Steelers drop opener to Patriots: Instant reaction


Steelers football is back. It might not be the prettiest display we’ve seen, but it’s just the beginning. The Steelers started out with a strong offensive drive that got quickly derailed by a misguided trick play that took them out of scoring range and into field goal range. Things went downhill from there.

Let’s not forget that the game started with quite possibly the most obnoxious championship banner raising in the history of everything.

  Newly acquired Steelers kicker Josh Scobee missed his first two field goal attempts as a Pittsburgh Steeler. Josh Scobee missed a 44-yard field goal early in the first quarter wiiiiiiide right. Things looked up when the Patriots first offensive possession resulted in a punt. There was some controversy, because why not, involving the Steelers coaches headsets. For a period of time they had a Patriots radio broadcast playing in their headsets rather than, you know, them talking to each other. Perhaps the crazy headset confusion could be the culprit for that awful trick play call.

A few possessions later and the Steelers found themselves again in field goal range. Scobee trotted out there and proceeded to shank another kick wide right, this time from 46 yards. By the time Scobee was trotted out for a third attempt the Steelers were down 14-0. This time Scobee connected from 44 yards to send the teams into the locker room at halftime 14-3.

Whoever had Will Johnson, lined up as a running back, scoring the first Steelers touchdown of the 2015 season in your pool you get a gold star. Or you’re a liar because there’s no way you had Will Johnson scoring the first touchdown of the season for the Steelers.

The Steelers connected on their first two-point conversion attempt with a pass to Markus Wheaton.

For the rest of the game, unfortunately, the Steelers defense seemed either confused on how to go about it or just flat-out refused to cover Rob Gronkowski in any kind of productive way which resulted in several meathead spikes as Gronk scored three touchdowns.

Ben Roethlisberger threw a costly interception halfway through the fourth quarter, down 28-14, the first turnover of the game.

Some bright spots of the game included an insane grab by Antonio Brown over Patriots corner Malcom Butler. Markus Wheaton made an excellent grab keeping his feet in bounds and Darrius Heyward-Bey adequately filled in for a suspended Martavis Bryant. Not great, but adequate is probably the best description.

Antonio Brown had nine receptions for 133 yards while DeAngelo Williams delighted Steelers fans with his 127 rushing yards on 21 carries for a 6.0 average.

Dri Archer was there for kickoff returns. He had one return for 22 yards and I think it’s official that his best recourse for returning a kickoff for a touchdown is to burrow a hole like a chipmunk down under the field and pop up in the end zone. I’m not sure what the rule book has to say about that but it’s worth a shot if they’re going to keep throwing him out there just to watch the balls sail behind him in the end zone.

One slightly humorous part of the game included the crowd changing “Where is Roger?” in response to the obvious absence of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for the NFL season opener.

The Steelers got a garbage-time touchdown with the clock winding down to make the final score 28-21. A respectable score, I suppose and based on how the defense played and the offensive chances that were missed, it could have been a whole lot worse.

The best part about this is that it’s Week 1. There is plenty of time to come back from this and there’s no reason why this loss sets any kind of tone for the rest of the season. How the Steelers respond from this will be the most important thing.

What do you think about the Steelers 2015 season debut?

Next: Still Curtain's NFL Week 1 Picks

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