Last week we saw something very familiar. An top 5 quarterback pick apart the secondary and move the ball easily. It’s not like we haven’t seen it before, in fact, we’ve seen it every single time the Steelers play Tom Brady. It was week 1, but the Steelers need to shore up that defense and do it pretty quickly. The Steelers controlled the ball for long periods of time eating into the clock, but when you have to settle for field goals and then Peyton Manning comes out and scores a TD and moves the ball an entire field length in 36 seconds, it doesn’t matter. Granted, when Ryan Clark can’t play, it puts extra pressure on Troy to cover more ground (unfairly) and the CB’s opposite Ike are young and will get better with continued experience.
The other thing we saw that was very, very familiar. The run, run, pass offense. No Arians, no excuse. In the back of my head I have to admit that I thought, hmmm, maybe it’s really Tomlin’s call. I mean, the head coach is the be all end all. But I really expected Haley and the Steelers to do more than just try to run up the gut the first two downs and then pass on 3rd and whatever. It’s so completely predictable and boring. I don’t mind boring if it wins, but when it doesn’t it just makes for an unhappy football Sunday. Today the Wall Street Journal wrote that Ben mixed it up pretty evenly. Maybe in no huddle it was better, but the first half for sure was predictable.
The Steelers play the Jets todayÂ in Pittsburgh. I’m hoping to see a better game plan than I saw last Sunday. I know injuries have been pretty devastating through pre-season and week 1. Hopefully they support each other more and play tough today. The Steelers need to step up on all sides of the ball. Defense specifically needs to tighten up in today’s home opener (they haven’t ever lost a home opener under Tomlin, let’s not start today!) James Walker has it right (I miss you James!!), this will be a good battle of two good defenses and we’ll see better what kind of team we’ll have this year, especially on defense, even with the injuries. It’s being reported that both Troy and Harrison are out this game, but so is Revis on the other side of the field, which at least provides some equality. Injuries are a real problem on both offense and defense this year so far. Hopefully the young guys can step in and learn quickly.
Please, Steelers, beat the Jets for the Tebow factor alone!
Around the AFC North
The Ravens (1-0) looked pretty good. Of course, they did last year week 1 as well when they beat out Steelers pretty handily and then gave it all away against the Titans in week 2. This week they play the Eagles, could go either way, but all things considered, they should win.
And honestly, the Bengals (0-1) don’t look that bad. The Ravens embarrassed them, but the Steelers can’t ignore them.
The Browns (0-1) continue to be the Browns.
In the Community
And please, if you haven’t donated to University of Pittsburgh’s Cancer Institute, please consider today. I’m boldly asking everyone who follows me to donate $10 to the UPCI Tumor and Microenvironment and Virus Program run by Dr. Ferris at UPMC. This research will make a difference globally for those affected by oral cancer which is substantially on the rise. You can read more about this issue and how to donate here.Â You can also follow the campaign on twitter with #10for10k.