The fifth week of the 2016 NFL season ended with the Pittsburgh Steelers leading the AFC North with a solid victory over the hapless New York Jets.
With a nice 4-1 record heading into the sixth week of the season, the Steelers are looking great thanks to the offensive plan being executed by coach Mike Tomlin, who seems determined to put as many points on the scoreboard as possible. The steel curtain is not looking as great in terms of defense, which allowed 13 points that the Jets scored a little too easily; nonetheless, whenever star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger finds a rhythm with running back Le’Veon Bell, opposing teams are forced to concentrate on their own defense.
The Bell Tolls Again in Pittsburgh
The Steelers offense was impacted to a lesser degree than expected when the NFL issued a suspension against Bell due to violations of the league’s anti-drug policy.
After sitting out a few games, Bell has returned in top form. It is clear that he has a very positive impact not just on offense but also on Roethlisberger, who has not thrown a single interception since his teammate returned to the gridiron.
The synergy between Big Ben and Bell is just one of the many factors making the Steelers unstoppable from an offensive point of view. Roethlisberger is certainly in a passing mood this season, and he is finding Sammie Coates very often.
Sadly, Coates has been dropping passes in the last few games, which means that the Steelers could boast an average scoreboard higher than 37 points per game if Coates had been able to hold on to the ball just a little longer before going down. Game officials are paying close attention to Coates whenever he catches the ball and before he hits the grass to ensure that he does not try to fake a completion.
Back to Bell, even with the suspension he has been able to prove why he is one of the best running backs in the NFL; some analysts have commented that he looks like Ricky Williams, the controversial retired Miami Dolphins player whose rushing prowess was often the focus of many ESPN highlight reels.
Super Bowl Talk
Thanks to their strong offense, the Steelers are being picked by some sports analysts as strong contenders to reach the Super Bowl. Big Ben, Bell and Coates are not the only highlights of the offense; there is also Antonio Brown, perhaps one of the strongest players of the current lineup.
With the way the offense is playing and paying close attention to Mike Tomlin’s playbook strategy, Pittsburgh is destined to advance to the playoffs in competitive shape. Dedicated Steelers fans are not too worried about Coates dropping some passes because he is actually catching the ones that really matter. As far as the defense is concerned, they will likely come together as a better unit as the season continues.