Steelers football is back! That also mean Mrs. Black-N-Gold is back in Black-N-Gold (to paraphrase those great heavy metal poets, AC/DC) with The Good, Bad, & Ugly from Thursday night's kickoff game. With the final score Cheatriots 28, Steelers 21, let's break it down.
Even though our Steelers lost to the defending Champions, there was some good news for the Black-N-Gold in this game. WR Antonio Brown was his usual excellent-self, catching 9 passes for 133 yards and 1 touchdown. Looks like AB will pick up where he left off last season. TE Heath Miller also had a good receiving game, snagging 8 passes for 84 yards. But the Good Award this week goes to RB De'Angelo Williams who carried the ball 21 times for 127 yards. Mrs. Black-N-Gold wasn't sure what to make of the Williams signing in the offseason. He's on the wrong side of 30 and has been injured for a good part of his career. DeWill put all those worries to rest with Thursday night's performance. And really, all we need is another good start from him next week vs. San Fran then The Beast, Le'Veon Bell will be back from suspension. Mrs. Black-N-Gold thinks DeWill and Beast will make one heck of a running back tandem.
Don't get Mrs. Black-N-Gold wrong. It certainly wasn't all good Thursday night, not by a longshot. Early in the game, when the Steelers were marching down the field, they called an inexplicable trick play that ending up biting them in the behind. QB Ben Roethlisberger threw a lateral to AB for #84 to pass it down field and fool the Pats. Didn't even happen. The Cheatriots sniffed it out and tackled Brown for a big loss. On the next play, OL Marcus Gilbert was flagged and just like that, the Steelers were looking at 2nd & 28. A handoff to RB Will Johnson netted a gain of 6 making it 3rd and long. A short pass to Heath and next thing you know, the Steelers send in new K Josh Scobee to attempt a 44 yard field goal. Shank! As a matter of fact, Scobee shanked his first 2 attempts. It's not all his fault. Why are the Steelers settling for field goals? On top of that, why are they going east-west when they should be going north-south? Mrs. Black-N-Gold understands that if the play would have worked, OC Todd Haley would have looked like a genius. Instead, the calls of "Fire Haley" were ringing out throughout Pittsburgh. Wasn't it the great American philosphers Devo that said "Go forward, move ahead". It's another example of the Steelers trying to re-invent the wheel. Consider marching down field, next time.
Most of The Ugly was the same old song and dance. The defense couldn't tackle and couldn't create turnovers. The evening was a mixture of missed opportunites and penalties on both sides of the ball. But after the game, some stories arose that were uglier than anything that came into the field of play. First came word that the Steelers coaches were unable to communicate via their headsets. Sure, this problem arises from time to time. But thanks to Spygate and Deflategate it seems a little suspicious when this happens on New England's turf. The Steelers are facing a controversy of their own amid accusations that TE Coach James Daniel assaulted a fan during halftime of the game, kicking and screaming at the fan. It's said that when police tried to intervene, the coach also started screaming at the officer. More and more, it seems that there are more off-the-field stories in the NFL than action on the field itself. All these extracurricular activities are a real turnoff for a diehard fan such as Mrs. Black-N-Gold. At some point, the public will grow weary of the constant shenanigans of the commissioner, the owners and the players. Just play football, already!
To sum things up, you really didn't expect the Steelers to go 16-0 this season, did you? Luckily, the weren't the only ones to find the loss column in the AFC Central. The Baltimorons and Clowns lost, too. Cincy was a winner but you no that won't last all season long. On Sunday the Steelers are at the friendly confines of Heinz Field to kickoff their home opener against the San Fran 49ers. It's a very winnable game and a chance for the Steelers to even up their record before RB Le'Veon Bell returns from his 2-game suspension. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!