Good Monday to you Steelers fans.
As good as last Monday felt this one feels equally as bad. The Pittsburgh Steelers lost their home opener 26-17 to the Las Vegas Raiders and you can bet I have a lot of thoughts.
- The debate over whether the Steelers should have taken an offensive lineman rather than Najee Harris is alive and well and it should be. No offense to Harris whatsoever but this O-Line is awful.
- Kevin Dotson struggled yesterday especially in pass protection.
- Ben Roethlisberger was hit at least ten times that I recall yesterday and some were downright vicious.
- Steelers receivers have to help out their QB more often. There were moments when DBs made nice plays but when you get your hands on the ball you need to secure the damn thing.
- Big Ben deserves some criticism. Constantly going deep especially in third and short or third and mid situations is back-breaking. He has to take the first down for two reasons. Keep the drive going AND give our banged up defense a rest.
- Chase Claypool has to become more than a deep threat. Teams have figured him out a bit and he’s struggling to get open. He has to make the combat catches too. I don’t care how well a DB plays the ball the physical advantage Claypool has should win way more than 50% of the time.
- Good to see Pat Freiermuth be more involved. That has to continue.
- I’ll never question the intensity and heart of Kendrick Green but he’s getting beat too often.
- JuJu Smith-Schuster is such an important player on this team. I honestly don’t know how bad this offense would be without his grit and determination.
- As of this writing there is nothing definitive on the injury to Diontae Johnson other than it’s a ‘knee’ and he could miss ‘some time.’
Tweet of the Day… Aditi has crossed the line from being a reporter to wanting to be an opinion columnist. She was out of bounds with a now deleted tweet yesterday.
So @AKinkhabwala deletes her celebratory tweet about the Steelers injuries. I wonder why? ?
— Yinzer King (@steelpanthers72) September 20, 2021
- Already short Devin Bush and Joe Haden, the Steelers lost Tyson Alualu with a broken ankle and T.J. Watt with a groin injury. No word on the timetable for either.
- There is no Steeler that gives effort the same way Cam Heyward does. There’s no other way to put it.
- James Pierre struggled mightily in his start for Haden. Not only did he struggle in coverage but he tackled poorly as well.
- Joe Schobert had some really good moments Sunday but he also got whipped in coverage a few times. He has to get his head around.
- Robert Spillane, who was not 100% himself, played his ass off and had several big hits. His 15-yarder for hitting Derek Carr was awful. Should have never been called.
- As good as Minkah Fitzpatrick was last week he was just as absent today. Yes, he was tasked with minding Darren Waller much of the day but his overall impact was minimal.
- Fitzpatrick’s attention on Waller cost the Steelers a chance to win the game. He was so focused on Waller that Henry Ruggs III got behind him for a long TD. That basically put it out of reach.
- Cam Sutton was another who did not follow up a strong performance. He missed a couple of tackles today among a few other items.
- Melvin Ingram was a beast in place of Watt but I worry about his durability. I think he’s best when he’s doing 25-30 snaps a game versus 55 or more.
- Kudos to Chris Boswell who set a Heinz Field record for the longest field goal in its history. His fourth quarter kick covered 56-yards.
- Ray Ray McCloud had some decent returns Sunday and nearly broke one.
- Pressley Harvin III was better than he was last week. He boomed a 59-yarder while also knocking a couple deep inside Las Vegas territory.
- There is no explanation that Mike Tomlin can give as to why he punted on fourth and less than a yard while down nine points more than halfway through the fourth quarter. He said afterwards he was “playing the field position game.” Mike!!! Field position doesn’t mean crap when you’re down by two scores!! Tomlin flat out lived in his fears which he claims never to do. You drafted a first round back for this. You have a 6’5″ 240lbs QB and a supposedly innovative offensive coordinator and you can’t get a yard? Embarrassing.
- Matt Canada is being held hostage. There’s no other way to put it. The real Matt Canada, the one who utilized fullbacks in college and moved people all over formations cannot be the same one we’ve seen the last two Sundays. Does Big Ben have too much influence over what is being done? Something isn’t right.
- Keith Butler was in a no win situation yesterday. With so many starters down he was forced to play a lot of zone and not blitz. When he finally did, his team was burned badly.
- I’m not going to criticize too much for the final play which was meaningless because teams do this all the time but it could be a hard lesson for all with Johnson getting hurt. Was there really any reason to try and score? A comeback was virtually impossible down by nine.
On to Next Week where the Steelers will host the Bengals.
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Have a great day Steeler Nation!
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