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Thursday, October 24, 2013
Lack of TDs holding back Steelers' offense

By Scott Brown

Steel City wake-up: morning links

The Steelers have won consecutive games but if they intend to go on the kind of run that would allow them to overcome a miserable 0-4 start, they need to visit the end zone more often.

The Steelers have scored just two touchdowns in their past two games, and their problem is two-fold: They aren’t giving themselves enough opportunities to get six, and when they do get inside the red zone the offense bogs down.

The Steelers finally look like they have a credible running attack, and the emergence of Le’Veon Bell is a big reason for that. So too is the maturation of right guard David DeCastro. The second-year man has overcome a nightmarish start to the season to become the Steelers’ best offensive lineman and one of the better guards in the NFL.

DeCastro played his best game of the season in the Steelers’ 19-16 win over the Ravens. Meanwhile inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons played arguably the best game of his career against Baltimore. The Steelers’ coaches credited Timmons with 20 tackles after a review of the game film, and he made a handful of those stops after breaking his left hand.

Another big game from Timmons on Sunday would go a long way toward the Steelers winning in California for the first time under seventh-year coach Mike Tomlin. Containing Raiders dual-threat quarterback Terrelle Pryor will be one of the keys to the Steelers winning in Oakland for the first time since 1995.

Pryor grew up outside of Pittsburgh, and he became a high school legend before attending Ohio State and then going to the other side of the country in his quest to play quarterback in the NFL.

He is too young to remember the battles the Steelers and Raiders waged in the 1970s, but that rivalry shaped the decade and went down as one of the fiercest in NFL history.