Most of it has been about how the Steelers defense is getting old, slow and overpaid. Yes, the defense looked inept, especially when compared to the Ravens defense. Ed Reed, Ray Lewis and Haloti Ngata looked energized, destructive and—dare I say it—Steelers-like.
Ben Roethlisberger was sacked four times: three times by Terrell Suggs, with Webb and Johnson each credited with 0.5 sacks.
Meanwhile, Lamar Woodley recorded the only sack for the Steelers.
Joe Flacco was not intercepted during the game; no Troy Polamalu, no Ike Taylor, no good.
The Steelers made it to last season's Super Bowl. The team that beat them in the Super Bowl, the Green Bay Packers, had a good opening game. Against the New Orleans Saints, Aaron Rodgers threw for 312 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in what could arguably be called a continuation of the Super Bowl run, in which Rodgers had 304 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
Roethlisberger was outplayed again without even being on the same field. In the Super Bowl, Roethlisberger accumulated 263 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
But wait—it is just the first game of the season, and yes, it was against the division rival Ravens, whose previous record against Big Ben was abysmal.
It wasn’t just the offense that was anemic; it was the defense, too. The Steelers were outplayed on both sides of the ball.
Mike Tomlin is right: there really is no excuse. But it is a quarterback-driven league, and the Steelers quarterback drove us into a dark tunnel. Those players we are used to relying on were nowhere to be found.
It’s just the first game of the season!
The offensive line was already a question mark and now will be without Willie Colon. Rookie Marcus Gilbert will move from left tackle to right tackle on a line that allowed 4 sacks last week and 32 sacks in 12 games last season.
While this was just the first game of the season, perhaps the slight aura of panic is because it feels like a continuation from the Super Bowl. Will our men find their way out of the tunnel? To slightly misquote Bette Davis: “Fasten your seatbelts, (boys) it’s going to be a bumpy ride.”