I honestly feel sorry for those of you who had to witness what took place at Heinz Field earlier this afternoon. What makes me feel even worse for you fans who saw this in person was the fact that you probably paid a substantial amount of money to see your favorite team play well, not sluggishly and terribly.
Unfortunately for you and everybody else who watched Pittsburgh’s 16-9 loss to Tennessee, we were treated to one of the team’s most pathetic regular season performances in recent memory. Heck, the concession stands should have passed out tomatoes and rotten vegetables for you people to throw when the team made their way off of the field after the game ended.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article on how the team’s inability to correct some significant deficiencies during preseason play would haunt them during the regular season, and some of those same problems reared their ugly heads in today’s game:
- The Steelers’ inability to run the ball with any consistency and protect their quarterback to boot killed any offensive momentum they might have had. It also did not help that they lost their best offensive lineman, Maurkice Pouncey, to a torn ACL at the beginning of the first quarter to boot. Overall, the Steelers gained only 32 rushing yards on 15 carries, and Isaac Redman’s two fumbles deserve to send him straight to the unemployment line. Then when one factors in the five sacks they allowed, it all comes out to be a recipe for disaster.
- While the defense held their own today, they still gave the Titans a touchdown within one minute remaining in the first half which proved to be the difference in the game. Tennessee executed a drive which took almost seven minutes off of the clock and lasted 12 plays before the second quarter ended, and the Steelers’ defense looked hapless against the Titans’ offensive line and trying to tackle the Titans’ running backs. I wish I had kept count of the number of missed tackles I saw, but let me just say that there were entirely too many.
- The “icing” on the “crap-laden sundae” for the Steelers’ defense was the fact that their pass-rush was nowhere to be found. Jake Locker was only sacked once on the afternoon, and he looked like he had all day to throw when Tennessee went to the air.
- But what Steelers game would be complete with some absolutely garbage play on special teams, am I right? From two penalties which drove the team back in their own territory, to Markus Wheaton’s idiotic decision to bring out a kick return, to Darius Reynaud’s long punt return in the fourth quarter which gave the Titans an extra three points, Pittsburgh’s special teams units were in their usual lowly form.
As I alluded to before, I mentioned how these types of mistakes would cost this team if they were not corrected during the preseason. I will add that Pittsburgh’s issues today were only exacerbated by their apparent lack of preparedness today while they “played down” to another supposedly inferior opponent.
Things will not get any easier for the Steelers as they will travel on the road to Cincinnati for a prime-time game next Monday night. If their current issues continue to plague them though, the final score of that game will be far uglier than just 16-9.
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