We all knew starting the season 0-2 after that first disappointing showing against Tennessee was a very real possibility. Doesn’t make it feel any better this morning, however. After a 20-10 loss to the Bengals last night the Steelers are 0-2 for the first time since 2002. Here’s what’s being said about your Pittsburgh Steelers around the block.
Bob Labriola on Steelers loss
Bob Labriola of the Steelers Digest runs down the Monday Night Football loss to the Bengals by highlighting how the lack of winning for the Steelers certainly has exposed the lack of depth in most positions on the 53-man roster. The Steelers have made a ton of moves since that initial cut-down and even had to make more moves last week following the season-ending injuries to Maurkice Pouncey and LaRod Stephens-Howling. The addition of Velasco and re-addition of Dwyer didn’t prove to be all that fruitful. While Velasco was impressive stepping in at the role of center, the offensive line didn’t protect Ben all that well and the rushing game was only slightly less pathetic than last week; gaining 44 total yards to the 32 against the Titans. Labriola points out that the biggest point of concern with the roster is that, no matter how many changes have been made so far to tweak and adjust, they haven’t won a single game yet when lined up against competition this year. No wins in the preseason and no win yet in the regular season.
Ed Bouchette’s review of Steelers loss
Ed Bouchette of the PPG ran down his summary of the Steelers performance in Cincy and he highlights the fact that the defense is still without the two things they were looking to improve upon this year; sacks and turnovers. The Steelers defense has yet to force a turnover this season and after two games has just one sack. The defense also allowed 127 rushing yards from the Bengals offense. What is more embarrassing than that is the fact that the Steelers running game is still going nowhere. Felix Jones led the Steelers backs with 37 yards. Isaac Redman, who was named the Steelers starter again but missed the first quarter after getting injured on the kickoff, is frustrated with the efforts.
“We have to figure out what’s working for us now – pretty much nothing. We have to figure this out. It’s embarrassing, it really is. It gets frustrating.” – Isaac Redman
Kovacevic not blaming Ben for being frustrated
Dejan Kovacevic of the Trib points to the offense, particularly the wide receivers, as a source of frustrating following Monday night’s loss. While Roethlisberger by all measures did not play perfectly, it seems as though he and his receiving corps weren’t on the same playbook for some periods last night. Also, that playbook has some questionable packages in it. I don’t think there was a single member of Steeler Nation who didn’t lose their sh** when watching the Steelers attempt an end-around play to Jerricho Cotchery. I wonder what Haley was drinking when he came up with that one. Sure the Steelers have some fast wide receivers, but who’d ever expect an end-around to the 31-year old slowest receiver? It’s sure to work! Kovacevic also points out Roethlisberger’s visible frustration after David Paulson’s fumble. Roethlisberger rushed to the line to try to get a play off before the Bengals had a chance to challenge but Todd Haley and the sidelines had already sent subs in so there was no chance of getting a play off in time. That gave Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis just enough time to throw the challenge flag and get the play overturned, giving possession to the Bengals; who subsequently scored on their ensuing possession. I can remember another visible moment of frustration when, towards the end of the first half Ben was running the 2-minute offense and got the Steelers a first and goal. Possibly not realizing just how close they were to the 2:00 warning, Ben feverishly got the group to the line while waving to the sidelines to not send in any substitutions. Unfortunately, the time expired for the 2-minute warning any way, but the Steelers did end up scoring their only touchdown on that drive with a pass to Derek Moye.
What are your thoughts, Steeler Nation? Where do your frustrations mostly lie? With the running game, defense, or wide receivers?