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Steelers-Jags Recap

Steelers play their 100th straight sloppy game in a row, edging out maybe the worst team in the NFL, the Jaguars, 17-9 on the road. Overall, the game was a real slop fest as both teams committed dumb penalties, execution wasn’t the name of the game.

The Good – The running game was solid. Ben had an OK game. His game early on sort of reminded me of his bad day against the Raiders a couple years back, it felt like it was going to be one of those kind of games, especially when he had one pass almost intercepted in the 2nd quarter. He was good but lackadaisical at times with his passes and decision making. Antonio Brown had a couple great grabs that kept drives alive. Heath Miller chipped in. The O-line wasn’t awful in pass protection.

– Defensively, the secondary had a good game up against rookie WR’s and an inexperienced QB in Bortles. Cortez Allen picked off a deep pass in the 1st half and Brice McCain had a pick six in the 2nd half that may have been the play of the game which gave the Steelers the 17-9 lead.

– At times the front 7 applied good pressure against Bortles. Worilds had a sack and Brett Kiesel had a nice pressure and pass deflection in the 4th quarter on a 3rd down.

The Bad – Once again the Steelers play down to their  opponent and once again the team shows up sleepwalking through the 1st quarter of a game. The Jags hadn’t scored any points on an opening drive this year and once again the Steelers defense helped to end another streak as the Jags drove fairly deep on their opening drive settling for a FG.

– The Steelers offense didn’t get a first down until about a minute left in the 1st quarter, 3rd possession of the game. Gotta ease on it to those games, guys. Don’t forget, teams are a reflection of their head coach.

– Somehow the Steelers special teams was penalized for being offsides two times in a row, first penalty accepted, re-kick, offsides again. Luckily, the Jags were penalized on the 2nd kickoff so it was offsetting but seriously that is pretty damn bad.

– Overall, the Steelers had 7 accepted penalties called against them. One holding call early in the game on a kickoff resulted in the Steelers starting at their own 12. That’s a good way to struggle.

– Markus Wheaton dropped a pass on a 3rd and 5 early in the game. He seemed to be absent for most of the game after that, I hope that was just a coincidence and not a way of “punishing” a player for a mistake which seems to happen with this team. To be clear, it’s one thing to bench/remove a player from the gameplan if that player is making the same mistake over and over or not playing well, but Wheaton has played very well thus far this season. Oddly, repeated mistakes are the ones that seems to be tolerated with this team under Tomlin.

– Jags sacked Ben 4 times. To be fair to the O-line, most of those were coverage sacks/Ben holding the ball too long.

– With the score 10-9 in the 4th quarter Ben turns the ball over on a fumble in the Jags redzone. Not good obviously.

The Headscratching – Steelers throwing to Brown with 2 minutes left in the game. Jags had no timeouts left, the only reason for doing this would be to keep Brown’s record of consecutive games with 5 catches or more intact. Bush league but I wouldn’t expect any less with this team under Tomlin at this point.

Summary – A win is a win but this was a boring, slop fest from start to finish. Not much to take away from it other than the win and the assurance that this team ain’t changing any time soon. Next week Steelers go into Cleveland and face a tough, feisty Browns team who will most assuredly give the Steelers a very tough game.

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