YOUR PITTSBURGH STEELERS ARE IN FIRST PLACE IN THE AFC NORTH!
Wait, what?! Yes, you heard correctly…your Steelers lost to the Tennessee Titans in the opening week of the season, and by virtue of everyone else in the division losing, there's a 4-way tie atop the AFC North. Granted, that's not how you're expecting things to shake out just a game into the season, but I'll take it. And you should, too. Lord knows if things are gonna get much better for this team with crucial injuries to guys like Maurkice Pouncey and Larry Foote, and with guys like Le'veon Bell yet to even take the field.
So let's get this over with.
Ben: Ben, along with Willie Gay (SCARY) was one of the better players on the field in Black and Gold. This loss is hardly on him. 21 of 33 for 191 yards, a TD and an INT. The interception isn't all Ben either…there was pressure in his face and the Titans DB made an insane play. Yes, a lot of Ben's yards came in garbage time, but he tried his best to put his team in an unthinkable position of making a late-game push to tie. With Pouncey now out for the year, Ben's gonna have to do even more improvising and scrambling to get the job done. 3 of 5 motorcycle helmets. Congrats on 30,000 career passing yards…I bumped him up to 3 helmets because of that. No more free points after this week though.
RBs: 0 of 5 helmets. I'm just getting that out of the way. No RB gained more than 19 yards, and that was LaRod Stephens-Howling who is now out with an ACL (sound familier yet ?). Isaac Redman fumbled twice and only gained 9 yards on 8 carries. Feliex Jones got action on like one play in the 1st half, whiffing on a block. The Steelers just re-signed Jon Dwyer but still ahve the same O-Line situation in front of whoever gets handed the rock. Le'veon Bell cannot heal fast enough. DUMPSTER FIRE DOT GIF.
Defense: What is this?
It seems the Steelers DB scheme is to always give the opposing WRs 10+ yards of space at the line, preventing deep completions to, I don't know, keep up the #1 defense tag instead of winning the game? There were a few Ike Taylor "coverage" bits where it was 3rd and long, and he let Nate Washington pass the 1st down marker before he broke to cover. There's no need for this. Jam the receivers, make them work for it. Aside from the DBs, LaMarr had a sack and I guess Troy got one when he jumped the snap again but was only credited with a tackle-for-loss. But no turnovers continues the disturbing trend from 2012. 1 of 5 motorcycle helmets. There has to be some sort of pressure or ballhawking or this will be another long season.
I really needed a half-decent performer to highlight in this recap. 7 punts, one a 51-yarder. 44.1 yard average. 4.4 of 5 motorcycle helmets.
Season pretty much starts next week, with a Monday night game in Cincinatti against the Bengals. One way or another an AFC North team is gonna get a win in Week 2. And it better be the Steelers who get that W.
(thanks to Doug for the banner pic)