Sports Outside the Beltway

Steelers 1-3, Look Like a Bad Team

The Pittsburgh Steelers look nothing like a team that won the Super Bowl last year. Their only win was against Miami, another team that has not lived up to the preseason hype. This has to be one of the worst things that can happen as the fan of a team outside of their territory. Everyone around you knows you are a fan, and those who are fans of different teams, having been reminded that your team is the Super Bowl champs, make more of an effort than usual to ask you “what happened”?

So, what has happened? Well, from what I can see, a lot:

1. Big Ben is not playing how he played last year. This is the most obvious flaw in the team. Roethlisberger is making bad decisions, throwing a lot of interceptions, and has not thrown a touchdown this season. He’s no Peyton Manning as far as QB stats go, but at the moment, he isn’t even up to “average quarterback” standards.
2. The recieving corps is lousy. Hines Ward doesn’t seem to have fully recovered from his injuries, and has never been the deep threat anyway. (He’s also not smiling, which is unusual, and indicates to me that he may very well be in pain from that hamstring injury.) Santonio Holmes is a rookie, and Nate Washington isn’t playing up to the level of Randel-El and Qunicy Morgan. They need to pick up their game in order to make Ben’s job easier.
3. The offensive line isn’t giving Ben any time. He needs time to make things happen, and isn’t getting it.
4. Troy Polamalu is not making the plays he made last season. Since the defense is set up to allow him to roam around and follow the play, Troy not making said plays adversely affects the defense.
5. Finally, James Harrison and Joey Porter are going to be out with injuries. This is bad for the defense, which has enough problems already.

There are a few positives:
1. Willie Parker has made some good runs, and had some good games. Considering the lackluster performance of the offensive line, this isn’t bad.
2. Ricardo Colclough isn’t returning punts anymore. While I hope he recovers from his injuries, I sure hope he never returns to special teams as a return man.

OK, that’s all the positives I can think of. The Steelers are in big trouble, and while I think they can win, they are going to have a long road ahead in order to do so. Espicially with the Ravens and Bengals looking as good as they are.

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