Dolphins proved why the Steelers can’t be real contenders in 2022

: Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers argues a call with line judge Walt Coleman IV #65 during the third quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on October 23, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
: Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers argues a call with line judge Walt Coleman IV #65 during the third quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on October 23, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

A week ago, the Steelers had an upset victory over Tampa Bay and had fans excited that the Steelers could be back on track in 2022.

What a difference a week makes. The Steelers get most of their defensive starters back in the lineup; they go to Miami hoping to upset the Dolphins. Instead, the Dolphins make Pittsburgh look like the team that got blown out by Buffalo.

Ok, the game was not a blowout as the Buffalo game was. Yet, the Dolphins, despite their obvious wide receiver talent, are still not yet a great team. Mike McDaniels still has room to grow as a head coach. They were on the verge of blowing out the Steelers. Then their play turned shoddy, and they only won by one possession. Pittsburgh looked very bad in a game against a team they had no excuse for losing to.

The Steelers win over Tampa was a fluke

The problem here is that the Dolphins exposed the Steelers. The Dolphins showed the Steelers are no better than a next-to-last-place team in the NFL. They showed the country on prime-time television that the Steelers win was a mere fluke, especially since Tampa Bay lost to two of the top seven worst teams in the NFL in two consecutive weeks.

Following the Pittsburgh win, Ben Roethlisberger, on his podcast “Footbahlin,” said Tom Brady looked like he never wanted to be in the game. Tom Brady since has not directly denied Roethlisberger’s comments. Then Tampa Bay lost to the Panthers, only scoring three points. It only goes to show that the Steelers faced a Tom Brady, who is finally at the bottom of his game.

Who should fans blame for this Steelers loss?

The Steelers loss shows that Pittsburgh’s defense, who made big plays with backups against Tampa, did not play that great it shows Tampa played that poorly. Depending on how you count it, they dropped 4-5 possible interceptions. In many ways, the Steelers defense, despite having all its starters in the lineup, did more to lose the game for the Steelers than win it. They could have given the Steelers offense an extra possession or two. Nonetheless, they didn’t. Which begs the question Why is Teryl Austin still the defensive coordinator? That’s right; Mike Tomlin is the defensive coordinator. Austin is only there for show.

As long as the Steelers do not get an independent defensive coordinator, they will keep having lackluster defensive performances. Tomlin may be a good coach but can not run both positions. Granted, perhaps the Steelers will start winning when T.J. Watt comes back. Yet if your team is so reliant on one single player, there is a much larger problem.

Defense aside, the offense did not look that much better. There is no doubt Matt Canada deserves another hit the last night’s loss as well as he should; Canada needs to go. Sure, you can argue that perhaps the Steelers need to keep him to preserve continuity for Pickett, and odds are Canada is gone after this season, so why not change now? They should bring up Mike Sullivan for the remainder of the season, which maintains some continuity for Pickett, then find someone up and coming in the off-season.

Canada aside, you can blame Pickett for a lackluster performance which isn’t far from the truth. Yet, as a rookie, Pickett will have to take lumps to become a top quarterback. It’s not like Trubisky would have done much better, yet you can’t keep pulling Pickett when he runs into problems; he has to learn to sink or swim.

Now you can call Najee Harris into question as he had another stale performance. That said, the offensive line has to take some of the blame here but not that much. There is then his foot injury, which the Steelers tried to be deceptive about, and the fact that he had a steel plate in his shoe that no one knew about either until after its removal.

In his first seven games in 2021, Najee Had 473 rushing yards and 37 receptions. In 2022 he only has 329 rushing yards after seven games and 18 receptions. Also, his longest rush in two seasons is only 37 yards. It’s no surprise his workload goes down, and the offense sputters. No wonder they can not finish drives. Again, when the offensive line must take some blame here, but that is no excuse for Najee not to cut back to the open holes, whereas he just runs up the backside of his blockers instead. Plus a slight Matt Canada issue for not incorporating him into the run game more. However, the bottom line is that he is not panning out as a number one draft choice. He should have gone in round two or three

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The Miami game showed the Steelers lacking in every phase of their game. Pittsburgh needs to consider planning wholesale changes. They should start making them now. They are changes that are going to be unavoidable at some point. You know the Steelers are not going to look good facing the Eagles next week and should only be 2-6 when that game ends. Tomlin said following the Bills game; they should not make changes to make changes. True, but in this case, we need changes to start making the Steelers a better team. Changes that the Steelers will need to make at some point.