NFL: Robert Griffin III and the Pittsburgh Steelers struggle early in the season, but Seattle Seahawks fans have already found their voice

A weekly look at the talking points in the NFL

From RGIII's return, via a shift in power in the AFC North, to the Seahawks impressive and deafeningly loud 12th man, the 2013 season is already packed with drama.

Healed and fully recovered (or so we are led to believe) following his horrific knee injury and subsequent major off-season surgery - Robert Griffin III, the man of whom so much is expected, was supposed to return fresh, full of confidence and raring to go. 

Instead however, rather than the dual threat phenomenon from last year, the former Heisman trophy winner has returned looking a shadow of his once trailblazing self.

Blessed with an ability to make plays with his feet as well as his arm, it would be naive to suggest that RGIII's career may stall in the absence of his lightning pace, even if it is spluttering along at present. However, should his ability to escape pressure continue to be an issue for his surgically rebuilt knee, it's safe to say that much more will be expected of those around him in the Washington Redskins team.

Perhaps not fully convinced in the strength of his knee at this point, RGIII has struggled through the opening two games of the season and, after another performance that didn't show any signs of life until the 'Skins were already blown out, many are wondering if it's his confidence that has been more affected than previously thought.  

Running only four times, for one yard, against Green Bay on Sunday certainly didn't dispel any of the quickly emerging doubters and only time will tell if his knee is simply not able to cope with the pressures it will be put under. Either way, he hasn't been the only member of Mike Shanahan's team yet to discover any sort of rhythm.

Aside from their offensive fragility, the majority of the blame for their lacklustre performances to date must lay with a defence that allowed the Packers to carve them open at will on Sunday.

Surrendering almost 600 yards defensively and allowing Aaron Rodgers to throw for 480 yards, their inability to stop the run only compounded matters. Packer's rookie Eddie Lacy was lost early on, courtesy of a crushing Mayweather hit, but  James Starks still rumbled for over 130 yards, the first time in 45 games any Green Bay rusher has reached such a figure.

 

Steelers' struggles

Their decline hasn't been instantly noticeable yet, toiling in a notoriously tough division and continually beset by key injuries, but the Pittsburgh Steelers are in trouble.

In their Monday night match-up against their youthful division rivals, the Cincinnati Bengals, their weaknesses were there for all to see. Injuries to key players, and arguably equally as alarming, their inability to run the ball, were a real concern.

Their inability to do so, barely surprising considering their current starter is Felix Jones, can be hammered home courtesy of Alex Smith. Yes, Alex Smith, the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback has more rushing yards than the Steelers so far this season.

Now that's not to say the Bengals are a complete outfit, they've issues of their own, but as their 20-10 victory suggests, Mike Tomlin and his men are lagging behind and with glaring weaknesses at a host of positions, 2013 already looks like a forgetful season for Ben Roethlisberger and co.

 

World Record

The game may have been held up by a lightning storm, but the unexpected break certainly didn't interrupt the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday as they out-muscled the San Francisco 49ers on their way to a comfortable 29-3 victory.

Roared on by the loudest crowd ever measured at a sporting event, the Seahawks took away the 49ers game plan, bombarding Colin Kaepernick with constant pressure while also completely shutting down their go-to receiver, Anquan Boldin.

Facing pressure at the line of scrimmage, Boldin was unable to wrestle his way past the outstanding Richard Sherman and only managed to get free on the one occasion Sherman was otherwise engaged.

For head coach Pete Carroll, it was the perfect 62nd birthday present but, for the 49ers, such struggles offensively will need to be addressed, especially considering they came after their explosive week one performance against the Packers.

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