The Pittsburgh Steelers were in a game to remember with the Dallas Cowboys in Week 10, unfortunately they were on the wrong end of the final score. After losing 35-30 in dramatic fashion, it is time to assess the damage.
After every game there are players who deserve praise, and some who deserve to be tagged a 'loser'. See who falls into which category as the team now heads into Week 6 of the NFL regular season.
Ben Roethlisberger - For as harshly criticized as Roethlisberger has been the past few weeks, he stood tall and played on heck of a game against Dallas in Week 10. Roethlisberger’s stat line read 37/46 for 408 yards and 3 TDs. All with zero interceptions. His passer rating was 125.4. The Steelers might have lost, but it wasn’t because of Roethlisberger and the offense.
Le’Veon Bell - Speaking of offensive playmakers, Le’Veon Bell put on a show against a solid Dallas defense. Bell had 57 yards on 17 carries, but his impact was felt in multiple ways. Bell also caught 9 passes for 77 yards, scoring 2 touchdowns (1 rushing, 1 receiving). Bell didn’t have much space in the ground game, but he was still an impact player.
Antonio Brown - You can’t keep good players down, and this is exactly what happened with Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown. Brown ended the game with 14 catches for 154 yards and a touchdown. Brown was dynamic in all phases, including a 22-yard punt return which set up the Steelers with solid field position. Great bounce back game for Brown, who had struggled of late.
Steelers Defense - All you needed was one stop. Period. The offense has the game on a platter, and the defense failed to make the plays necessary to win. That alone should be enough, but all of a sudden they are giving up big plays on a regular basis. Elliott’s huge screen pass, Dez Bryant’s 50-yard touchdown pass and the final nail in the coffin to seal the win.
Artie Burns - I know he is a rookie, but putting Burns on an island against Dez Bryant is mighty foolish. Why the team didn’t have Ross Cockrell shadow Bryant, like he did with A.J. Green and Brandon Marshall, is beyond me. The result is Burns getting exposed repeatedly at the expense of the defense.
Special Teams - Another game, another bad day for the special teams. At least they weren’t flagged for offsides to start the game. Otherwise, Chris Boswell missed another field goal, had a kickoff go out of bounds and a punt return nearly get taken back to the house. If the Steelers special teams were as good at playing football as Danny Smith is at chewing game, this would be a non issue. However, that isn’t the case.
Steelers Run Blocking - The Steelers offensive line has a lot of money tied into it, but they are struggling running the football. Maybe it is predictability, but after a hot start to the season with DeAngelo Williams as the main back, the team hasn’t had a 100 yard rusher in several weeks. Some might call it nit-picking, but this has been an issue the past few games now.
Mike Tomlin - You can talk about the two-point conversions, or the usage of timeouts, or the team’s inability to close. Actually, you could talk about several other topics, but it would all point negatively to one man. Mike Tomlin. This is his team, and although the players have to make plays, their 4-game skid is a huge stain on the head coach. Period. He has to wear it, and if he wants the “Fire Tomlin” squad to get off his back, he needs his team to right the ship in a hurry.