What We Learned in Week 8 in the NFL:
- Megatron explodes on the field; Dez Bryant explodes on the sidelines
- Blowouts served on Sunday afternoon
- Dolphins C Mike Pouncey supeanoed in Massachusettes
- NFL determined to keep pushing more football in London
- Steelers comeback doesn’t make it out of the Black Hole
Sound the alarm! It’s time for more “Fire Tomlin” “Fire Haley” “Trade Ben” and other such grumblings from the angry members of Steeler Nation after that craptacular game out in Oakland. In spite of the Raiders many attempts to give the game away; the Steelers’ late-ditch effort at a comeback from being down 21-3 at halftime fell short. Let’s take some cheap shots first.
Calvin Johnson had a monster day on Sunday, grabbing 14 catches for a whopping 329 yards and a touchdown. That stat line would have been a little less impressive if not for the 50-second 80-yard drive the Lions pulled off to allow Matthew Stafford to sneak into the end zone for the game-winning touchdown. In spite of the incredible numbers that Megatron was pulling in all day, the Lions were behind for the majority of the game. However, that wasn’t apparently enough for Cowboys’ WR Dez Bryant, who earlier last week had said he was just as good as Johnson. If you’re wondering, Bryant did not have 329 receiving yards. He also had several tantrum-like outbursts on the sideslines, both when the Cowboys had the lead, and once the lead was erased by Stafford’s touchdown. No real clear reason or answer for why Bryant was acting like a bratty kid that didn’t want to take a bath though. I’m sure he’s over it by now.
This part of the NFL season where at least six teams are off on a bye, there aren’t many games to pick from to watch. This Sunday gave us a ton of blowouts with San Francisco obliterating the Jaguars off in London, the Bengals spanking the Jets, and Denver coming from behind to bury Washington. I’d also classify the Patriots, coming back from a 17-3 lead, to own the Dolphins 27-17 thanks to a couple of Miami turnovers. The Dolphins started the season at 3-0, but it seems as though they’re done winning games because they’ve lost four straight.
Unfortunately for the Dolphins, the loss wasn’t the only bad news to come out of their New England trip. Following the game, C Mike Pouncey was served with a subpoena to testify before a grand jury in a gun-trafficking case involving Aaron Hernandez. Hernandez has already been indicted on several weapons-related charges. It’s unknown at this time whether or not Pouncey is a target or just a witness in the investigation. It’s also unknown if Mike’s twin brother, Maurkice, has any involvement or will be getting subpoenaed as well.
I realize that the last game this season that was held in London was a Steelers game so that does make some difference but I honestly had forgotten until I saw highlights of the game that the San Francisco 49ers and Jacksonville Jaguars were playing in London on Sunday. I had totally forgotten there was a second game over there this year. Now, Peter King is reporting that the NFL is considering adding London as a regular destination throughout the season and as many as eight games could be played there on a regular basis. One thing we do know is that Goodell could give a crap about what the die-hard NFL want or care about so it’s almost not even worth being upset over anymore. The league doesn’t want to expand further than 32 teams so for London to get it’s own team at some point it would only come from an existing team moving there. Until then, Goodell and his billionaire owner buddies sure do like the money that keeps flowing in from these London games, so that’s only going to increase.
The Steelers took another trip out to Oakland and came back with another ugly loss. What can be said about this team that hasn’t already been said? It sounded like the entire team practiced and prepared for the threat of a mobile Terrelle Pryor the entire week leading up to this game but on the Raiders’ very first play from scrimmage there wasn’t a single Steelers defender in a position to take down Pryor as he ran free for a 93-yard touchdown, the longest running play for an NFL quarterback in history. Ryan Clark is still looking for Darren McFadden from that first play. It got worse from there with everything from blocked punts to missed field goals and a complete and total failure to capitalize off of three Oakland turnovers. The Steelers played like horse crap in the first thirty minutes of the game and the last thirty minutes of the game the Raiders tried several times to give the win away as if they were almost unprepared for the victory. They couldn’t even manage to kneel down when they had the ball at the end of the game and punted it back to us with 30 seconds left. Still, the Steelers couldn’t come away with a win if they had bought it.
It’s time to break out the blame game for Steeler Nation after this loss. Time to blame Suisham for missing his first field goal of the season and then following that up with missing another one. Suisham also turned in a very “junior varsity” onside kick attempt. Time to blame Zoltan Mesko for going from beign a mediocre punter to a terrible punter, aside from one perfectly placed punt. Time to blame the Steelers Defense for showing up unprepared for the one player they claimed to have been preparing for all week. Time to blame Roethlisberger for wasting time arguing with the refs over a penalty they had no intentions on calling and then throwing away a timeout in the fourth quarter. Time to blame Antonio Brown for dropping a pass that turned into an interception/fumble, killing a potential scoring drive. Time to blame the coaching staff for travel arrangements that have the team showing up looking and playing unprepared. Have I left anyone out?
Tags: Antonio Brown Ben Roethlisberger Calvin Johnson Darren McFadden Dez Bryant Matthew Stafford Maurkice Pouncey Mike Pouncey Mike Tomlin NFL London Pittsburgh Steelers Ryan Clark Shaun Suisham Steelers Terrelle Pryor Todd Haley Zoltan Mesko