Can somebody please tell me if it’s really 2014 or are we stuck in 2012 or 2013 again? After starting the season in the first half of the Cleveland game scoring 27 points, only allowing 3 and just firing on all cylinders, the Steelers have reverted back to the form of the past two seasons.
They’ve been outscored 50-9 in the last six quarters they’ve played and they’ve looked tremendously terrible.
Offensively they can’t get anything going and when they actually did last night, on the opening drive, Justin Brown fumbled the ball deep in Raven territory, dramatically changing the entire direction of the football game. The no huddle isn’t working well enough, the offensive line, while improved, isn’t giving Ben enough time often enough, the play calling is too predictable and specifically vs. the Ravens, the offensive scheme isn’t divided evenly enough.
Big Ben is clearly an asset and without him this team would be sunk. Antonio Brown is the most dynamic player on the team and looks to be in All Pro form and LeVeon “Cheech” Bell seems to be showing us all why the team not only was so high on him (no pun intended, well maybe a little) last year but why they weren’t quick to sit suspend him for a game this year, after his arrest. Bell has been running the ball hard, getting big yards and catching passes out of the backfield. Markus Wheaton has been a nice addition to this offense this year too but in the end, they are not scoring points when needed.
Worse off, the defense looks lost. They’ve given up big plays, they can’t seem to get to the QB again, after doing so the first half of the Cleveland game but more reminiscent than anything is the fact that they have yet to gain a turnover, two games into the year. The blitzing, ferocious defense that Dick LeBeau runs is predicated on getting to the quarterback and causing turnovers and if you can’t do that, big plays are going to happen against you. They look slow, lost and genuinely not good enough to be a top flight defense right now.
The coaches look unprepared; they don’t seem to be able to make adjustments in game. Tomlin talks a big game but his catch phrases are getting older by the saying. They are hollow when the team doesn’t back up the expectation. Coaches don’t play, I’m not a fool, but they implement the game plan and the scheme the players must follow. If the players can’t do that, then the scheme must be changed or adjusted, that’s not happening. The definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over with no success, well does that not seem to fit here? Something must give and it better be soon because these guys travel to Carolina next Sunday night and they are staring 1-2 smack in the face.
Possibly the most irritating thing about last night was the potential the Steelers had. They escaped the Cleveland game with a victory, ugly as it was, and they had the chance to start off 2-0, with both wins in the division while knocking the Ravens to 0-2, both home division losses, at the same time.
It’s not that the Steelers lost this game. In fact, prior to the season this is a game I had them pegged to lose. It’s how they lost it. It’s unacceptable to fall as flat on their faces as they did. They’ll now get a few extra days to prepare for Carolina and it sure looks like they’ll need it.
1-1, up next at Carolina 1-0.
Mike Pelaia hosts the website Steel Nation Association www.steelnationassociation.com- Covering the Steelers and helping Children’s Hospital All Day Everyday. You can e-mail him at email@example.com.