5 Smoldering Questions On the Pittsburgh Steelers, Week 7
This week Hombre de Acero is unfortunately not among us. Not in the corporal sense, of course—he was never that. But he is on an extended business trip, which means, according to him, that something huge is about to happen in the Steelers universe. Because something huge ALWAYS happens in the Steelers universe while he’s gone. Let’s hope it is something good!
In Hombre’s absence I called upon the resources at my disposal for help in compiling this week’s Smoldering Questions. Ivan, Adrian, and Homer J. submitted queries. Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to grapple with them. After all, it isn’t only the players who have to prepare for Cincinnati:
(1) Ivan asks: Thirty nine years ago, the Steelers made the playoffs with a backup quarterback playing for much of the season. That year the formula for success was to rely on the defense and the running game which resulted in Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier each gained a 1,000 yards. Even though Le’Veon Bell had a solid game on Sunday in Kansas City, would the Steelers have been better off leaning on him even more, depending upon him and DeAngelo Williams to carry the offense and bypassing Landry Jones?
(2) Michael Vick and Landry Jones have both shown us how vitally important timing has been to the success of Antonio Brown. As one color guy said during one game as Jones was looking for Brown, “if you have to look for him, you’re already too late.”
Ben has been out for a month, and Brown’s production has dropped sharply. Do you expect their timing to be as sharp as it was when Ben got hurt, or do expect it to take a week or two to get back to that point? (Thanks to Homer J. for that one.)
(3) Last week many people believed the Kansas City game was a so-called “trap game.” Perhaps it was, but I felt it was just a poor matchup they couldn’t sufficiently overcome with the available personnel.
That said, Adrian wonders whether the Steelers are going to feel relieved with Ben back and let off the gas. I suppose this could be another version of a trap game. What say all of you?
(4) DeAngelo Williams was used several times on short yardage—two times on 3rd-and-1 and twice on 4th-and-1. The results were, in this order: 6 yards, no gain, three yards, no gain. Craig Wolfley says that despite Bell being the better back, when you just need a yard or two Williams’ straight-into-the middle approach on a play designed to hit immediately can be better. Do you agree? Do you think the two cases of no gain (one on a 4th-and-1 which turned the ball over on downs) would have been converted with Bell as the ball-carrier?
(5) Was the inability to get defensive turnovers simply bad luck or the product of something else? What do you expect this week in that department? (Thanks, Adrian!)
Please hand your assignment to the monitor at the end of your row. Don’t forget to show your work!