One under discussed aspect of the Steelers recent dip in success has been the dismantling of their once dominant O-Line over the past few years and their inability to draft suitable replacement (something the Steelers used to do in their sleep). In 2013, only 5 teams have given up more sacks than the Steelers.
Sure, some of those are on Ben for holding onto the ball too long, but 40 sacks in 13 games is a hell of a lot of sacks and something the Bengals D-Line is likely very excited about. In the run game, the Steelers are actually worse – ranked 31st in the NFL in rushing ypg at just 77.4. Hard to believe that we are talking about the Steelers.
Though Bell missed the first game and the Bengals had Atkins, the Steelers were still held to just 44 yards rushing (2.8 avg). The Bengals O-Line on the other hand has been improving. Tied for 5th in the NFL with just 26 sacks allowed (10 of which came in 2 games), they have not allowed a sack in the last 3 games, and in their last 2, both with Whitworth at LG, they have averaged 159.5 ypg.
Believe it or not, the Steelers are ranked just 24th in the NFL at stopping the run (120.2 ypg).