What was the best thing to come out of the Steelers' 35-13 loss to the undefeated Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday afternoon?
Allow me to answer my own question: A reckoning, that’s what.
These 2022 Pittsburgh Steelers are a wreck; they have been the entire season. We just haven’t been able to admit it. Instead, we want to focus on one or two little details, like the supposed subtle jabs players and coaches take during interviews when asked questions about the team’s preparation. People focus on the quarterback play or the offensive coordinator.
Fans say things like, “This team has too much talent to be playing this way.” Newsflash: No this team doesn’t. These Steelers are playing about as well as you’d expect given the talent disparity between them and most teams in the NFL but especially squads like the Eagles.
Philadelphia thankfully made quick work of the Steelers on Sunday; if the home team’s opening nine-play, 68-yard touchdown drive that ended with a 39-yard dime from quarterback Jalen Hurts to receiver A.J. Brown didn’t convince you of the talent disparity on display on Sunday, hopefully, the Eagles second possession of the game—an 11-play, 79-yard touchdown drive that ended with a 27-yard dime from Hurts to Brown—did.
Believe it or not, the Steelers' second possession turned into a 13-play, 75-yard drive and ended in the best way possible when receiver Chase Claypool took a jet-sweep handoff from Kenny Pickett on fourth and goal from the one and threw a penny to Derek Watt for a touchdown. That score made it 7-7 and may have given you a bit of hope, that is, if you could get over the fact that this particular drive was littered with so many penalties, the Steelers should have been temporarily jailed in Lincoln Financial Field’s holding cell.
Wait a second, does Lincoln Financial Field have a holding cell similar to the one at old Veterans Stadium? It doesn’t really say it here; if it does, I know it’s not located in the end zone because the Steelers’ offense didn’t spend much time behind either goal line on Sunday.
As for the defense, thankfully, it’s elite, otherwise, Hurts and Co. would have looked even more potent while accruing 401 yards of offense and 35 points. Hurts was hauntingly efficient while completing 19 of 28 passes for 285 yards and four touchdowns.
Brown was every fantasy football player’s dream (at least the fortunate ones who had him on their teams), as he tallied 156 yards and three touchdowns on just six catches.
Unfortunately, it was another nightmare Sunday for Pickett, who again was a gamer but not much of anything else, as he completed 25 of 38 passes for 191 yards and an interception.
Pickett was also sacked six times behind an offensive line that isn’t really that great at blocking the good defenses.
The Steelers are averaging 15 points a game. They’re giving up 24.6 points per game. They’re in the bottom five in offense. They’re in the bottom five in defense.
The Steelers are 2-6 and are now three games behind the Ravens in the AFC North.
While the fans and media have spent the past two months looking for reasons why the Steelers can be good and remain in the race, they’ve been countering those arguments by telling us exactly who they are.
I think we better start listening.