And you thought the sinkhole was the most bizarre happening in Pittsburgh yesterday? Did you happen to catch the goings on at Heinz Field and PNC Park?
Scoring 27 unanswered points against the Miami Dolphins, one of the worst NFL teams in recent memory, is not half as impressive as giving up the first 14 and laying a first-half egg that even Veruca Salt would appreciate.
Yes, the Steelers did what they were supposed to do – beat a vastly inferior opponent on their home field – but does anyone believe that the brand of football on display at Heinz Field last night will result in wins over Indianapolis this Sunday or the LA Rams next?
The Steelers cannot afford a start like last night’s against the Colts or Rams – they will not survive it.
Thankfully, the Dolphins were in town and managed to hand over their 14-point lead like it was a bag of anthrax. They clearly were unable to handle playing from ahead. Also clear – Fitzpatrick was the Steelers’ best player though one would be hard-pressed to decide between the Steelers’ own Minkah, and the Dolphins’ Ryan – but the fact remains that despite Joe Haden’s “coverage” issues, the Steelers’ secondary continues to improve with Minkah running around in it causing havoc and turnovers.
And two things showed up last night that have been missing in 2019 – the Steelers’ running game, and Juju Smith-Shuster.
Pump the brakes – they played the Dolphins. I’ll say the same thing I say about Pitt football when it has it’s annual 4-game win streak that has the Golden Panthers all afroth – do it against a good opponent.
Speaking of those Panthers . . .
- He did it again, and I told you he would. Pat Narduzzi is so damn predictable that the Farmer’s Almanac people are studying his poor coaching decisions to see if it will better help them forecast weather – there must be some correlation. In the September 17th musings, I laid out that Narduzzi’s, “the right football move on fourth and goal from the 1 is to kick a field goal” mentality would come back to bite the Pitt Panthers when it mattered, and it did. Of course, the Panthers may not have scored a touchdown, and the entire course of the game may have been altered, but then again, maybe they’d have shot a dagger through Miami and the course of the game would have been altered.
- So the Pirates have officially cleaned house. I’ve read some pieces complaining about the way they’ve gone about it – the order in which individuals were dismissed – this all from the same people who screamed for Huntington’s and Hurdle’s heads on silver platters. It is encouraging to see the Pirates move away from the old guard, but there is that pesky caveat: Bob Nutting still owns the team. Oh, he talked tough about looking at himself and improving as the “steward of the Pittsburgh Pirates,” yesterday at the press conference introducing new team president Travis Williams and formally announcing the Huntington firing, but one thing he said supersedes every other line of bullcrap he spewed: “I think we need to change the discussion from ‘payroll equals success,’ because we have seen this year, that it is not the case. We saw in 2013, ‘14, ‘15 that it is not the case. An uneven playing field doesn’t mean that you can’t compete.”
Just in case you don’t speak Nuttingese, or in case you are not a delusional nut job, that translates into, “The Pittsburgh Pirates will not increase the Major League payroll – next question.”
Why would any person worth the spit in their mouth want to be the general manager or manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates?