U mad, bro? Steelers fans spout off about defense, officials, time change
I agree with most of the complaints in this week’s “U mad, bro?”
Well, aside from the ones lashing out at me directly, of course. Those people, obviously, are always wrong.
But, for the most part, our reader complaints are spot-on this week.
That’s because many of the fans were complaining about the defense and the officiating in the Pittsburgh Steelers loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.
And that’s like shooting fish in a barrel.
I got the largest number of responses bemoaning the Steelers’ failure to defend Keenan Allen in the loss to the Chargers on Sunday.
The Los Angeles wide receiver had 148 yards on 14 catches and 19 targets. Many of those targets came while he was covered by linebackers.
That made the fans — and me — very angry.
Keith butler logic: one of the best receivers in the game in Keenan Allen is consistently getting open so instead of doubling him or having joe stick on him we’ll put LJ Fort in single coverage on him and have our slot corner who mainly blitzes one on one with him
— Josh Crawford (@joshcrawford22) December 3, 2018
Mike Tomlin partially blamed the injury-related absences of Morgan Burnett and Cameron Sutton for the team’s inability to get the matchups they wanted.
That’s a fair response. But why would he ever count on those two being healthy? And why would linebackers be the primary answer for addressing the holes created by those injuries? I wouldn’t have even liked Ryan Shazier in that matchup if he was healthy.
By the way, the Raiders’ top receiving option is Jared Cook.
He’s a tight end. A bit larger than Allen and perhaps not as athletic. But expect Oakland to attempt to exploit the middle of the field with a big target like him this week just as Los Angeles did with Allen.
Here’s one of the dozens of retorts I got about the officials.
These ref's apparently went to the Jerry Meals School of Terrible Officiating and Blown Calls. Atrocious performance by the refs in a primetime game with huge implications. #SteelersvsChargers #jerrymealssayshessafe @DKPghSports @MaddenProducer @TimBenzPGH @Pirates @steelers
— Mike Washabaugh (@MWashMC) December 3, 2018
Did Sam Tevi false start at right tackle?
Kidding aside, Mike is right. Between the unflagged false starts, the block in the back on the punt-return touchdown and the long snapper moving the ball on the field goal misses at the end of the game, the officials were terrible.
The zebras weren’t the only reason the Steelers lost. But they blew three calls on scoring plays. That’s inexcusable.
This reader on Twitter didn’t like my column about Notre Dame being in the college football playoff without needing to play a conference championship game.
Let’s face it, if you’re giving Clemson a pass for playing Furman and Georgia Southern…and Georgia a pass for playing Austin Peay, and MTSU, and UMass, then I don’t know what to tell you. Just save it.
— AFiscal Hawk (@AFiscalHawk) December 3, 2018
Did I bring strength-of-schedule into question? I don’t think I did that. Did I do that?
Nope. Just checked. Didn’t do that.
What I did do is suggest that somehow Notre Dame fans would find a way to be offended by the column, even though I fired back at any argument stating the Irish should be left out.
Thanks for proving my point.
This fellow is grasping at straws as to why the Steelers lost to the Chargers. I kind of thought it was an inability to create turnovers, cover Keenan Allen and find steady special teams play.
But this is probably a bigger deal, right?
Worth noting this was a 1pm home game that turned into an 8pm away game. How you ask? It gives the west coast team 7 more hours to acclimate, and it assures a west coast audience for their ratings. All eyes (and calls) have favored the LA Bolts.
— Ben (@pgh_futbol) December 3, 2018
So, I guess they were sleepy when the game kicked off at 5:20 p.m. Pacific time? I mean, don’t the Chargers start most of their home games at 1:25 p.m. local time?
Yet, suddenly, after getting down 23-7, they were wide awake after halftime when they stormed back to win 33-30, I suppose.
How many seats went for sale after the time change? How many home fans said f it, night games are stupid when we have work in the morning? How many gold seats are showing in the stadium?
— Ben (@pgh_futbol) December 3, 2018
Wow. Someone has an inflated sense of the fans’ importance. Do you think maybe the other team’s play — let alone that of the home club — impacted the outcome at all?
Plus, the Steelers had been 27-8 at Heinz Field in night games before Sunday. You can’t pull out an excuse like this now just because they lost.
This guy took umbrage with my sense of foreboding before Chris Boswell’s attempt to tie the game with an extra point at 30-29.
Glenn, if you weren’t thinking the same thing, you weren’t paying attention all year. Boswell missed an extra point earlier in the game. He’s done that five times this season.
Don’t get mad at me for typing what every Steelers fan was worried about at the time.
The fans in the stands were really mad … at each other!
— Chonky Billups (@RealFakeSamDunn) December 4, 2018
Then there was this incident.
I can only assume those guys were arguing about something as important as the flexed time change at kickoff.