Sunday, September 29, 2013

Mike "EZ-Pass" Adams, Lousy Tackling, Mistakes and Missed Opportunities Lead to 0-4 Record

"The Steelers are doing everything they can to give this game away," said Steelers' radio announcer Tunch Ilkin as the third quarter clock wound down with Pittsburgh trailing Minnesota, 34-17. "The missed tackles, the turnovers, the missed opportunities, and that last penalty -- they keep putting themselves in a big hole."

Jared Allen sacks Ben Roethlisberger (again)
(Photo Credit: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Ilkin might have also noted the dropped interceptions by Ike Taylor and, especially, the sacks allowed by Mike "EZ-Pass" Adams. Similar to what's happened the past two weeks, vs. Cincinnati's Michael Johnson and Chicago's Julius Peppers, Adams got schooled by All-Pro defense end Jared Allen.

Adams may be getting schooled, but is he learning any lessons?  To the layman observer, Adams doesn't seem to be improving, and maybe he's just too slow on his feet to keep from being over-matched by the NFL's better defensive ends.

For at least two of the sacks, Adams just looked lost, as if he wasn't paying attention (which is a little hard to believe). At halftime, CBS's Bill Cowher said Adams "looked like he was tying his shoes on that last sack" by Allen late in the second quarter.

Positives: Le'Veon Bell, Antonio Brown (12 catches), Markus Wheaton and Heath Miller. Emmanuel Sanders made some big plays, too. It wasn't enough. Final score: Minnesota 34-Pittsburgh 27.

This is the Steelers' first 0-4 start since 1968 and, by all indications, their worst team since 1968. They weren't very good that year, either.

Next game: Sunday, Oct.13, at the New York Jets. 

Hopefully, the Pirates will still be playing, on the 53rd anniversary of Bill Mazeroski's 1960 World Series winning home run. 

Game 4: Vikings In London

 A Pennsyltucky Yankee in King Arthur's Court.
Never mind that the NFL is to the UK what MLS is to America.

The Steelers and Vikings square off today at Wembley Stadium, and the game will be broadcast on CBS at 1 p.m. as if it's just another road match game for both teams -- with the poor Minnesotans designated as the "home" team in the NFL's blatant attempt to strong-arm the people (legislators) of Minnesota into building a new taxpayer-funded stadium.

On the pitch gridiron itself, the Steelers should win this game, despite a problematic offense and a defense that seemingly cannot intercept the ball or cause fumbles.

Minnesota has Adrian Peterson, the best running back in the game, but the Vikings also have: 1) Matt Cassell at quarterback; and 2) a defense that surrendered an average of 32 points a game over the first three games of the season.

So, while the name "Vikings" may send shudders down the spines of Englishmen who conjure visions of real-life Vikings arriving in long ships, screaming "Valhalla," and swarming northeastern English shores circa 867-950 A.D., today's NFL Vikings are somewhat less formidable.

The Steelers should win this game. If they don't, look out below.

Enjoy the game.  Tally-ho and cheerio.

Note: The photo accompanying this post is courtesy of Gordon Dedman's British blog, SteelersUK. Thanks, Gordon, and cheers.