For many years, the Steelers were known as one of the most smash-mouth football teams in the league. Since that time, the Steelers have adapted to the "new" NFL by passing the ball more and running less. Still, it's difficult to be successful in the NFL without some sort of running game, and the Steelers' ground attack is hurting in a big way.
According to John Clayton, the Steelers will be missing both Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles) and Isaac Redman (ankle) in their pivotal Sunday night matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals.
The running load will be shifted to Jonathan Dwyer, a third year back out of Georgia Tech. Dwyer only has 49 career runs, and he's made it into only three games this season. It's a lot of pressure to put on such a young, inexperienced player.
Expect the Steelers to shift their game plan in a way that makes some of their short passes into de-facto running plays such as a variety of screens and quick routes.
The Steelers' offensive line probably won't be able to make the job much easier on Dwyer either. Per John Clayton, tackle Marcus Gilbert is out, and center Maurkice Pouncey is likely to be sidelined as well, making it that much more difficult for the Steelers to provide their offense any type of running support.
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