Once again, it's time for our weekly Q&A session with a blogger who covers the Patriots' upcoming opponent. Up this week is Bam from Blitzburgh Blog. Here's what Bam had to say about the Steelers and Pats leading up to Sunday's game.
1. The Steelers are 5-2, but are not really on anyone's radar. Why do you think that is and where do they stack up in the AFC in your minds?
I think the general, football-watching public saw the Steelers get trounced by the Ravens in week one and decided that they were too old and too slow to still be an elite team. There might be some truth to that, but the Steelers turned the ball over 7 times at Baltimore in week one, something they do about once every 25 years. They are not nearly as bad as they looked in that game. Injuries have been the team's biggest issue, though, and that can be something that's impossible to overcome. I think the Steelers are among the AFC's three best teams (with the Pats and Ravens). I haven't seen enough football yet to stack anybody up in more detail than that.
2. Pittsburgh has always been known for pounding the football, but Rashard Mendenhall has been getting pounded by injuries. Are we seeing more of a transition to Roethlisberger throwing the ball more in this offense?
It's interesting that you brought this up. Win or lose, tons of Steeler fans complain every week that the team isn't running the ball enough and call for the team to get back to "Steelers football." The
truth is ever since Ben Roethlisberger showed up, the Steelers have been a passing-first offense. Roethlisberger carried the offense during the 2005 Super Bowl run and did the same thing during the
team's 2008 title. With the NFL's recent rule changes regarding downfield contact by defensive backs, it has gotten a lot easier to pass and the eye-popping passing numbers being put up this year
reflect that. The Steelers have wisely adapted and began airing it out a little bit more, much to the chagrin of the old school fans.