Pittsburgh Steelers Team Report

The Pittsburgh Steelers will use the bye week to try to retool an offense that is out of sync and showing no signs of life

Quarterback Tommy Maddox, who threw five touchdown passes in the first 10 quarters of the season, has thrown one in the past 14 quarters. He completed 19 of 30 passes for 182 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions for a passer rating of 80.1. That he did not throw an interception Sunday in Denver was considered progress. The only thing that stood out was the seven times Tommy Maddox was sacked behind a makeshift line.

The offensive line is the biggest concern and virtually any and every combination imaginable was tried in Denver. All-Pro guard Alan Faneca started at left tackle, the first time he's played that position since high school. He also played guard and three others played tackle. Center Jeff Hartings also played some guard.

Said WR Hines Ward of all the changes in the offensive line, "It was weird. I've seen more faces in the huddle this year than my whole career."

Rushing, the Steelers managed only 85 yards on 30 carries and the 2.8-yard average is becoming the norm. The only redeeming moment was when Jerome Bettis scored from the 1-yard line and then tacked on the two-point conversion by running off tackle. Their offense is not carrying the load on a season sinking fast after three straight losses.

"We just have to respond," linebacker Joey Porter said. "True champions come out and respond. After the bye, there's no more time off. We play 10 straight and we got to do something."

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