Maurkice Pouncey clearly has not fully recovered from his problematic ankle issues, although he did look better on Sunday in Cleveland than he has in weeks. Ramon Foster left the game but jogged off and didn’t appear to have any long term problems, hopefully. Kemoeatu had probably one of his best games of the year, except for the bonehead shove that could have been flagged as a personal foul. Marcus Gilbert was owned at times again against the Browns, completely whiffing on several oncoming pass rushers. One in particular on a 3rd down play that forced the offense to punt. Legursky also missed last Sunday’s game with a shoulder injury.
Starks is still the best lineman but he’s had some issues lately with elite pass rushers. Such is life on the Steelers offensive line. Coach Kugler has had his hands full since joining Mike Tomlin’s staff, just trying to keep five healthy bodies out on the field from week to week. Credit Kugler and the Steelers for having versatile lineman available to come in and play out of their natural position at a moments notice. It isn’t always pretty, well let’s face it, it’s down right ugly but they somehow manage to keep chugging along. The Broncos will test him and Gilbert both and if they smell blood Ben will be running for his life. Denver is currently 20th in the league in total defense: 18th vs the pass and 22nd vs the run.
Don’t let those stats full though, even though they are banged up with key players like Von Miller not 100% and Brian Dawkins suffering from a neck injury they will still get after the Pittsburgh offensive line. If Pouncey can get back on track and the rest of the players can just stay on the field for an entire game they may be ok, but that’s a tall order to fill.