Former Illinois standout Kendrick Green and Dan Moore Jr. were given a nearly impossible task when the Pittsburgh Steelers selected the offensive linemen in last April's draft.
The Steelers grabbed Green in the third round and moved him from guard to center, where all he had to do was replace perennial Pro Bowler Maurkice Pouncey. A round later they grabbed Moore, who by September found himself starting at left tackle.
No pressure or anything. All the Steelers asked Moore to do was protect 39-year-old quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's blindside in hopes of keeping Roethlisberger upright long enough to put together one last playoff push.
Green and Moore endured are starting to wear off. Something akin to cohesion has developed. The fact Pittsburgh (4-3) has righted itself following a 1-3 start is no coincidence.
The Steelers have won three straight heading into Monday night's visit by the struggling Chicago Bears (3-5), with a real legitimate chance to get into the thick of an AFC North race that appeared to be ready to go on without them a month ago.
Meanwhile, Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields has spent his first two months on the job mostly running for his life. Chicago has allowed a league-high 30 sacks, including four in each of its past three games, all double-digit losses.
Fields did find enough time to produce a season-best 278 yards of total offense last week against San Francisco, though much of his 103 yards rushing came after his protection broke down, including a spectacular 22-yard touchdown run that showcased why the Bears were so high on him last spring.
The Steelers have won an astonishing 19 straight home games on Monday nights, a streak that started following a 23-20 loss to the New York Giants on Oct. 14, 1991.
The Bears' defense has gone from dominant to dominated.
Chicago ranks 15th in yards per game and 25th against the run after getting picked apart again last week, this time with star pass rusher Khalil Mack (foot) missing his first game since 2018. The Bears have allowed more than 400 yards and 30 points in back-to-back weeks.
Game time is 7:15 pm local time tonight.