Where have we seen this before? A good Pittsburgh Steelers’ team heads into a contest against an inferior opponent only to be left heading to the airport with a loss hung around their necks.
The idea that the Steelers losing to poor teams under Mike Tomlin is no longer just a theory; it’s a fact. Whether it’s losing on the road in Oakland or Cleveland or Tennessee, Tomlin’s Steelers share an overwhelmingly obvious trait in that they completely fail to show up against teams they should beat.
I know, I know…. But Landry Jones was the quarterback! Ask yourself this question; were you one of those this week that said you were glad Jones was starting? Were you claiming that because Jones was so good last week in less than two quarters of action that Ben Roethlisberger should sit?
It. Doesn’t. Matter.
Tomlin has proven time and time again that his team leaves us wanting more when they lose to teams with lesser records. Today’s loss in Kansas City is yet another example. The Chiefs entered with a record of 1-5. They were without their two best offensive threats in Jamaal Charles and Jeremy Maclin yet their offense fared far better then our own.
Alex Smith was sacked twice but was rarely in harm’s way as his offensive line did a solid job of limiting the pressure on him. He didn’t turn the ball over and kept his offense moving against a Steelers’ defense that continued its’ bend-don’t-break mantra. The problem today was the defense did break.
The tackling was atrocious and the inability to cover tight ends was again at the forefront of this unit’s problems. Perhaps worst of all was the fact that following a field goal to pull the team to within three points they let the Chiefs march right down the field to put the game away with a touchdown.
That was something we saw a lot of under Dick LeBeau and it appears it’s now continuing under Keith Butler. When the offense scores, the defense gives it right back.
This was far from a loss all on the shoulders of the defense however. If anyone can pinpoint what Todd Haley’s game plan was for the offense please raise your hand.
He came out letting Jones throw, then proceeded to turn into a ground and pound machine. Suddenly in the third quarter, Le’Veon Bell found himself with no touches for almost the entire quarter. Perhaps the most head-scratching moment of Haley’s day came with five minutes to play when his unit was down by 10.
In an instance where the hurry-up offense was a must, the offense acted more like they were walking in the park on a nice fall day. There was no urgency and there was no hurry-up whatsoever. If you were wondering why then join the club.
I tweeted out earlier this week that when you have the quarterback situation the Steelers have then your defense must travel well. The defense didn’t do that today and it got little help from the offense to boot.
More alarming however is the fact these types of losses under Mike Tomlin are mounting and it appears he doesn’t have an answer for how to stop the negative momentum.