Steelers Week 13: Cheers, Jeers, & Fears
I think the Packers game was filled with all three cheers, jeers, and fears I’ve had all season.
AB making spectacular plays look commonplace, the Steelers playing down to their opponent’s level, and Todd Haley holding back the offense yet again.
It wasn’t a “bad” game like they had a few weeks ago against the Colts, but they did keep us on the edge of our seats until the final whistle.
Hey, Steelers, you have a few more night games left, and I would like to not have heart attacks at almost midnight for the next few weeks. Thanks.
With that said, Pittsburgh moves to 9-2 on the season and is currently top dog in the AFC. They face a divisional opponent this week in the Bengals (or Bungles), with a chance to pretty much lock up the AFC North.
Here are my cheers, jeers, and fears for week 13.
The Killer Bs found a way to win.
Antonio Brown’s amazing catch in final seconds of the game could go down as one of the best catches all season. That would be two “best catches” for Brown in as many games.
He was spectacular as always. If Carson Wentz wasn’t having a special season, there is an argument to be made that AB could be the league MVP.
Ben was on point.
AB doesn’t have the chance to catch that ball unless Ben doesn’t drop an absolute dime between the two defenders.
Despite the two picks, Ben was extremely accurate all night. In addition to the previously mentioned throw, Ben also dropped another perfect pass to Brown in the second quarter right over the defender’s head for a touchdown.
Although Bell didn’t find the end zone, he did account for almost 200 yards of total offense and caught 11 passes, a career-high for him.
If these guys keep rolling, the Steelers are going to be almost impossible to stop on offense.
The lack of pressure on the quarterback.
I think Sara yelled “sack him” at least 10 times through the first half. Pittsburgh was getting no defensive push with only blitzing three, and Hundley was able to find wide-open receivers.
In the second half, Pittsburgh started to get some pressure, and you could tell Hundley was getting rattled in the pocket, which led to poor throws and short drives.
With an injured secondary, Pittsburgh has to find ways to create pressure with their front seven. Players like Ryan Shazier, T.J. Watt, and Bud Dupree have to do a better job of getting to the quarterback.
Can we finally get some James Harrison action? He would just scare the quarterback into a sack or two a game, right? [Editor’s note: I also yelled this at least twice.]
Poor tackling makes for poor performance.
An epidemic for the Steelers’ defense all year has been their inability to make tackles in the open field.
Time and time again, opposing receivers or running backs are breaking arm-tackles that gash the Steelers for significant gains. This can’t continue to happen.
Pittsburgh’s zone secondary is dependent on making the tackles once a catch is made. It’s the whole “bend but don’t break” mentality.
I don’t think the secondary can improve too much with their current roster, but they can help limit big plays if they can wrap-up and tackle in the open field.
No matter the circumstances it’s never easy to win a divisional game on the road. Pittsburgh dispatched both the Browns and Ravens away from Heinz this season, and they have a chance to go for a road-sweep on Monday night.
Cincinnati is not a good football team. They have one win all year against a team with a winning record, and two of their five wins are against the lowly Browns.