Hey “yinzers,” before Sunday’s “bear bashing” the Pittsburgh Steelers were on a roll. They were 2-0 and they were about to play the Chicago Bears before traveling this weekend to the land of “Poe” to face the Baltimore Ravens.
However, let me pose this question to all of “yinz.” Did the Bears get the rollover memo? Apparently not. The Steelers had all of the proper hunting gear, but the Bears had the camouflage of a surprise running attack. The Bears did not have to get fancy or schmancy. The Bears just ran “buck wild” en route to defeating the Steelers, 23-17, in overtime, Sept. 24. During the final game-winning drive by Chicago, the Pittsburgh defense looked hapless and hopeless.
“The Bears ran, east, west, north and south and along the way they stopped to bust the Steelers in the mouth.” Many of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ so-called “weapons” remained locked in the gun case for what, to be used on another day?
Isn’t there far more to the offense of the Black and Gold than Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger? What good are weapons when a few are favored, though they’re all vital to success?
No one can accuse the Steelers of choking. Pittsburgh was choked by the asphyxiating running game of the relentless Bears. The Bears’ passing game was anemic but their running game was deadly. I say deadly because there were times that the running backs of “Chi-town” looked as they were running over corpses dressed in Steelers uniforms. There were other instances that Pittsburgh defenders were flying around in the Bears backfield like ghosts “grasping at straws.”
Pittsburgh’s special teams were like “Special Ed.” An attempted field goal by Steelers placekicker Chris Boswell was blocked at the end of the first half.
The hustle of recently-acquired Steelers TE Vance McDonald was evident as he chased down a swaggering, cocky and showboating Bears special teamer Marcus Cooper for almost the entire length of the field, stripping him at the one yard line and sending the ball fluttering into the Steelers’ end zone, where Steelers punter Jordan Berry had the wherewithal to swipe the ball out the end zone, forcing the Bears attempt to score from the one-half yard line (they failed because of a false start penalty).
Chicago ended the half with a field goal instead of a touchdown which would be the difference that would ultimately send the game into extra innings, oops, wrong sport, I meant overtime.
The problems are only now beginning for the Black and Gold. The Steelers are now faced with going into Baltimore this Sunday, Oct. 1, to face an angry and rabid B-more Ravens squad who were just dismantled by the Jacksonville Jaguars, 44-7, “across the pond,” and the beaks of the “dirty birds” are dripping with blood anticipating their matchup versus the Steelers, with or without “weapons.” The Steelers should have moseyed into M&T Bank Stadium ready to place the albatross of second place in the volcanic AFC North division around the necks of the Ravens; now Pittsburgh has to go in battling for first place in the division.
Speaking of the AFC North, the Bengals gave the Packers all they could handle before losing, 27-24. Bye, bye, Marvin Lewis. The Browns are also much improved despite losing, 31-28, to the Colts at Indy. CBS analyst Tony Romo pointed out that Bengals QB Andy Dalton was getting rid of the ball in less than 3 seconds. Hmmm…is there a quarterback for the Steelers that more often than not holds the football as if he remains the top client for the Fred Biletnikoff stick-um company?
The Steelers had better be ready, the trap has been set for the remainder of the season. Will the Pittsburgh Steelers be the hunters, or the hunted? By the way, I went back on my promise. Even though I picked Pittsburgh to win, I said that I wasn’t going to say, “I told you so.”
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