Steelers’ 0-2 start no fluke with issues mounting
PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers are in trouble. Off to their first 0-2 start in 11 seasons, they face 0-3 when they play host to the 2-0 Chicago Bears at Heinz Field on Sunday night.
And it's not just their record.
They cannot run and they cannot stop the run. Their defense has generated zero turnovers and one sack through two games and their offensive line is a sieve.
Other than that, everything's rosy in Pittsburgh.
"We are a frustrated group right now," coach Mike Tomlin said. "We are 0-2 right now. Probably the most significant of reasons is that we aren't scoring enough points, 19 points in two football games is not going to win a lot of football in this league. If you would have told me we would have scored 19 points through the first two games, I would have told you we would have had an opportunity to be 0-2."
There's not a lot Tomlin can do about it. The Steelers have poured a handful of high draft picks into the offensive line and they're not getting it done, especially the two tackles, Mike Adams on the left and Marcus Gilbert on the right. Tomlin could replace one of them with Kelvin Beachum, who they've tried to use at tight end to help them block on the outside.
The Steelers even abandoned their zone run-blocking scheme Monday night in Cincinnati and tried to go with a spread offense to little avail. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, playing behind that shaky line and with no ground game, is off to one of his worst starts. He has completed 58.6 percent of his passes with two touchdowns, two interceptions, seven sacks and a 74.8 passer rating.
"Very frustrating," Roethlisberger called it. "We've got a long way to go ... The quarterback's got to play better, and he will."
-- LB Cortez Allen (ankle) was inactive for the game vs. the Bengals. His status for next Sunday is uncertain.
-- TE Heath Miller (ACL) has been practicing and it's possible he could play in the next week or two. He will try to go full-bore in practice this week.
-- RB Le'Veon Bell (foot sprain) is not yet ready to return.
-- CB Curtis Brown (sick) will practice Wednesday.
-- K Shaun Suisham (hamstring) recovered enough to kick on Sunday. Shayne Graham, who earned $55,000 to be signed as an insurance policy and not kick, will be released.