The preseason had been going all too well for the Pittsburgh Steelers and then two players they were going to rely on heavily decided to do their best ‘Cheech and Chong’ impersonations prior to flying to Philadelphia. Things didn’t get any better as the Steelers were thoroughly pounded 31-21 by the Eagles.
The defense was torched for 482 yards and I’m sorry people but not even Brett Keisel is going to help with this. There was little to no pass rush and Mike Mitchell is doing his best Ryan Clark impersonation as he hits big but can’t wrap up anyone. Ike Taylor was beaten like a drum by Riley Cooper and Jarvis Jones continues to be a ghost.
The offense wasn’t much better as the “Bong Brothers” struggled to find much running room. The game-plan of Todd Haley was to get Markus Wheaton involved and he had trouble communicating with Ben Roethlisberger throughout the first half. For his part, Big Ben wasn’t exactly a picture of brilliance either in the first half but recovered nicely on a 3rd quarter drive.
All week I’ve heard fans tell me how this team is going to win 10 or 11 games. Please tell me how that is going to happen?
You can’t give up almost 500 yards and expect to win games. You can’t be as inconsistent as the offense was and expect to win games either. This might have been the preseason but this was the infamous ‘third preseason game’ where it’s as much like a regular season game as it gets. If this is what we are in for in 2014 then I suggest you follow the advice of Bluto from ‘Animal House’ and start drinking heavily.
To make things worse, Sean Spence has a PCL injury to the knee that wasn’t nearly destroyed two years ago. How serious it is we don’t know yet but it doesn’t look good. Cameron Heyward twisted his ankle and Jason Worilds was dinged up as well.
I’m not jumping ship because of just one game but the pattern that is developing is disturbing. 171, 150 and 181 are three numbers no defensive coordinator wants to see. Those are the rushing totals by the Giants, Bills and Eagles in the first three weeks of the preseason.
The one bit of good news from the game was that Bruce Gradkowski looked a little better as he threw two touchdowns but it was essentially a moot point as the game was already decided and the damage done.
Let’s hope this game serves as a wake-up call for this team because if this doesn’t do it I don’t know what will.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteelDad and the website @SCBlitz. Check us out on Facebook at facebook.com/steelcityblitz and on Fancred.com. You can hear him weekly during the season on Trib-Live Radio
photo courtesy all22breakdown