Facing a short week and a limited roster at the running back position due to injuries, the Steelers had gone through a slew of roster changes, which included releasing veteran wide receivers Donte Moncrief.
By all measures, this contest was tailor made for the Indianapolis Colts to win; better record, better offense and fresh off a full week of practice. What I have learned from watching this game, is that a team is best measured by what it does in a position of weakness. This game showed me a lot about the resilience of this team.
There was no mistaking how poor the offense played in this contest. The combination of Randy Fichtner's counterproductive play calling and Mason Rudolph's difficulties at read progression, made it difficult for fans to watch. If there was any positives aside from James Washington, one has to admire running back Trey Edmunds. On his first touch in a Steelers uniform, Edmunds found the edge and produced a 45-yard gain. This sequence and Vance McDonald's touchdown were the only notable moments by the Steelers offense.
Many of us, unfortunately witnessed the questionable calls by the referees all game long, including the last sequence of the game. Perhaps the missed field goal at the end was our recompense.
Thankfully for the Steelers, they have a defense that continues to produce splash plays. If there were still any questions about the decision to trade a first round pick for Minkah Fitzpatrick, his spectacular interception returned for a touchdown play should now quiet all critics. Not only does he lead the team in interceptions, he now sits near the top of the NFL in this category.
So the pending question is where do they go from here? Once upon a time, this team was destined to be in the bottom five. Now the Steelers are at .500 and second in their division. Yet we cannot ignore the elephant in the room, that being the many limitations of the
Steelers offense. As firmly as I believe that defense wins Superbowls, a consistent offense is essential to reaching that goal.
As the season continues, the obstacles are only going to get harder. If the Steelers have any playoff aspirations, their offense needs to come alive and lead the way to their destination.