Don't blame the national anthem dust up. Or Le'Veon Bell's non-holdout holdout.
The Steelers bounced back from a horrid loss to the Chicago Bears for a dominating 26-9 win over the hated Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore. They haven't been talked about as a defensive team yet. The former LSU star was electric against the Steelers Sunday, helping to alleviate the pressure on Blake Bortles, along with a defense that intercepted Ben Roethlisberger five different times. Two were returned for touchdowns.
After Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger suggested he might not "have it anymore". However, despite that fact, Jacksonville still wondered why the Steelers didn't run the ball more.
The 35-year-old was kidding.
Roethlisberger now has a passer rating of 75.8, which would be his worst for an entire season since he posted a 75.4 passer rating in 2006 - the year of his infamous motorcycle crash that almost killed him in the offseason.
The Steelers certainly should not regress into a run-first offense, by any means.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are playing the talented, but inconsistent, Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday. He caught a 49-yard strike on the Steelers' first offensive snap that seemed to be a public acknowledgement any lingering issues between the two had been put to rest. And another early in the second.
Outside linebacker Telvin Smith had the first pick-6, covering 28 yards and putting the Jaguars ahead 13-9. So outside of passes to Bell and Brown, Ben was 13-of-25 for 109 yards.
The Jaguars defense struck again on Pittsburgh's next series.
"Give them credit, their defense lined up and did some things", Roethlisberger said. If Ramsey and/or Buoye do an effective job in shutting down Brown, it could lead to more frustration and more of a running attack by the Steelers. If Bryant can't go, Justin Hunter likely will fill Bryant's role. They have taken some great strides this offseason, looking to be a factor in the AFC South. "I did beat'em sometimes". He's thrown three interceptions nine times in his career, and had no touchdown passes in three of those games, including a win past year against the Bills. "We'll try to enjoy it, but then it's back to work, because we still have things to clean up". "We got guys who will make plays on the football, guys in situations to make plays, and that's all you can ask for".
"I think it's foolish not to take this team seriously", Gipson said.
"Maybe", he said after a long moment to ponder. While the Steelers did not play well in any facet of the game, their offense was notably poor on Sunday. Pittsburgh is averaging just 19.8 points.
Roethlisberger was pleased he hadn't thrown an interception in training camp. Jacksonville simply played a better game, and called a better one according to Church. And Brown has been his usually productive if occasionally polarizing self.
"There is a reason why he is a Pro Bowl running back", Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said. Roethlisberger tried to hit Brown down the sideline.