Week 3 Postmortem: Steelers 10, Bengals 24
mcmillenandwife
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#1
09-28-2021, 08:32 AM

Well, that was ugly. [Image: embarrassed.gif] If that's who this team really is, we're in for a long season. Fortunately, I believe this team has better days ahead once key players get healthy.

Yes, our offense is bad right now. Really bad, with lots of new people and new moving parts to figure out. But our defense will keep us in games while the offense works to find its identity. Three games does not a season make.

My tolerance for the sports media was exceeded within seconds Monday morning. "The Steelers' season is over! Play the young guys!" And, of course, "Bench Ben!" [Image: eyes.gif]

I acknowledge 2021 Ben isn't as good as 2004-2018 Ben. But even though he's struggling right now (along with the rest of the offense), he's still better than any QB we've had between Bradshaw and rookie Ben. And he's head-and-shoulders above Rudolph and Haskins, who are not starting material nor long-term solutions. Ben is a team leader, and benching him would achieve nothing good.

We've had a really bad couple of weeks. I won't claim to have high hopes right now. But I lived through 1989; Bubby Brister at QB with humiliating losses to Cleveland (51-0) and Cinci (41-10) to open the season. Yet we made the playoffs, beat Glanville's Oilers and were only a John Elway comeback away from the AFC Championship game.

Bright spot of the week? Najee Harris, who was the best player on the field Sunday. Keep the faith, folks; there's a lot of football left.
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RaynorShyne
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#2
09-28-2021, 10:31 AM

Ugh. NFL.com is brutal:

Ben Roethlisberger is cooked
This is like Willie Mays stumbling around the Shea Stadium outfield. It's sad. And yes, it's a fact.

Honestly, it was over last season, when Big Ben looked fried down the stretch and the Steelers went from 11-0 to 12-4 wild-card losers. Roethlisberger looks like a 39-year-old quarterback hanging by a thread because he is a 39 year old quarterback hanging by a thread. Back in May, I predicted Cincinnati would win more games than Pittsburgh. On Sunday, the Bengals pummeled the Steelers in Pittsburgh.

To be fair to Ben, the Steelers' problems go far beyond the quarterback position. The offensive line is dreadful. The secondary's a sieve. Pittsburgh is going to finish under .500 for the first time in Mike Tomlin's career. It's the residue of poor design.

But there's no denying that the face of Steelers football for most of this millennium is washed.
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RaynorShyne
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#3
09-28-2021, 10:44 AM

(09-28-2021, 08:32 AM)mcmillenandwife Wrote: Well, that was ugly. [Image: embarrassed.gif] If that's who this team really is, we're in for a long season. Fortunately, I believe this team has better days ahead once key players get healthy.

Yes, our offense is bad right now. Really bad, with lots of new people and new moving parts to figure out. But our defense will keep us in games while the offense works to find its identity. Three games does not a season make.

My tolerance for the sports media was exceeded within seconds Monday morning. "The Steelers' season is over! Play the young guys!" And, of course, "Bench Ben!" [Image: eyes.gif]

I acknowledge 2021 Ben isn't as good as 2004-2018 Ben. But even though he's struggling right now (along with the rest of the offense), he's still better than any QB we've had between Bradshaw and rookie Ben. And he's head-and-shoulders above Rudolph and Haskins, who are not starting material nor long-term solutions. Ben is a team leader, and benching him would achieve nothing good.

We've had a really bad couple of weeks. I won't claim to have high hopes right now. But I lived through 1989; Bubby Brister at QB with humiliating losses to Cleveland (51-0) and Cinci (41-10) to open the season. Yet we made the playoffs, beat Glanville's Oilers and were only a John Elway comeback away from the AFC Championship game.

Bright spot of the week? Najee Harris, who was the best player on the field Sunday. Keep the faith, folks; there's a lot of football left.

As Trent Dilfer and the 2000 RatBirds taught everyone - a good defense can carry you far.     There's reason for optimism:   The OL will gel as they get games under them.  Our OC has exactly 3 games so far, and we've numerous injuries.    Better days are ahead, and no one makes the playoffs in September.
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mcmillenandwife
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#4
09-28-2021, 10:54 AM

The sports media has always dissed Ben. Always. 

F--- 'em.

P.S. -- Rich Eisen is the biggest douche on TV. He needs punched in the face. Laugh
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mcmillenandwife
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#5
09-28-2021, 11:10 AM

(09-28-2021, 10:44 AM)RaynorShyne Wrote: As Trent Dilfer and the 2000 RatBirds taught everyone - a good defense can carry you far.     There's reason for optimism:   The OL will gel as they get games under them.  Our OC has exactly 3 games so far, and we've numerous injuries.    Better days are ahead, and no one makes the playoffs in September.

The O-line is stinking it up right now, but it's kinda to be expected. I'm sure you're right, they'll eventually start to put it together. Hopefully sooner rather than later. There have been more whiffs than a 5-year old without a T. 3 guys on 1 while letting 2 guys run free, running 8 yards downfield and blocking no one. It been abysmal. Hopefully, Ben and Najee survive their growing pains.

I'm disappointed in Matt Canada so far, but not surprised. I was concerned when they went with him and didn't hire an established OC, but figured they knew something the rest of us didn't. So far... horrific. His play calling is schizophrenic. Incoherent. He needs help.

My biggest concern? Our receivers.

They don't get open. They drop a lot of balls. They quit on routes.  

Worst of all, rarely are they on the same page with Ben. There are bad reads on seemingly every drive. Those reads are on the receivers, not the 18-year veteran QB destined for the Hal of Fame. They need to do their f-ing homework, and Ike Hilliard needs to earn his spot as WRs coach. So far, he has been terrible, IMO. These young guys aren't progressing. 

But I digress. It's week 3. Any given Sunday and all that. Plenty of football left.
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sandfan
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#6
09-29-2021, 05:59 AM

I've begun to watch the games again. I also have suffered a personal loss and very much need any and all diversions available.

My view, long and short term, is based on what I've seen over Tomlin's career. He's been blessed with a HOF QB, a good to great GM and ownership willing to overlook shortcomings. As Ben ages out Tomlin's greatest asset will fade.

Tomlin has not demonstrated any significant ability, my opinion I know so it is worth only that, to alter the performance of a team through game management, tactics or challenges. I can't question his coaching skills but I will share he's not exactly fed a lot of assistants into the NFL ranks at upgraded positions. His most successful "transfer" was run out of town but did a great job in Indy and just won a title in Tampa. I can't see Tomlin ever getting Pittsburgh back into title contention.

I'd much prefer to watch a winning team but the sampling over the last 9 games has been disappointing at best. I fear it will take a lot more than an idea of a player's coach to alter that slope. I've seen how well this player's coach can mange a squad. AB and Bell were prime examples of his failures in that arena.

The franchise has had two HOF quality qb's over the last 5-6 decades. Likely 3 HOF coaches as well. It may be time to reflect upon and enjoy past successes rather than believe in or trust Tomlin's ability to right the ship. I'll continue to watch only because it offers a few moments of escape. However, I will not do so with any passion or true interest. That's a hard thing to say after holding season tickets through Noll's and part of Cowher's leadership.

The best thing that might happen is for Tomlin to move on to his life's work when Ben retires. If Tomlin sticks around I believe performance will not improve. I realize there's nothing earth shattering in these comments. They are only offered as a respite from my misery. Just like the games.
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Vitriol
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#7
09-30-2021, 05:45 AM

I'm sorry. Ben is done. I'm not seeing that Ben will be able to make this team competitive. In fact, I think he's preventing the team from being competitive. We have a great defense, good WRs, RB, and TE. But we have a horrible O-line and geriatric and stubborn QB. The D will get burned out spending too much time on the field while carrying an ineffective, impotent, offense. Injuries will likely continue to mount.

Ben's never been an intellectual student of the game like Manning, Brady or Brees. Before surgery he was able to rely on pure talent and athletic prowess to be competitive. He was always fun to watch. He doesn't have that ability anymore, and it won't be back. It was worth seeing what he could do last year. I was skeptical of the win record having watched the games (when on a free broadcast). This year, he is the same Ben that had the season ending slide. He just picked up where he left off, with a new OC and a worse O-line. He will never return to pre-surgery performance.

If I were in charge (Thank God I'm not.), I would give him until the bye week. Six weeks is more than ample time for him to show what the season will look like. If we are 1-5 or 2-4, it may be worth sitting him. I realize that's blasphemy. People aren't high on Rudolph, but he almost beat Cleveland with back-ups. Cleveland had to win that game to even make the playoffs. The following week, the Ben-led Steelers got destroyed in an embarrassing playoff exit. Rudolph may not be the long-term solution, but I'm not sure the team performance would be worse than it is now.

To be clear: I'll continue to root for the Steelers whether Ben is at QB or not. I'd rather be wrong about Ben and see the team perform well, than be right and watch them tank this year.
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mcmillenandwife
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#8
09-30-2021, 06:52 AM

(09-30-2021, 05:45 AM)Vitriol Wrote: I'm sorry.  Ben is done.  I'm not seeing that Ben will be able to make this team competitive.  In fact, I think he's preventing the team from being competitive.  We have a great defense, good WRs, RB, and TE.  But we have a horrible O-line and geriatric and stubborn QB.  

I disagree with every single word you said here except that we have a (potentially) great defense. Najee is going to be excellent IMO, but he's still very much a work in progress. Nice development last week in the passing game, but he had multiple drops and made several obvious mistakes. That's okay, he's only 3 games in; he'll work it out.

But our receivers are serious underachievers. Terribly disappointing (as they were last year from what I've seen). Misreading routes, not getting open, quitting on routes, whiffing blocks, dropping balls. Ike Hilliard needs to get his act together with these guys. They are floundering under him. 

Only our O-line is performing worse than our receivers right now.

The receivers don't know what they're doing. I guarantee you -- GUARANTEE -- that the no-huddle offense is limited by their inexperience and lack of playbook knowledge. Ben is level 10 in no-huddle offense... the receivers are level 2. When you constantly make wrong reads, you won't have the trust of your QB, and you won't instill fear in a defense.




(09-30-2021, 05:45 AM)Vitriol Wrote: Ben's never been an intellectual student of the game like Manning, Brady or Brees.  Before surgery he was able to rely on pure talent and athletic prowess to be competitive.  He was always fun to watch.  He doesn't have that ability anymore, and it won't be back. 

Ben is still our single best player on offense. By a wide margin, until Najee develops. 

Ben hasn't relied on pure talent and "athletic prowess" (more football toughness combined with guts IMO) in years. Early Ben, yes. But not since 2008 IMO. He's been a fully developed QB in every sense from 2009 on.

He's past his prime... but he's still plenty capable. The rest of the offense needs to step up their friggin' game and do their jobs. 



(09-30-2021, 05:45 AM)Vitriol Wrote: If I were in charge (Thank God I'm not.), I would give him until the bye week.  Six weeks is more than ample time for him to show what the season will look like.  If we are 1-5 or 2-4, it may be worth sitting him.  I realize that's blasphemy.  People aren't high on Rudolph, but he almost beat Cleveland with back-ups.  Cleveland had to win that game to even make the playoffs.  The following week, the Ben-led Steelers got destroyed in an embarrassing playoff exit.  Rudolph may not be the long-term solution, but I'm not sure the team performance would be worse than it is now.    

Rudolph brings absolutely nothing to the table. Nothing. "He almost beat Cleveland."  Laugh BFD? He didn't beat them. Pouncey didn't launch the first snap of the game 20-yds over Mason's head for a TD on the first play.  Our defense didn't up three TDs in 12 offensive plays when Mason played. Even so, we were down 24-9 one play into the 4th quarter of that game before Rudolph scored some garbage time TDs. 

Ben is the last person who deserves to be benched right now. Mason is okay as a low-tier backup, but I don't believe he would be capable of leading even a really outstanding offense into the playoffs, let alone the incohesive group we've got right now. 

Ben has proven he can get it done with a marginal O-line. If the defense can get healthy and the offense can gel a little, Ben gives us our best shot at winning. 


(09-30-2021, 05:45 AM)Vitriol Wrote: To be clear:  I'll continue to root for the Steelers whether Ben is at QB or not.  I'd rather be wrong about Ben and see the team perform well, than be right and watch them tank this year.

If they tank, it's in spite of having Ben, not because of him. In an offense filled with obvious gaping holes, Ben is not the problem.

Just my two cents. Appreciate your post.  Thumbsup
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mcmillenandwife
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#9
09-30-2021, 07:20 AM

(09-29-2021, 05:59 AM)sandfan Wrote: I've begun to watch the games again.  I also have suffered a personal loss and very much need any and all diversions available.  

Praying for you and your family, Sand.  Pi_heartbeating


(09-29-2021, 05:59 AM)sandfan Wrote: Tomlin has not demonstrated any significant ability, my opinion I know so it is worth only that, to alter the performance of a team through game management, tactics or challenges.  I can't question his coaching skills but I will share he's not exactly fed a lot of assistants into the NFL ranks at upgraded positions.  His most successful "transfer" was run out of town but did a great job in Indy and just won a title in Tampa.  I can't see Tomlin ever getting Pittsburgh back into title contention.

I don't disagree on Tomlin. He started strong but has been an underachiever since 2011 IMO given the talent he's had since then. Having an Indy car doesn't mean much if you're just an average driver.



(09-29-2021, 05:59 AM)sandfan Wrote: However, I will not do so with any passion or true interest.  That's a hard thing to say after holding season tickets through Noll's and part of Cowher's leadership.  

I'm with you. I haven't "felt it" for several years now. Mostly bad rule changes combined with sickening wokeness have stolen most of the luster for me. 



(09-29-2021, 05:59 AM)sandfan Wrote: The best thing that might happen is for Tomlin to move on to his life's work when Ben retires.  If Tomlin sticks around I believe performance will not improve.  I realize there's nothing earth shattering in these comments.  They are only offered as a respite from my misery.  Just like the games.

I don't think Tomlin is anywhere near retiring. He's got a good 10 years left in him IMO. I go back and forth with Tomlin. I'm pretty ambivalent about him. Right now, he's far below Matt Canada on my shit list.  Laugh

Worse, the organization in general just doesn't feel like it's on the right track anymore. Hopefully, I'm wrong. Even though the offense is in disarray right now, the defense looks pretty lights out when healthy. Great defense can cover a lot of warts. Even we can get even just average play out of the offense, the defense can carry us into the playoffs.
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