Good Friday Morning to you Steelers fans.
I suppose the silver lining today is that we can all enjoy a stress-free weekend… Right??? With the Steelers losing 29-17 to Cleveland last night, the team falls to 1-2 and 1-1 in the AFC North. On the immediate horizon are the New York Jets who don’t look anything like the ‘sure win’ we thought they’d be when the season began. After that? The Bills, Bucs, Dolphins and Eagles. 1-7 is not impossible the way this team is currently playing. Let’s talk about a couple of key mistakes made last night. Matt Canada had his best half of the season in the first half and then turned around and had his worst half in the second half. One thing you have to understand as a play-caller is the situation. Your unit went three and out to start the half. The defense just gave up a long scoring drive and you’re facing a third and three. Much like we’ve seen in recent years, the ball was thrown deep down the sideline to Diontae Johnson. It was a very good throw and should have been caught. But it wasn’t and the defense was right back on the field. In that situation Canada has to get a first down. There is no other more immediate goal than that one. Also, why is Canada running the ball with nine minutes left down by two scores? That was just dumb.
Entering the game, no defensive unit in the NFL had been on the field longer than have the Steelers. The team was also facing three days of rest and a road trip, albeit a short one. That’s as far as the excuses will go. They still aren’t stopping the run effectively enough and they aren’t getting to the passer nearly enough. The amount of time Jacoby Brissett had to sit in the pocket was reminiscent of last week against the Patriots. With his more than successful running attack, that bought him even more time. Teryl Austin and Brian Flores need to cook up something quick with T.J. Watt still out. By the way, the team is now 0-6 when they play without an injured Watt.
Tweet of the Day… This continues to be an issue.
This should tell rational #Steelers fans everything they need to know about Matt Canada’s trash system. The only 4 attempts over the middle came late in the 4th qtr of the game when he finally decided to incorporate a TE into the game plan.
ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE!!! ? pic.twitter.com/CJesWp7EjF
— ✨??? ??????✨ (@JoeSteelerFan) September 23, 2022
I have a feeling I’ll be discussing this every week… Mitchell Trubisky was better last night than he was last week. His overall play was not the reason the Steelers lost. At some point however, Tomlin has to give Kenny Pickett a shot. If for no other reason than to see how the offense responds. Trubisky is a lot of things, a charismatic and sometimes firey leader he is not. I’m not saying that wins you games or even makes you play better but at some point, especially if things keep going south, Mike Tomlin has to give him a shot. Sitting him all season makes little sense to me. All you’re essentially doing is pushing back his rookie season by a year.
Chuks Okorafor has to know he can’t get too far down-field but did anyway on Jaylen Warren’s beautiful 35-yard shovel pass reception. The flag brought the play back and killed the drive. Dumber than that however was his decision to do a “King Kong Bundy-style splash” on Cleveland LB Antony Walker Jr. Okorafor had already taken him out of the play. There was zero need for the pro wrestling move that followed. What he should have done was immediately headed up for in search of another defensive threat. I honestly don’t know what the guy was thinking.
It didn’t take long for people to start comparing George Pickens’ superb catch to that of Odell Beckham, Jr. Both were great displays of athletic ability but can we be real for a moment here? Are those guy making these catches if they aren’t wearing those gloves? They really are a cleaner version of the old school ‘stickum’ used by so many players back in the 1970’s. Great efforts but those gloves are insane.
Out of the blue on Wednesday I received an email from WOIO in Cleveland. Once in a great while I get asked to appear on podcasts and talk Steelers but I’d never been asked to be on TV before. If you know me then you know I don’t exactly have a face for television. Anyway, I want to thank the sports producer Chris and sports reporter Baillie for the interview. Both were professional as heck and great to work with. I know the game is since past but if you want to see the interview it’s right here.
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