After nine weeks, the Steelers have the best start in the Mike Tomlin era at 7-2. 7-2 is an impressive record but how good are the Steelers really?
They don’t have the feel of a 7-2 team to me nor do they seem like the best team Tomlin has ever coached, I leave that to the 2008 team. With 2010 being a close second.
This 2017 version is flawed, yet they boast an inexplicably good record. Their opponents, to date, have a combined record of 37-45, obviously unimpressive. Yet the Steelers have big wins against the 7-2 Vikings and 6-3 Chiefs.
The Steelers two losses are to the surprisingly decent Jaguars (6-3) and the lowly Bears 3-6. They also squeaked out wins against the 0-9 Browns and 3-6 Colts.
Are the Steelers good or not? The remaining schedule is weak; they play their division opponents one more time each, none of whom are currently at .500. They also get the Packers without Aaron Rodgers.
The only remaining challenges they have left are this Thursday against Tennessee and 12/17 against the Patriots (whom I think will embarrass the Steelers).
The defense, to me, isn’t as good as the ranking would suggest and when they face a guy like Tom Brady, I fully expect them to get shredded like cheddar cheese. I don’t trust the pass defense, with Joe Haden now out for a period of time, I trust them less. Mike Mitchell makes a ton of tackles but that’s usually because he or someone else got burned and he has to. Who have the Steelers really faced in terms of top-level quarterbacks thus far? Alex Smith is very good but he’s not daunting. Other than that, they’ve faced nobody.
When they play a Brady or if they happened to get to the Super Bowl, Carson Wentz, they don’t stand a chance, as they’ve currently shown they can get burned by a guy like Jacoby Brisett. If he can do it, what will Brady or Wentz do?
Do you trust the rush defense? I don’t. They currently sit at 12th in the league, allowing over 100 yards per game. Does that sound like one of the best teams in Steelers history? Even under Mike Tomlin? No, it sounds flawed to me.
But it doesn’t stop there. The offense is not running like a well-oiled machine. Yes, Le’Veon Bell leads the league in rushing and Antonio Brown leads the league in receiving but where is Ben Roethlisberger? He currently sits at 24th in the league with an 83.8 passer rating. Guys like Brissett, Andy Dalton, Jameis Winston and even Jay Cutler sit in front of him!
That’s a HUGE problem; one that needs to rectify this week against the Titans if this team wants to prove they belong. I have predicted all along that this team would win the Super Bowl and they do have a record that would indicate they are in the mix but any of us that have watched them play have to have doubts creeping into our heads at this point, don’t we?
They have yet to explode on offense. They have yet to display vintage Ben. They have yet to play a complete game on all sides of the ball nor have they really blown out an opponent that they should.
They have time to turn things around, odd to say about a 7-2 team, I know, but if they don’t fix their woes, anyone who has seen them play every week in 2017 can tell this team has one and done written all over them.