PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) — I love the business I’m in. It’s pretty much the reaction business.
Check that — especially come football season in these parts, it is the overreaction business.
And it is glorious. Business is perpetually boomin’ in Steeler Nation for a guy like me when the leaves start to fall off the trees, all the way up through the holidays.
If the Steelers win 98-3, people would spend their Monday yammering and yattering about that damn field goal the squad gave up and how Mike Tomlin has lost control of the defense. He’d get roasted for not shutting out the opposition. You know, I’m just half-kidding, right?
Well, let me talk you down about something today: The Steelers’ offense, through two games, is going to be more than alright. They are good; they are very good.
Stop with all the nonsense. Stop with the criticism. Stop with the worry.
Through two games — both wins, mind you — the Steelers are averaging 23.5 points per game, in the top 10 for teams through Monday afternoon who have played two games.
They are in the middle of the pack in the NFL at 312.5 yards per game, in the top 12 with 244 passing yards a game and not faring all that well on the ground with just 68.5 yards per game, good enough to be just fourth from bottom in the league.
But let me ask you this: Considering the reps their standout guys haven’t taken together, don’t you see this as a work-in-progress?
Because I know I do.
Did you really expect the NFL season to begin and the Steelers to jump out on the field with guys who have seldom all played together in the recent past and score 30 points per game? If you did, you were setting yourself up for failure through your black and gold glasses.
Want some reality? As you know, Martavis Bryant has missed a ton of football and wasn’t allowed to get many reps during preseason camp.
Think he’s still working on his timing with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger? I’d be certain of it. And, even as such, Bryant showed those flashes of brilliance and virtuosity against the Vikings that proved why the Steelers have stuck with him through all the knucklehead stuff.
The arrow for Bryant is undoubtedly pointing up after the Vikings game.
Some more reality —- Le’Veon Bell is obviously not up to full speed. Who knows if it is the groin injury he sustained at the end of last season or missing camp because of his contract situation (or both), but watching him the past few weeks it is obvious he has that other gear we have seen in the past and he just hasn’t hit it yet. Are you confident he will find it? I know I am.
Antonio Brown is Antonio Brown and has been great, even as Minnesota’s gameplan seemed to revolve around doing everything to stop him.
Don’t you have a feeling AB will get even better in the coming weeks now that Bryant could open the field? I know I have that feeling.
What about timing issues with Roethlisberger and his targets — guys he rarely threw to in game situations in the preseason because, well, Ben didn’t play in very many game situations in the preseason. With more reps, I feel like his production will spike.
So, go ahead and bellow some nonsense about being worried that the Steelers aren’t scoring points or moving the ball with the aplomb you expected in the first couple games.
I can’t do it.
I can’t even start down that road.
To me, in what I have seen — again, in two wins, mind you — the Steelers’ offense will end up doing remarkable things this season.