What We Learned In Week 14 In The NFL:
- Another NFL team mourning the loss of a teammate
- Big Ben back to work but Steelers get worked by Chargers
- Losses by Ravens and Bengals keep playoff hopes alive for Steelers
These are the kinds of Mondays where hopefully your coworkers know enough about you to just stay away. Not a whole lot of good things to say this morning. Bright side being the losses by the Ravens and Bengals but the outlook for the Steelers is a whole lot more uncertain given the fact that they just can’t seem to get off this roller coaster of inconsistency. I fully expect them to bounce back and have a better performance against the Cowboys next Sunday, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the week after that they’ll falter against the Bengals in what could be the playoff-deciding game. At this point the Steelers have lost 3 out of the last 4 and the playoff hopes could be diminishing. The only positive thing to say is that if they are able to make it to the playoffs, at least they’ll play against good teams because they seem to play their worst when facing a statistically inferior opponent.
For the second week in a row the NFL was rocked with the news of the death of a player. This week is a very different scenario than Jovan Belcher’s murder-suicide in Kansas City last Saturday. News broke out Saturday afternoon that a member of the Dallas Cowboys practice squad was dead after a car accident and a player on the Cowboys roster was in jail for intoxication manslaughter. Cowboys NT Josh Brent is facing charges for being responsible for the deadly crash that killed his teammate and best friend, Jerry Brown. Brent and Brown had been out the night before and Brent got behind the wheel of the car intoxicated and at high speed crashed into a guardrail causing the car to flip. Brent and Brown had been teammates together college and became friends with Brent actually lobbying for Brown to be added to the Cowboys practice squad.
Sadly, this isn’t Brent’s first arrest for DUI. In 2009 Brent spent 30 days in jail for a DUI in college and served 200 hours of community service. Even sadder is that Brown was an expectant father with a baby girl due in about two months. I’m not going to go all “Bob Costas” on anyone but the amount of DUI’s in the NFL is staggering. It’s been revealed time and time again that all NFL players have at their disposal the use of a car service provided by the league to pick them up whenever, wherever, with no questions asked. Reportedly, players do not utilize this service frequently for fear of their nightlife habits being used against them. You have to believe that a rumor like that started somewhere and that’s a downright shame. Either a player or agent has spread around the league to give players the impression that their better off risking everything by driving home intoxicated rather than allow someone connected with the league know where they spend their Saturday nights. This behavior has been reinforced by the fact that good ole Rogeez has been more than reluctant to discipline players for DUI’s. He’d rather worry about changing the game to save face for possible concussions that haven’t happened yet rather than deal with the fact that he has a league of players who care more about whether or not their team ownership will hold it against them if they use their car service to party responsibly on the weekends. Way to go Rogeez, you’re doing a bang up job.
Speaking of a bang up job, the Chargers did quite a number on the Steelers every which way from Sunday in their own house yesterday afternoon. There’s not one player, play, or coach that can be singled out as the reason for this disappointing loss, this was a collective team failure. The Steelers D-Line got worked by a Chargers O-line that had never played together this season, with players that had just been recently signed off of the street. The secondary was only saved in the first have by the repeated drops by the Chargers receivers. The offense was completely out of sync, rhythm, and just flat out ineffective. The Steelers played in horrible field position the entire day and up until the last few futile moments of the fourth quarter, weren’t able to convert third downs and create and capitalize on scoring opportunities. This was just another game where the Steelers entered with every expectation to come out with a win and never made any of the necessary plays to make their expectations a reality. There was even a butt fumble for crying out loud! With the Steelers backed up in their own endzone (which is where they played the majority of the game), Ben threw was looked like an incomplete pass that hit TE David Paulson directly in the buttocks and bounced into the endzone. Antonio Brown was the first to the ball and instead of kicking it out to take a safety, didn’t secure it and allowed Quentin Jammer fell on it and gave the Chargers a touchdown and 27-3 lead. The play looked like an incomplete pass but upon review was ruled a lateral pass and “butt fumble” and the Chargers touchdown stood.
The Steelers got schooled on all phases of the ball. The Chargers started the 3rd quarter with a 78 yard, 17 play touchdown drive that ate up 9:30 minutes off of the clock. The only saving grace from this disaster was the fact that both the Ratbirds and Bungles blew 4th quarter leads to lose to the Redskins and Cowboys respectively. The playoff picture for the Steelers is exactly the same as if all three teams won, the Ratbirds still haven’t clinched the AFC North and in fact have dropped down to the 4th spot in the AFC, but the Bengals are still neck and neck with the Steelers. There is now a 3 game season ahead of the Steelers. There’s no opportunities for failure anymore. No need to worry about what the Ratbirds or Bungles are doing or not doing, if the Steelers keep these inconsistencies up the offseason is going to come awful quick. I’d like to be more positive but I’m still pissed off. Bring it on Week 15!
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