3 Steelers takeaways from impressive Week 1 road win over Bills
The Pittsburgh Steelers began their season with a tough matchup against one of the AFC contenders, the Buffalo Bills. However, things went pretty well for the Steelers as they snuck out a 23-16 victory on the road to start the season off on the right foot.
However, the game wasn’t pretty for Pittsburgh, and it took 17 4th-quarter points to walk away with a victory. Najee Harris made his debut, and TJ Watt was on the field after signing his ridiculous contract extension and everything felt right for the Steelers.
3 Steelers takeaways vs Bills
3. Ben Roethlisberger struggled
The Steelers franchise quarterback came back for one last go before he calls it a career, and, to be fair, his performance was not the best. He finished the same with an 18-32 clip for 188 yards and one touchdown pass and threw almost as many incompletions as he did completed passes.
Sure, the Bills defense is good and they were on the road, but they will need vintage Ben Roethlisberger if the Steelers want any shot at competing in the AFC.
Even so, Big Ben turned it on when it mattered most and tossed a beautiful touchdown pass to Diontae Johnson to put the Steelers on top.
— Justin Groc (@justgroc) September 12, 2021
2. Steelers defense is still nasty
The Buffalo Bills have one of the best offenses in the NFL with a star duo of Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs. However, Allen’s performance against the Steelers was a bit iffy. He finished 30-51 for 270 yards and a touchdown and was brought down three times by the Steelers defenders.
TJ Watt with the STRIP SACK 💪
The Steelers now have 74 STRAIGHT regular season games with a sack 😳
— Overtime (@overtime) September 12, 2021
Moreover, Diggs had nine catches for 69 yards and couldn’t get into the endzone as the Pittsburgh secondary played tough. TJ Watt earned his money with a pair of sacks, and the Steelers defense showed why they are one of the most formidable groups in the NFL, which certainly bodes well for their chances of a deep playoff run.
1. Najee Harris is a workhorse
The Steelers selected Najee Harris in the first round out of Alabama and pegged him as the next franchise running back. Unfortunately, Harris ran for just 45 yards on 16 carries and caught one pass for four yards in an underwhelming NFL debut.
On a positive note, Harris was a workhorse, plain and simple. The former Alabama star was on the field for every snap, which is the definition of a workhorse. In fact, no other running backs got a carry or a reception, so it is quite clear what Mike Tomlin and this staff thinks about Harris going forward.
Sure, the Steelers didn’t look fantastic, but they beat one of the best teams in the AFC on the road, with Najee Harris struggling and the passing game hitting a wall of some sort.