So happy I was in bed when it happened.
I saw what mattered – not the stupidity that ensued in the final seconds.
I saw an offensive line (“one of the best in the NFL,” remember that narrative?) block the air better than it blocked the Browns. Swiss cheese was jealous. Middle school defensive linemen were salivating at the thought of bull-rushing Alejandro Villanueva, or side-stepping the very out of shape Ramon Foster. That performance was inexcusable and embarrassing.
You cannot win in the NFL if you cannot block.
I saw Mason Rudolph play not just his worst game of the season, but, by far, one of the worst games by a Pittsburgh quarterback since the Kordell Stewart/Kent Graham/Mike Tomczak era.
I saw the Steelers play a desperate team with no desperation of their own, and they got their collective face kicked in – no pun intended.
I saw an unimaginative offensive game plan that looked more like Rudolph was drawing up plays in the dirt with his finger than plays being designed by an actual NFL coach.
Here’s the thing about warts – they may subside and fool the afflicted into thinking the warts are not so bad, but when they flare up, they are insufferable.
The Steelers’ warts were all exposed last night, and even a mostly admirable defensive performance couldn’t save the Steelers this time.
Then, long after the game had been decided, Mason Rudolph decides to try to pry Miles Garrett’s helmet from his head, and Garrett responded. Not exactly what Rudolph had in mind when he picked a fight with Garrett, I’m sure.
And now Steelers Nation is all aflame with screams of, “Suspend that scumbag Garrett for the season, for next season, forever!”
I don’t disagree.
Garrett should be gone for the season. I don’t know what Rudoph was going to do with Garrett’s helmet had he succeeded, but I doubt his plan was to use it as a weapon.
Garrett’s problems may not be limited to the NFL. Rudolph’s agent, Timothy Younger, intimated as much with his comments about the incident.
Wouldn’t that open Pandora’s Box?
The Steelers will not go unscathed. On top of the main issue – the overwhelming number of injuries and incredible ineptness of a pathetic offense – the Steelers may have to move forward without Maurkice Pouncey for a few games as he will likely face a suspension for his role in the absurd lunacy that was the final act in the sad tragedy that was the Steelers’ offense in Cleveland.
- Nobody noticed – maybe not even the “39,000+” who allegedly attended the game (looked like closer to 18-to-20-thousand, if that), but the Pitt Panthers did not “Pitt” against North Carolina on Thursday night. Instead, after blowing a 14-point, fourth-quarter lead, managed to win in overtime to move to 7-3 overall, and 4-2 in the Coastal. Pitt can win the Coastal by winning out, Nov. 23 at Virginia Tech, and Nov. 30 against Boston College, and a Virginia loss against Virginia Tech on Nov. 29. Unlikely, but Pitt’s 2019 season should end with 9 or 10 wins. A step forward, a very small step forward, for a program trying to rise to legitimacy.