It wasn’t really a surprise that the Steelers lost today in Philadelphia but I think there was some optimism that they would play a bit better than they did. That wasn’t the case. Here are my rapid-fire thoughts from the 35-13 to loss to the Eagles.
-We live in an extreme society where it’s often all or nothing. I don’t particularly like that. Matt Canada is awful but he did dial up a nice play on fourth and one that got the Steelers a touchdown. There’s not much else I can say that is positive.
-Kudos to Derek Watt on his TD reception.
-The offensive line was beaten like a drum. Yes, the Eagles are really good up front but what we saw today was a perfect example of why the Steelers have to upgrade their talent. Mason Cole was often in his quarterback’s lap before he could even blink and Dan Moore and Chuks Okorafor also struggled big time.
-Chase Claypool needs to play with the type of fire he had in the second half ALL OF THE TIME. He can be unstoppable if he does.
-Kenny Pickett (25/38 191 yards INT/6 sacks) is in no man’s land. He has no running game, a paltry offensive line and a coordinator who is not suited to him whatsoever. That said, he has to learn to take better care of the football and he has to learn when to get rid of the ball and avoid sacks. When he ran the ball today he did so effectively gaining 37 yards on seven carries. I don’t know that Mitchell Trubisky or Mason Rudolph would have fared better or worse but Pickett has to get this team into the end zone.
-I honestly don’t know what to make of Najee Harris (8 Carries 32 yards). The O-Line wasn’t good today but Harris continues to struggle. He isn’t hitting holes hard at all while Jaylen Warren (6 Carries 50 yards) does. On a third and three, Harris caught a short pass and instead of lowering a shoulder he danced and was kept from the first down line. It was the epitome of his season so far. To be clear, most of the rushing yards accumulated by both guys came in the second half with the game no longer in doubt.
-George Pickens was targeted three times. Two were on the same exact route and the other was just a ‘go’ route off of those. It’s criminal to only target him three times.
-Diontae Johnson made several nice catches today but yet, he had just 35 yards receiving.
-If any of you believe that the return of T.J. Watt will suddenly make the defense a top unit then you haven’t been paying attention. Oh he’ll help, but there are still issues he won’t be able to help like the secondary.
-Ahkello Witherspoon got benched at halftime after surrendering three touchdowns to A.J. Brown. He wasn’t in horrible position but he’s gotta be better.
-Minkah Fitzpatrick has to break up that first TD to Brown. When you’re paid that well you’re paid to make plays that one.
-The Steelers did collect three sacks which was excellent. They’ve had just five in their previous six games. One of those was by Carlos Davis who took advantage of his chance today due to the injury to Larry Ogunjobi.
-The communication issues on defense reared their ugly head again several times leading to big plays for the Eagles.
-We’ve said this many times on the podcast… You can’t continue to play zone behind a front that isn’t getting pressure. There have been no adjustments by the defensive staff in the absence of T.J. Watt to play more man and or find ways to get to the QB. Jalen Hurts could have made pizzas back there at times in the pocket.
-Good to see Steven Sims back. He makes a huge difference in the return game.
-Good execution by Danny Smith’s crew on the fake punt in the third quarter. It led to a field goal.
-Nick Sciba made both of his field goal attempts and his PAT but man, his kickoffs were atrocious.
-It’s high time for a serious shakeup. Enough “The Standard is the Standard.” Enough of “this is how the Rooney’s do things.” Matt Canada needs to be fired and Teryl Austin needs to be put on notice that Brian Flores is going to take over if this shit doesn’t get any better.
Feature Image courtesy post-gazette.com