That was the third straight game Dalton played against the Steelers with his completion rate at 50 percent or below. As a rookie in 2011, he completed 15-of-30 and then 11-of-24 passes in 24-17 and 35-7 losses.
The Steelers lost 16-9 last week to Tennesee, and their defense is battling injuries. Inside linebacker Larry Foote suffered a ruptured biceps in the opener. Knowing that, Dalton still expects a tough challenge.
“There’s not a whole lot of change,” he said. “They’re still doing a lot of the same stuff they did in previous years. That’s kind of how their defense has been. They just plug new guys in, guys they expect to play well. Unfortunately, they’ve had a couple of injuries and lost a couple of guys, but we still expect the same type of defense. They played well last week, and we’re going to get their best effort this week.”
The Steelers also suffered a big injury on offense. The loss of Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey, who tore his ACL in the opener, will hurt, but quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said Thursday he’s confident in Pouncey’s backup, Kelvin Beachum.
“It’s going good, “Roethlisberger said. “It’s good getting that extra work with him (in practice this week). He got thrown into a situation last week getting no practice at center. Our hat goes off to him for stepping up on the fly. Now at least we get some work. He’ll be a lot better.”