The Pittsburgh Steelers need to get healthy, and they need to get healthy soon. Ben Roethlisberger and Stephon Tuitt have been two of the team's best players this year, and their absences were definitely felt against the Kansas City Chiefs, as the Steelers lost by a score of 23-13.
Simply put, the offense is not very good without Roethlisberger. Landry Jones had a promising performance in the second half last week, and that got Steelers fans' hopes up. Today, he was awful. Fans saw the Landry Jones that they saw all throughout the preseason, and that Jones does not belong in the NFL.
All of the other players on the offense played well enough to easily win the game if Big Ben was healthy. Antonio Brown got back to his normal ways, catching six balls (few of which were great throws) for 124 yards. Martavis Bryant caught three balls for 45 yards and a touchdown, which actually wasn't a bad throw by Jones. Le'Veon Bell ran the ball 17 times for 121 yards, good for over seven yards per carry. The offensive line even pulled their weight, only allowing the terrific Chiefs pass rush to sack Jones two times.
Defensively, the Steelers were merely so-so. They only gave up two touchdowns in the game, but they still allowed almost 400 yards of offense. Last week, the defense seemed to utilize the bend-but-don't-break strategy, giving up a lot of yards but making stops when the opposing team threatened to score. It seemed like the same thing happened today, the defense just broke a few too many times. After forcing three turnovers against one of the best offenses in the NFL, the team forced zero turnovers against an offense that isn't very good. That likely could've been the difference in this game.
Mike Tomlin and Todd Haley didn't do a great job coaching this game, but they weren't awful. It was a good idea to go into the game with the strategy of keeping it balanced. But, when they saw that Jones was struggling with his quarterbacking duties, they should not have hesitated to give the ball to Bell a lot more. He only got 21 touches on the game, which is not near enough for the best running back in the NFL.
This was supposed to be a game that would boost the Steelers' confidence going into next week's AFC North matchup with the division-leading and undefeated Cincinnati Bengals. Everyone should be healthy, and we will finally be able to get a look at a complete Steelers team. If things go the way they should, the Steelers will finally have a chance to show what they can do when everyone is active. For now, though, this loss to the Chiefs hurts.