When your offense scores at will and gives you multiple double digit second half leads then you don't lose those games. Well, you shouldn't lose those games. Maybe you lose games like that 2% of the time but it should be an oddity that the other team is going to win, especially when that other team is not very good at playing the game of football.
The Steelers went out and scored 31 points on the back of Ben Roethlisberger and the defense struggled. In a big way. It seems as if the only time the Steelers didn't score on a possession the Raiders took the ball and treated it like it was a 7-on-7 skelly drill where Carson Palmer could just pick and choose what he wanted to do. It was an embarrassing effort by the defense and a tough one to swallow if you are the Steelers.
I don't particularly have a lot of time on my hands as you can see I am not getting to a recap until Tuesday, but with some crazy thing going on in my life I really haven't had time for anything which is in large part why it has been fairly dark on here on all fronts.
Here are just some quick hits:
-Roethlisberger was just out of his mind good. He completed 36 of his 49 pass attempts for 384 yards and four touchdowns. He helped the team convert 8-of-14 third down attempts mostly due to his arm and any time this team needed a big play. Ben wasn't able to take the Steelers down on their last offensive possession with the game tied in the waining minutes of the fourth quarter but that was literally the only time he wasn't successful on the drive. He was nothing less than spectacular all day and I heard some people putting some blame on him. If you are doing that then just stop reading.
-You know what is nice to see? Heath Miller becoming a big time part of the passing offense. He isn't going to put up huge numbers but he is going to be majorly effective and make the other Steelers pass catchers even more dynamic. Miller had eight catches for 60 yards and two touchdowns and was targeted ten times. That was the first time Miller has had eight or more catches since an October 4th game against San Diego, in 2009.
-If you listened to Jerry Rice and thought Mike Wallace needed maybe half of the year to get into the groove then you probably don't want to hear this, but he was so wrong. Wallace look more than OK after seven catches for 123 yard and a score and now has a touchdown catch in every game and looks really good catching passes.
-The offensive line was good and bad. It was really two different ends of the spectrum and they did an outstanding job of protecting Roethlisberger as he was only sacked one time and hit twice total. The bad end was that they continued to do nothing with the running game no matter who was running the football. It has become painfully bad to watch the Steelers try to run the football and only rushed for 54 yards on 20 carries. I know this is a passing league but at some point someone on that line has to step up and create a hole.
-No idea what to even say about the defense. They picked off the first pass of the day from Carson Palmer but didn't record another turnover the rest of the game and recorded only one sack on the day. I know a lot of people are going to bash the secondary but when Palmer is allowed to sit back and go through three and four progressions and not have to worry about being touched then that is a huge problem. Someone has to eventually get there and make a play.
-I am not even sure what is really wrong with the defense. They are an older unit but there is plenty of youth out there also. The defense is missing James Harrison and Troy Polamalu so it needs to be seen how they will help. I do know that I would love to see Troy out there with Ryan Clark but hopefully they can get that back together. Ryan Mundy has been pretty bad this season and got juked out of his shoes on the Darren McFadden 64 yard touchdown run which is the longest run on the Steelers since the 2006 season.
-One thing I don't think many people are talking about is the turnovers that the Steelers committed. One of them didn't hurt when Antonio Brown fumbled going into the end zone as he was somehow able to recover it himself in a scrum but he fumbled in the open field later and wasn't so lucky. Brown's second fumble was while the Steelers were entering Oakland territory when they were up three and the result of that fumble lead to the tying field goal by the Raiders. Jon Dwyer also fumbled the football that resulted in the Raiders second touchdown. Just can't have that happen, especially Brown's second fumble which happened with just under 11 minutes left in the game.
-The Steelers held a massive 36:15-23:45 advantage in time of possession but what does that really mean? Sure it keeps the Raiders defense on the field but in the end the Steelers have held a huge TOP advantage in all three games and they are 1-2. When the defense comes on the field they have to get stops. Bottom line.
-It just seems like this is the preseason. Some things look good for a minute and the other things are terrible. The next game you expect things to level out and they just do a 180. Nothing really seems to be in sync overall (well, the offense looks damn good) and we haven't really seen a complete game left. I have no idea what to even think but I do know this isn't the end of the Steelers like a lot of the haters might say. They are exactly one game back of the Ravens and Bengals and they haven't played those teams yet. The NFL season is shorter so there isn't as much room for error but the Steelers are still in a good place.