The Optimist Angle: 8-8 Season still more likely than a disaster 4-12 type season

 

The stats don’t lie. An 0-3 start to the NFL season is almost always a death sentence for NFL teams. Especially for ones without a franchise caliber QB behind center. Only six teams have made the playoffs since 1980 after an 0-3 start with the 2018 Houston Texans being the sixth team to it. While Mason Rudolph is capable of keeping the Steelers competitive in games as he showed vs the Seahawks in week 2 and the 49ers Sunday afternoon, unfortunately for the Steelers Rudolph is no DeShaun Watson. There’s every reason to think the Steelers are done and they probably are, but in a conference filled with mediocrity with little separation after New England and Kansas City, there’s reason to still have some slight optimism that a 2013 type situation is going to be in play where Pittsburgh could get to around 8-8 and at least be in theRead More »

Biggest Disappointments in 0-3 Start: James Conner, Offensive Line

 

Conner, O-Line Top List of the Most surprise disappointments in 0-3 start There’s a number of reasons the Pittsburgh Steelers are off to an 0-3 start. The week 1 debacle vs New England highlighted glaring issues with this roster from the lack of playmakers on offense that is going to be a season long problem, to a talented defense that is a group of misfits from executing a complexed scheme with coaching that has shown no ability in elevating the group. Those two areas continued to be problems in the losses to Seattle and San Francisco, but what has been the most surprising development with the Steelers 0-3 start is the dreadful play of the offensive line and running back James Conner. If there was one position that was well down the list of worries going into the season, the offensive line topped the list. But, almost one quarter throughRead More »

Ben Roethlisberger fully expected to be ready for 2020 season

 

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger had surgery on Monday in Los Angeles to repair torn muscle in his right elbow. “Once Ben returns to Pittsburgh, he immediately will begin working with the Steelers’ medical staff on his rehabilitation, and he is expected to make a full recovery and return to the field for the 2020 NFL season,” the Steelers said in a released statement. All in on Big Ben in 2020? Consultation with multiple specialists over the last week has given the Steelers and Roethlisberger great confidence there will be no physical issues in playing at a high level in 2020 and Steelers internally plan to operate that another year still exist to make a Super Bowl run with Big Ben under center. Roethlisberger will be 38 years old when the 2020 season starts.

Diontae Johnson to start opposite Smith-Schuster vs 49ers

 

Rookie WR Diontae Johnson has been elevated to the No. 2 receiver spot and will start opposite Juju Smith-Schuster vs the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. “They told me I’m starting from here on out,” Johnson said via 937 The Fan of the coaches after practice. Johnson who is a better route runner and playmaker with the ball in his hands, gets the promotion over Mason Rudolph’s favorite target James Washington. Veteran WR Donte Moncrief who entered the season as the clear No. 2, has been dropped to the No. 6 wide receiver for this week vs San Francisco.

Steelers deal 1st rounder for DB Minkah Fitzpatrick

 

Steelers betting on Rudolph How much the Steelers like Mason Rudolph in the short term to keep the team competitive in 2019 and the long-term in being the heir-apparent to Ben Roethlisberger is even more evident with the Steelers trading their 2020 first-round pick to the Miami Dolphins tonight for DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, the 11th overall pick of the 2018 draft. The bold trade for Fitzpatrick is the Steelers sending the message that Mason Rudolph is the future but that the organization is also not punting on the 2019 season and in a sense, trying to still maximize the Ben Roethlisberger window were Ben to return next season as the Big Ben of old. While the organization believes Rudolph will show the football world over the next couple months he is indeed the heir-apparent to Roethlisberger, the Steelers internally are also adamant there is still another year or two runRead More »

Ben Roethlisberger determined to return in 2020

 

Ben Roethlisberger announced in a released statement he has all intentions of coming back “stronger than ever” in 2020. “I’ve been informed that I need season ending surgery on my elbow to continue playing football at the level I expect’” Roethlisberger said in a statement. This is shocking and heartbreaking for me, to miss this much of a season and feel like I am letting down so many people. I can only trust God’s plan, but I am completely determined to battle through this challenge and come back stronger than ever next season. The Steelers committed three years to me this offseason and I fully intend to honor my contract and reward them with championship level play. I will do all I can to support Mason and the team this season to help win games. I love this game, my teammates, the Steelers organization and fans, and I feel inRead More »

Steelers trade Josh Dobbs to Jacksonville

 

The Pittsburgh Steelers have traded No. 3 QB Josh Dobbs to the Jacksonville Jaguars for a 2020 5th round pick. It’s a pretty good return for the Steelers in turning a No. 3 QB into a 5th rounder. The trade of Dobbs marks the second consecutive year where the backup QB from the previous season is not on the roster by week 2 of the following year.

Top-5 Performers

 

TIOPS GAME BALLS 1. Tom Brady | 24/36, 341 Yards, 3 TD, 124.9 RTG Brady was surgical in shredding the Steelers defense in the short, intermediate and deep passing game. 2. Philip Dorsett | 4 Rec- 95 Yards – 2 TD Touchdown catches of 25 yards and 58 yards, Dorsett torched the Steelers secondary with big play ability 3. Josh Gordon | 3 Rec – 73 Yards – 1 TD Gordon had a 20 yard TD catch and run in the opening quarter and was a great decoy all game for the Patriots in creating mis-matches elsewhere 4. Patriots Defense | Held the Steelers offense to 32 rushing yards and were great at getting off the field on third down as Pittsburgh was a measly 3-12 on third down. Flawless performance from the secondary 5. Patriots Offensive Line | Allowed just one sack and won the trenches battle against Pittsburgh’sRead More »

What We Learned: Steelers Out-Classed, Look like pretenders against the Champs

 

Steelers – Patriots What We Learned It was Groundhog Day once again for Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers tonight at Foxboro. There were just no answers as Pittsburgh was out-classed in all phases and talk about a talent discrepancy that wasn’t supposed to be the case. “No need to sugar Tom Brady was doing Tom Brady things as the Patriots built up a 20-0 halftime lead, en route to a 33-3 win on Sunday night. Picks, crossers and play-action torched the Steelers where Pittsburgh was completely out-manned and stuck in constant confusion. Tom Brady has always been masterful at spreading the Steelers out, picking on the weak ones with his eyes and he was exceptional again in that area. Pittsburgh’s LB’s, notably Devin Bush, biting on play-action fueled Brady’s big first half. In the first half Brady was 6/7 for 2 touchdowns and a perfect 158.3 QB rating againstRead More »