Steelers vs. Texans: 5 Things We Learned About Pittsburgh in 17-10 Loss
Another game, another bad performance by the Pittsburgh Steelers. After a 17-10 loss that was a lot more one-sided and awful than the score could possibly show, we've learned a few things about this team and reinforced a couple of old problems that have become consistent issues.
Here's a look at five things we've learned from today's game against the Texans.
Time to Start Saying Goodbye on Defense
Nostalgia is a worthless thing in football and is a major contributing factor to why the Steelers defense cannot stop a nosebleed right now.
Do I even need to comment? We see it each week. The defensive line is unable to stop anyone, get off their blocks, create pressure, collapse the pocket, close running lanes, etc.
Keeping Aaron Smith as a starter was the worst choice the team could have made. He's the worst on the line right now, completely unable to make any plays except for a random handful here and there. It's time he sits down and becomes a backup.
I don't like nostalgia. I like victories. And right now, nostalgia for old players like Smith is exactly what is holding back the defense from generating some kind of sustainable success.
Ben Roethlisberger Needs Good Health Insurance
Ben Roethlisberger will likely not make it through the season unless the Pittsburgh offensive line can turn things around in a huge way.
The Pittsburgh offense line is the only thing worse than their defense right now. They've caused the once-vaunted running game to evaporate in a sea of bad blocks, inability to open holes and just poor overall play. They've also allowed Ben Roethlisberger to absorb a season's worth of hits in only four games.
Roethlisberger was limping at the end of Sunday's game in Houston and will probably have some kind of serious injury if the offensive line can't get shored up a little bit. Yes, he holds the ball too long at times, but right now the only way for him to avoid a hit is for him not to take the snap.
The offensive line was cheaply put together this year and it shows.
Keenan Lewis Has Some Skills
Keenan Lewis has developed into at least a useful coverage man and maybe even a starting-caliber corner for the Steelers.
Of all the bad things I've seen this season, one good thing I've seen besides the work of Ike Taylor has been the albeit limited play of Keenan Lewis in the Pittsburgh secondary. He's played excellent when on the field and on Sunday prevented a big play by Houston with some tight coverage.
Lewis was talked about a lot as being on his last chance in Pittsburgh, but he's really stepped up his game this season and should be seeing more and more time as the year goes on. What do the Steelers have to lose?
The Steelers Are Going Nowhere
The Steelers will be lucky to win eight games this season because they can't capitalize on mistakes or generate momentum or consistency themselves.
I'm being harsh. I know that. But this is ridiculous. The Houston Texans committed enough big mistakes in this game to lose by 20 points to a team that wasn't able to even get out of its own way. The Steelers can't do that and, as a result, the Texans got away with all of their errors.
The mistakes by Houston even masked some issues. The Steelers have no kicker. Shaun Suisham is a joke with no leg strength at this point. He kicks like someone without muscles. As a result, his kicks are low to get as much distance as possible.
The Steelers offense and defense can't remain consistent drive to drive, which means that they end up in a lot of close games that they'll lose because they have no ability to be clutch as long as they keep losing the trench battles.
It's Time to Make Some Calls
The Steelers need help. Really, they need help to just make it through the year without a marquee player getting mauled to death. If they have any aspirations of turning their cake schedule into something more, they need a lot of help.
Why Jonathan Scott ever was signed is beyond me. That goes for Trai Essex too. Mike Tomlin's whole piece about players stepping up with unchanged expectations is being turned on him now. I don't expect Trai Essex to be anything. I didn't expect anything from Scott either.
I guess it really does work.
They need to make changes now. Flozell Adams or another offensive lineman with a pulse needs to come in and shore up some of this line. I'm done with caring about what it costs. If the Steelers play with their current line, they won't have a quarterback next season, they'll have a corpse.
The Steelers got cheap this year. It's time to pay up or pay forever with the well being of your skill players.