The Buzz: Led by head coach Mike Tomlin, the Steelers enter Week 5 with a 3-1 record. Tomlin, in his 10th season, has put together an impressive résumé. At age 36, he became the youngest head coach to win a Super Bowl. Additionally, Tomlin has become a two-time AFC Champion and a four-time AFC North Champion while guiding the Steelers to six playoff appearances. Last year, the Steelers defeated division rival Cincinnati in the wild card round, but they couldn't advance past the eventual Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos in the divisional round.
The Staples:Two-time Super Bowl champion QB Ben Roethlisberger leads a unit that ranks No. 10 in total offense. Roethlisberger is eighth in the league in passing yards with 1,116 and is coming off a monstrous performance against the Kansas City Chiefs, throwing for 300 yards and five touchdowns while completing 81% of his passes.
Roethlisberger's go-to receiver is superstar Antonio Brown, who has hauled in 369 yards, ranking fifth in the league. The four-time Pro Bowler reeled in four catches for 64 yards and two touchdowns against Kansas City on Sunday Night Football.
Cow Bell: Last week, the Steelers welcomed back Pro Bowl RB Le'Veon Bell from a three-game suspension and put him right to work. In his first game action since Week 8 of last season, the Michigan State product carried the ball 18 times for 144 yards and caught five balls for 34 yards. The 6'1", 225-pounder's patience between the tackles is second to none and veteran G Ramon Foster, who did not play against the Chiefs because of a chest injury, noted that Bell looked like a different, more complete back than last year.
The Anchors: The Steelers' front seven is the unit's bread and butter. Entering week five, the team is No. 4 against the run and No. 30 against the pass. Known as a hard-nosed unit, the defensive line is led by sixth-year veteran and defensive captain Cameron Heyward. Heyward has recorded at least five sacks each season since 2013 and already has three this year. The Ohio State product also has very active hands, breaking up 17 passes in his career.
Behind him you can find LB Lawrence Timmons, who's been with the team since 2007. Timmons is consistent and reliable, playing in 142 of 144 games and racking up more than 100 tackles each season since 2012. Through the season's first quarter, Timmons is averaging six stops per game.
Young Bull:Third-year ILB Ryan Shazier is an impact player when healthy, but he has struggled to stay on the field. With 4.36 speed and a nose for the ball, the Ohio State product played in nine and 12 games respectively his first two years in the league. Last season, Shazier recorded 87 tackles, 3.5 sacks, two FF, one FR, one INT and four PDs. In three games this season (sat out last game with a knee injury), Shazier has registered 20 tackles, a FF, a pick and two PDs.
The Steelers are a bit banged up and played without four starters — Shazier (knee), G Ramon Foster (chest), FB Roosevelt Nix (back) and S Robert Golden (hamstring) — against the Chiefs.