This season, the Pittsburgh Steelers have yet to operate a balanced game from quarter one through four. relied way too heavily on their defense to win games. Their offense has been good, or at least decent, in most of their games this year. Lately, the offense relies on rookie running back Najee Harris to carry the offense; for some stretches, the passing game has been somewhat non-existent. But Pittsburgh will need a balanced attack on offense if they want to beat the 0-8 Detroit Lions this Sunday in their Week 10 game.
NFL Week 10: How the Steelers Should Approach Their Matchup With the Detroit Lions, And How Injuries Could Affect the Outcome
The Steelers play the Lions at 1:00 P.M. on Sunday for Week 10 football. Pittsburgh will play host, as the game will be held at Heinz Field in Pennsylvania. They are coming off of a four-game win streak, and are now 5-3 on the year after starting 1-3. The Lions, however, are 0-8 and hold the worst record in the NFL. They struggled getting things going early in the season despite a few close matches, and have one of the worst defenses in the NFL. The Steelers, with a struggling offense, will try to exploit the weaknesses of the Detroit defense.
A Lesser But Still Professional Opponent
Despite the Lions being 0-8 and holding the league’s worst record, they are still a professional football team. The Steelers will have to bring their A-game on offense if they want to collect their sixth win of the season on Sunday. The Lions may be winless, but many of their games have ended in heartbreak or were at least fairly close. They should not be taken for granted; Sunday will not be a free win for Pittsburgh. Both sides should fight hard, but the Steelers should be able to win if they get off to a fast, but balanced, offensive start.
The Uncommon Fast Start Is Needed
This season, the Steelers have struggled to do much offensively in the first half, mainly the first quarter. Pittsburgh is averaging a measly 2.6 points in the first quarter, which ranks as the 5th-worst for any NFL team. The Steelers averaging only nine points in the first half does not aid momentum; that ranks 8th-worst (25th) among all teams.
The Steelers need to establish a balanced, and successful, offensive attack for the first half. The Steelers should set a goal to try and score at least 2-3 times early against a weak Lions defense. They should try to establish an effective run game, as well as try to spread the field in the passing game.
Their receiving corps took a hit when second-year receiver Chase Claypool was ruled out for at least a few weeks. Now, the team’s starting receivers are Diontae Johnson, James Washington, and potentially Ray-Ray McCloud, who usually returns punts and kick-offs. Trying to incorporate them and the tight ends will open the Steelers offense and provide Roethlisberger options.
Injury Report And Potential Changes
While rookie running back Najee Harris is slated to have a very productive game (but with a heavy workload), his current injury could hinder his gameplay. Harris was facing an injury designation on Thursday; team doctors have recently cleared him. Harris can likely resume his role without any obstacles.
A big piece of news that surfaced on Thursday was that veteran starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had been questionable for Sunday’s game. Big Ben had not practiced in either of the team’s last two practice days. His injury designation was erased, and he is line to start on Sunday with nothing standing in his path.