Ok, so I realize that it’s only been 3 weeks, and we’re sitting at 2-1 right now. Not bad by any means. But, if you look at this thing with a microscope, you’ll find that the current situation is troubling at best, regardless of where our Pass Defense ranks at this particular moment. I could walk you through a list of the games, and specific moments in each that scare the crap out of me, but I think it’s simpler than that. I know you feel it. Deep down you’re thinking, “are we just a bad football team right now?” I know, because I’ve been thinking the same thing.
I was texting with my brother during the atrocity that was the Steelers performance vs the Colts last Sunday, and he said something that really got me thinking,
I think we’re in a lot of trouble, brother. No O line, our defense is getting blown off the ball, can’t stop the run…The Colts probably should have beat us. They really beat themselves. We were saved by dropped passes and a really inexperienced QB. Mathis made James and Woodley look like little kids in comparison. Looking at this upcoming week, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Texans run for 150 and pass for over 300.
My brother and I have always been connected, as most brothers are, but it’s like Jon was in my head when he wrote this slew of texts in a flurry just after the game. I can’t agree more with my little bro. The offensive line is obviously the hot button talk right now, and you know how I feel about that, but what really scares me is our sudden inability to defend against the run, and create splash plays (ie sacks, turnovers etc). We just paid big money to both Woodley and Timmons, and they’ve been way off the radar so far this season when it comes to big, game-changing plays.
I was the first to argue that the lockout as a lot to do with the sloppiness, but there are plenty of other teams that had the same lockout and are looking great (see the Patriots). So, which team is the real Steelers team? Is it the team that got absolutely owned by their bitter rivals, or the one that full out dominated the week after? Or maybe we’re just OK, and teams as weak as the Colts would beat us maybe 8 times out of 10.
My guess is that we are, at this moment in time, just OK. We’re not that same team that went to the ‘ship in 2011. Which is funny, because we actually pretty much are the same team apart from the missing O line people, namely Flozell. All of our key positions are the same, yet our play looks incredibly slow and out of sync. The only real encouraging thing I noticed was that Troy seems to be back to his old, stronger self, running all over the field and wreaking havoc everywhere. Also it would seem as though Big Ben and Mike Wallace are on the same page.
So where does the blame fall? Do we blame the coaches for being under-prepared? Do we blame the players for not executing the game plan, or for being out of shape once the season hit? I just don’t know, and frankly, I don’t really care. What needs to happen now is up to the Steelers. They could choose to have another long and painful season like 2009, or they could choose to learn from their mistakes and start to play at a higher level.
We’ve got good teams coming up in our schedule. Like, actually really good teams. If the Steelers play like they did against the Ravens or Colts, we’re going to be in some real trouble, and this is going to be a long season. The season ain’t over yet, and the sky isn’t quite falling, but those moments are drawing near. 2-1 might sound good on the surface but it scares the crap out of me. All I’m looking for is consistency. It’s something we’re missing on a lot of levels, and if we don’t regain it we’re going to continue seeing a different Steelers team week in and week out. SO…
Will the real Pittsburgh Steelers please stand up?