Loss Was a Team Effort
In a lot of ways, last night was more disapointing than Oakland. The Raiders are always tough for the Steelers, west coast travel, etc. Last night was a game the Steelers should have won and needed to win, plain and simple. I think there is plenty of blame to spread around:
1) Special teams: the blocked punt and a big penalty to set back the final drive were brutal;
2) Offense: losing Mendenhall and Redman hurt, as did losing Gilbert and Pouncey. In addition to the difficulties running after those two were hurt, Ben just seemed a bit off. He played well, but not excellent. Missed a big throw down the seam late that could have impacted things.
3) Defense: Ugh. If Keenan Lewis holds onto the ball that hits him in the numbers, this is a completely different story. But, a big drop negates what was an otherwise decent night for Lewis and Allen. Ike Taylor has hit a few of these stretches were he can't cover anybody. He needs to snap out of it because he was awful. On the tying drive, looks like there was just confusion and a blown coverage leading to a big play, and then the D would have had a stop but for Ike. Can't give a team 2 sets of downs from the 15. Not sure about a coverage asking Harrison to cover Cook one on one. You would have to think that this was a blown assignment because that is a mismatch without anybody in a zone to support.
4) Coaching: The FG call was questionable, but I'm ok with it. Ultimately, the head coach has to make a judgment and he did. It doesn't always turn out like you hope. I guess 52 really is the outer limit of Suisham's range. And to think, the Steelers had Bironas in camp years ago.
Disappointing effort all around.