The Pittsburgh Steelers’ offensive struggles were evident throughout the 2021 NFL season.
Their defense did the heavy lifting in their season opener by limiting the Buffalo Bills to 16 points.
Since then, they had trouble keeping up with their opponents.
The Steelers generated 17 points against the Las Vegas Raiders even if Ben Roethlisberger threw for 295 yards and Diontae Johnson had nine receptions for 105 yards.
Issues should not going to plan in 2021 for Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers. By means of 4 video games, the group is 1-3, good for final place in a abruptly aggressive AFC North, and Large Ben's struggles appear to be the rationale.https://t.co/6npiMVbGhr pic.twitter.com/gCGMcDEpbx
— World News (@jnetnon) October 9, 2021
Derek Carr and the Raiders dominated on offense with 425 yards and 22 first downs.
In Week 3, Pittsburgh scored a measly 10 points against division rival Cincinnati Bengals even if Roethlisberger had a 300-yard game.
Najee Harris also had 102 receiving and 40 rushing yards, but they still lost by 14 points.
The Steelers converted nine third downs and ran 77 plays against the Bengals.
A week later, their scoring woes continued versus Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.
They had 62 rushing yards which, highlighted their stature as the NFL’s worst run offense.
FINAL: Your Pittsburgh Steelers struggle and fall to the Green Bay Packers, 27-17. pic.twitter.com/etPWcds9MV
— Steelers Nation (@SteelerNationCP) October 3, 2021
Likewise, Rodgers threw two touchdowns to Randall Cobb and added a touchdown run.
If not for Chris Boswell‘s 45-yard field goal in Week 1, their highest single-game point total would be 20 points.
They failed to reach that mark during their three-game losing streak, and Roethlisberger took much of the blame.
He under-threw several passes, and his hip injury limited the mobility that enabled him to extend plays.
Critics suggested that the Steelers make a change at quarterback because the old quarterback has become a liability.
Is there any modern QB that 5 years after they retire will be in more pain than Ben Roethlisberger
— Stephen (@Stephen_Springs) October 10, 2021
But Roethlisberger and the Steelers thrive under enormous doubt, as proven during their Super Bowl runs.
They pull a rabbit out of a hat just when everyone counts them out.
Finally, the floodgates opened against a talented Denver Broncos defense that limited opponents to 33 total points in four games.
Steelers Trample Over The Broncos
Climbing out of a 1-4 hole would be difficult for the Steelers, especially with the Bengals, the Cleveland Browns, and the Baltimore Ravens looking like legitimate contenders.
But their Week 5 started on a positive note as Roethlisberger found Chase Claypool for a 23-yard gain on their opening drive.
Two plays later, the 18-year veteran completed a 50-yard touchdown pass to Johnson.
Big Ben’s going DEEP! @Juiceup__3 #HereWeGo
📺: #DENvsPIT on FOX
📱: NFL app pic.twitter.com/hHzmzejcyI
— NFL (@NFL) October 10, 2021
They were on their way to score again on their next possession until Broncos linebacker A.J. Johnson recovered Roethlisberger’s fumble off a Malik Reed sack.
However, the Steelers bounced back by scoring on two of their next three drives.
Boswell connected from 48 yards to make the count 10-3.
Minutes later, Harris converted a one-yard touchdown run to give Pittsburgh a 17-6 lead at halftime.
🆙 and in 😤@ohthatsNajee22 | 📺: FOX pic.twitter.com/dkFSaAlPur
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) October 10, 2021
The Steelers opened the second half with an 18-yard touchdown reception by Claypool to extend their advantage to 18 points, 24-6.
Unfortunately, the Broncos fought their way back into the game by scoring two touchdowns which trimmed Pittsburgh’s margin to five, 24-19.
Boswell’s field goal from 43 yards out gave the Steelers an eight-point cushion.
But the Broncos had two-and-a-half minutes to execute a game-tying drive.
On fourth-and-goal at the Steelers’ three-yard line, James Pierre intercepted Teddy Bridgewater‘s pass for Courtland Sutton to preserve the victory.
While their defense cemented their second victory in five games, the offense outplayed Bridgewater and the Broncos.
JAMES PIERRE CALLED GAMEpic.twitter.com/RgDvuh3MeF
— PFF PIT Steelers (@PFF_Steelers) October 10, 2021
More importantly, they gained 147 rushing yards, 122 of which were courtesy of Harris.
He became the second player in Steelers’ history to have a 100-yard rushing game and a rushing touchdown in his first five NFL games.
For one week, the Steelers erased doubts about their scoring.
But they can keep the momentum going against a Russell Wilson-less Seattle Seahawks in Week 6.NEXT: Steelers Failed To Have A Proper Backup Plan At QB