-Let's give credit, where credit is due. Jay Cutler played well on Sunday. Mainly, he did what he couldn't do against the Packers - take what the defense gave him. Cutler rarely threw downfield, but took advantage of quick throws underneath to tight ends and Johnny Knox to negate the Steelers pass rush. Cutler was calm, cool, and collected in leading the Bears to game-tying and game -winning drives. He eluded the pass rush several times to make accurate throws downfield. I'm not a fan of Cutler's, but he played a good game on Sunday.
- How impressive was that first drive from Ben Roethlisberger? Getting no help from the running game, he led the Steelers on a 92 yard, touchdown drive to set the tone early. It was the first touchdown scored by the Steelers in the first quarter in 11 straight games (including playoffs).
- I continue to be impressed by Roethlisberger and the pass protection in the first two games, but it's getting a little frustrating to only score 14 and 13 points the first two games. Sure, the Steelers should have had 20 against the Bears, but the offense is going to have to do more.
- Several factors contributed to the lack of points scored.
Mistakes: two missed field goals and a drop in the end zone.
No easy points - the defense didn't force any turnovers and the return game was less than stellar due to multiple penalties.
Poor field position - The average starting field position for the Steelers was their own 22 yard line. Meaning they had to go at least 50 yards to get into position for a long field goal.
The mistakes and field position can be fixed. But the defense needs to make more big plays.
- Speaking of the defense, it has three sacks in two games. That's a pace of 24 sacks for the season. LaMarr Woodley and James Harrison have combined for 0 sacks. I'm not overly concerned, because they continue to pressure the quarterback. The Bears almost never left Harrison one-on-one with Orlando Pace, but when the outside backers are attracting this much attention, someone else needs to get pressure. I trust Dick LeBeau to fix this issue.
- The defense missed Troy. Tyron Carter had a big hit on Greg Olsen, but was repeatedly targeted by the Bears in the passing game. He was the main defender on both touchdowns in the game and was beat several other times. After the game, he said should have called timeout before the game tying touchdown to Johnny Knox because he knew he couldn't stay with him in single coverage because of his injured left thigh. "I think I kind of hurt my team by not coming out of the game or by not calling a timeout." You think?
-I was encouraged by the play of the offensive line. Big Ben had lots of time to throw and the line opened up big holes in the running game in the second half. There were still sacks and poor runs, but it was much better than the Titans game. Overall, the Steelers averaged 4.8 yards per rush.