Week 1 Steelers vs. Bills Postgame Commentary: A Tale Of Two Teams

Photo: Caitlyn Epes

Remember when the Pittsburgh Steelers were losing in the first half?

Let's face it, we were all likely thinking the same thing; "here we go again". Frankly, we had every reason to ride that wave of negativity in the first half. The defense was stellar, doing everything possible to help keep their team in the game. Meanwhile, Ben Roethlisberger and the offense could not do anything right.

The offensive line was struggling to sustain its blocks, and often seemed overwhelmed by the Bills defensive front. Then we saw rookie Najee Harris struggling to find room to make any gains. At times, the play calling was questionable and they seemed to not have any rhythm. Yes, the first half was a disaster; 54 total offensive yards. After this type of performance, one could understand why a fanbase would feel entirely negative of what was to come.

Then something amazing happened to this team in the second half. Whether it was a speech by head coach Mike Tomlin or perhaps some extra Gatorade during their halftime break, this Steelers team came out with a new mentality, one of a team that was prepared to fight and not give up.

Little by little, Roethlisberger was finding openings; the offensive line started to get more aggressive and create openings for Harris. With every series, the confidence of the team started to grow as they put their first points on the board, a 3-yard field goal by kicker Chris Boswell.

That first series in the third quarter would set a trend that they would follow for the rest of the quarter. Then, the moment finally happened; a touchdown pass to receiver Diontae Johnson. Soon after, a blocked punt by safety Miles Killebrew, which was picked up by linebacker Ulysees Gilbert III for a touchdown by the special teams unit, the same unit that allowed a 75-yard kickoff return to start the contest. All of a sudden, a team that was down was now in the lead, and all of us started believing.

The ebbs and flows of a game are sometimes defined by our responses to them. As a fanbase, we endured the embarrassing playoff defeat last season to the Cleveland Browns, and followed this team throughout the many changes they made this offseason. We cannot help ourselves but to overreact when the team we love is struggling. The only thing we can do is muster as much faith as the Steelers did going into halftime.

In general, this Steelers team is a work in progress. Be assured of this, even if they struggle, they have the right group of people to overcome and rise above it.

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