Good Monday to you Steelers fans although there is little “good” about it.
I really wanted to go with my original title which was “Ass Kicking” Edition today but I decided to instead invoke the words of Mike Tomlin. He used these words after his team was beaten in every way possible in a 30-7 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Tomlin, as I wrote last evening, needs to start feeling some heat. What rational thinking fan could possibly defend Mike Tomlin right now? How many more of these “slow starts” can we accept? What happened yesterday was a case of a team that thought it was ready to compete at a high level finding out quickly that it isn’t close. It’s a long season and I expect things to improve but I can’t help but feel down. A loss? I can handle losing but that was an ass kicking plain and simple.
There is not one person or one unit responsible for the loss. Matt Canada had a hand in but so too did Tomlin and Teryl Austin and the players. Kenny Pickett looked nothing like the guy we saw at the end of last year and in the preseason. He was disheveled, uncertain and almost looked scared at times. His accuracy was as poor as I’ve ever seen it. But to choose any of these guys as the reason the team lost is not being thoughtful. This, as Tomlin said, was a total team failure.
Tweet of the Day… Nick is absolutely correct here. My biggest concern from yesterday is the poor play from Pickett.
Brutal game for the Steelers on all fronts. Pretty much everyone dudded on offense.
But nothing more concerning than how Kenny Pickett looked.
Struggled with everything. Progressions, pocket management, accuracy. Brutal game.
— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) September 10, 2023
As is always the case, we won’t know more about the injuries suffered on Sunday until Tomlin speaks at this Tuesday press conference. What we know is that Cam Heyward left the game with a leg injury. Diontae Johnson left with a hamstring problem and didn’t return. DeMarvin Leal had some elbow problems but did return to the game and Chuks Okorafor was in concussion protocol.
Watt Ties the Record
Unfortunately there was little to celebrate yesterday but T.J. Watt did collect three sacks to tie James Harrison at 80.5 for the team record. He’s accomplished this in a about 70 fewer games too.
I really believed that Darnell Washington would get more action. He had just 24 snaps on offense. With the supposedly bolstered O-Line and a re-dedication to the running game, using more 12 personnel seemed obvious but I guess not… Broderick Jones got four snaps but only because of Okorafor leaving and Moore moving over to the right side… Joey Porter, Jr got just seven defensive snaps on a day when no one could cover Brandon Aiyuk. Clearly they feel JPJ isn’t as far along as he needs to be.
Back to Reality
The Steelers will now host the rival Browns on Monday Night in a game that we must see vast improvement from. I’ll admit the Niners were head and shoulders better than the Steelers on Sunday but if the Black and Gold come away with a second straight loss on Monday then this team is in big trouble. I expect a major reality check today and much better performance next week.
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