After a year in which signal-callers of the Steelers offense's main objective was to "not kill us," in the words of Head Coach Mike Tomlin. The Steelers offense in a 26-21 victory against the Denver Broncos proved themselves to be like a double-edged sword.
Yes, Diontae Johnson lost the handles again on his first touch of the game. Maybe JuJu Smith Schuster could have run a better route that would have got them the first down on their first drive anyway.
Yes, when you live with gunslingers like Ben Roethlisberger, you will die from interceptions like the one he threw to Justin Simmons and nearly to Michael Ojemudia before a James Conner touchdown a bounce-back performance.
But in that same scoring drive by Conner, you see not only a running back, but the wide receivers muscling secondary players for yards after contact.
When you see Big Ben uncorking a missile to Chase Claypool for an 84-yard touchdown. The first touchdown catch of his career.
Then you see the offense score a touchdown after allowing 11 straight points on defense.
You realize compared to anything we saw last year for the Steelers, any mistakes the offense makes with a healthy Ben is only a flesh wound.
It hasn't been perfect in terms of play-calling. Denver defended screens pretty well against the Steelers before Denver scored their touchdown to Fant, a questionable fourth-down play call.
A Benny Snell fumble after getting a safety on special teams is rough, especially when they score a touchdown to keep the game close.
Aside from a few physical runs on that touchdown drive, the Steelers running game had trouble. But they managed to ice the game with a 59-yd run to the 10-yard line by Conner. The run put him over 100 yards rushing for the day.
This team has the weapons to make up for any miscues. You would like them to limit them just like last year when the QB1 was Devlin Hodges or Mason Rudolph.
The Steelers' most significant need this year that the return of Roethlisberger helps the offense's ability to pull their weight when the defense has an off game.
Steelers fans are a spoiled bunch this year. 13 points or less is what the Steelers defense needed to allow for the offense to will itself to the win last year.
It's safe to say when the Steelers offense plays to their potential like it did for most of today's game. That number can go up a little.