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Steelers fans pinning the Week 5 loss on JuJu Smith-Schuster, but let’s not forget football is a team sport

JuJu Smith-Schuster’s fumble was disastrous, but hardly the sole reason why the Steelers lost to the Ravens on Sunday.

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

I read a post yesterday about the devastating loss to the hated Baltimore Ravens where a fan basically said, he would not lose any sleep if JuJu Smith-Schuster was not on this team next year. The comment was GREEN! It stunned me. A comment today talked about how Smith-Schuster may have cost the team another division title this year. It was GREEN too! I kept reading on and then there were more comments berating the 22-year-old wideout. Fans were questioning whether he even can be a true No. 1 wideout for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Some scathing comments because of one play this season. One lost fumble that happened on a perfect punch out by Marlon Humphries. The same move that Humphries tried earlier in the game and JuJu made him pay dearly for with a 35-yard touchdown.

All 46 players played on Sunday but you all want to focus on one play by one player and ignore the other 60 plays on offense, the over 80 plays on defense and 30 plays on special teams?

Too many of you have pulled Jerome Bettis out of the garage to have the Bus run over Smith-Schuster because of the timing of the play.

What about the timing of Jaylen Samuels tossing an inexcusable interception that put the Ravens inside the 20? If we will excuse the interception, then his later drop is even more meaningless, correct?

What about our continued soft coverage defense over the middle that kept drives alive?

Where is the blame for going 3-9 on third downs?

Where is the blame for the unacceptable disparity in time of possession? Ravens had the ball 39:00 minutes to the Steelers 25:34.

No outrage over 11 penalties? How many of them extended drives for the Ravens, or killed Steelers drives?

Are nine missed tackles acceptable or did they just not bear on the outcome?

What about the passes Mason Rudolph threw towards the end zone before the half? Manute Bol standing on the shoulders of Shaquille O’Neil, standing on the shoulders of Andre the Giant, would have not have stood a chance of catching them.

What about the defensive scheme late in the fourth quarter, and the second drive in overtime? Slow-footed Vince Williams in there with a fleet of foot Jackson and then we stick him in coverage?

How about the conservative play-calling on offense with Rudolph in? Why not open up the throttle?

I rarely berate referees, but WOW, they were bad. How many poor calls changed the outcome of the game?

But for too many, they do not care about the above. They only remember one play. They lay the loss at the feet of the man who has been the continuous beacon of hope week in and week out on the offense. Jamming their fingers into his chest for his performance during one play in a game that had 170 plays. Smith-Schuster did everything the team asked of him. Caught all seven passes, led the team in receiving and had one of the two touchdowns. But not good enough. One play erased all the good he has done this season and his 1,426 yards and seven touchdowns from last season. Yup, the same season that these same folks blame the young man from USC, for destroying. Again over one play in a season with nearly 2,500 plays.

I for one understand that a game is made up of more than one play and one play will not win a game just like one player will not win a game. The NFL is not like golf or tennis; it is a team sport. It takes linemen to block for running backs and keep a quarterback clean in the pocket. It takes wideouts and tight ends to catch those passes. The defense is the same way as the unit has to work as one otherwise it is porous and inept. We saw what happened with special teams breakdowns last year. Boswell was the worst kicker in the league but did he cost the Steelers games all by himself? No!

Most in Steelers Nation know that the team wins and loses as a team and no loss should be pinned on one player, nor should it. Especially when that player is the most talented offensive skill player the team has. So let Bettis continue his Geico commercial career and let JuJu continue what the young man has done for three years, produce and rely on his teammates to cohesively win football games.