PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers are finding out how the other half lives. At 0-4, they are off to their worst start in 45 years, before legendary coach Chuck Noll and the NFL merger arrived.
The Steelers have a bye week to lick their wounds after their 34-27 loss to the previously winless Minnesota Vikings in England. It will hardly be soothing, though.
Their defense, which finished No. 1 in the NFL the past two seasons in fewest yards allowed, is getting shredded. The 110 points they have allowed are eighth-most in the league. They have created no turnovers through four games while their offense has given up 11.
"It's awful," safety Ryan Clark said. "In no way is it fun. In no way is it good or positive. We understand that. We're turning over the stones. We're trying our best to figure it out."
In the meantime, they are wasting some good performances by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. His 51 attempts Sunday were the second-most he has thrown in a game, behind only the 54 he pitched against Denver in 2006.
"I mean right now, you can say we're the worst team in the league," Roethlisberger said. "That hurts. As a competitor, you don't like that, you want to do everything you can to win a football game. To turn it around, you just have to walk a fine line of trying not to do too much, hurt your team and yourself. We just have to keep playing as a team and find a way."