These are tough times for America. The Steelers can't stop the run. They certainly can't stop the pass. Men on the offensive line are taking heavy fire. We're apparently going with a running back by committee of Barron Batch and Chris Rainey. Terry Bradshaw hates Ben. Ben wants so badly to reach out to Terry Bradshaw. We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them.
So when Vice President Joe Biden took the stage Thursday night for his critical debate with Paul Ryan, he had one eye on the earnest young congressman from Wisconsin and obviously one eye on the Steelers/Titans game. What transpired next was immature, it was unprofessional, it was entirely unbefitting a world leader. Seriously, there is nothing f***ing funny about this. Do you hear us Joe Biden?? THIS IS NOT FUNNY.
Better to laugh than cry, after the jump...
- What do you want to talk about? How Ike Taylor tackled that guy in the end zone, drew a flag, and the Titans were like, we're totally going back in Ike Taylor's direction on this next play, then they did, then they did it AGAIN and scored, and then they were all laughing and backslapping, because that was just too easy.
|He's vulnerable right now.|
- There was Barron Batch losing two yards on that last drive, two yards that would have been enough for Shaun Suisham's almost-game-winner to squeeze through the uprights.
- There was Mike Tomlin's bizarre decision to try that field goal from a distance Suisham had never covered before, knowing full well that if Suisham missed, the ball would be place near mid-field with the game in the hands of a defense that had allowed 4.8 yards a carry to Chris "I average 2.9 yards per carry against EVERYONE ELSE" Johnson.
- There was Antonio Brown with 4 catches for 20 yards.
- Or how about how like 8 guys got injured? Is the offensive line fat enough, do you think? Is that the problem? Do they need more meat on their bones or something?
The Tennessee game aside, it's important to step back and look at the bigger picture behind why we (and many others) feel this Steelers' team is 10-6 at best: there aren't that many good players on this team. Ask yourself the following question and answer it like it's 2012, not 2008: who is a top-10 player in the league at his position?
Yes: Ben Roethlisberger
Maybe: Ryan Clark
Might be if he wasn't always hurt: Maurkice Pouncey (At one point last night Brad Nessler said, "most people think Pouncey is the best center in the game." We agree with that statement if he's talking about a Sprained Ankle Competition).
That's it. That's the list. And it's ugly, because it's not like those three guys are 2007-Tom Brady, 2004-Ed Reed, and 1993-Dirt Dawson.
The rest of the team can pretty much be categorized as follows:
Guys who make you feel safe and warm: Heath Miller
Guys who, while very talented, should focus more on catching and less on dancing: Antonio Brown, Mike Wallace
Guys who, while very talented, disappear for long stretches: Lawrence Timmons, Lamar Woodley
Guys who were good in 2008: Brett Keisel, Casey Hampton, Larry Foote, James Harrison, Troy Polamalu
Serviceable but unmemorable players: Emmanuel Sanders, Rashard Mendenhall
Scrubs: Almost everyone else.
Abominations: Ike Taylor
Maybe that's a harsh assessment of the talent pool, but seriously, LOOK AT THIS ROSTER!!! It's not really that good, and the few guys on it who actually are good are - with apologies to the great Drew Butler - simply not good enough to separate the Steelers from any other team in the AFC (as made painfully obvious last night).
Whatever struggles the Steelers are due this season should not be chalked up to the injury bug or bad luck. That's part of it, for sure, but really this comes down to talent. And the Steelers don't have that much of it. Saying "but if Polamalu and Harrison and Hampton, etc. were healthy" is not a good excuse. General Managers in football, above all other sports, have to be able to see when the end is coming for guys and have a legitimate backup plan. The Steelers have long been known for having close to perfect judgment on when to let a player go or when to go with the young guy. Now we don't know when to let guys go and we don't have anyone capable of replacing them anyway. James Harrison isn't going to start running faster any more than Nancy Pelosi is going to start being able to move her face.
|Once it goes, it goes.|