Steelers rely on mercurial wide-outs

Steelers rely on mercurial wide-outs
October 14, 2013, 6:00 pm
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The Steelers picked up their first win on Sunday, beating the Jets, 19-6, heading into this weekend’s matchup with the Ravens. And with yet another lackluster effort from the running game — sound familiar, Ravens fans? — Pittsburgh’s “identity” on offense, as the commentators like to say, has become how much they can get the ball to wide-outs Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders.

Against the Jets, it was plenty enough, with Brown catching nine passes for 86 yards and Sanders three for 70, including a 55-yard touchdown punctuated by an attempted flip on which he didn’t stick the landing so much as the landing stuck him.

Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote of the two: “An offense that is growing more and more dependent on Sanders and Brown is a high-risk — albeit potentially high-reward — kind of endeavor. By parts athletically brilliant and stubbornly immature, these two mercurial wide-outs certainly can beat you, sometimes you meaning them and sometimes you meaning you.”

Along with Sanders’ flying flip, on which he certainly could have been injured, there was this from Brown, Collier wrote: “He might do better if he didn't seem so concerned with letting the whole stadium know when he converts a first down, but that's all part of the package.”

That package has to overcome major problems with the offensive line — again, something people in Baltimore are used to hearing — and a lack of attention to detail that resulted in seven penalties on Sunday. Still, the Steelers could overcome all that against a rookie quarterback and a Jets team that had to make you wonder how it had won three games.

With the Ravens next, it’s a bigger test for Pittsburgh to see how much the Steelers can rely on the wide-out duo.