Two prime-time games and two embarrassing prime-time losses. At this rate the Pittsburgh Steelers are “primed” for a high 2014 draft pick.
After two losses in which the offense averaged less than 300 total yards and scored just 19 total points, the Steelers went over 450 total yards and scored 23 points against a good defense in Week 3. A step forward, right? Not so fast. Unfortunately, five turnovers would be the only stat that mattered.
Four of the five turnovers were committed by Ben Roethlisberger. He took the blame for two fumbles and two picks, which resulted in 23 points for the Bears. But the left side of the offensive line should be featured next to him on the wall of shame. Left guard Ramon Foster was atrocious. He missed multiple assignments and allowed clear lanes to Roethlisberger – as clear as the fourth-quarter seats at Heinz Field.
Left tackle Mike Adams will be the scapegoat after allowing five hurries and two quarterback hits, but Foster looked like the reincarnation of former Steelers failure Jonathan Scott. Funny that the Bears were reportedly pursuing Foster this offseason before the Steelers quickly re-signed him.
The Bears are a dominant defense and average three turnovers a game; however, Foster’s regression and the inability to get consistent production from second-round tackles Adams and Marcus Gilbert does not bode well for the offensive line coach Jack Bicknell, Jr. The NFC North-leading Chicago Bears exploited the Steelers’ line on the same stunts that they have been mishandling since the start of the season.
The Bears O-line, like the Steelers‘, is operating under a new regime and start two rookies on the right side of the line. They seemed to handle the intricate stunts of Dick LeBeau’s scheme well enough, allowing just two sacks. Roethlisberger was sacked three more times to go along with his turnovers, which appeared to be caused by Roethlisberger pressing to make a play. His performance is an indication that the problems up front are beginning to take a mental toll.
The 0-3 record is also affecting the mental stability of Steelers fans everywhere. Maybe the overseas fans who haven’t had to watch four home losses up close and personal will actually remain in Wembley Stadium for all four quarters. From our house to yours, best of luck in those 60 minutes this Sunday. Plan to hit the pub hard before and after.