Sloppiness was a huge factor in the loss to the Giants on Sunday evening. Four interceptions, five sacks, and a bad snap seemed to define the game.
But what exactly happened to our 5-1 Steelers? How could they look so great one week, then collapse the next? It's quite simple. It's the fact that the Steelers did not play a mistake-free game. Sure, our defense held up great against the second-best offense in the league, but when they're on the field for too long, it's going to show eventually.
So what's more embarrassing, the ball that flew over punter Matt Berger's head or the four interceptions? Certainly it would have been better to avoid a safety, but the four picks Mr. Roethlisberger threw were not beneficial whatsoever.
Take away two of these picks and all of a sudden, there's room for a safety (it seemed to be inevitable, anyway).
The true question is whether Ben Roethlisberger is to be held accountable for his picks. A monstrous hit on Nate Washington led to forced pick, while sloppy routes on at least one other was to blame. It just seemed like it was near impossible for the Steelers to overcome the Giants' D at times.
How about the offense when it actually performed properly, though? Melwelde Moore for a 32-yard jog. Nate Washington for a beautiful 65 yard bomb. There were upsides to this game as well. It's just the simple fact that the Steelers look to be a bit too inconsistent. The O-line still haunts me while I'm deep in slumber, because I know that one day they will be the reason for the loss of a much more important game.
The Steelers are most certainly a playoff team, not to mention a good Super Bowl possibility, but they have an obstacle that will be a tough one. Tennessee, as I have said before, scares me very much. They have an explosive offense and an intimidating defense.
If the Steelers want to even think about having a chance of heading to Tampa to soak up some February rays, they must make alterations, get their starters healthier, and make sure the team as a whole stays stable.
Injuries to key players such as Marvel Smith, Willie Parker, Kendall Simmons, Ryan Clark, and even Greg Warren could be one reason why the Steelers could be in Pittsburgh Feb. 3.
These players need to become healthy again, especially with keystone games approaching, such as Indy, San Diego, and Tennessee. Also, Santonio Holmes must decide if he enjoys smoking a nice blunt or being one of the key receivers for the Steelers. Hopefully the latter is much more important to him...
So it's been another white-knuckled weekend in Pittsburgh and much improvement is needed. The eight-day break between this week's game and next week's is needed, and hopefully players like Willie Parker will heal and be right back in the driver's seat for Monday night against Washington.
Until next time, sayanora and get them 'Skins!