On Sunday past, the Pittsburgh Steelers took the field to play a football game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Then the game began and the Steelers were clawed by the Eagles, 34-3!
Everyone was saying that the Eagles were overrated because although Philadelphia sported the same 2-0 record as Pittsburgh, it was the general consensus that Philadelphia had beat bottom feeders Cleveland Browns and the Chicago Bears. And Pittsburgh had beat the Washington Redskins and Cincinnati Bengals. Both teams sported multi-million dollar veteran quarterbacks.
Almost everyone was saying how much trouble Eagles rookie starting QB Carson Wentz was going to have keeping up with the Steelers jet fuel type passing game. Well for one day at least it appeared that the rookie QB was under center for the Steelers and the wily veteran Roethlisberger could have exchanged places and been shipped without notice or fanfare to the “City of Brotherly Love.”
Roethlisberger completed 22 of 44 passes for 222 yards, no touchdowns and one pick. The so-called rookie QB Carson Wentz was 23/31 for 301 yards and 2 touchdowns. The veteran QB missed several open receivers who were wide open. If those passes had been completed they would have resulted in sustaining those drives.
Some people are saying how bad the Steelers defense was. The least thing that this game should have represented was a shootout. Yeah, the Steelers defense gave up 34 points but his “pseudo-high powered offense” could only score 3 freakin points! 3 freakin points!
All the apprehension that NFL defensive coordinators might have been feeling about facing the team from the Steel City may have evaporated during that ill-fated afternoon in Philly.
What happened? Did the Steelers get comfortable digesting their own press? It looked like the Philadelphia defense must have been listening to some old Franklin Delano Roosevelt recordings but because they “feared nothing but fear itself,” and they definitely did not fear the Steelers much ballyhooed offense.
The talking heads again are placing most of the blame squarely on the Steelers defense. The defense cannot complete passes to wide open receivers for the offense. The defense cannot block for the QB. The defense cannot convince the QB not to hold onto the ball for more than 3.5 seconds. Oh the defense had many flaws, but the soft coverages that the Steelers were in for the majority of the game at crucial times, even caused the eyes of a rookie QB to light up.
There were crucial injuries and many missed tackles by the Steelers defense but the offense had plenty of chances and squandered those opportunities with non-performances by the players and the coaches. All that hogwash that the Steelers are the “cream of the crop” has been put to rest. No one is going to lay down for the Steelers. The way it is looking, they may put the Steelers to sleep if they don’t look out.
All you grown men in the NFL had better check yourselves and keep an eye on your T-bone steaks. The players that you may have thought were toddlers depending on breast milk and formula, now have a full set of teeth.
Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412.583.6741
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