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A Letter From the Editor: Can the Steelers be resuscitated?

“That escalated quickly.” — Ron Burgundy, Anchorman

When I think about the lead up to the 2023 regular season, we likely set up the Pittsburgh Steelers to fail. It wasn’t our fault, but the fact the team just capped off a near perfect preseason. How could people not be riding high?

The offense was moving the ball in huge chunks, scoring touchdown after touchdown.

The starting defense was denying the opposition at every stop.

Then the regular season started…

When the San Francisco 49ers, an NFC powerhouse and Super Bowl contender, came to town everyone was excited to see the Steelers matchup with one of the league’s best teams. This excitement turned to disappoint quickly. From a preseason with no punts, to a Week 1 game filled with nothing but punts.

But they could turn it around, the team, both offensively and defensively, could rebound, right?

In a way, they did in a 26-22 win over the Cleveland Browns on Monday Night Football, but something was still amiss. Horrible tackling on defense, and more stagnant offense had fans wondering just what went wrong. Where did the team who looked so promising in the preseason go?

Nowhere. The team didn’t go anywhere. It’s the same team, they are just struggling as they try to find their footing in the new season.

But if the team isn’t different, could it be reasonable to expect a turnaround? Could a turnaround happen as quickly as the team took a nose-dive as the season began? That’s difficult to predict. The defense is certainly warming to the task, but there are a lot of moving parts, many in question, on the offensive side of the ball. Many of which will have to pick up their game in a big way for said turnaround to even be conceptualized, let alone come to fruition.

Many fans want a change in offensive coordinator, but if you think about it you know this is unlikely considering the way the Steelers do business. So, could the offense follow the defense and start mounting their own comeback?

I think they can, and I think it could start against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday night.

No, it isn’t because the Raiders are a team more on the Steelers’ level, but it just seems as if they are a team the Steelers could start to connect some proverbial dots. No, this isn’t a “get right” game, that happens against teams who are downright awful. This is a game where the Steelers might start to see some success. A game where they might have the ability to establish the run and work more of their offense outside of just hoping and praying the same few plays continue to work.

It very well could be a stepping stone game where the team starts to climb their way back to resembling the team we saw in the preseason. It won’t happen over night, but I think there is still a pulse with this team. We’ve seen Kenny Pickett play at a high level in the regular season. We’ve seen the offensive line take time to gel. And we’ve seen the tackling improve as the regular season progresses.

Signs of life, they do exist, and I think that heart beat will get stronger in Week 3.

Let’s hope I’m right…the alternative won’t be very appealing.

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