The Pittsburgh Steelers have had their share of ‘bonehead’ decisions throughout their 1-4 start to the 2019 season. Every game, even games where the Steelers pull out the ‘W’, have their moments where fans are scratching their heads regarding a specific decision. There have also been some very genius moves made, of which should be noted too.
The overall crux of this article was built around the fact of giving fans a chance to have a space where they can put their collective heads together and try and figure out what went wrong, what went right, and why the outcome went down the way it did.
After last week’s article, it was recommended along with the bad decision of the week, which some viewed as too negative, we add in a positive decision. So, this feature has turned into the bonehead and genius decisions of the week.
When it comes to bonehead decisions, for me it was how the first half ended. Not much has been written about the time management in that situation, but it drove me up a wall. With just under 30 seconds left, Mike Hilton intercepted a Lamar Jackson pass, giving the Steelers the ball in the red-zone.
They had one timeout remaining. A completion to Jaylen Samuels, two incompletions and a roughing the passer call later, the team headed into halftime adding a Chris Boswell field goal and the timeout still remaining on the scoreboard. How in the world can anyone justify not calling a timeout when Samuels was tackled in bounds with just over 20 seconds left on the clock? This amount of time would give you more options than scrambling to the line and having less than 10 seconds when all was said and done.
Just horrible clock management, and just think if the Steelers had scored a touchdown in that situation with more time, it could have completely altered the outcome of the game.
I decided to reach out to Dave Schofield and BTSC podcaster Lance Williams regarding their bonehead decisions and/or genius decisions of Week 5. See what they had to say:
Dave Schofield — Bonehead Move — Only running the ball 19 times
The Steelers averaged over 4 yards per carry, while the Ravens were under 3.5 yards. With such a decisive amount per play, it would make more sense for the Steelers to run the ball 40 times like the Ravens did. But they did not. Even 25-30 plays would have been sufficient. It would have also helped with the time of possession and keeping the defense off the field. Many people have been wanting the Steelers to run the ball more, but they have not been effective enough with the running. They were against Baltimore. So there was no reason to not run more.
Dave Schofield — Genius Move — Kicking the ball away to start overtime
I didn’t like it in the moment, but the decision was really thought out. What’s usually a great strategy going into a game? Taking away the other team’s best player. And the Ravens’ best player is Justin Tucker. Allowing him to pin you deep on the kickoff and possibly start with good field position with him having such a range for a game-winning field goal could have been a dangerous move. This strategy kept their best player off the field the entire time as the defense got the stop and handed good field position to the offense. This decision came down to taking field position over possession. It worked exactly as planned, until the fumble.
Lance Williams — Bonehead Move — Running the Wildcat again and having Samuels throw the football
The Pittsburgh Steelers caught the Cincinnati Bengals off guard when they decided to run the Wildcat offense with Jaylen Samuels and focus on jet-sweep plays to help their ball carriers to the edge and work on the Bengals’ poor linebackers. But did the Steelers really think they could dip their toes into that water again and see the same result? Clearly they did, and the Ravens were ready for it. So much so it got Jaylen Samuels out of wack and he threw an ill-advised pass to James Washington that ended up in the lap of a Ravens defender. Second offensive possession, trailing 3-0, the Steelers gift the Ravens a possession in their own red-zone. Before you knew it, it was 10-0 Baltimore.
It is here where you, the reader, gets to voice your concern/anger/pleasure with something the Steelers did, or didn’t do, from the week that was! Let us know your bonehead and/or genius decisions of the week in the comment section below!