There’s no question that Jonathan Dwyer was a huge part of the Steelers’ victory over the Bengals on Sunday — a victory that renewed hope for the Steelers this season after a disappointing start. Dwyer rushed for 122 yards, more than any other Steeler in the past year. But with Isaac Redman and Rashard Mendenhall preparing to return to play from injuries, there’s still a great deal of uncertainty in the Steelers’ rushing strategy for the remainder of the season. What’s worse is that the Steelers are likely to be about $15 million over the league salary cap next season. Someone from the squad won’t be back next year and Dwyer, as a restricted free agent during 2013, is still in danger of leaving Pittsburgh.
Ben Roethlisberger continued his solid play on Sunday going 27/37 for 278 yards and a single touchdown. But his sole interception and an early push by the Bengals made the game far from easy, especially in the first half. What’s troubling for both fans and Pittsburgh Steelers tickets sales moving forward in the season was not the typical running woes, but receiving. Antonio Brown set the stage for a poor receiving performance with a horrendous dropped pass that would have resulted in a touchdown. Late in the second quarter, the Bengals took a commanding 14-3 lead. But the Steelers soon answered back courtesy of a Heath Miller touchdown with :24 seconds left in the half. A rushing touchdown put the Steelers up 24-17 in the fourth quarter.
While the Steelers seem to be offering up minor improvements in defense, rushing, and receiving every game, the team is currently fighting against a 3-3 record that will need to improve to keep postseason hopes alive. The Steelers will get their chance to secure a winning record this Sunday in their upcoming game against the Washington Redskins at Heinz Field.