By Jeremy Hritz
Another loss, more questions, waning confidence. Repeat.
With every positive step taken (see Ben Roethlisberger’s TD to Diontae Johnson), there are three equally bad steps back: Ben’s fumble, missed connections to JuJu, and simply not playing sound defense. At 1-3 with 13 games remaining, the season is hardly over, but if a spark is to light the flame, it has to happen this weekend against Denver. I hate calling games must wins, but to start the year 1-4 with what is supposed to be the manageable part of your schedule, is debilitating. This weekends contest against the Broncos is a must win if the Steelers want to stay relevant. As we get ready for a new week, here are my Steelers Study Notes for 10/4/21:
- Najee Harris is a beast and will be for years to come. He’a the reason you should be excited about the Steelers this sullen Monday. Imagine what he can do when he is running behind a quality offensive line?
- And back to Harris: build the offense around him completely. This is no longer Ben’s offense and it needs to be treated as such. The priority is to get the ball inNajee’s hands as much as possible through the running game and then sprinkle in the pass. Roethlisberger is incapable of singularly leading this offense any more.
- I’ve listened to and read about the Steelers being so close to making so many plays that would have changed the outcome of the game. Do you know what you call teams who make those plays? Winning teams. Those who don’t? Losing teams. It’s pretty straightforward, and it’s the reality that has to be acknowledged until players can step up and contribute on both sides of the ball.
- How different of an outcome would it have been had Minkah Fitzpatrick would have been awarded that touchdown on the block field goal? Could they have won?
- How bad does this defensive line miss Stephon Tuitt?
- The offensive line was better yesterday but that should come with a caution that they did so against a Packers defensive front seven that isn’t exactly dominant. However, progress is progress.
- Apparently, according to former Steelers QB Charlie Batch, the Steelers have taken away Ben’s ability to change the play at the line of scrimmage. If this was done to improve the offense, good work….
- Don’t look now, but Denver has a ferocious pass rush. Good luck, Ben.
- Why did Roethlisberger say that Harris has to be more physical when he runs the ball after the game yesterday? What was the intent, purpose? Befuddling and seems like a shot.
- I don’t want to close the door on Ben’s career but he absolutely has to be better, and at this point, it’s got to happen now. I can’t stress enough how important this weekend’s game against the Broncos is, as it could be the turning point in the season for either the positive or the negative.
That is all for today! Have a great week!