The Steelers are 0-4 going into their bye week. October is in like a few minutes basically and the Steelers haven't won a game. Unless some directly equivalent Penguins slow-start happens, we'll see a Penguins win before the Steelers put one in the W column. And if the inverse equivalent happens in baseball, we will see a Pirates playoff win before the Steelers get to any regular season win. That is ridiculous to imagine.
By virtue of Baltimore losing to the Bills and the Browns and Bengals cannibalizing each other, our 0-4 Steelers only sit two games back in the AFC North. I keep trying to spin this in some positive light, but 0-4 is a pretty deep hole and the whole no-wins-yet thing sorta negates all my rambling.
Ben: 36 of 51 for 383 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. While I blame the INT on Manny Sanders for cutting off his route, it's impossible to ignore that Ben has more INTs than games played. My rationalizations of the repeated turnovers starts to wear thin if they keep happening. But Ben was again the reason the team had a chance to come back from down 17 in the 4th quarter. He continually overcomes slow starts and the human pylon that is Mike Adams at LT to get this Jekyll-and-Hyde team in position. He'll take crap for the sack at the end of the game when the Steelers had a chance to tie, when Mike Adams again felt like not blocking. And I've heard whispers that we should forget the uncalled potential horse-collar and/or hit to the head on the play because the Steelers did so many other things prior to lose that game. But it was not called correctly and directly led to the Steelers loss. Again, another double-edged game from Ben, but I'll still give him 4 of 5 motorcycle helmets. Because he's the only thing making this team somewhat competitive.
Le'Veon Bell: Don't look now, but the Steelers actually have an RB who can do things. 2 TDs and yes, only 57 yards on the ground, but great work for a guy getting his first-ever NFL action. I'd rather he get right back into game action rather than have another long break with the bye, as the kid needs to play to get better, but what are you gonna do? For a day, Bell made me forget the Redman/Dwyer/Jones conglomerate that stunk it up through three games. 3.5 of 5 helmets.
Defense: They're getting 0 helmets. 0 of 5 motorcycle helmets. See? I'd rather just get that out of the way. At some point, the defense has to stop SOMETHING. Check out Cortez Allen's coverage on 3rd and 4 on Greg Jennings' 70-yard TD:
That's the matchup on the bottom of the picture. With only 4 yards to a 1st down, Allen has a 10-yard cushion. Any crappy QB (Matt Cassel, even) can see that in his pre-snap progressions. Cassel got the ball to him quickly, and Allen ended up stumbling over himself trying to make the tackle. Jennings' speed was too much for anyone that came to assist. But I'm only singling out Cortez because I nabbed that screengrab. Mostly everyone forgot how to tackle Jennings, Adrian Peterson and Jerome Simpson all day. Every time the offense brought the game within striking distance, the defense gave up a crippling TD drive. You cannot have your offense score 27 points and lose. Still no turnovers.
Kevin Colbert: Well this is different. But I needed to make a point, here. Colbert is firmly in Craig Patrick territory, and only he can change his fate. I hate to make cross-sport comparisons but Patrick lived off his early success, coasted through some rough years and the team only returned to glory after deciding to move in a different direction. I'm not immediately calling for Colbert's dismissal as GM, but he needs to figure out how to adjust this team to this NFL, fast. He has a bye week to find another Fernando Velasco sitting on his couch in free agency, and get him in as a replacement for either Mike Adams or Marcus Gilbert. It HAS to happen. Or changes need to be made starting with the GM. You cannot sign a $100 million QB and then routinely trot out dogcrap to protect him on the O Line. 0 of 5 motorcycle helmets. Pending...
THE BYE WEEK! And then the Steelers travel to the Jets to see if the bye week cured anything or if it's more of the same. Whatever.
(thanks to Doug for the banner pic)