The Defense is Still Not Playing to the Level We (or They) are Accustomed
Sunday was the first time the Steelers’ defense forced a turnover in a game. If Sunday had been week one, we would all be comfortable with it. Sunday, however, was not week one. Sunday was week 3! In three games, two of which were played against a horrible team in a horrible division and a team that is missing one of the greatest players in the history of the NFL, the best defense in the NFL from last year has forced one turnover.
This should have Citizens of The Nation all over the world on suicide watch.
Turnovers out of the Steelers’ offense are nothing new. We have all grown accustomed to Big Ben throwing an ill-timed pick when trying to make a play. I can accept that because that is life with Ben Roethlisberger. He tries to make a play on every snap and seemingly has never even heard of the concept of throwing the ball away. For every poor interception he throws, he seems to make half a dozen amazing plays that not many quarterbacks would even dream of attempting.
What usually offsets Ben’s occasional failure is the normally stellar play of the Steelers’ defense. For a team that didn’t lose a single starter during the off-season, this drop in defensive production is as mystifying as it is unacceptable.
Pop quiz, hot shot. Without looking, what team is leading the league in defensive passing yards this year? If you said the Pittsburgh Steelers, give yourself a gold star. But that is not the good news it appears to be. The simple fact is that the Steelers are allowing more than 30 yards per game rushing than they did last year. The reason they are good against the pass is because teams are running on them! They don’t have to pass.
That, plus in the last two games, they have played against quarterbacks who were either retired before this season or had never been consistent starters in the NFL.
Enter Ben Tate and Matt Schaub. Schaub is the 8th ranked passer in the league so far this year by passer rating, and has 274.3 yards per game through the air. Citizens, those numbers put him ahead of guys named Flacco, Jackson, Collins, and Painter. You recognize those names, don’t you? You should. The Steelers have played against all four of those quarterbacks.
Ben Tate, on the other hand, comes into Sunday’s meeting averaging 100.3 yards per game on the ground for the Texans. That is more than 20 yards per game better than Ray Rice. You know him. He was the purple-clad a-hole who put up 107 rushing yards on the Steelers in week one.
I hate to say it, fellow Citizens, but I predict a second loss this week.
I don’t think they will get trucked like in week one, but Ben Tate is certainly capable of putting up big numbers on the Men of Steel. If, by some miracle, the Steelers manage to stop the Texans’ running game, Matt Schaub will be standing back there waiting to throw to guys like Andre Johnson. (I bet you thought I forgot about him.) Johnson is “only” 6th in the league for receiving yards per game. *sarcasm on* It’s not like he can hurt the Steelers at all. *sarcasm off*
I’m predicting a loss for the Mighty Black and Gold this week, as much as it pains me. The numbers are just not good enough to say the Steelers are playing well enough to win.