Pittsburgh Steelers: Takeaways from 24-17 Win over Rams
PITTSBURGH STEELERS: TAKEAWAYS FROM 24-17 WIN OVER RAMS – The Pittsburgh Steelers orchestrated another comeback, erasing a 7-point 4th quarter deficit to seize a 24-17 win over the Los Angeles Rams.
This was the sixth game-winning drive of Kenny Pickett’s career leading all starting quarterbacks over that span. The Steelers now have a 4-2 record, 2-0 in their division and are 5th in the conference.
What Happened to 60 Minute Men?
Make no mistake about it. The Steelers win ugly as they seemingly drag every opponent into a backyard brawl. Analyzing the team’s NFL rankings and statistics will lead you down a road of chaos and confusion when trying to justify their record.
Except for blowout losses to the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans, the Steelers have kept the games close with a 5.75-point margin of victory in four wins. The offense is the worst in the NFL in almost every category for the first three quarters.
In the 4th quarter only one offense is better, the Kansas City Chiefs.
Coach Mike Tomlin addressed Pickett’s slow starts in his weekly press conference:
“We’re gonna continually work for more fluid and productive starts. There’s a component of it that’s not new, and it’s his ability to rise up in moments. We valued that in the draft process.”
How are they Winning?
The fact that linebacker T.J. Watt’s name is just coming up in this article is admittedly ridiculous. He is the main reason that the Steelers are not 1-5 or 2-4 this season.
An obvious candidate for Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY) is having an MVP season. His seventh career interception to start the second half of the game turned the tide for both teams.
“It was a good play by T.J.” said Rams QB Matt Stafford. “I obviously did not see him and thought I put it into a good spot and then all of a sudden he flashed in front and made a great play. He’s a big-time player, made a big-time play.”
Coordinator Matt Canada deserves praise for a gameplan that allowed the offense to move the chains and take deep shots. It was the early execution and costly penalties that led to the sluggish start. The return of “Clutch” Kenny (not sure how I feel about this nickname yet) led this team to another improbable victory.
With only 108 passing yards to start the final quarter he ended up finishing with 230 yards with 17/25 completion/attempts. Running backs Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren each found the endzone for the team’s first rushing touchdowns of the season. Pickett did his version of the “Tush Push” for the third rushing touchdown on the day.
The Steelers QB was poised and collected in the 4th quarter racking up three long drives ending in two TD’s and a chance to run out the clock. Pickett got a generous spot to convert a fourth-and-1 at the Los Angeles 38 on the final snap before the two-minute warning and Rams’ coach Sean McVay challenged and lost leading to the Steelers victory and a 13-4 record after the bye week for Tomlin.
The Future is Bright
Watching the rest of the league you realize the Steelers aren’t that far off from being contenders.
The talent on offense is undeniable with receivers Diontae Johnson and George Pickens becoming matchup nightmares for opposing defenses. The offensive line and the running game with Harris and Warren are showing signs they can be effective. The pressure is on Pickett and Canada to start fast and give this defense an early lead to start games.
The results could make Watt a serious candidate for the NFL MVP award and the Steelers in contention for a deep playoff run.