Pittsburgh Steelers Offensive Weapons Will Continue to Confuse Defenses

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PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 02: Le'Veon Bell #26 of the Pittsburgh Steelers rushes against the Kansas City Chiefs in the second half during the game at Heinz Field on October 2, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

Last Word On Pro Football, Logan Helfferich

The Pittsburgh Steelers offensive weapons led them to a blowout victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night. Le’Veon Bell returned to the Steelers and played almost the entire first drive at wide receiver. DeAngelo Williams was in the backfield for the majority of the first drive, leaving the Chiefs defense confused and spread out. With Bell back, Ben Roethlisberger has even more weapons than he already had. Antonio Brown, Sammie Coates, Markus Wheaton, Jesse James, Eli Rogers, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Xavier Grimble all make plays along with Bell and Williams.

Steelers Offensive Weapons Will Continue to Confuse

Even with injuries, the Steelers offensive weapons would not be lacking. With four solid wide receivers behind Brown leading the way, along with Bell now playing as a wide receiver, Roethlisberger can spread the field. Spreading out opposing defenses is crucial to Roethlisberger avoiding getting injured. While the surplus of weapons on offense will be fine with some injuries, the quarterback position will not. Landry Jones struggled in the preseason and didn’t look very comfortable, or good for that matter. With the ability to spread out his playmakers, Roethlisberger can get rid of the ball quickly and avoid sacks and getting hit in general.

Le’Veon Bell is the Key

The key aspect of the Steelers offense is Le’Veon Bell. Bell was used all over the field against the Chiefs and it was obvious that the defense was confused. Not only does putting Bell out wide or in the slot keep DeAngelo Williams (one of the Steelers best playmakers) on the field, it also takes a defender outside of the box. By moving Bell out wide, the opposing defense must put a defender on him. Usually, this is a linebacker because defenses want to keep their defensive backs for covering wide receivers. However, Bell is the second-best wide receiver on the Steelers behind Antonio Brown, arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL. This means that a linebacker matched up with Bell is a horrible matchup for the defense. Opponents will have to decide whether to take a linebacker out of the box and risk getting beat on a route by Bell, or to match up a defensive back with Bell which would leave one of the Steelers wide receivers matched up with a slower linebacker.

Surplus of Weapons

Roethlisberger took advantage of mismatches created by Bell all game long. Marcus Peters was targeted frequently and he was beaten by Brown often. Brown caught four passes for 64 yards and two touchdowns. Bell actually had more catches than Brown with five, and Coates finished with six catches for 79 yards.

Roethlisberger completed passes to nine different receivers, reiterating the fact that the Steelers have a surplus of offensive weapons. Wheaton, Heyward-Bey and James all had touchdown receptions even though they would be considered “minor” aspects of the Steelers offense. With the plethora of weapons that the Steelers have on offense, any one player could make a difference in any game. Defenses will have to choose who to key on, but they can’t key on everyone.

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