Monday, November 19, 2012

What's Next?

A tough game at Cleveland is next.  And then Baltimore.  Again.

In the immediate aftermath of last night's 13-10 loss to the Ravens, Steelers' fans and observers everywhere this morning have many more questions than answers.  Many more.

Kudos to the Steelers' defense for a strong performance last night, but where are the takeaways?  A few more sacks would help, too, although nobody could point fingers at a defense that allowed no touchdowns and only two field goals (after Steeler turnovers) to a Baltimore offense that scored 55 points the previous week.  

Baltimore's lone touchdown came on a Jacoby Jones punt return -- the second kick return for a TD against the Steelers this season, so the next question is, What is up with the special teams, and why (again) was special teams coach Al Everest fired immediately before the season began?   How did that improve the special teams?

Questions:  What's up with Byron Leftwich getting hurt on his spectacular 31-yard first quarter touchdown run, where he stumbled over the goal line, fell and popped up pointing at his throwing shoulder?  He seemed to be in pain, obviously, and didn't look comfortable the rest of the game.  Next question:  If anybody watching television could see that Leftwich was obviously playing hurt, why did the trainers and coaches leave him alone?  Isn't it clear that Leftwich is injury-prone?  Will he be ready for Cleveland?  Was Charlie Batch ready?

Many more questions revolve around the offense.  What was up with the play-calling against a Baltimore run defense rated 27th against the run?  Not that Rashard Mendenhall and Jonathan Dwyer did much.  What's up with Mike Wallace?  His early fumble was lethal, and he left plays on the field.  Where are the clutch plays by Wallace?  Another Willie Colon holding call (on a running play!)?  Really?  Can Mike Adams pass-block?  Questionable clock management,  questionable play-calling in the red zone, etc.  More questions than answers.  Mike Tomlin's weekly news conference tomorrow should be interesting.  He's not the type of guy who makes excuses.  After all, "Excuses are the tools of the incompetent."

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