They have far too many weapons and far too much talent at the skill positions as well as the offensive line not to begin to see that trend back to normal.
The issue, however, is the defense’s pendulum is also swinging back. Unfortunately, it’s swinging in the wrong direction. I won’t question the talent they have on that side of the ball, with guys like Cam Heyward, Stephon Tuitt or Ryan Shazier. Those guys are high level guys who make impact plays.
However, I do question why James Harrison remains an inactive player on most weeks when it’s clear this defense is very capable of allowing big runs and big pass plays as well.
Brett Hundley looked like he was Aaron Rodgers when he played the Steelers. Make no mistake about it, the Steelers don’t have a top-level pass defense. Quite frankly, they don’t have a top-level defense overall. I don’t care what the stats tell you, I go by the eye test and my eyes tell me that this secondary, in particular, is the team’s weakest link.
“But they are a top five pass defense!” you say. Yeah, because teams have been running on them. They haven’t needed to pass, so naturally the stats would say they Steelers don’t give up passing yards. Just look at the Jacksonville game to see what I’m talking about.
When Brett Hundley puts up the stats that he did, there is a problem. I like Artie Burns but his youth can hinder him at times. Mike Mitchell hits hard but I don’t think he’s necessarily trustworthy, and as much as I like Sean Davis, he ranks second to last, according to Pro Football Focus’ rankings for Strong Safeties.
He’s not the only one who ranks really low at their respective positions, according to Pro Football Focus. Bud Dupree ranks very “poor” and T.J. Watt is just “average.” Don’t let the Watt name fool you, he hasn’t been solid enough and because of that, along with many other factors, the defense’s pendulum is swinging back to reality.
The good news, as it may be, is with the offense coming back the other way, perhaps the two units can cross paths somewhere in the middle and ride this thing out down the stretch.
The pendulum always swings back, it’s just a matter of how far.
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