Off to an 0-2 start and with Ben Roethlisberger now out for the season, the Pittsburgh Steelers are at risk of spiraling out of control.
To say the Pittsburgh Steelers’ season has gotten off to a rough start would be a massive understatement. After getting blown out by the New England Patriots in Week One, the Steelers failed to rebound in Week Two in a sloppy loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Unfortunately, the bad news doesn’t stop there as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger suffered an elbow injury that will end his season. With Roethlisberger out and the team struggling to play well through two weeks, this Steelers season is already on the brink of disaster.
Coming into the season, the Steelers were viewed as one of the AFC’s most powerful contenders. Sure, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell both left the team, but with Roethlisberger, James Conner and some up-and-comers on defense, the team was expected to remain a powerhouse. Even in training camp, it seemed quieter with fewer distractions as the team was focused on moving forward into a new era. Unfortunately, as we’ve seen, this new era is filled with defensive miscues and offensive regression. Subtract Roethlisberger from the equation and this season looks primed to spiral out of control without some major improvement from the rest of the roster.
This isn’t to say that the team can’t survive without Roethlisberger. Mason Rudolph, the backup forced into action on Sunday looked promising enough and is stylistically similar to Big Ben. The problem, however, is that despite his struggles to start the season, this is Roethlisberger’s team. Without him on the field, Pittsburgh is missing its leader on offense. He’s the guy who provides a steady presence when things get out of control. Rudolph is certainly talented, but until he has the experience and respect that Roethlisberger has, it’s impossible to expect him to guide this team out of their current state.
For a season that started with so much promise, the Steelers have fallen in a big way. Now, with the franchise quarterback out for the season and the pressures of being 0-2 on their shoulders, it’s time for the team to show what they’re made of. Let’s hope they figure it out before it’s too late.