Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey is taken off the field with team doctor James Bradley after injuring his right knee in the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013. Pouncey was taken for an MRI. The Titans won 16-9. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
The 2013 season is barely underway and the Steelers are already in big trouble.
A season that was supposed to be about redemption, a make up for 2012’s shortcomings, opened up in embarrassing fashion with a 16-9 loss to the lowly Tennessee Titans.
After taking an early 2-0 lead on an opening kickoff safety, the black and gold looked horrible all day long.
The running game was atrocious, mustering up a total of 32 yards and going back to the musical chairs of running backs as they did in 2012. They didn’t have a feature back and the game’s starter, Isaac Redman, fumbled twice, losing one of them.
Big Ben was under duress all game long, being sacked 5 times and hurried countless more. Roethlisberger is still one of the best QB’s in the league but he won’t make it out of this season in one piece if this kind of pressure is allowed to continue.
Further complicating the issue is the apparent loss of Maurkice Pouncey, their All Pro center for the season. Pouncey was taken out by his own man, David DeCastro on an ill-advised attempt at a block. Not only is Pouncey the lone stand out on the O Line, he’s the leader of the group as well. He was voted a captain of this team and is irreplaceable, especially when the team doesn’t have anyone else who’s had any real experience at the position.
Pouncey wasn’t the only captain and leader who was lost for the season, it appears Larry Foote, the veteran inside linebacker may be out for the year too. Foote tore his triceps and as we have seen in the past with Aaron Smith, that’s typically a season ending injury. The team has no adequate replacement in the fold on the inside. They may need to consider moving Jason Woirlds to the position. Time will tell.
Time, however, is not something that is on the Steelers side. Already in the hole on the season at 0-1, with an offense who doesn’t’ appear able to run the ball, a line who can’t block, and major injuries already piling up, the Steelers need to fix their issues immediately. If they can’t or don’t, it’s not only going to be a season much like 2012, it’s going to be unlucky 2013.
Ben Roethlisberger became the 35th quarterback in NFL history to surpass 30,000 passing yards.
Taking a timeout at 2:02 left in the game, burning the final one the team had left. Why not let the clock stop 2 seconds later? Odd call.
It’s actually not one of the injuries; it’s the potential of who might be injured next. Big Ben is not going to make it through the year at this rate and that’s a major worry.
At 0-1 the team will travel to the 0-1 Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football.