PITTSBURGH — The Steelers pass rush was just about nonexistent in Sunday’s loss to the Bengals.
It is what it is, with the fruits of lacking four of their five starters along the defensive line. Whenever that much star power is lost, players like Cam Heyward and Melvin Ingram, of course, will draw more attention. They were largely doubled and no one else stepped up across the board.
More so than anything, Cincinnati’s third and final touchdown showcased this tremendously.
Burrow has an absurdly clean pocket on this one. More importantly, Burrow is able to scan through every single read across the field. At some point, someone will break open. The Steelers have a good but not great coverage unit as it is anyways, but Burrow and really any NFL quarterback will prove to be absolutely surgical with this type of time. Burow and Ja’Marr Chase both broke down what they saw occur on this play that led to the score.
“I told the O-Line, that was their touchdown,” Burrow said. “I mean, when you have that kind of time back there in the red zone, we have too many playmakers for them to not get open in that situation. …
“He was the fifth read. That’s what I said to my o-line. I was able to get to my fifth read and that’s all because of those guys. In this league, when you get to your fifth read, your fifth read is almost always open.”
Chase gave a similar version of events as to how he broke open his fourth touchdown of the season and second of the game to really put a sharp blow to the Steelers’ comeback chance.
“I’m really the last read on that,” Chase said. “I’m simply taking my time until the ball gets to me. My last read on that is to really just get open. I just have to excel to give him that option.”
As Chase and Burrow both said, Chase was the fifth read. That just showcases how dormant the pass rush, which did not register a sack on Sunday, truly was throughout the course of the game. Even in the biggest moments, the Steelers failed to make Burrow feel them at all.