Well that sucked. Losing a game to the Bears is rough, but following that up with a divisional loss that drops our record to 1-2 is heartbreaking. This team is much better than they've shown on the field.
That game-winning drive from the Bengals was so long, it felt like I was dying. There was little to no pressure created by our defense, that Cincy was able to move the ball when they wanted. Same thing happened in that long FG drive to end the first half. There was just a cloud above on Cincy's last drive, where you could tell the defense couldn't stop them no matter how hard they tried.
Blah, blah, early season, blah blah...if you aren't pissed that your reigning champion Steelers are 1-2 and sitting third in the AFC North, then go root for Cleveland or something. I constantly tell you that even if we play a near-perfect game, my ratings will be lower than expected because the Steelers have set such a high example. I demand wins, especially over teams that we usually beat. There's no good in 1-2, so quit trying to justify the record so you can get through your Monday without being mad. Me...I'm pissed.
Sasso. That's the second time in two weeks that he's had receivers drop perfectly-thrown balls in the endzone. If 'Tone makes that catch last week and Limas doesn't bobble the one yesterday, and we're mostly likely 3-0 with the "experts" slobbering over Ben's long-play ability. They make those catches, and we forget about the unfortunate pick-6. But they didn't, so Ben looks worse than he should. The guy keeps trying to punch the ball in, be it through passes or QB runs, and he still can't get any help. The interception did us no favors, however. 3.5 of 5 motorcycle helmets. He needs to sit down with his receivers to make sure they're running the correct routes, and when they do, they catch the ball.
Willie. Well it was nice to see Willie back. He went for 93 yards on 25 carries, and his yards per carry average went down later in the game. He showed he still wants to catch the ball, too, with the nice receiving TD. But then it stopped. I don't know if it was just a reliance on the passing game or our O-Line not coming through, but he was fighting for every yard in the second half. Willie put in the effort to try and help the team...too bad he was one of the only ones. 4 of 5 motorcycle helmets.
Jeff Reed. What the heck? Jeff goes from being one of the most reliable kickers to missing 3 of his last 4 FG attempts. And in both games (both losses), the Steelers were felled by three points. I know you missed a 52-yarder, and you weren't in the comfort of Heinz Field, but this is your job. We're not asking you to kick 6 FGs a game...just to make the few you attempt. Reed enjoyed a nice run in Pittsburgh, a town that usually likes to blast kickers (Kris Brown, anyone?), but his recent streak suggests that something's not right. Let's see how he handles a massive swing in public favor. 2 of 5 motorcycle helmets.
D. How is this squad getting no pressure and turnovers? Wasn't our D legendary last year? Please tell me that Larry Foote was the cornerstone of our XLIII defense. We miss Troy Polamalu...there's no denying that. But we still have guys like James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley, who can't just blame holding non-calls for their lack of pressure. I saw LaMarr bullrush one time that got in Palmer's face. Silverback had that one sack that resulted in just a 0-yard-loss. Ike Taylor is playing some great coverage and Willie Gay is making plays, but who is there to jump routes? Troy isn't there to back up every position...we should still have guys capable of picking off a pass or two. We get just one of those, and we don't have to worry about Cincy putting together a long drive to win the game. I EXPECT a totally different defensive effort next week. 2.5 of 5 motorcycle helmets.
Limas' drop sucked, but I wanted them to put him right back in. He owed us a play, and he knew it. He can't give us that play back by sitting on the sideline. I may be the biggest Limas apologist ever, but this guy is a professional. Put him back out there and let him redeem himself. Whatever else we did from that point on obviously didn't work.
San Diego next game. This is going to be a long week.