Playing “down” to a team on the road. A scatback doing big damage. A blocked field goal. All culminating in a disappointing loss to thwart a Pittsburgh Steelers’ 3-0 start.
Stop me if that sounds familiar. It should. Because that’s exactly what happened in last year’s Week Three loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Granted, that one transformed into blowout status, a 34-3 defeat, but it had all the same ingredients.
Today, on the game’s first drive, Martavis Bryant dropped a pass on the game’s opening play, a would-be touchdown. Last year, Markus Wheaton couldn’t hang onto a would-be 18 yard touchdown.
Last year, they tried a 36 yard field goal. It was blocked. Philadelphia responded with a field goal.
Today, a 35 yarder. Blocked. Bears kicked a field goal.
Darren Sproles put up big play after big play for the Eagles. Tarik Cohen didn’t quite match that feat but averaged over six yards per carry and a 36 yard run, a couple inches away from a back-breaking game-winner in overtime.
Big picture, the offense sputtered, the defense faltered, and the Steelers walked away with a painful loss. I know, ultimately, what happened last year doesn’t affect what happened this year. But it sure makes it frustrating.
It’s a day where the Baltimore Ravens got plastered by the Jacksonville Jaguars and the New England Patriots went down to the wire to beat the Houston Texans. This was a chance for some separation, and a bit of validation, for being one of the best teams in the NFL. And the Steelers still can be, as much as this loss smarts right now. But it’s much more theoretical after the disgusting performance Pittsburgh put on today.
This is the easy part of the Steelers’ schedule. By midseason, they’ll have shortened weeks and tough teams; Green Bay, Tennessee, and those Patriots again. Now, they’ll have to travel to a pissed off Ravens team where they haven’t won since 2012. This is a team who could drop to 2-2 and who knows how things go from there.
Squandered chances. Happened last year. Happened today. It’s got to stop.