5 issues we realized from Steelers 23, Bengals 20:
1. Movement sensors
The mobility that Mitch Trubisky was once meant to deliver to the Steelers offense — a trait that Ben Roethlisberger lacked in his ultimate seasons — was once on show within the opener. So was once the consistent movement and transferring wallet that was once expected from Matt Canada’s gadget in his 2d yr as offensive coordinator.
Rising pains had been obtrusive.
The offense mustered only one landing on 15 possessions and produced a couple of first downs on one pressure sooner than extra time. The working sport scuffled to the level that Canada referred to as Chase Claypool’s quantity six instances on jet sweeps/finish arounds, and he ended up main the Steelers with 36 dashing yards.
Canada’s imprint was once noticeable from the primary snap when Trubisky tossed a shovel move to Claypool.
Every other wrinkle was once a display to No. 2 tight finish Zach Gentry that led to a 32-yard of entirety to the Bengals 9 and arrange Najee Harris’ 1-yard TD catch. Canada additionally broke out the flea-flicker within the first quarter which led to Trubisky finishing a 31-yard move to tight finish Pat Freiermuth to the Bengals 3. Emblematic of the offense’s struggles, the Steelers needed to accept a subject target in this ownership.
Trubisky averaged 5.1 yards in keeping with try — Roethlisberger averaged 6.2 a yr in the past — and completed with a pedestrian 78.2 passer score.
2. Sluggish starters
Some of the objectives for the offense this season was once to begin sooner than it did in 2021.
Over the overall 8 video games of ultimate season, the offense produced simply 9 issues within the opening quarter and went a five-game stretch with out getting any. Additionally, the ultimate landing the offense scored within the opening quarter was once Week 10 in opposition to Detroit. And it was once equipped courtesy of a Mason Rudolph landing move.
The protection chipped in with Minkah Fitzpatrick’s 31-yard interception go back for a landing lower than 3 mins into the sport Sunday, and the offense did give a contribution a field-goal pressure to take a 10-3 lead into the second one quarter.
The Steelers in the end were given a landing sooner than halftime to take a 17-6 lead into the locker room. That represented development from ultimate yr when the Steelers averaged 6.7 issues within the first part for the season. Handiest the 4-13 New York Giants had been worse in 2021.
The issue Sunday happened in the second one part because the Steelers totaled 64 yards and controlled 4 first downs. After the protection made a fourth-and-2 forestall with 1:51 to play, the Steelers had been compelled to make use of a timeout on account of an harm to Harris. They gave the ball again after simply 24 seconds of elapsed time and left the Bengals with one timeout last.
3. Protecting the run protection
To start with blush, it gave the look of the Steelers run protection picked up the place it left off in 2021 after they allowed essentially the most dashing yards within the NFL.
Joe Mixon reeled off a 31-yard run en path to an 82-yard efficiency. Joe Burrow scrambled for a 23-yard achieve, and the Bengals totaled 133 yards at the floor. Upon a deeper dissection, despite the fact that, the Steelers did display development at preventing the run.
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It took Mixon 27 carries to get his 82 yards, and the Bengals averaged 3.9 yards in keeping with raise on 34 overall makes an attempt. To position that during point of view, simplest six groups ultimate yr allowed fighters to moderate lower than 4.0 yards in keeping with raise for the season. The Steelers, after all, ranked ultimate by way of permitting 5.0 yards in keeping with raise and had been the one workforce to exceed 4.7.
Mixon had 14 runs that led to positive aspects of two yards or much less, together with 5 runs for adverse yardage. That’s no small feat for the Steelers bearing in mind Mixon rushed for a career-high 1,205 yards ultimate season, the 3rd time in his five-year profession he surpassed 1,000.
4. No sunlight
Harris left after his tenth raise of the sport led to a 2-yard loss, giving him 23 yards dashing. With two catches for three yards, he totaled 26 yards from scrimmage even if one among his receptions went for a 1-yard landing.
Harris had 6 dashing yards on 4 carries within the first part however picked it up slightly after intermission when he had runs spanning 11 and eight yards. He had 3 runs that went for adverse yardage, together with one when the Steelers introduced in take on Trent Scott to function an additional blockading tight finish.
The loss of working room was once hardly ever unexpected bearing in mind the way in which the offensive line was once gradual to jell within the preseason. Some of the few positives for the quintet of Mason Cole, James Daniels, Kevin Dotson, Chuks Okorafor and James Daniels was once Trubisky was once sacked simply as soon as, and that took place when he misplaced 2 yards after working out of bounds. Trubisky additionally was once hit 5 instances in comparison to the Steelers hitting Joe Burrow on 11 events.
5. Getting bodily
When the protection is at the subject for 94 performs, errors are sure to occur. The Steelers’ secondary wasn’t immune and the proof was once within the type of 5 non-public fouls. Paradoxically, all the infractions had been in opposition to gamers who had interceptions within the sport.
Minkah Fitzpatrick was once referred to as for pointless roughness two times in the second one part and can have been flagged over again for a success that concussed Bengals receiver Tee Higgins. It was once all a part of a bodily day for Fitzpatrick, who led the Steelers with 14 tackles, had the hole interception go back for a landing and burst throughout the line to dam the prospective successful additional level past due in legislation.
Ahkello Witherspoon had an interception in Bengals territory halfway throughout the fourth quarter and was once flagged for move interference early in extra time.
A move interference name in opposition to Cam Sutton negated an interception, even if the Steelers were given a turnover at the subsequent play. Sutton later were given his interception however he was once referred to as for containing past due within the fourth quarter clear of the play, and this infraction negated a 10-yard sack by way of T.J. Watt.