First Half Report

November 11th, 2017
by admin

Because of the Bye Week, this is literally the half way point in the season!

What has gone right? 

The Steelers sit atop the division and are tied for the best record in the AFC, with the interesting thing being, they haven’t played their best football yet! They also have a commanding division lead over the Bengals and the Ravens.

Antonio Brown is a legitimate superstar and has cemented his reputation as a big game player! T.J. Watt has been fun when healthy. Le’Veon Bell continues to get better after a lethargic start. Who doesn’t love Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster?

The pass defense has been excellent with great coverage provided by Joe Haden and a still developing Artie Burns. Sean Davis continues to develop. It doesn’t hurt having a great pass rush, provided by T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree.

Despite having the best record, it was a rough beginning of the season.

What has gone wrong?

Ben Roethlisberger has not played good football. While he tends to always have a meltdown game or two, this season he has not looked good, the Steelers are winning in spite of his play. He usually gives the Steelers a chance to win every week, this season he has struggled.

The offense has not clicked despite an excess of talent. The 30 points a game goal seems like a distant memory as they have not achieved it all season. Martavis Bryant went from being a HUGE weapon to a huge distraction. What happened to Eli Rogers? He has been terrible. Who is calling some of these plays? The offensive line has been without Marcus Gilbert almost the whole season.

Stop me if you have read this before, the Steelers lose to an inferior opponent on the road. They were gashed in Chicago by an under manned Bears team, easily. The Steelers run defense is leaky. While the stats don’t tell the story and the main stream media is making it worse than it is, it is a cause for concern. Getting gashed in Chicago and getting beat up by the Jaguars was scary.

I always try and keep this about football, but the Steelers completely botched the National Anthem protest in Chicago and then botched it even further trying to explain it away.


Reasons for Concern: The run defense is a little soft and this team isn’t going anywhere unless Ben Roethlisberger takes them there.

Offensive Game Beer: It has to be Antonio Brown again, he is such a huge factor for the Steelers offense and he has been awesome.

Defensive Game Beer: T.J. Watt, who has shown flashes of brilliance and is second on the team in sacks.

Disappointment of the first half: Eli Rogers, has completely disappeared and Martavis Bryant has been a complete jerk. Both need to step it up.

 Most Improved: I am going with Sean Davis who is anchoring the secondary.


QB: C+, Big Ben has not played well this season. He seems to have lost his feel. Still believe in Big Ben!

RB: B-, Le’Veon Bell is an outstanding back who really needed camp. He had a tough start but is starting to break out. James Conner is stepping up his game and continues to develop.

WR: B+, This crew is still the best in the league but had a rough start, they have a superstar in Antonio Brown, who is a game changer and they have a great rookie in Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster who has stepped up but they have gotten little production from anyone else. Martavis can still be a big play threat.

TE: C+, The Steelers haven’t gotten the production out of Vance McDonald that was expected. Jesse James is productive if unspectacular and Xavier Grimble is a good blocker.

OL: B+, This could have easily been an A, but they need to bully more teams on the run. The pass protection has been very solid. Once Gilbert gets back this will be the best unit in the league.

DL: B-, The Bears Game and the Jaguars game were dark spots. They need to put Stephon Tuitt, Javon Hargrave and Steelhead Heyward on the field and this will be a unit that is hard to beat. Tyson Alualu has done a nice job in Tuitt’s absence.

LB: B+, T.J Watt and Bud Dupree have both played well. Anthony Chickillo has been good when called upon. Vince Williams has been very good and Ryan Shazier is one of the best LBs in football. Where is James Harrison? Harrison should see more time in the second half.

DBs: B+, The Secondary has answered many questions in the first half. Joe Haden was a terrific addition, Artie Burns is developing nicely as is Sean Davis. William Gay and Mike Mitchell have been solid veterans. J.J. Wilcox and Robert Golden have been capable backups.

Specials: B, Little Bos has been terrific all season. Jordan Berry has struggled this year. Tyler Matakevich has been great on special teams as has Robert Golden. The return game is still a work in progress.

Coaching: B, The coaches are doing okay but the offense is an enigma right now. The record and where they are in the standings is why this is a B. They have not played great football. This team can clearly be better.

What does part two look like: The Steelers have the division well within sight and a first-round bye is well within reach if they can stay strong. They need to get Ben back on track and get the offensive line healthy again. They also need to not lose focus. This team has the opportunity to win anywhere from 11 to 13 games if they can stay focused and beat beatable teams. Most likely the Steelers should go 6-2 down the stretch putting them at 12-4, which would win the division by a mile and setup a first-round bye.


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