However, 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.
It is tough for a player to come off the practice squad, and make plays. There weren't many plays to be made by the Steelers in Week 6, but Cobi Hamilton made a really nice touchdown catch late in the 4th quarter. Garbage time? Absolutely, but still a nice play by a player who got a shot.
Say what you want about Heyward-Bey, but he is still REALLY fast. His 60-yard reverse was one of the few bright spots for the Steelers offense, and once he broke the initial tackle, he was gone. The only real play which caused Pittsburgh fans to cheer Sunday.
Don't blame Bell for the offensive issues. The coaching staff abandoned the run way too early, but Bell still contributed over 100 yards combined yardage. 10 rushes for 53 yards, and 6 receptions for 55 yards. Hard to understand exactly why the team didn't get Bell the ball more, but he made things happen when he did.
I'm not one to point the finger at coaching, but when you drop 11 of your last 16 games on the road against sub-500 teams, that says something. There is more to it than the "trap game" narrative. Todd Haley not getting the ball to Le'Veon Bell with a hobbled quarterback, and backup for a series, is head scratching. Tough to blame Keith Butler with all the injuries on the defensive side of the ball, but the use of blitzes, or lack thereof, certainly leaves more questions than answers.
Yes, he got injured in the second quarter, but Roethlisberger was having one of his "off" days before the injury to his left knee. His two interceptions were critical errors, and helped Miami put up two touchdowns with the good field position. Roethlisberger and his wide receivers looked completely out of sync, and why he finds himself on the losers list.
The Steelers failed to register a sack against Ryan Tannehill, and only mustered two QB pressures. Whether it was Anthony Chickillo, James Harrison, Jarvis Jones or Arthur Moats, it was all the same result. No pressure on the quarterback. What might be even more shocking than the Steelers defensive pressure is Stephon Tuitt not registering a sack through the first 6 games of the regular season. Tuitt was second on the team in sacks last season.
It hadn't been since Fred Taylor of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2000 rushed for over 200 yards on the Steelers defense, but that is exactly what happened Sunday when Jay Ajayi ran for 204 yards. The tackling was atrocious for Pittsburgh, and a growing problem with Cameron Heyward out of the lineup, and likely not back until after the bye week. Pittsburgh got gashed by the run, and the Dolphins could do whatever they wanted with the football.
This isn't going to be me complaining about specific calls, but the officiating in general. This crew, captained by Ed Hochuli, seemingly threw a flag every other play. They missed blatant calls, and were flag-happy for the majority of the game. There were a combined 14 accepted, key word is accepted, penalties in this game. I, like most fans, are sick of officiating being a constant story line week in, and week out.