New Castle News
NEW CASTLE —
So your Pittsburgh Steelers are 0-2, no big deal.
You always have the Pirates to cheer for in October.
(That cool breeze you just felt was a waft of air gusting up from a suddenly chilly down under. And I mean waaaay down under, not Australia down under.)
The Prince of Darkness might as well start up the Zamboni Machine, as the Bucs are displacing the Steelers as the Boys of Fall around these parts.
That Major League Baseball will be attracting all the attention throughout western Pennsylvania in the pro sports world over the next month speaks to how clearly the NFL season might as well be over for the Steelers, whose 20-10 loss at Cincinnati on Monday Night Football last night was not at all a surprise.
That was no anomaly last week against Tennessee in the opener. And yes, the Bengals are decidedly better than the Steelers. Double-digit better.
What you just saw from the Black-and-Gold is what you are going to keep getting throughout the rest of this season.
Whether it was dropped passes, missed tackles, turnovers, whatever, this team just does not have it and they aren’t going to get it.
Is there any reason to believe a healthy Le’Veon Bell is going to give the running game a significant boost? The return of Heath Miller will help, but will it matter since Ben Roethlisberger is on pace to be sacked 56 times this season?
And will it matter if the star quarterback keeps airmailing his passes? Newsflash for Big Ben: His name isn’t Big Jerricho. Throw it lower, down near the numbers.
Early in the game, Roethlisberger fired a pass so high that Cotchery seemingly lost it in the lights. Late in the game, Roethlisberger’s rainbow was tipped by Cotchery and intercepted to effectively end the contest.
Had Roethlisberger hit him in stride, Cotchery might have taken it in for a touchdown and we might be looking at who the Baltimore Ravens play next week instead of the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds.
As it is, as 0-2 the Steelers are off to their worst start since 2002. Just for the record, on the morning of Sept. 17, 2002, the Pirates were 65-85. Feel better about things now?
If you want some good news, at least we had a Cameron Heyward sighting (considering how big of a bust the former first round pick has been) and Jarvis Jones is showing flashes of being an impact player.
That corner fade to Derek Moye for the lone touchdown was pretty sweet. (And just like that, the former Rochester High star already seems to be more valuable to the team than Emmanuel Sanders.)
Oh, and Shaun Suisham’s a pretty good field-goal kicker.
But that’s about it, the negatives far outweigh the positives on this team.
At least, Tommy Maddox was able to turn that 0-2 ship around 11 seasons ago and actually guide the Steelers to the playoffs.
Short of swinging a deal with Beelzebub himself to bring back the ‘02 magic of Touchdown Tommy, the Steelers are looking a 5-11 season square in the face.
Lower the Jolly Roger.
(Steve Treu covers the Steelers for The News.)