Often times when you look at a final score, you often miss a lot of what really happened during the game. In the case of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 43-19 loss to Buffalo, the score pretty much says it all. In fact, it almost could have been worse.
Thoughts on the Defense
Buffalo entered the game with serious questions about their quarterback situation and the Steelers didn’t make it any easier on them. The Bills’ four signal-callers went a combined 30 of 33 for 386 yards and three touchdowns. In total, the Steelers’ defense surrendered over 500 total yards to a Bills’ team that featured third and fourth-rate receivers and back-up running backs.
It was obvious to me that the Cover-2 is not being absorbed as quickly as Mike Tomlin and Keith Butler had hoped. Besides the fact that the personnel just isn’t there, the linebackers rarely get enough depth and the safeties are struggling with depth and ball skills of their own.
To put it lightly, this defense isn’t “regular season-ready” and not by a long shot.
Guys I liked today: Ethan Hemer
Guys I didn’t like today: Jarvis Jones, Vince Williams
Thoughts on the Offense
If you are expecting me to issue a thousand apologies for my article on Martavis Bryant this morning you can forget it. I’ve never questioned his talent and raw ability and never will. He proved just how valuable he is to the Steelers’ offense today. My problem is that what good is Bryant if he can’t stay on the field? It was almost depressing today to watch him knowing he won’t be available for the first four games.
Ben Roethlisberger played just two series which was appropriate. There’s no need for him to play much more than that. He was sacked once and finished 2 of 4 for 30 yards and led the Steelers to a touchdown. He left the game with the Steelers up 8-7.
Michael Vick saw his first game action as a Steeler and went 4 of 5 for 106 yards. It was a very nice debut for Vick who had his share of frustration too as he had to call timeout twice inside the red zone.
Guys I like today: DeAngelo Williams, Martavis Bryant
Guys I didn’t like today: Ramon Foster
Thoughts on Special Teams
If you know any kickers you might want to let the Steelers know. Garrett Hartley left the game in the first half with a hamstring injury and it didn’t look good. I expect the Steelers to have yet another couple of free agent kickers in as early as Sunday.
While the coverage teams weren’t horrible, they did give up a key punt return at the end of the first half which resulted in a Bills’ field goal. (They were aided by a brutal non-reversal of a juggling sideline catch as well.)
As far as I’m concerned, the Steelers still do not have a return man and that’s going to be a problem that plagues them all year I fear. In the ongoing punting battle, I think Jordan Berry has overtaken Brad Wing for one simple reason; hang time.
Guys I liked today: Kevin Fogg
Guys I didn’t like today: Kenzel Doe, Dri Archer
photo courtesy pro32.ap.org