3 winners and 8 losers after the Steelers lost 16-10 to the Dolphins

The Pittsburgh Steelers returned to the field on Sunday when they played the Miami Dolphins in Week Seven of the regular season. The Steelers were a loser in the contest, but that doesn’t mean every player performed well or poorly.

Players who play well can be considered “winners”, while those who leave much to be desired can be called “losers”. It may sound harsh, but it’s the gist of this exercise.

Let’s check to see who fell on which side of the ledger after the last game…

Winners

George Pickens
base line: 6 grabs, 61 yards, 10.2 average, 1 TD, 30 yards long, 6 targets

Another day where George Pickens catches every soccer ball in his path. There are a lot of people suggesting that the Steelers should throw the ball in his direction regardless of coverage. I get the vibes, but it doesn’t really work that way. Pickens does his job and demands plenty of coverage on his way. With Pickens doing this, the other receivers have to be feeding into singles matches…and that’s not happening. However, Pickens is advertised in every part.

defensive recoil
base line: Stabilized after 13 points from the first quarter

After giving up 13 points in the first quarter, it was good to see the defense bounce. Both coaches and players settled down and thwarted the high-flying dolphin attack. I was hoping it wouldn’t take 13 points in the first quarter to wake up a defense, but at least they did in the end.

Pat Freermouth
base line: 8 hits, 75 yards, 9.4 average, 0 TD, 21 long, 9 targets

Coming out of his concussion, Freiermuth seemed to be all over the tight party dynamic that fans wanted to see this season. He’s developing a really great relationship with Kenny Beckett, and it was great to see him back on the court after suffering another concussion a couple of weeks ago at Buffalo. Freiermuth appears to be the only player willing, or allowed, to use midcourt, and his 21-yard catch in the fourth quarter was a testament to the success of these plays.


losers

Defensive appearance catching footballs
base line: 4, possibly 5, decreased INTs

Watching Defenses on Sunday reminded me of watching the games with my brother during the early 2000s. We were watching Ike Taylor drop objection after objection. My brother always said, ‘If they can catch them, they will play abuse.’ He was right then, and he is now. The thing is, if the Steelers can take advantage of just one or two of those interceptions, it changes the entire outcome of the game. One team made plays, and the other let them fall between their fingers…literally.

Presley Harvin
Stat LinAverage 41.8 H, lacks consistency

One of the reasons I couldn’t stand Jordan Perry during his time with the Steelers was his lack of consistency. Well, I’m getting close to feeling the same with Harvin. I know Harvin doesn’t run far from home, but staying in the warm weather should help, right? Wrong – wrong – wrong. Harvin’s 23-yard throw in the first inning only featured a choppy performance. I’m not asking for much, but consistency is a must.

Canada died
base line: Contact play is a problem

What can be said and not already said? Playing ‘gentle’ at first, in lulls where running, jogging, passing, gambling seems to be the goal? Written plays that wouldn’t work in a pop warner? Lack of readiness kicks off/half timeout? Just awful… At this point, Canada isn’t just coaching for success, but coaching in his career.

‘0’ second half
base line: look above

Both teams showed flashes of brilliance at times, but there were very few of those sparks in the second half. Miami and Pittsburgh were both offensive with zero scores in the third and fourth quarters. Just bad football.

Kenny Beckett
base line: 32/44, 257 yards, 5.8 medium, 1 TD, 3 dash, 2 bags for 11 yards, 66.2 rating/3 lunge, 20 yards

In case no one knows, these “losers” are not arranged in any specific order. I literally go over my in-game notes, chest points and what I’ve seen and include players who didn’t play well. With that, Beckett was a loser on Sunday night. Everyone who has watched football knows that there will be beginner mistakes. Dick Lebow used to feast on rookie quarterbacks, and he knows exactly what to do to get them off their game. We saw some of those moments in prime time. Before the match, I was wondering if Beckett would have that ‘moment’ where he proves to everyone that he’s the next ‘man’ on the Steelers. He had two of those moments Sunday night and failed on both occasions, ending the drive with interceptions. I hope he learns from a show like this.

landing “heavy”
base line: 3rd Down – 4 vs 14 / Red Zone – 1 vs 2

The Steelers’ inability to win these major failures was a determining factor not only in the outcome, but also in the overall flow of the game. 4 for 14 in the third defeats is outrageous, and one of the reasons I had every time I saw the Steelers was he had a third and a short one. If you’re doing the 3rd, short, easy transformation, you’re setting plays to create those spaces and spaces. However, at this time, the Steelers could make the third and third mile feel like the third mile and the country mile.

rush dates
base line: 0 bags, 1 QB hit

Do you think this defense started figuring things out without TJ Watt? While they might do it on the back end, the swipe rush doesn’t detect anything. I know Alex Highsmith entered his seventh week as the NFL captain in the sacks, but the Steelers’ pass barely received a finger on the tu on Sunday night. The longer you play this team, the more you realize that they are a one-man squad when it comes to TJ Watt.

Penalties
base line: 5 for 40 yards

When it comes to penalty shootouts in this game, it’s not how many, but when those penalties occurred. Consider driving in the fourth quarter. He starts out 4 minutes and runs into the red to create a third and short. The illegal turn call turned 3rd and 6th penalty kick. Dan Moore’s penalty kick turned her 3rd and 16th. Now, back up, the Steelers must change their philosophy and Beckett’s pass is intercepted. Those sanctions changed the dynamic of the game, not for the better.


If you’d like to take a more detailed look at the list above, check out my “Let’s Ride” podcast where I identify every winner and loser, and more!

#winners #losers #Steelers #lost #Dolphins

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