Usually there is plenty of scoring to talk about in arena football. We here at Pittsburgh Sporting News had plenty of pixel space set aside to talk about the great plays we saw out of the Pittsburgh Power in Chicago. Unfortunately, the Power saw themselves get shutout in the first half. They would score two touchdowns in the third quarter but then got shutout in the 4th. Three scoreless quarters is horrendous no matter how you look at it.
The final result is a 45-14 loss to the Chicago Rush and has me wondering how the Power offense could actually go backwards from the pathetic showings we saw in week one and two. I’ll tell you the two main culprits in my eyes are quarterback Jordan Jefferson and offensive coordinator Mike Tomczak.
Don’t get me wrong, Jefferson can make plays with his legs, but he’s being paid to throw the ball. He’s nowhere near good enough to be an AFL quarterback. No play signifies how bad Jefferson has been this year more than the ball slipping out of his throwing motion for a fumble despite him not being touched on the play.
I can understand fumbles when you are hit, but he’s lost the ball several times this year untouched. His deep passes are constantly off the mark and the opposing defenses know he’s not much threat outside of the screen pass.
Ah yes the screen pass. Mike Tomczak seems to love this play immensely. Tomczak is a great guy in real life. I’ve had some nice chats with him, but when I take a hard professional look at this offense, it sucks.
Too many plays are designed to start in the backfield, whether it’s a deep pitch to a running back, a backwards lateral, a screen pass or a Jefferson scramble. You can’t play that way and have success in the AFL. I truly feel like I am watching the same movie on perpetual replay with this offense. It wouldn’t be so bad if it worked but we all know it isn’t.
I remember wondering what kind of hire the Power made when they brought in a guy with zero AFL experience in Tomczak. It had me scratching my head at the time, but I vowed to give him a chance. I’ve seen enough. The Power have to do something to fix this mess. Once again it starts with the quarterback and offensive coordinator. There’s just no way to sugarcoat that.
Through three games now the Power have a combined 82 points total. Jacksonville scored 76 points this week alone. The Power offense gives this team zero chance to win. It’s a shame because the defense has done a good job trying their best to keep the team in games. If you hold your opponent to 14 first half points you should be in great shape, but instead the Power trailed by 14 going into the half. If I’m the Power defenders right now I’m dialing 1-800-OFFENSE and paying $9.99 a minute for some assistance. Remember kids to ask your parents first.
The fans deserve so much more than this. Especially when it’s plain as day to all the fans and those covering the team that Jefferson just doesn’t have it. When he was injured against Jacksonville, Shane Austin came in and the offense seemed to spark under him. I actually saw a pulse. He has indoor experience. He actually knows the game, so why not use him? 0-3 is bad, but not an impossible mountain to climb out of. Make the right move now and try something different before it’s too late.
This was a game the Power should have been competitive in. Instead it was another regression for the Power. They aren’t moving forward, they are moving backwards. Not surprising since that’s the kind of playcalling they prefer.
Pittsburgh has another game on the road this week against the New Orleans VooDoo (1-2) as they will try to earn their first win of the season.