Following their loss to the Dolphins on Sunday, listening to Sports radio in Pittsburgh Monday, the mood was mostly doom and gloom as fans were stunned their team dropped a tough game against what had been a seemingly harmless 1-4 Dolphins team. The players seemed frustrated as well, knowing it’s a game they believe they should have won.
But it didn’t work out that way, and the Steelers lost a tough one 30-15 in South Florida, and it stung even more as they lost both the game and their starting quarterback.
With the news of a torn meniscus for Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers fans have more or less conceded this week’s game against New England and they’re frustrated that it may potentially cost them a shot at home-field during the postseason. With Roethlisberger most definitely set to miss this week after undergoing surgery on Monday, they appear to have little faith in a defense that is banged up and allowed Dolphins’ running back Jay Ajayi to put up 204 yards rushing on the afternoon along with two touchdowns.
On the other side of the football, there appears to be a lot of frustration with head coach Mike Tomlin, who they believe didn’t put the ball in the hands of Le’Veon Bell enough, despite the fact he was going up against a Dolphins team that has had a tough time against the run. Bell finished the game with 10 carries for 53-yards, averaging 5.3 yards per carry and also set a record when he became the fastest player in NFL history to amass 3,000 career rushing yards and 1,500 receiving yards, doing it in his 38th NFL game on Sunday.
With all their issues, fans highlight a lack of veteran leadership and Tomlin’s inability to get this team to match the intensity of weaker opponents, who have given them problems. Factor in an apparently whiny Antonio Brown (he’s known as “AB” there) who has developed a reputation of complaining about the lack of targets when he’s not being fed the football, and this seems to be a Steelers team full of internal conflict coming into a game they believe may potentially be the most important of their season.
The Steelers will have to battle the Patriots this week without their quarterback. (USA TODAY Images)
Or at least that’s where they are right now. Games like these can galvanize a team and the Patriots need to be aware that Pittsburgh will be looking to make a statement despite the fact Roethlisberger will be on the sideline. There will be no heroic return, as several analysts in Pittsburgh believe he’ll miss this week and next week’s game against Baltimore, which will be followed by a bye week. From there, his future seems to be up in the air.
But for now, that seems to be the state of things with New England set to visit them this week. It’s a mess, but you can never take a team like the Steelers too lightly. Needless to say, it should make this week a little more interesting given these dynamics from a team who is about to deal with their own little bit of adversity at the quarterback position, with the plan for now to start preparing quarterback Landry Jones.
“He’s grown,” offensive lineman Ramon Foster told the Albuquerque Journal. “This will be the full test. This is a good team coming in, a good defense. He’s thrown into the fire.”
Hopefully the Patriots will bring the heat and improve to 6-1 by the time this one is over.
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