The Steelers have struggled on the road this season and won their only home game with ease. Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu noted that this is different from the 2005 team, which thrived on playing away from home by taking the "11 guys against everyone else" mindset.
Why doesn't this Steelers team have that personality? "We don't have Hines [Ward], we don't have James Farrior, we don't have Aaron Smith," Polamalu told 105.9 the X in Pittsburgh. "That's the core leadership that we've had since I've been here."
In my assessment, the Steelers aren't missing their leaders. They're missing their playmakers.
When Polamalu and linebacker James Harrison played in the same game, the Steelers are 23-7 (.766) since the start of the 2009 season. When one is sidelined or both are out, Pittsburgh is 11-10 (.523). Not surprisingly, Pittsburgh is better when the two former NFL Defensive Players of the Year are on the field together.
Asked about the impact of the return of himself and Harrison, Polamalu told the radio station: "I don't know. We'll see. There's some other new faces who have become permanent starters. So it's all about how all 11 players can mesh together."