The eye in the sky doesn't lie. And the eye is straining considerably to see the value Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor is bringing in his first two games back from injury.
Taylor was picked on mercilessly in the Steelers' 42-21 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. He didn't fare much better in the team's Week 13 loss to the New Orleans Saints. With reports suggesting the Falcons, Pittsburgh's Week 15 opponents, feel optimistic about the status of wide receiver Julio Jones - the league's leader in receiving yards - the thought of putting Taylor on the same field with the league's hottest receiver, injured or otherwise, is just simply not smart for a team fighting within a half game of the division lead.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said recently he wasn't sure whether Taylor's performance would be enough to get him back on the field in Week 15, even with a knee injury he suffered toward the end of the game. Taylor wasn't alone in his performance, there were blown coverage gaffes across the board, and to Taylor's credit, he tackled aggressively passes completed in the short field in front of him. By the end of the game, it was clear Taylor was hurting. He would say on his weekly radio show he had knee and shoulder injuries and he removed himself from the game.
Whether he, or Tomlin, will do the same thing again remains to be seen, but the Steelers need a secondary ready to handle the high-powered passing attack of the Falcons, much like they failed to do against the Saints in a home game two weeks ago.
Going on the road with the same mentality they had leading into that game is a sure-fire way to see them back behind the 8-ball in terms of the 2014 postseason.