Time For Pittsburgh Steelers Offensive Line to Prove Themselves

Time for Pittsburgh Steelers Offensive Line to Prove Themselves

All season, two teams have been getting praised for their offensive line being a major reason for their success. Both the Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders made the playoffs, and almost any NFL analyst is going to tell you that these are the top two offensive lines in the NFL. The Cowboys line has survived injury and has dominated all season, as shown by the holes for Ezekiel Elliott, and the time for Dak Prescott to read defenses. The Raiders overpower teams and their Sunday night thumping over rival the rival Denver Broncos is when many started to give the team their due. As we approach the playoffs, perceptions can change quick, and the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line has the chance to have its name right up there with those two elites.

They Already Are

DVOA, which is an average over a snap by snap basis, has the Steelers line ranked second in the NFL in adjusted rush yards, and fourth in the NFL in adjusted sack rate. In those areas, Dallas ranks fifth and 13th and Oakland 11th and first respectively. In terms of sacks allowed, the Steelers sit in second, behind Oakland after a poor performance that allowed four sacks in week 17 to lose that title.

Cannot hit their weaknesses

If the Steelers cannot run the ball, their offense as a whole does not flow in the same way. It is setting up the run, then the pass to running back Le’Veon Bell off of the run that leads safeties to take steps into the box and opens up outside threats for shot plays. While they ran second in adjusted yards rushing, they are 15th in yards per attempt. DVOA can factor in their opponents, which would grade the Steelers out better but on the field they will face similar, if not better run defenses. They will need to prove that they are worth their rating if the Steelers want to make a playoff run.

Miami Dolphins

With some injuries, the best unit on the Dolphins is probably the defensive line. Cameron Wake is a pass rush specialist, and the inside duo if Ndamukong Suh and Jordan Phillips has led this team into the playoffs. Maurkice Pouncey, Ramon Foster, and David DeCastro will be put to the test this week.

Kansas City Chiefs

If the Steelers beat the Dolphins, their next week will be a different task. The Chiefs have a couple of injuries on the inside but should have a completely healthy pass rush on the edge. With some time off, Justin Houston could be healthy and game ready by the time these two teams meet. In the absence of Houston, Dee Ford mess around and had ten sacks in a breakout season. Add in 3.5 sacks and some solid edge defense from Frank Zombo, and the Steelers will have to be on their best game on the outside. It is going to be loud, and Alejandro Villanueva adjusting to snap counts, and holding up against fierce edge rushers will be the key to the game.

It is on them

Maurkice Pouncey is healthy. David DeCastro was given the extension he wanted this offseason. Marcus Gilbert has been getting media calls for Pro Bowl consideration. Ramon Foster is having arguably his best season, and for a weakness, Alejandro Villanueva is turning into a solid player. The NFL is all about what is assembled is what is needed to get into the Super Bowl. It is time for them to prove it to the world.

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