The Steelers are one of the elite teams in football, but they are not without fault. The defense is as close to an immovable object as humanly possible; however the woes on offense are evident.
The line is poor, very poor, and that is not changing any time soon. The mystery of why the offense cannot preform, however is complex.
The line is key to the offense, but with players like Big Ben, Ward, Miller, Holmes, and Parker, there is no excuse for being in the bottom half of the league.
So you might ask, how is it that the Steelers can achieve greatness on offense, which when combined with this great defense will all but guarantee another piece of hardware.
Well, that answer is simple, but before I tell you, I want you to think of the past few games for the Steelers, and the game against the Jaguars.
I'll give you a minute.
What is the common thread in these games. Many things appear to be going well, but what is the most obvious part of the victory?
In these games, the Steelers have more effectively run the ball against their opponents, averaging about 100 yards per game. Running the ball, the Steelers have shown for many decades, is key to winning, and doing it consistently.
More important to the victories, however, is the performance of the man named after a clock in England. In these victories, Ben took the reins of the offense, using the no huddle and adjusting the offense to the particular situation of the defense.
This allows the person closest to the game, the quarterback, to adapt his team and exploit the weaknesses of the defense.
Another factor of Ben's performance is that the offense found a way not to rely on the line. It seems obvious, when your weakness is giving your quarter back time, find a way for him to need less time.
Ben throwing short passes, slants through the middle and to the flats, and actually using his key players like Miller, Ward, and Holmes, allows the offense to keep the ball, which will prevent the other team from having chances, and enables the Steelers to put points on the board.
Both of which, with a stingy defense like the one from the Steel City, means 7's for 3's or 0's and a win.
This offense can also be very deceiving. The Steelers can line up Miller, Spaeth, Ward, and Holmes, all of whom are explosive offensive players who can turn a short pass into a long gain and a first down nine out of ten times. Those players also have another thing in common, an incredible ability to block for the run.
Under this formation, a defense will really have no idea what will come out of the offense. The Steelers could send all four out for passes and use the backs to block, and with hands like those of Miller and Ward, as well as their physicality, it is an almost guaranteed catch and a big threat of a huge gain after the catch.
They could also use the tight ends to block and go for a deep bomb, and with speed like Holmes or skills like Ward, it is not easy to catch the defense looking at the wrong guy and punish them.
Also, the Steelers could use all four to block for the run meaning time off the clock and when you run enough, big plays will open up.
In the most recent games it appears that the Steelers have finally discovered this formula, and if they get good at it, every team in the NFL had better watch out cause Picksburgh's goin' to the Super Bowl!