With Wednesday being the anniversary of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, Steelers 101 would like to send or thoughts and payers to everyone that suffered on one of the darkest days in American History. Being in Southwest Pennsylvania, we cannot forget that some of Steeler Nation was directly involved as first responders to the crash of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania and their lives have never been the same.Pittsburgh Steelers will have to move forward with what they have for a running game. After reviewing the tape, one thing is certain, no matter who is carrying the ball, they need more from that position and they realize that.
One thing that jumped out from the game was the total disregard for play action due to the lack of push in the run game. Of course, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger did not help matters much, with a very uneven performance that was reminiscent of the end of the 2012 season. It definitely was not the Roethlisberger that opened the 2012 campaign on pace for a career season.
Yes, some will point to losing center Maukice Pouncey early in the contest for his sub par performance, but that would be a cop out. Sure, the loss of the anchor of the offensive line is devastating and taking a snap for the first time from a reserve would be a little unnerving, yet, as the veteran leader of the offense, he should have handled the adversity better. Do not agree; just watch the tape.
A perfect example would be on the Steelers first offensive drive on the play Roethlisberger and running back Isaac Redman botched the handoff and took points off the board. In an interview on Tuesday, Roethlisberger stated that he realized they had the wrong personnel in the game for the called play, yet went forward with it anyway because he did not want to waste a time out so early in the contest. On one hand, that is understandable. However, for an offense that struggled throughout preseason to score, with a new center that has not practiced the position with the first team, the time out must be called in that situation.
Now that one drive did not end the Steelers game, but it was definitely a momentum killer that they never truly recovered from. In fact, it is quite possible that if they punch the ball in on that first drive, and go up 9-0, it is a very different ball game. Sure, this is in retrospect, but it is not unfair criticism.
That is one example of many from this game in which he threw for only 191 yards (one touchdown) and was erratic throughout. In his defense, he was under pressure, but he also missed some wide-open receivers and appeared to have zero continuity with the receiving corps throughout, with his interception being a prime example of that. It would be understandable if the group of receivers had been battered and bruised like the running backs have, but all five of the receivers to make the final 53 have been in camp without missing a beat and the top three have been together for two seasons now.
People will run to his defense and state that he was missing Heath Miller, his security blanket and they would be right. However, he has been out since the end of 2012 and missed the entire preseason, so that cannot be an excuse. Roethlisberger is the highest paid member of the franchise, and was once considered in the elite quarterbacks in the league, plain and simple; he must play better for the Steelers to win.
Of course, Roethlisberger does have history on his side, as he has played extremely well throughout his career in his home state of Ohio. Will he have enough weapons to continue that trend in 2013? He better or it will be an extremely long 2013 season for Steelers’ fans.
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