When the Steelers found themselves in a 14-3 hole to the Bengals last night after an historically awful dropped pass by Barron Batch, an inexcusable interception by Ben, and a classic BenFumble ("Bumble") after he tried to re-cock his arm with 4 guys pulling him to the ground, there were two schools of thought: 1) this so-called mediocre team is outright bad, or 2) this so-called mediocre team is still mediocre so be patient and let's not forget we're playing the Bengals. Thankfully the second school of thought prevailed and we're right back to where we were at the beginning of the game: the Steelers are an OK team in the thick of an OK conference with only one team that might be more than OK (Houston). There are worse places to be.
|Worse place to be.|
That doesn't mean we played good defense. It means we played at Paul Brown Stadium.
|Worse place to be.|
- At GTOG, there are really only three governing principles: 1) life is a journey, so call it that; 2) don't tell Artistry how to be a father; and 3) hair matters. And never has hair mattered more than last night.
You can look break down all the stats you want and criticize Bengals ownership til you're tiger-striped in the face, but the real reason this current crop of Bengals can't compete with the Steelers is simple: Andy Dalton's hair.
It's not that we have anything against red heads. We don't. It's just that, well, all of it. Look at that hair!
Whatever confidence you may have in his physical abilities, the fact that he has that hair yet actively chooses not to shave his head is irresponsible and disqualifies him from ever winning a Super Bowl. He just doesn't pass the test of looking like a quarterback, and it's all the hair. Give that hair to any other quarterback and you'd feel the same way.
You get the point.
- You can't accuse the Steelers of not wishing Mike Wallace was worth Larry Fitzgerald money. They threw to him 15 times on Sunday. He caught 8 of those passes for 52 yards. For the sake of comparison, since Wallace asked for it, this study shows Larry Fitzgerald only drops about 3% of catchable passes thrown his way. Wallace's drop percentage is just a touch higher, is it not?
- The Steelers are back to their old ways of giving up long kick returns, even if the returns originate deep in the end zone. And they can't set up a punt return of their own without holding somebody. They should just call for a fair catch and subtract ten yards. Can we address this special teams situation? Hold a moment. We're now getting reports that the Mike Tomlin already fired a perfectly acceptable special teams coach like 7 weeks ago. Let's just move on.
- It's time to update the Steelers nickname list. We have 1st-and-30 (Willie Colon), Gay Island (William Gay), Second-and-9 (Isaac Redman), Ben (Ben), Key (Key) and Dozens of Torn Triceps Are Not Indicative of Steroid Use (Aaron Smith). This week we propose "Booty Call" for Ryan Mundy: he's never your first choice and you're constantly auditioning other people for the role, but he's always there when you call on him yet it's never as satisfying as you hope.
- Here are a couple of things Todd Haley has exactly right: 1) The Steelers have to get Antonio Brown as many touches as possible; and 2) They need to control the ball. Dink, dunk, dash, dip. Whatever you need to do. We can't count on the defense to stop a team with a great QB from getting points 3 out of 4 trips down the field.
- You think we're overstating how bad the defense is? We're at the very top of the league on offense in terms of third down conversion percentage. We're top 3 in time of possession. And we still aren't a scary team to play against.
- For those of you who have either forgotten, don't want to think about, or just never experienced the days of Bubby Brister, Mark Malone, Cliff Stoudt, and Kent Graham, et al., take a minute every game to point two fingers to the sky for Ben Roethlisberger. The fact that we feel like facing 3rd and 6 multiple times in a drive and converting every time is no biggie is more than remarkable. It's astounding. And it's all Ben.
- All praise to the offensive line. Band of Brothers.