By Hombre de Acero
The Pittsburgh Steelers opened the 2016 playoffs with a Wild Card win as the Killer Bees stung the Miami Dolphins to the tune of 30 to 12. The AFC divisional round will bring the Steelers to Arrowhead Stadium, where the Steelers hold a 10-7 edge but are 0-1 in the playoffs.
But before we can get to that, this corner of Steelers Nation must wrestle with these 5 Smoldering Questions on the Steelers.
1. By his own admission, Ben Roethlisberger didn’t play as well as he should have after the Steelers took the lead. My friend and sometimes Spanish language Steelers scribe Gustavo Vallegos, aka El Dr. de Acero, suggested that perhaps the fact that Le’Veon Bell was getting so many carries kept Ben from getting into a rhythm. Do you see any validity to this suggestion? If so is it a problem or a good problem to have?
2. Le’Veon Bell broke the Steelers single game playoff rushing record against Miami. Consider that for a second – in his very first playoff game, Le’Veon Bell outperformed the best efforts of Willie Parker, Jerome Bettis, Franco Harris or Rocky Bleier’s collective 58 playoff games. What does that say about number 26?
3. News reports of Joey Porter’s arrest have typically come with a laundry list of off the field incidents, ranging from his getting shot outside a night club, to his bouncing a check, charges being dropped for a somewhat similar incident a few years ago. ESPN even cited his being on the field last year in the Cincinnati game.
However, the arresting officer Paul Abel also has a “checkered past” as well. Pittsburgh City Paper reporter Charlie Deitch pointed out that most of the coverage of the incident cited Porter’s previous history, but not Abel’s, and suggested they should. Where do you come down?
4. Everyone remembers the 1993 Steelers loss at Arrowhead Stadium for Bill Cowher blowing up at Mark Royals for a blocked punt that wasn’t his fault and for that special teams disaster for opening the door to yet another Joe Montana comeback. Fair enough.
But that was also the last Pittsburgh Steelers game to field a defensive line that wasn’t coached by Johnny Mitchell. What do you think this 23=year tenure says about both Mitchell and the organization, and what do you think Mitchell’s greatest contribution to the franchise has been?
5. Speaking of special teams disasters, the Steelers special teams have had more than their share of hiccups in the last month and Mike Tomlin didn’t pull any punches when asked about it at his press conference. Do you think that there is something that can be done about the situation, or will this just need to be something the Steelers have to try to compensate for on offense and defense?