I’m still seeing some overly optimistic Steeler fans out there proclaiming this team can still go 8-1 and get into the playoffs with a record of 10-6. I’m struggling under the weight of their gross ignoring of how bad this team is this year. In fact, I just laugh.
The first play of this disastrous game was enough to tell me the Steelers weren’t ready to win a football game today. When playing a mobile inexperienced quarterback, you need to dare him to beat you with his arm and contain his running ability. Instead, LaMarr Woodley missed the contain, and 93 yards later, Terrelle Pryor had the NFL’s longest rush in league history for a quarterback. I can’t help it, I laughed out loud at the futility.
Antonio Brown had a few more key drops today, including what would have been a huge third-down conversion late in the game. He also failed to hold onto the ball and gave up a turnover late in the game. He fails to make plays when the team needs him most. Not what you want out of your top receiver. I found myself laughing at every mistake he made. You know what makes it easier to laugh at him? It’s easier because he’s right there on the field laughing himself.
Shaun Suisham, the reigning special teams player of the week, missed two field goals inside of 40 yards. I laughed after both of them. That’s simply inexcusable but he’s not the sole reason this team lost today. They lost because once again they simply aren’t good enough. There are no playmakers on either side of the ball.
The Steelers woes aren’t just a lack of talent either, as much of the blame can also fall on the coaches. Poor timeout selection, poor clock management, tons of screens on 3rd and long when you have to score touchdowns. Look at the final play of the game when you have to make a long pass and get out of bounds. What do the Steelers do? Throw it straight down the middle with no timeouts. Game over. Once again, I laughed.
The Steelers should at least ACT like they’re trying to win the game but this team fails to show any kind of urgency until the score is 21-9 late in the game. That’s the kind of urgency and track record that has some of you thinking a turnaround is just around the corner?
There are too many talented teams left on the schedule to think the Steelers can go on a monster run and sneak into the playoffs. They’ve made their bed this year and have to live with the consequences.
The team they faced today is one of the worst in the league and the Steelers STILL found a way to lose to them.
The offensive line took on a few more injuries today. Ramon Foster got hurt, was replaced by Guy Whimper, who subsequently got hurt, and now you’re looking at Cody Wallace in the game. David DeCastro hurt his ankle in this one and now you have to wonder if the Steelers will have to sign Max Starks by default at this point because they are out of other healthy options. The thought that he’s the best option available is funny enough, but sadly it might be true.
Maybe the Steelers will eventually figure out how to win a game outside of the Eastern Time Zone again. They haven’t won one since Nov. 27, 2011 against an awful Kansas City Chiefs squad. Oakland continues to be a black hole for them, with their last road win in Oakland coming all the way back in 1995. In case you’ve missed it, Oakland has been an awful football team for a long time.
Personally, I’m glad they lost today, because this team needs to get into the mindset of fixing things long term. A rebuild is needed this offseason and many hard decisions are going to have to be made. How long can you pay Heath Miller as one of your top players? Is Troy Polamalu’s production matching his cap hit? At what point do you have to write off Mike Adams and Marcus Gilbert as top busts and move on?
At what point do they finally pull the plug on the Todd Haley era? I’d argue that should have happened already this year, but someone in the Steelers organization must love watching this offense sputter and stall out constantly under his watch. Dick LeBeau needs to start planning his retirement conference now as well.
I learned early on in the season not to expect much this year and I’m a better person for it. I’ve learned to laugh at each and every error like a comedy tour, because it’s easier to laugh Steeler fans. Trust me.