The Steelers kind of blew it on Sunday against the Eagles. It’s still early but it has impacted the AFC North standings. Let’s take a look.
As good as the Steelers are they occasionally take a game off still. With this small a sample size taking a game off has an impact. In the broader NFL power rankings this 1 factor is ultimately what keeps the Steelers below the Patriots so often. It’s not the terrible pass defense. It’s that the Pats and the Steelers are equal at peak, but the Steelers just don’t bring it every week.
Now, it’s not all mentality and preparation, just most of it. The Steelers are missing several players. One of those players is coming back next week, Le’Veon Bell. Hopefully that has a bigger impact than the Markus Wheaton return, the amazing disappearing wide receiver.
Regardless, let’s dig into the standings.
Alright, I think this is going to be the last week I defer to the record to determine standings. The Ravens beat the Jaguars. Once again the Ravens barely beat a pretty bad team. But wins are wins. They are clearly the 3rd best team, but the records continue to make that less clear. Still, we’ll have to wait to see if they can beat a good opponent.
They did beat the Jaguars though. The score was 19-17. The offense did not perform well. Nobody ran that well. Flacco threw 2 interception and no touchdowns. Steve Smith did ok. But it’s the defense that really shined. Though they didn’t do that well against the run they gave Blake Bortles nightmares tallying 4 sacks and 3 interceptions.
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The Steelers lost to the Eagles. Now the Eagles are a good team. No one really expects to win every game. But the way the Steelers lost that game was just so ugly. It barely looked like they wanted to be there. They’ll get a boost from the return of Bell and hopefully Wheaton gets into a groove but the team that played Sunday cannot be allowed back.
Aside from Antonio Brown no one for the Steelers had a good game. They lost 34-3. The great offense scored 3 points. Yes, people were missing. No one was missing from the defense though, and as much as we want to believe they’re good now, 3 straight QBs with 300 yards and averaging 100+ yards receiving to RBs says otherwise. They give up less big plays, but they don’t get sacks anymore. Still needs work.
The Broncos are good team, no doubt. And as the quality of teams becomes clear that may help the Bengals next week but for now, if a win is a win, can you guess what a loss is? A loss. And the Bengals lost. They’ve had a tough couple weeks. They’re still a good team. But some of those free agent losses may have taken a toll.
They went down 29-17. It wasn’t a terrible game, just too mediocre all around. Green had 77 yards. Hill had 97 rushing and 2 TDs. But they gave up 312 yards and 4 touchdowns through the air. They got beat in the pass game, only throwing 206 and an interception. The game ultimately turned on that difference.
The Browns lost to the Dolphins on Sunday 30-24. Yes, the Browns lost again. No, they are not a good team. But they showed some fight, albeit against a mediocre opponent. There’s enough going on in Cleveland to make fans hope. But there’s not enough going to make any other team afraid. It was an exciting overtime game if you missed it. Another heartbreaker for the Browns.
Boy, Terrelle Pryor had a game. 144 passing yards, 21 rushing yards and a touchdown, and even threw 3/5 and 35 yards. They ran for 170 yards as a team. But they just couldn’t get it done when it counted, getting only one offensive touchdown. Tannehill finish when it counted. He didn’t have a great game, but he threw 39 passes and 3 ended up in the endzone. Another on the ground and a field goal makes 30.
According to Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Tomlin thought the Steelers took a “significant step back” on Sunday. It’s likely rock bottom and not a sign of things to come. Bell is back against the Chiefs. The Bengals play the Dolphins. The Ravens play the Raiders. The Browns play the Redskins. See you next Wednesday.