Good Monday to you Steelers fans. It was an incredible effort last night. Short-handed on defense and on the offensive line and down by 17 in the fourth. The Black and Gold battled back to tie and take the lead but in the end the inexperience cost them in their 41-37 loss to the LA Chargers. Here are my thoughts.
- Kendrick Green has not improved at the rate I expected. He still struggles at the point of attack and cannot stay on blocks for his life. The effort is there but the young man is too often overmatched.
- Chase Claypool has to make more combat catches. He’s too big and athletic to let smaller DBs knock the ball away.
- Ben Roethlisberger was pretty sharp for missing last week and most of practice. He can still throw some serious dimes but his deep ball isn’t what it used to be. That said, it was his finest overall performance of the season.
- Najee Harris needs to get up field more often. Trying to dance and move laterally too often at times and it costs him yardage.
- The offensive line continues to be a roller coaster. The inconsistent play should not be happening as often as it is at this point in the season.
- If Diontae Johnson doesn’t get a Pro Bowl nod then that’s a crime.
- I thought Canada’s best call of the night was the screen to Pat Freiermuth.
- His worst was either the fade to the wide side or the second jet sweep to Chase Claypool which left Big Ben incredulous.
- Freiermuth still has work to do as a blocker.
- Zach Banner finally saw game action for one play on offense.
- The forearm shiver to the head of Harris was EXACTLY what got the NFL to start cracking down on James Harrison and others. I see a fine coming for the defender.
- The Steelers’ defense was already missing Stephon Tuitt and Tyson Alualu. Then you add T.J. Watt, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Joe Haden and you’ve got a defense that is a literal shell of itself and it showed last night.
- Cam Sutton played as hard as anyone last night. Kudos to him for the effort.
- Another rough game for Devin Bush. At this point I’m not sure what else can be said. He’s a liability.
- Cam Heyward fought his ass off. He faced double-teams all night long. At some point he has to go to Stephon Tuitt and say “we need you NOW!”
- Heyward’s punch into Justin Herbert’s midsection was pure frustration but it was uncalled for and Cam knows it.
- Alex Highsmith had a lot of people expecting him to have a big night. With no T.J. Watt on the other side that was going to be difficult. He had six tackles, three QB hits and 1.5 sacks. Played his tail off and will only get better.
- The trade for Ahkello Witherspoon looks worse every day.
- Completely blown coverage on the game-winning TD to Mike Williams. It happens but boy, what an awful time for it.
- How many third and forevers can this D give up???
- Terrific stop by Joe Schobert on the fourth and short play.
- Hopefully all of us realize just how important Minkah Fitzpatrick is back there.
Tweet of the Day… Lots of truth here.
Since having reconstructive elbow surgery two years ago, Ben has thrown for 46 TDs and 14 Ints behind arguably the worst O-line in football.
He’s not what he was physically, clearly. But if you think he’s the problem, I think you probably just don’t like him on a personal level.
— Josh Yohe (@JoshYohe_PGH) November 22, 2021
- One of my keys to this game was our Special Teams making a play. Miles Killabrew’s blocked punt turned the game around.
- Ray Ray McCloud had a very nice night returning punts and kicks.
- Chris Boswell is deserving of a Pro Bowl nod but he’s likely going to lose out to Justin Tucker.
- Mike Tomlin’s decision to go for the touchdown early in the game on fourth and goal was understandable. His defense was a shell of itself and he figured he would need as many points as he could get. Kicking the field goal there however was the better move.
- Matt Canada is struggling. Tomlin would not have been in position that he was above has the play-calling been better. A fade to the wide side of the field? That made zero sense. And then the shovel pass that he’s used several times before in similar situations? Not a good night for him.
- Keith Butler did what he could considering how limited he was. I could easily second guess any number of things but when you need a scorecard to even know who half of your defense is that’s a good indicator of a rough night ahead.
- How did the offensive coaches NOT see what was happening with Joey Bosa? He found success by lining up inside and it was like we had no idea that was allowed.
On to Cincinnati.
Voting for the 2022 NFL Pro Bowl is now underway. You can vote for all of your favorite Steelers by clicking this link right here. I’m of the opinion that Chris Boswell, Cam Heyward and T.J. Watt should 100% be on their way to this game.
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