After a lackluster performance in a 20-17 win at the Indianapolis Colts, many in the media began to cry same old Steelers. Sure, the Pittsburgh Steelers sat at 7-2, and three games up in the division. Still, fans and media all wondered if this team, this same old team, could beat the New England Patriots and make it to a Super Bowl for a chance at the franchise’s seventh ring. The offense has yet to score 30 points with all of the name power in the world, and Ben Roethlisberger has yet to look the same in 2017.
Pittsburgh Steelers flex Super Bowl muscle on national stage
While Monday through Wednesday was spent questioning the ceiling of the team, Thursday night was spent solidifying the ceiling for this team. The Pittsburgh Steelers beat a 6-3 Tennessee Titan team 40-17 at home on prime time to prove to the world that on any given Sunday they can be the best team in the NFL. The team bounced back from their ugly performance and did not only score 30 points, they score 40 points.
Ben Roethlisberger, who has a season-high of two touchdowns before this week did not throw three, he threw four touchdowns. He still struggled throwing deep, but he showed understanding of his limitations, throwing the ball 45 times for a 66% completion rate. He got the ball into his playmakers hands, and they took care of business.
Antonio Brown solidified his status as the best wide receiver in the NFL with 144 yards and three touchdowns. That includes an incredible touchdown catch where he pinned the ball off of his helmet.
Le’veon Bell had his best game as a receiver of the year hauling in nine receptions for 57 yards, proving the success of Roethlisberger keeping it short. While he did not see the ball much in this game, it became a great chance to ease his load, as he was on pace for a modern NFL record of 391 carries coming into this game. Getting that chance to now give him to 10 days of rest for a stretch run is huge.
The Steelers know the formula. Pounding Bell will control the clock and keep the defense rested. That’s a defense that turned the ball over four times and forced four sacks on Thursday. The running game will free up the pass, as displayed tonight, and make life easier on an aging Ben Roethlisberger, who is not at his peak right now.
Will the Steelers win the Super Bowl? Nobody knows. That is to be determined. Did the current Pittsburgh Steelers prove that on any given week, the talent on this team can outduel any given team? Yes, they did. With six games remaining before the playoffs, it will be fun to see how the 8-2 Steelers navigate the road, continue to grow, and write a new chapter, in an already long and prosperous book.