The season opener against Baltimore was no indication of how good the Pittsburgh Steelers are. And neither was Sunday’s 24-0 romp over the lowly Seattle Seahawks.
And that is why dismantling the Seahawks soundly provides little evidence as to how well the Steelers will do this year.
Fans are probably already forgetting the 35-7 Baltimore beating. And the poor performance could be nothing more than one bad game. But the Ravens success was so complete that it exposed a significant weakness the Steelers haven’t addressed properly — the aging defense.
Defensive leader James Farrior, 36, has been spelled by fellow veteran Larry Foote, 31, regularly this season. It is only week 2. Can these two middle linebackers stay healthy all year by substitution? Next on the list at this position is Stevenson Sylvester, who has never played significant regular season time on defense. Teams have been scorching Pittsburgh with tight ends. The Steelers need their linebackers to be able to cover the Rob Gronkowskis of the league.
And then there is the secondary, where no young talent has stepped up as the next star. So the team re-signed veterans Ike Taylor and Troy Polamalu. Experience is good, but it is no substitution for speed. The secondary was mauled in Baltimore, and probably will be several times this year.
The Steelers’ season rests in the hands of Ben Roethlisberger and the team’s group of highly-touted young receivers.
Pittsburgh isn’t as bad as their Week 1 performance. But don’t expect too many shutouts, either.
(City Editor Rick Kazmer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read his blog, “The Kazmer Report,” at dailyamerican.com. Smartphone users can access the blog by scanning the QR code at left.)