It was truly a defensive showcase by the Steelers.
In a game that was as ugly as it could be, two defensive touchdowns made the difference, as the Steelers came away with a hard-fought victory over the Cleveland Browns by a score of 26-22. With the win, the Steelers improved their record to 1-1.
Even with the win, there is no denying the major issues surrounding this team's offense. So without delay, let us review what we learned this week.
*On a side note, we extend our best wishes to Nick Chubb, who suffered a horrific injury during the contest. We hope for a speedy recovery on his part.
What Did We Learn After Week 2?
The Offense Is An Anchor Pulling The Team Down
Let us put George Pickens' 71-yard touchdown aside for a moment. The Steelers offense at one point had all but 59 yards of total offense midway through the second quarter. At this point, one has to wonder what the source of the issue is. Is it Matt Canada? Is it Kenny Pickett? Is it the offensive line or all of the above? All we know is that this offense is the anchor pulling this team down. Had it not been for the two defensive touchdowns, this game would not have been close. A dramatic change is needed—not a small one, a big one. At the rate this team is going, Caleb Williams may not be a far-fetched reality after all.
Kenny Pickett Confidence Is A Huge Issue
Remember the guy we saw in the preseason? The guy who was poised and comfortable in the pocket? The guy we thought would make breakout strides this season? Well, that guy is no longer in the building. Whether it is a result of playing in an offense that makes little to no sense or not trusting himself and his offensive, Pickett's confidence is holding the entire team back, and this needs to be addressed quickly. It may only be two games, but already he has shown that he might not be ready for the role of QB1.
T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith Are An Unbeatable Tandem
Here are the numbers that both Watt and Highsmith collectively registered: two sacks, a forced fumble, two passes defended, 11 total tackles, an interception, and two defensive touchdowns. Not much else needs to be said. Had it not been for both of them, the Steelers would have lost that game badly. One has to imagine the number of pressures both of them registered along with the defensive line.
Pickens Is The Superstar The Offense Does Not Deserve
Here is the caveat: the two things holding him back are Matt Canada's offense and Kenny Pickett. With these two things noted, the fact that he was able to produce the way he did last night, speaks volumes as to how talented he is. In all, he deserved better than what he is getting right now.
Levi Wallace Is Not What We Thought He Was
In the two games he has played this season, Wallace has struggled mightily to play press coverage against good receivers. In Week 1, it was Brandon Aiyuk; this week it was Amari Cooper. Perhaps this is a sign that they should start their 32nd overall rookie in his place.