Minutes earlier, he didn’t haul within the first of two important throws from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger that, if caught, may’ve become factors or chunk performs.
The Steelers have been trailing by a rating within the second quarter, and Smith-Schuster was extensive open within the seam with a transparent path to the tip zone. However there was an excessive amount of air on the ball, and it went crusing over his arms.
“I’m human,” Smith-Schuster mentioned. “I’ve emotions. I used to be on the sideline. I obtained upset with myself as a result of I make these performs. I by no means present feelings on the sideline, as a result of I do know I’m all the time being watched. A sport like this in a vital time and second, state of affairs like that, I’m annoyed at myself.
“I’m not mad on the staff, I’m not mad on the playcalling, I’m not mad at Ben making a throw. It’s all on me.”
His mood boiled over once more within the third quarter after one other missed reference to Roethlisberger. And once more, Smith-Schuster accepted the blame.
“It was a miscommunication,” he mentioned. “Ben didn’t know the place the protection was, so he threw me inside. I used to be simply making an attempt to succeed in again after which come again to it and get beneath it. However I didn’t get there in time.”
It isn’t all on Smith-Schuster. Removed from it. He fell on the sword after Sunday’s 27-17 loss to the Packers, however the offensive struggles prolong far past these two performs.
Three different occasions throughout Steelers coach Mike Tomlin’s tenure, the staff has began 1-3 or worse.
In all three situations — 2013, 2018 and 2019 — the Steelers missed the playoffs however escaped a shedding season.
However this time, staring down the fourth 1-3 gap in 15 seasons, it feels totally different. Like possibly the ceiling for this iteration of the Steelers is .500.
“Disappointing consequence, nevertheless it’s nothing mystical about it,” Tomlin mentioned. “Like I simply advised the staff, we want extra element in our play. We’ve obtained to place them in higher place to make performs after which they’ve obtained to make extra performs.
“And so, we’re all collectively in our circumstance collectively. We’ve obtained to repeatedly get higher. These are our intentions. We don’t like the place we’re.”
Roethlisberger additionally shouldered the blame for the misses, as he’s accomplished in every of the Steelers’ different two losses.
“To ensure that a deep ball to achieve success, each events need to be on the identical web page,” he mentioned. “They’ve to know the protection and what’s occurring. However on the finish of the day, I’m the one throwing it, I’m the one which has to make it occur. I’m the one which has to hit the blokes. No matter the place they’re on the sphere, no matter what the protection is, it comes right down to me. I’ve to get them the ball.”
For the third week in a row, the offense couldn’t maintain any type of rhythm, and Roethlisberger, dealing with a Packers protection that pressured him solely 7% of the time, accomplished 26 of 40 makes an attempt for 232 yards and one landing with one interception. The run sport confirmed indicators of life with Najee Harris averaging 4.1 yards per carry, however the staff had 62 yards dashing on 16 makes an attempt.
The anemic offense coupled with a protection that couldn’t get stress on Rodgers or cease the run culminated in a 3rd consecutive loss by at the least 9 factors — the primary time that has occurred to the Steelers since 1988.
After the primary month of the season, the Steelers are on tempo for a traditionally unhealthy season — even when, on paper, they’ve been right here earlier than.
The Steelers have a minus-26 level differential by their first 4 video games, their worst since that 2013 season — one which finally become an 8-8 season after then-rookie Le’Veon Bell helped jump-start the run sport.
The 2018 and 2019 seasons completed 9-6-1 and 8-8, respectively, however that they had gamers who emerged to maintain it from fully unraveling. Up to now, that glue man for the 2021 season hasn’t been revealed.
“We’ve had some down years, in all probability by no means began like this,” Roethlisberger mentioned after the loss. “What a problem for us. I believe that is going to check us all. We have to look within the mirror, and we have to determine what path we’re going to take.”
Step one in a optimistic path ahead is easy: get a win. Tips on how to do it, although, is much much less apparent.
Up subsequent is a 3-1 Denver Broncos staff that could possibly be with out quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (concussion), adopted by a Seattle Seahawks squad that shall be coming off prolonged relaxation after a Thursday evening sport towards the Los Angeles Rams.
The schedule is much from the one impediment. Tomlin’s problem every postgame has been some variation of the identical factor: The small print weren’t executed and the staff wasn’t profitable on possession downs. Through the week, he describes the problems within the offense as one factor going mistaken that retains the entire play from being profitable.
Towards the Packers, the Steelers have been 4-for-11 on third down and 0-for-2 on fourth down. In each fourth-down calls Sunday, Roethlisberger threw the ball in need of the sticks, and the primary play gave the impression to be a repeat of the fourth-down throw to Harris towards the Bengals that went nowhere.
Tomlin mentioned after this loss that he was “involved” about his staff, however he emphasised that he isn’t hitting the panic button.
His quarterback isn’t, both.
“I’ve been doing this a very long time,” Roethlisberger mentioned. “I’ve had some actually good video games, some actually unhealthy video games. Some good years, some unhealthy years. I nonetheless like to play this sport. I like what it’s.
“It’s simply a type of issues that after we lay our head down at evening, can we are saying that we’re pleased with our efficiency? And if not, how can we make changes and modifications so the following time we come out we will say we’re pleased with our efficiency?”
https://www.espn.com/weblog/pittsburgh-steelers/publish/_/id/32837/after-1-3-start-pittsburgh-steelers-show-early-signs-of-historically-bad-season | After 1-3 begin, Pittsburgh Steelers present early indicators of traditionally unhealthy season – Pittsburgh Steelers Weblog