You can put as much lipstick on the pig of a performance the Pittsburgh Steelers produced against the Philadelphia Eagles but you’re still left with a slab of ugly bacon and a first class sizzling.
That whooshing noise you heard early in the first quarter was the expectations of fans for a rapid return to glory for the Black and Gold. Sure…everything can be fixed but it’s disappointing we are already breaking out the toolbox.
Here are some rapid fire conclusions that oozed unctuously from the Eagles game.
Welcome to Your 2014 Pittsburgh Steelers
It’s easy to say this was “just a preseason game” and try to dismiss this performance. But the top litmus test for a team’s preparedness for the upcoming season is the first half of the third preseason game. The argument of “it’s early, the team will get better” is always an interesting one because it assumes that none of the other 31 teams will bother to improve in the ensuing weeks and months. Hopefully, this was truly an anomaly, but if we’re being honest it’s some indication of what all of the offseason moves and training has brought us…and that’s an unattractive picture.
A Harp Seal Clubbing
Make no mistake about it, in what was the most important game for the Steelers since the season ended last year, that was one of the worst beat downs the team has absorbed in quite some time, regular or preseason. It wasn’t a case of some freak plays that caused the score to spike. It was a systematic dismantling of the Steelers defense with a matching ineptitude by the offense. If you double the score and stats of the first half, to compare starters vs. starters, the team would have lost 34-0 and been outgained 501 to 192 yards. The worst humiliation came when head coach Mike Tomlin kept his starters in during the third quarter only to have the whipping continue by the Eagles scrubs.
Tomlin’s Number One Goal in Trouble?
Tomlin stated that the team’s number one goal this offseason and through training camp was to be stronger on defense in sub-package play. With that being the case this game must have been extraordinarily disappointing for the coaching squad. The Eagles methodically ripped away at everything the Steelers threw at them.
No, Coach, Please Don’t Punish Me So…Harshly
One of the great disappointments of the game was to see running backs Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount back to business as usual after their huge act of selfishness. Tomlin decides to punish them by making them play more? Hey, if they are the type of players that feel “punished” by getting on the field they are wearing the wrong uniform. Imagine how pleased those running backs on the bubble were with that decision.
A Few Do-Gooders
A Few (Actually Many) Disappointments