So that was, uh, bad.
Le’Veon Bell – Bell was bar none the best player on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ today, offense, defense, or special teams. I’m sure many will ask why Bell didn’t touch the ball enough, finishing the day with 10 carries and just five catches. But he was dynamic with the ball in his hands on nearly every opportunity and the lone bright spot today.
Darrius Heyward-Bey – He brought the splash, getting the Steelers an early lead with a fantastic 60 yard end around, barreling through safety Reshad Jones and flashing past the rest of the Dolphins’ defense to the end zone.
Ross Cockrell – I thought his pass defense was solid and he routinely contested catch points, including one in the end zone on third down, forcing a Miami field goal. His run defense was poor but that, frankly, isn’t a surprise.
Mike Mitchell – Kidding!
I planned on writing this after a win. It would’ve been a lot funnier. I promise.
Ben Roethlisberger – Yes, Ben was hurt, and hobbled around like he had a hip replaced, but it doesn’t do enough to serve as an excuse. He was awful and his home/road splits, as David Todd has repeatedly pointed out, will garner a lot of attention.
Both of his interceptions were disastrous, passes thrown with absolutely zero justification. Accuracy was fleeting and he struggled to complete even half his passes. A late touchdown to Cobi Hamilton made his numbers look slightly not vomit-worthy but his play definitely was.
Run Defense – Has it ever been so bad this decade? There are certainly a lot of reasons for it, pre and post-game injuries, the weather, and a lack of depth, but it was difficult to watch the entire afternoon. Jay Ajayi is the first back to run for 200+ against the Steelers since Fred Taylor in 2000, averaging over eight yards per carry today. Poor run fills, bad tackling, and an inability to get off blocks all played roles.
That falls on everyone but I didn’t think Javon Hargrave, Jarvis Jones, or Ricardo Mathews played well up front.
Artie Burns/William Gay – For giving up the two explosive plays through the air. Gay lost sight of MarQueis Gray on the first and Burns seemed to have issue getting on top of Jarvis Landry on the second. Those are big no-nos against a passing attack that previously was one of the league’s least effective.
Gay also dropped a sure interception, maybe one that could’ve been housed, which, who knows, maybe changes the complexion of the game.
Pass Rush – Which, again, was nonexistent. To their credit, Ryan Tannehill got the ball out of his hand quickly, making pressure hard to come by, but a Dolphins’ team sacked 11 times in the last two games was clean today. They did get Branden Albert and Laremy Tunsil back today and that was a huge reason for their success.
Coaching Staff – No one was good today, players or coaches. The offense certainly had a couple questionable calls and Keith Butler was unable to make Tannehill look remotely uncomfortable. I don’t buy into some of the opinions that’ll be floated out there about them but I don’t look to absolve them from the loss, either.