Previewing The Pittsburgh Steelers Offense

The offense of the Pittsburgh Steelers still has a lot of questions even after their Week one win over the Buffalo Bills, and with the Las Vegas Raiders looming.
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The Las Vegas Raiders defense showed signs of improvement in their win against the Baltimore Ravens. 

They'll have the opportunity to continue that progress when they travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers on Sunday. 

Heading into the season, the Steelers' offense was probably the biggest reason why many analysts didn't pick them to repeat as NFC North champions. 

While they finished last season ranked 12th in points per game, there were holes that were exposed by the end of the season. 

They averaged only 19.8 points in their final five games, going 1-4 after averaging nearly 29 points getting off to an 11-0 start. 

The reasons for that largely centered around quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's dependency on the short passing game and not being able to run the football. 

While he did throw for 33 touchdowns, Roethlisberger averaged the lowest yards per attempt over a full season in his career. 

That comes as he was coming off major elbow surgery at 38 years old, not showing the ability to throw deep consistently. 

Roethlisberger was up and down again in the game against Buffalo, throwing for only 188 yards and averaging only 5.9 yards per attempt.

He did, however, have multiple completions over 20 yards, still showing a willingness at least to try to stretch the field. 

The one thing the Steelers didn't show was that they could run the football effectively after not doing so at all last season. 

They had the fewest rushing yards in the league last year, and also averaged the worst yards per rush. 

A struggling offensive line was a big culprit in that, and the Steelers went into this season with a new-look line, hoping for internal improvement. 

They also drafted running back Najee Harris in the first round of this year's draft, but he had only 45 rushing yards at 2.8 yards a carry. 

Granted, Buffalo should have a good defense, but the limitations that Pittsburgh showed last year offensively didn't look like they went away. 

If the Raiders' defense can shore up their run defense and keep the pass-catching trio of Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson, and JuJu Smith-Schuster in front of them, they can give themselves a real chance on Sunday. 

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