photo via Steelers.com
The Steelers won their first game of this young (pre-)season. We all know these games are meaningless, or so we’ve been telling ourselves for the past however many years, when the Steelers have lost most of them. It might not mean much, but it’s nice to see them win one, especially under the circumstances.
As we knew going into the game, many of the starters didn’t even see the field, except where their feet might have strayed onto the turf on their way to the sidelines. Those starters on the offensive side included Ben Roethlisberger, Landry Jones (abdominal strain,) Le’Veon Bell (who of course wasn’t even there,) Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant (who was there but not playing,) James Conner (putative second back,) Maurkice Pouncey, and Alejandro Villanueva (concussion.) Did I miss anyone? Is anyone left? From last year’s starters, at least the majority of the season, the only guys on the field were Marcus Gilbert, David DeCastro, Ramon Foster, Jesse James, and Eli Rogers (if you considered him a starter.) And of course there were the extras—Xavier Grimble, Cobi Hamilton, Darrius Heyward-Bey, et al.
In other words, given they were working against the Giants’ first-team defense (with a few exceptions such as Jason Pierre-Paul) you might think the Steelers’ offense, led by the first rookie quarterback to open the preseason for a very long time, would be overmatched. And of course you would be right, although it might be just as fair to say many of the wounds were self-inflicted.
by Hombre de Acero
The Steelers 2016 mystery ride came to a screeching halt to the tune of a 36 to 17 loss to the Patriots in yet another AFC Championship game. The Steelers now face another long off season where they must make decisions on several high-profile free agents.
But before we shift focus to the 2017 off season, this corner of Steelers Nation must first resolve these 5 Smoldering Questions on the 2016 Steelers season.
by Homer J
Laundry doesn’t win games, but Landry does, sometimes.
It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.
The Steelers won their seventh straight game Sunday, having clinched the AFC North title a week earlier, and resting their All-pro QB, All-pro running back, All-pro receiver, All-pro Center, and the heart and soul of their defense. Nobody got seriously hurt, and the team heads into the playoffs healthier than they’ve been in months.
It was Fan Appreciation Day, and yet many fans didn’t seem to appreciate it.
The overtime win over the hapless Cleveland Browns was sort of like winning second place in the Ugly Girl Contest. You didn’t know whether to say thank you or blank you.
I’m afraid I haven’t had the time to have many second thoughts about the game. I’m getting ready to catch a plane and all that entails, and there just wasn’t time to review the tape. But I do have a few more thoughts, in a sort of “Good News, Bad News” format.
But first, here is a link to Hombre de Acero’s writeup of the game. He gives lots of stuff to chew on, and some really interesting perspectives. Do check it out.
And now, here’s the Bad News (which I always like to get out of the way as soon as possible.)
I’m still busy processing this game. Strangely, I don’t quite know how to feel about it yet. On the one hand I’m glad the Steelers weren’t completely embarrassed, but on the other hand I’m frustrated that they seemed to have a genuine chance until the last half of the fourth quarter or so, but couldn’t capitalize on the gifts they received from the Patriots or from their own players.
On the one hand I’m disappointed in some guys I thought should have shown more than they did, but I’m pleasantly surprised by the unexpected contributions of some unheralded players. So I guess for the moment I’m just going to throw some of those things out there, good and bad, and give myself (and all of us) time to digest things a bit more.
This is another of those game recaps nobody wants to write. It’s easy and fun to write about a win, but I find with a loss, especially one as disheartening as this one, it’s difficult to force oneself to focus on the task at hand, being as one would prefer to forget the whole thing. So this will be one of those “highlights and lowlights” sort of posts, and we will leave the heavy hitting for Tuesday.