Steelers Fallout from loss to Cowboys
So when do the Mike McCarthy, a Rooney family favorite, to Pittsburgh rumors start heating up?
Kidding aside, the Pittsburgh Steelers season is slipping away after a 35-30 loss to the Dallas Cowboys that has the Steelers record now sitting at 4-5.
However, as was the case following last week’s loss, the good news remains that 9-7, maybe even 8-8 could win the division. Certainly still plausible with Pittsburgh’s schedule and division.
Bad news is that this is a football team at a cross-roads and not a great team in any phase from on the field to being coached.
Remember this was supposed to be a Super Contender that by the way started the season 4-1?
For all of the pub this offense gets, and yes they put up 30 points today, it’s largely an inconsistent group that doesn’t play well enough on the road, including its quarterback. They’ve disappeared far too often this season, the previous three games and the loss to the Eagles in week 3 to be counted on to lead this group on a serious run and have the Steelers remerging as a legitimate contender in the AFC.
Heck, today their star receiver ran out of bounds on the last play of the game at the Cowboys 30 yard line.
The defense is what it is and has been as advertised — A bend but don’t break defense at times where good to great offenses can chew them up on any given Sunday —
Despite five first rounders being on the field today and two second rounders, it’s not a group with any signs of trending up since the small success with the zone defense early in the season has now been countered by getting gashed against the run.
Maybe there should still be a place for Casey Hampton types these days.
James Harrison was the Steelers best defensive player for the second straight week. That shouldn’t be the case but that’s where the Steelers are right now.
The “Steelers Way” proving to be a mistake with Ben’s window getting smaller?
Mike Tomlin cited after today’s loss the Steelers are “not getting enough critical playmaking at [those] critical moments” to win games.
It was the offense last week, the defense this week. That’s how it goes for .500 type teams.
Meanwhile, Ben Roethlisberger is becoming increasingly critical about the Steelers lack of discipline and accountability from players, some young and older vets that is believed to be not just on Sunday’s but also on the practice field.
If it wasn’t for Sean Davis’ facemask penalty, Ezekiel Elliott doesn’t even run the ball in the situation that won Dallas the game.
Can this coaching staff fix the discipline, accountability issues?
Mike Tomlin got off the hook last season with Ryan Fitzpatrick giving Pittsburgh the gift of 4th quarter interceptions vs the Bills that sent the Steelers to the post-season, followed by the boneheads in Cincinnati handing Pittsburgh their first playoff win since the 2010 season.
Now the microscope is back on Tomlin with seven games to go even if his job security is believed to be as secure as Bill Belichick’s in New England.
Maybe the microscope should also be on those above Tomlin.
As this season is showing again, the Steelers are heading down a road where the so called “Steelers way” in constructing a team has failed them in maximizing Ben Roethlisberger’s prime.
Roethlisberger will be 35 in March.
The Denver Broncos did it right. They saw they had a window with Peyton Manning, spent a ton of money on defense, reached two Super Bowls, winning one when Manning was washed up, and obviously having Von Miller doesn’t hurt, but that defense isn’t what it was last season and still is now without throwing some serious money down in free agency that they did in previous seasons.
The Steelers way keeps the Steelers relevant every year and will continue too, but when you have a Ben Roethlisberger entering his mid-30’s, you pay the price to sign an Eric Weddle even if it goes against the organization’s philosophy to pay a 31 year old starting safety the type of money it would have taken and it wasn’t big money by any means.
This has been an organization that’s been too complacent in building a Super Bowl caliber team in all phases around Ben Roethlisberger since 2012.
Too much job security will sometimes do that.