Yet the results have been decidedly mediocre.

Running back Le'Veon Bell is averaging just 3.5 yards a carry and he continues to shake off the rust from missing training camp and the preseason in a contract dispute. Baltimore is not a good place to have to work out the kinks.

"You're not going to make a bunch of changes".

In London, the Ravens had one first down before halftime and trailed 23-0.

Heyward and the defense came alive as the Steelers applied consistent pressure on Flacco for the remainder of the game and limited the Ravens to short carries and underneath passes.

"We knew it was possible that we were going to get it", Suggs said of the booing.

Rookie Watt missed last week with a groin injury, and Pittsburgh missed his playmaking presence. "We're trying to be conscious of social issues, we're also trying to be very respectful of the flag, and how it's being demonstrated is taking a much larger stage than actions on the field".

If there was a positive to take out of that game, and there weren't many, it was the performance of running back Alex Collins. They faltered in the red zone a few times in the first half, settling for field goals.