Steelers’ Week 3 win over Buccaneers stems the tide of early season turbulence

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Steelers’ Week 3 win over Buccaneers stems the tide of early season turbulence

Postautor: zhangzk 01 gru 2018, 7:44

If you’re anything like me , I’ll bet you’re glad you don’t have to talk yourself into believing the Steelers could still be true contenders with a record of 0-2-1 to start the 2018 campaign.And that’s what we would have had to do, you know. Talk ourselves into thinking the low percentage of teams that made the playoffs after going winless through the first three weeks didn’t pertain to the squad we cheered for. Thankfully, the Steelers rescued us from that illogical bit of fan reasoning with a 30-27 victory over the Buccaneers on Monday Night Football. It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t always sound. But it gave the Steelers (and their fans) a chance to breathe, to sort of hit the reset button.After 2017, a season in which the Steelers seemed to be in the news every single week for one controversy or another, it didn’t seem like Team Turmoil could possibly be more chaotic in 2018. Yet, the first two weeks felt like 20, as Pittsburgh got off to an 0-1-1 start and didn’t look very pretty during the process.The ugliness wasn’t contained to the field either.But it’s okay...for now. The win over Tampa Bay didn’t cure all that ailed the Steelers going into Monday night. No, it just leveled off the airline after a rough takeoff and some scary turbulence. The Steelers still have much work to do, and how they go about their business during the next few weeks will likely determine the ultimate course of their season. However, this is nothing new in the NFL, especially with the way free-agency alters every team’s roster during the offseason—even the really talented ones. Take a look at the Steelers, for instance, a team that went 13-3 in 2017. They essentially have two new starting safeties, along with a rookie safety who they’ve quickly thrown into the mix and are expecting big things from. They also have a new inside linebacker and two outside linebackers that have switched sides.And that’s just the defense. Pittsburgh has a new starting running back to start the season in James Conner, something nobody — including the front-office and coaching staff — could have predicted as recently as a month ago. The Steelers also have a new-look receiving corps that includes a rookie and a return-specialist who they traded for right before the start of the season.Oh yes, and there’s the new offensive coordinator.With the way all teams — not just the Steelers — prepare for the regular season by protecting their essential players during the preseason, it’s no wonder ugliness is so often a part of September football. No, not all teams are looking ugly right now. The Chiefs are a great example, as they’ve started out 3-0 and couldn’t look more dominant. The other day Womens Maurkice Pouncey Jersey , as Kansas City’s first half score of 35-7 over the 49ers flashed on my television screen, I thought, “Man, the Steelers are not even in the Chiefs’ universe, let alone league.” But then I caught myself and realized there are teams like the Chiefs each and every September. In fact, the Chiefs were that team last year, as they jumped out to a 5-0 start and beat up on the Super Bowl champion Patriots in the process. Kansas City was the new team-to-beat in the AFC. Kansas City was going to get over the hump and get to the Super Bowl. By the playoffs, Kansas City was the fourth seed and lost to the Titans at home in the first round. Coaches like to tell you about how they don’t worry about what other teams are doing. “We can’t worry about what takes place in other stadiums,” Mike Tomlin is fond of saying. While that’s not always true, it’s certainly true at this time of year. It doesn’t matter who looks dominant now. What matters is who’s peaking in December and January, something the Steelers have been very good at in recent years. After all the chaos, after all those penalties, after all those turnovers given up by the offense and big plays given up by the defense, the Steelers are 1-1-1.That record looks ridiculous, but it’s only a half a game worse than Pittsburgh’s record last year at this time. The Steelers don’t look like Super Bowl contenders right now, but that doesn’t mean they’re not.Let’s see how they chart their course from here. Welcome to Week 10 of the college football season!Headlined by the meeting of the Alabama Crimson Tide, currently ranked No. 1 in the country, and the No. 4 LSU Tigers. If ‘Bama wins they all but secure the SEC West.In another SEC match up, the No. 6 Georgia Bulldogs travel to Lexington to face the No. 11 Kentucky Wildcats. This meeting could decide the outcome of the SEC East.Michigan has won seven in a row after losing to Notre Dame on opening weekend. A win against a scrappy Nittany Lions team could help their chances at getting one of the four playoffs spots. West Virginia and Texas battle it out in a Big 12 showdown with conference championship ramifications. A win by the Mountaineers and a win out makes the November 23rd meeting with Oklahoma significant. A win by Texas and a win by WVU against OU could put Texas as the conference champ.No. 6 Georgia (-10) at No. 11 Kentucky 3:30 CBSNo. 12 West Virginia at No. 15 Texas (-2.5) 3:30FoxNo. 14 Penn State at No. 5 Michigan (-10) 3:45 ESPNNo. 1 Alabama (-14) at No. 4 LSU 8:00 CBSThis week’s draft highlight game:No. 12 West Virginia at No. 15 Texas (-2.5) 3:30FoxTexas LonghornsCalvin Anderson #66 OT 6’5” 300Collin Johnson #9 WR 6’6” 220Lil’ Jordan Humphrey #84 WR 6’4” 225Kris Boyd #2 CB 6’ 195Longhorn BreakdownCB Kris BoydI love Boyd’s feistiness and aggressiveness as a whole. Boyd is one of the best press man guys in the class and it shows. His hands are great and he bumps guys off their route often. He consistently sticks with team’s top receiver easily. He shows great ball skills, with tracking being a key Womens Jesse James Jersey , but his hands are like Ike’s. He has fluid hips and his mirroring skills are fantastic as a result of it. He processes well in zone and makes plays, or deflections on them. In run defense, he is fantastic, as he is a sure tackler and shed blocks easily. He does need to add bulk to his upper half, as bigger bodied receivers can give him issues. Even though he is good in zone, he has a limited time playing in zone, and sometimes can lose his zone awareness, which could leave him open to a big play every now and then.Round Grade: Early 2ndNFL Comparison: Darius SlayWR Collin JohnsonA huge 6’6” frame that has speed on it. He turns on the burners in the open field and it is already over. Combined with the fact that it is incredibly tough to jam him due to his fantastic footwork and strong frame, it is tough to stop Johnson. His breaks are so crisp with those fluid hips and he leaves guys on the ground at times. His contested catch ability combined with fantastic body control might be the best in the class, bar Hakeem Butler. He high points it consistently and goes all out in all areas that he possibly can to make fantastic catches. He even is a great blocker.However, I would like to see him get more vertical more often and work out of different alignments, including the slot more. While he is fantastic with leverage, he needs to not overplay that and open up windows for overhanging safeties. Round Grade: Mid 2ndNFL Comparison: Robby AndersonWest Virginia Mountaineers Will Grier #7 QB 6’1” 214Yodny Cajuste #55 OT 6’4” 316David Sills V #13 WR 6’3” 203Gary Jennings #12 WR 6’ 210Mountaineer BreakdownQB Will GrierGrier is going to be someone that is debated as being a first round pick, and should Justin Herbert not declare, I can see that happening. Something about Grier is that he just insanely smart. He dissects defenses at will pre-snap and post-snap, which is why I like him a decent bit. Combine that with good arm strength and you have an intriguing prospect. He just does not get bogged down in bad decision making. The guy has some really nice ball placement and makes back shoulder throws all the time. And combine that with an ability to truly extend the play from the pocket, in which he is comfortable in even under pressure, is a huge plus. His mobility reminds me of Sam Darnold’s ability to scramble and throw on the run. However, his deep accuracy is a huge question for me. It is spotty at best, even if he gets it down there and he will consistently miss his open guys for should be touchdowns. And while he can be good at recognizing coverages Authentic Jon Bostic Jersey , he does not manipulate with his eyes well enough to deceive as one would like. His release could be more efficient and I wish it was, as with the accuracy issue, it does tank him a bit.Round Grade: Early 3rd RoundNFL Comparison: Chad PenningtonWR David Sills VSills is a big bodied receiver and plays like one through-and-through. He bullies people at the line and is not affected by press at all due to good hands and solid footwork. His release is thus impeccable and his stems always end with vertical angles, which allows him to always win the leverage battles. He knows how to win leverage in contested catch situations and makes them consistently. His smart play allows him to find soft spots in zones constantly. His hips are fluid and his breaks look quick for a man of his size, which make a route runner than one would think for his size. He always shows how aware he is of the sideline and becomes a great red zone threat, but also a threat after the catch.However, he has the dropsies unfortunately. His hands fail him in traffic and sometimes just in the open field. Add in that his route tree is sparse and you’re looking at a guy that while a great deep threat, is limited as a receiver. He needs to add bulk to his frame as he can beat by lengthy corners and has to be schemed open as a result. He lacks the overall awareness of where the ball will be thrown and misses back shoulder throws far too often.Round Grade: Mid 3rdNFL Comparison: Kelvin Benjamin (with work ethic)SleepersWR Keesean Johnson #3 - Fresno StateYes, he has the same name as Keyshawn Johnson, and he is really good too. He has some stupidly fluid hips that not only allow super quick breaks, but in addition to all that, exquisite route running. He has absolute titanium hands that simply do not drop a ball in sight. He high points everything and goes up to make contested catches all the time. His awareness of the field allows him to be a fantastic sideline receiver. He knows how to use his leverage and wins with it easily. He plays with a high motor consistently and flies around giving it his all.His athleticism is not great, and I would like to see him utilize his frame a bit more of jump catches, to make them less 50-50 and more 70-30. He is only decent at best after the catch and can be tackled rather easily. Round Grade: Mid 3rdNFL Comparison: Mahamed SanuTE Josh Oliver #89 - San Jose StateThe one tight end that needs to be getting so much more attention than he is. He is a deadly receiver that can win to all parts of the field. With him being 6’5”, it is no doubt not shocking at all to see him be a great red zone threat and contested catch target. The way he uses his frame and leverage to just box everyone out is quite impressive though. He is athletic enough to go up and get the ball from just about every DB. His rounds are not fantastic but they are crisp and allow him to work out of the slot still. He is also so slippery and tough to bring down in the open field.He is a capable blocker and shows great flashes, but lanky, raw frame that still needs filled out means he can be bullied at times. Often gets taken out of plays in chips, and needs to work on that much more. He needs to expand his route tree to become a premier NFL TE.Round Grade: Early 3rdNFL Comparison: David Njoku...Tell us who you have your eye on and what games you will be tuning in to on Saturday.

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