The Pittsburgh Steelers are not playing good football right now, and according to running back Le’Veon Bell this isn’t something that’s relegated to the games.
Le'Veon Bell on the penalties and overall sloppy play: “I think we have to practice better. Even at practice we have mistakes like that."
— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) November 7, 2016
It’s not a stretch to say the team as a whole has been among the worst in the league the past few weeks. And it’s not just about missing Big Ben Roethlisberger.
They got stomped by the Miami Dolphins, dismantled by the New England Patriots and then couldn’t beat a Baltimore Ravens team this past weekend that was trying to give them the win.
During Sunday’s game against the Ravens, the offensive line was a disaster, Roethlisberger (who came back from injury too early, again) was off target throughout the contest and Bell was a non-factor on the ground.
Defensively Pittsburgh was pretty solid, barring a huge lapse in coverage when Mike Wallace went 95 yards to the house on a simple slant (watch here).
And despite all that, the game was winnable if not for two monumental special-teams blunders. The first was a botched punt in Pittsburgh territory that led to a Ravens touchdown. The second was even more embarrassing, as kicker Chris Boswell performed the worst onside kick attempt in recent memory (watch here).
On top of these mistakes, Pittsburgh incurred 13 penalties for 99 yards.
Mistakes up on mistakes upon mistakes.
You just cannot win in the NFL with that much going wrong. And as the old saying goes, “you play as well as you practice.”
Mike Tomlin has a huge job ahead of him to fix his broken team. Now at 4-4 on the season, including a dismal 1-3 road record, the Steelers are in grave danger of dropping four in a row. After all, they’re hosting the hottest team in the NFL in Week 10 when the Dallas Cowboys come to town.