What We Learned in Week 3 in the NFL:
- Fumble return puts Cincy passed Green Bay
- Browns and Colts both win following blockbuster trade
- Dolphins rally late to remain unbeaten
- Giants and Redskins remain winless
- Steelers offense comes back to life only to give it away with turnovers
I’m a firm believer that each NFL season is a different entity. Things that worked one year won’t necessarily work the next. Every season brings with it new rosters, injuries to deal with, and different sets of circumstances for each team. That can also be said about each week within the NFL season. After three weeks of the 2013 NFL season teams like the Dolphins and Chiefs are 3-0, the Giants and Redskins are still winless, and the Jets have more wins than the 49ers and Packers. The Steelers have yet to win a game in 2013 going back to even the preseason. Just like you thought it would go, right?
I could go through the week’s worth of games, poking fun at some things like I normally do but I’m just not feeling it today. Even the Browns managed to win a game yesterday. The Steelers are in the basement of the AFC North all by themselves. And it’s not even a cool basement that’s been finished and turned into a game room with a bar and a TV. No, it’s a cold, dark basement and because the Browns have occupied it for so long it smells like crap.
The Steelers turned the ball over five times to the opportunistic Chicago Bears defense. Ben Roethlisberger accounted for four of those turnovers. He had one interception returned for a touchdown and one fumble returned for a touchdown. Other than the turnovers, Ben had a career game throwing for 406 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Obviously though, the turnovers cannot be overlooked. The best player for the Steelers was also the worst player last night.
The Steelers defense managed to get two sacks on Jay Cutler but still went another week without forcing a turnover of their own. They also managed to give up three consecutive 3rd down conversions in the fourth quarter when the Steelers had come within 4 points of tying the game. The last third down going for a Bears touchdown that put them up 11. Third downs, along with turnovers are going to be the downfall of this team. The defense cannot get any turnovers or get themselves off of the field on third down to save their friggin lives.
The loss shadowed an otherwise stellar game for Steelers WR Antonio Brown, who had complained last week following the Bengals Monday Night loss that he wanted the ball more. He got the ball more and turned it into a career night with 9 catches for 196 yards and two touchdowns. Not enough to win the game though.
The Steelers offensive problems are sometimes too many to count. The line, who was talked up so much during OTA’s and training camp, has gone through injuries, benchings, and adjustments to reveal that they’re just not that good. These early round draft pick guys just might not have what it takes to be NFL lineman. Jack-of-all-trades Kelvin Beachum is now part of a three man rotation at tackle with Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams. The running game is still a failure because the Steelers have been trying to force backs who are otherwise role players into featured backs. I realize that in the case of Redman and Dwyer the Steelers have been basically begging the two of them to take the reigns and show themselves worthy of the starting position but they’re just not the guys for the job. They have a stable of running backs who are situational backs at best. Will Le’Veon Bell come in and rescue the running game? Who knows? The guy has taken 4 snaps in preseason and that’s it. And then there’s Ben. We cried and complained all week long how much we wanted Ben to take control of the game, throw Haley’s playbook out the window and do it all on his own. This is what we get. Ben is by far the reason the Steelers were able to get within 4 points of the Bears last night but he was also undoubtedly the reason why they ultimately lost 40-23.
Where do we go from here Steeler Nation? Apparently to London to face another winless team. I’m sure that’s just how the league drew that one up as well when they planned for the Steelers to take on the Vikings at Wembley Stadium.