Steelers vs. Bears: Live Game Grades and Analysis for Pittsburgh

Dan SnyderCorrespondent ISeptember 22, 2013

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 16:  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers calls out in the first quarter while under center against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on September 16, 2013 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Steelers will start the season 0-3 after falling at home to the Chicago Bears 40-23. Pittsburgh continued to struggle offensively in the first half but turned it around in the second period.

But five turnovers and two defensive touchdowns by the Bears clinched a road win for Chicago.

Ben Roethlisberger finished the game with 406 passing yards and two touchdowns but threw two interceptions and fumbled twice as well. Antonio Brown had a monstrous day, hauling in nine passes for 196 yards and two scores.  



Chicago: 40

Pittsburgh: 23

Final Analysis

Pass Offense

Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers pass offense looked a whole lot more comfortable in the second half. And it showed on the field.

Antonio Brown may have solidified himself as a true No. 1 receiver with a monstrous performance, and Heath Miller’s return won’t ever hurt.

But the offensive line continues to be a problem, as Ben was under siege all night long. At the end of the day, Roethlisberger threw for more than 400 yards but turned it over four times.   

Run Offense

By far the best rushing performance the Steelers had all season. Despite the fact that Felix Jones fumbled on the opening drive of the second half (and probably ended his chances of making an impact in Pittsburgh), Jonathan Dwyer really broke out tonight.

But again, Pittsburgh abandoned the run game in the second half.  

Run Defense

Pittsburgh did a much better job in the second half against Matt Forte and the rest of the Bears rushers. However, they got some help from Chicago, who seemed to abandon the run in the second half.

Regardless, it was a much better effort in the second act for the Steelers run D.  

Pass Defense

It was a pretty masterful second-half performance by the Steelers pass defense. But one drive was enough to put the game away.

The Steelers did a terrific job of holding Jay Cutler in check, and the pass rush finally got going. Brandon Marshall had only one significant catch on the night. Certainly a great effort by the secondary.  

Special Teams

Not a whole lot to talk about for the Steelers special teams, and that’s a good thing. Devin Hester barely heard his name called in this one. The only complaint was a pointless facemask penalty on Antonio Brown. 


The offense finally seemed to put something together in the second half, but I still continue to question Todd Haley’s personnel packages. He’s not using his players in the proper situations.

Still, he did a much better job of letting Roethlisberger take control of the offense and getting the ball in the hands of Brown in the second half.

Defensively, it was like Dick LeBeau was in the Bears huddle. He was masterful in the second half.  

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 16:  Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on in the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on September 16, 2013 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images


1st-Half Analysis

Pass Offense 

It has been an up-and-down night for the Steelers passing attack. Ben Roethlisberger has, again, been under siege, and it’s starting to show. The 10-year veteran has missed on some easy throws and made a critical error that led to an interception being returned for a touchdown.

Roethlisberger did connect on a 33-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown, highlighting the importance of that pairing. The Steelers need to see more of those two hooking up.  

Run Offense

This is, by far, the best the Steelers have run the football all season. Pittsburgh has totaled 55 yards on the ground in the first half. The Steelers had just over 70 rushing yards on the season coming into Sunday night’s game.

Felix Jones has been the horse, running for 33 yards on six carries, and Jonathan Dwyer has shown good burst as well.  

Run Defense

The Steelers run defense has had absolutely no answer for Matt Forte in the first half of this game. So far, Chicago's back has 74 rush yards and a TD. He has 98 yards of total offense.

The only thing working in the Steelers’ favor is the fact that Chicago hasn’t really used Forte. He’s carried the ball only nine times in the first half. Expect that number to grown as the game wears on. 

Pass Defense

It was not a banner start for the Steelers pass defense, but it has settled in nicely as the game has progressed.

Jay Cutler is still 12-of-18 passing, but he has just 75 yards through the air. Brandon Marshall has also been held in check, hauling in three passes for a pedestrian 11 yards. Troy Polamalu has been all over the field in the first half. He looks rejuvenated.  

Special Teams

Not much to say about the special teams in the first half other than the fact that Devin Hester hasn’t made any explosive plays. That’s what we’re looking for in this unit Sunday night. So far, job well done. 


I’m still highly unimpressed with the Steelers’ offensive play-calling. They’ve done a poor job of mixing in the run and pass. But Mike Tomlin finally lit a fire under this line, placing Mike Adams, Marcus Gilbert and Kelvin Beachum in a rotation on the outside.

Defensively, Dick LeBeau has started to get to Cutler and Co. Expect more blitzes in the second half in an effort to try to expose an inexperienced offensive line.