After a game there are players who impress and some who disappoint. This is where our weekly “Winners and Losers” column was born. Sometimes being labeled a loser is a bit harsh, but ultimately there are players every game who simply don’t measure up to “the standard”.
Shazier is a playmaker, and although the Steelers defense is much improved, he seems to be the only one making game-changing plays. His forced fumble/interception against the Jaguars is usually a play which turns the tide in Pittsburgh’s favor; however, when the quarterback throws 5 interceptions your one measly turnover will resemble throwing a pebble into the Ohio River thinking it will somehow slow down.
I shudder to think what this offense would look like without Brown. His stat line of 10 receptions, on 19 targets, 157 yards, and 15.7 ypc was astounding on a day when the offense could do little right. Although Brown didn’t get into the endzone, his effort and overall tremendous play is worthy of praise, even as the offense continues to reach new lows almost on a weekly basis.
Boswell was 3-3 and contributed all of the Steelers’ points on Sunday. On a day where winners were hard to come by, I’ll give some love to the place kicker fro making three chip shots.
What is there to say that hasn’t already been said. 35/55 with 5 interceptions and no touchdowns. Although at least 3 of his interceptions were plays of the “fluky” variety, the franchise quarterback hasn’t been good at all through 5 games.
The Steelers got into the red-zone early and often, but it didn’t result to anything other than 9-points. Three trips, three field goals. Everything about this offense just looks atrocious at this point. What plagues this group? Miscommunication, play calling, staring down receivers...I could go on...
Third Down Offense
The Steelers offense failed to even hit the .500 plateau as a third down offense in a long time. They failed to reach that mark again going 7-for-15 on Sunday, and many of those failed conversions were on 3rd-and-manageable.
While this loss can’t be put solely on the defense, the rush defense is troubling. The Steelers offense gave the Jaguars 13 points (missed PAT), but the defense still gave up 231 collective yards on the ground, 181 to Leonard Fournette. The Jaguars were able to grind out the clock due to their running game, and the Steelers defense couldn’t do anything to stop it.
The game planning for the Steelers has been awful. From the first possession to the last, it just looks like a lot of guessing. This team has no identity on offense, and that starts with the man in charge of that unit. I am not someone who thinks firing the coordinator mid-season will make a drastic change, but I also think changes need to be made. They could start with running a more uptempo/no-huddle offense. Just SOMETHING to try and get the offense in rhythm and in-sync for the first time this year.
Anytime your team falls flat on their face, the head coach will, and should, catch some heat. Don’t think the team, and coaching staff, heard the boos echoing throughout Heinz Field? Yeah, each and every one of those were well deserved for a variety of reasons. At one point in the game, every phase of the Steelers team was booed off the field. While Tomlin might not take that personally, the way his team played in Week 5 certainly should have him up at night trying to find some answers.