OK, OK, enough already. The Pittsburgh Steelers put up the big “40” against the Tennessee Titans last Thursday, Nov. 16, at Heinz Field. OK, OK, I was dead wrong. I incorrectly “prognosticated” that the Titans would have been a bit more competitive being as though Tennessee remains in contention for a postseason AFC Wild Card spot. After that convincing victory by the Steelers, the songbirds repositioned themselves upon their perches. However, there was one amongst us beside yours truly that seemed not to be interested in drinking the over sweetened “Kool-Aid.” Paul Zeise of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote: “There seems to be a lot of chest pounding and self-congratulating going on after the Steelers offense scored 40 points Thursday night in a win over Tennessee. The Steelers ‘silenced their critics’ seems to be the storyline. They proved everyone wrong; they sure showed everyone who they really are.”
Is there some sort of bipolar or schizophrenic disorder going on with the weekly performance of the Steelers offense? At the conclusion of week 11, the Steelers were ranked 9th in total offense, 18th in rushing and 7th in the league in passing.
Now let’s take a look at the defense. The Steelers were ranked 6th in total defense, 4th in pass defense and 9th in rushing defense. These stats prove that the defense must be on top of their game to ensure success for Pittsburgh. The defense of the Steelers is not afforded the luxury of having a bad day. Forget stats, have you seriously taken an honest look at the “master” QBs of the NFL? Guys named Brady, Brees, Ryan and Rodgers? These cats are dangerously consistent and they all seem to have one common denominator; they always attempt to exploit the “weaknesses” of the defense and when circumstances dictate it, they are content to take what opposing defenses give them and turn those opportunities into victories. Tom Brady does not have a “bromance” with any of his receivers, he always appears to love the receiver who is open. That will always be the key to consistency as an NFL signal caller. I don’t care how many “weapons” you have, if you can’t or won’t use them because of ego, incompetence or loyalty to one particular player. Well, let’s just say that the general public might be left wondering if you have been properly medicated. There are never enough excuses when the Steelers offense has a subpar performance. But all hell breaks loose and fiery tongues glow in the dark when the defense has a bad day.
Ben Roethlisberger is getting paid megabucks to walk onto the football field and have a “good” day every game. Notice I did not say “great” day every game, because as we all realize that it’s impossible. However, consistency should always be possible.
Next up for the Black and Gold at Heinz Field, Nov. 26, is the Aaron Rodger-less Green Bay Packers. The offense of the Packers is currently ranked 23rd in the NFL, 18th in rushing and 23rd in passing, not exactly tearing up the league, minus their future H.O.F. QB Aaron Rodgers being lost for the remainder of the season. The Packers pass defense is ranked 18th. On paper, this game should be a ho-hummer in favor of Pittsburgh, ya think? This game should be and I say “should be” an uneventful contest for the Steelers, but as we all well know, that depends on the mood of Ben Roethlisberger and Pittsburgh’s offense. Can you dig it? Or as Steelers offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva might ask; dilly, dilly?
Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-583-6741.