The Steelers just completed a sweep of a three-game home stand and now travel to arch rival Cleveland and will face the Browns twice in three weeks. But more questions remain. Is Mason Rudolph getting enough help from his OC and receivers? Will James Conner and Ramon Foster return? Will the Steelers defense have to continue to carry the team? A lot of those inquiries will eventually be answered, Because of all of this and more, BTSC anticipates the storylines and issues bold statements regarding each one of them. Let’s take a look and deem them as fact or fiction.
Minkah Fitzpatrick deserves to win the Defensive Player of the Year award.
While Myles Garrett, Nick Bosa, Stephon Gilmore and Aaron Donald will garner significant consideration for the crown, two Steelers should be considered...T.J. Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick. While Watt is playing spectacular, No. 39 helped stabilize a horrid defense immediately upon his arrival before Week 3. After nine contests, Minkah has five interceptions, eight pass defenses, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and two touchdowns. Steeler fans no longer lament on losing their number one pick in the draft for the first time since 1967.
The Steelers no longer seem to be playing up or down to their competition.
In nine games this season, the Steelers are 5-4. In only two contests, they played a lower-level of competition. While the Steelers beat Cincy handily, the Dolphins game was an early struggle. But they won both of those games with a number of players in street clothes. I think with Mason Rudolph at QB, as opposed to Ben Roethlisberger, there is less experience which means a more desperate desire to prove and a reduced chance of complacency.
The line on this game placing the Browns as home favorites is ridiculous.
I have no problem with the Browns being 2 1⁄2 point favorites. Typically the home team gets three points right off the bat and the Cleveland offense still features gamebreakers like Nick Chubb, Odell Beckham Jr. and now Kareem Hunt. Also,, the Browns are coming off of a big win over the then 6-2 Bills and have a pretty tough defense. The Steelers were dogs against the Rams as well. Lines don’t matter on the actual field of play and the Steelers not being favored usually seems to be a good thing.
Joe Haden is the weak link in the Steeler secondary.
Not whatsoever. While Haden is no longer the younger version of hisself, he’s still a very valuable version in his tenth year. While Steven Nelson gets avoided by quarterbacks like a coed with a very visible lip fungus, Haden has nine pass defenses and played lights out against the Rams. Talk of his demise has been greatly exaggerated.
2019 is one of Mike Tomlin’s finest seasons as a coach so far.
Tomlin’s team started out 1-4 and he had to endure season-ending injuries to his franchise quarterback, a staunch defensive lineman in Stephon Tuitt and the departure of All-Pros before the season such as Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell. The veteran coach made no excuses and his team is now 5-4 and on the inside of the playoff picture frame.
Are these statements valid? We will soon see. What matters most is your opinions on the matter. Please state them in the comments below.