Last week I got a bit blasted for being "too cynical." (More than a fluke loss) Well I'm back for more! Some people pointed out that the team is made up of human beings and that they shouldn't be perfect for any reason. Alright fair enough but when you practice 365 days a week and football is your job you better be damn close to perfect. But this week I'll keep it short and sweet and some up what I think are the positive and negative aspects of this team this week. And oh, by the way, I'm no John Madden.
5 Positives of the Steelers
1. Ben - Sans maybe Aaron Rodgers or any other gunslinging NFC quarterback, Ben is the best quarterback in the NFL. I'm sure that will spark a 200 comment debate but honestly who is playing better at this point? No play is dead until Ben says it is dead. Now he may hold on to the ball too long and he may take stupid sacks, but it's worth it when he avoids three flying Bungles to make a ridiculous 20 yard pass. Props to Ben for holding this team together.
2. Antonio Brown - It'd be a stretch to say that he is the best receiver in the game but my god he is making his case as the most reliable. The man simply doesn't drop a pass and looks like a young Hines. The Steelers may be getting old at some positions but they have years to come out of this rising receiving corps.
3. Turnovers - Has a team ever needed a turnover worse than the depleted Steelers defense did this past weekend? The D needed a turnover worse than Joe Rogan needed another line of coke. And not only did they get two picks but they got them in critical situations in the 4th quarter. This team can win any game as long as they start getting in the right spot at the right time.
4. Big Play Gay - Willie Gay had a comeback reminscent of Paul Pierce in the Finals. The deflection was one of the better plays he's had all year and then the interception ranks number one in plays that he has ever made. Nobody needed a statement game more than Gay and he came up big. There just may be a future for him in the Burgh.
5. Kapinos going off - I'm not sure if anyone noticed or cared but it looks like we have a punter not numbered 17. It's the rebirth of Gardocki! Kapinos may look like an escaped felon but the man can kick like there's no tommorrow. Let Sepulveda rip his leg in half every year the team needs to stick with Kapinos because the man can simply kick the ball. Now on to the bad...
5 Things That Don't Look So Good
1. Calling All Safetys - Are you fast? Do you have long hair? Are you 30 pounds overweight? Come on down you can play safety for the Steelers! Alright that's a bit of a hyperbole but the safetys haven't totally stepped up the past two weeks. That play with Green should have never happened. Polamalu simply watched as if Green would drop it. That's the second week in a row that the safetys dissapeared on long touchdown passes. I'm not bashing Ryan Clark or Troy Polamalu because they're both outstanding players but one of them needs to stay back at all times.
2. Which line can out suck the other? The offensive line looks like they want Ben to break his ankle and the defensive line is hell bent on letting quarterbacks not have to go to the washers after. There is no reason that Ben should get knocked around all day especially when the Bengals best pass rusher isn't even in the game. The defensive line also hasn't touched a quarterback in weeks. Keisel is still solid, Ziggy is a force, and Casey is the same old Moonhead he always has been. So what's the problem? I can complete a pass with all the time they give them.
3. Coaching - Here's the one I'm going to get torn to shreds on. I love Mike and Lebeau and think they're great coaches but some of the decisions they make make me feel like I'm watching Andy Reid. Arians just sucks so I won't touch him. Every player in the NFL knows that the Steelers are running up the middle on first down. I like the reverses and the increased passing but some plays are just stupid. What happened to the zone defense and what happened to trick plays on offense? The team is still winning so not much to complain about but something needs to change.
4. Timmons - Again I don't like saying this but where has he been? For someone that was tagged as a future all pro he sure has looked more like Morty Ivy instead of Ray Lewis. It's not that he has made any extreme blunders but he hasn't shown any flashes either. He's still a good player but he hasn't shown any dominant games so far. Not to say that he won't be a force (he's probably being overshadowed by everyone else) but it would be nice to hear his name. Also playing out of position doesn't help.
5. Shard of Glass - Rashard Has looked anything but dominant this year and it might be the biggest enigma on the team. I have a hunch that the poor play of the O line is to blame but Rashard has always played with a bad line and has still gotten his yards. He shows signs of greatness on some of his runs but always seems to be taken down after 5 yards before he breaks one. I think everyone is waiting for him to break out and become the dominant back everyone thinks he is. It's just a matter of time before the line sures up and Shard looks great again but in the meantime we're all sending out an SOS for you Shard.
Well that's it. Feel free to let me know that I am in fact not John Madden but I will always find something wrong with this team. Do your worst.