The Pittsburgh Steelers lost another road game last night to a bad team. The Tennessee Titans (2-4) gave up 30 or more points in each of their first five games, which set an NFL record, yet the team held Pittsburgh under that mark, 26-23. Pittsburgh (2-3) lost all three road games this year, and sits third in the AFC North with the division-rival Bengals next on the agenda. Injuries continue to hurt the Steelers chances of winning the tight division this year, and after last night, .500 seems questionable.
The Pittsburgh Steelers seem to implode without Troy Polamalu in the lineup. Out for the third time this season with a calf injury, the safety's health continues as a lingering concern. The Steelers failed to shake the injury bug thus far in 2012, as linebacker James Harrison missed significant time with knee surgery, and LaMarr Woodley missed most of the last two games with a hamstring injury.
Against Tennessee, All-Pro center Maurkice Pouncey left the game after a Titans' player rolled on his ankle. Pouncey continues to battle injuries, as this one marked the third time in his young career that an injury forced him from play. Most notable, the center missed Super Bowl 45 against Green Bay. Doug Legursky filled in admirably as he did in the championship game in 2010, but when Ramon Foster and Marcus Gilbert left the game with injuries, the team quickly ran out of options. With David DeCastro still nursing a major injury, the makeshift offensive line causes concern for the 6-time champs.
Rashard Mendenhall and Issac Redman left the game with injuries as well. Mendenhall, who missed almost the entire 2011 season and a chunk of 2012, left the game with an undisclosed injury. The Steelers running back ran brilliantly last week in a win over Philadelphia, but another injury forced him to the sidelines for the second half in Tennessee. Redman caught five passes for over 100 yards receiving, then left the game after taking a helmet to his knee. Coach Mike Tomlin watched helplessly as his team crumbled before his eyes.
Though the season remains relatively young, Pittsburgh dropped three AFC games, all on the road, while the Ravens and Bengals continue to win. Last year, the Steelers shared a 12-4 record with Baltimore, but the Ravens held the tie-breaker by beating Pittsburgh twice. Inevitably, the Steelers traveled to Denver and lost to an 8-8 opponent. If the Steelers make the playoffs this year, and travel far again, they will look back to the three losses early in the year against sub-par teams in the AFC and know why. The teams needs to stay healthy, and maybe find some extra trainers, or the season will end early in Pittsburgh.

Posted in Pittsburgh Steelers

Leave a Reply