There was one series in particular during the Steelers-Patriots game Sunday night that showed what happens when a team gets rid of its most talented players.
It was the second quarter, and the Steelers were facing a 2nd-and-2. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw a pass to receiver Ryan Switzer. He went one yard.
On 3rd-and-1, they ran James Conner. He was short. He couldn’t get a single yard.buy nike nfl jerseys cheap
Against the Patriots, that won’t cut it. You won’t come close unless you can make those plays, and the Steelers didn’t make the plays or come close, losing 33-3 at Gillette Stadium.
But the Patriots’ victory wasn’t the story from this game. We know there’s a good chance they will be an even bigger juggernaut than last season when star receiver Antonio Brown joins them in the near future.
The larger story from this contest, however, is how the Steelers lost.nike nfl jerseys cheap china
For the Steelers, getting rid of Antonio Brown was the right thing to do. It was like taking a dose of penicillin.
For the Steelers, letting running back Le’Veon Bell walk was the right thing to do, too. He didn’t want to be there, so say goodbye, send him flowers and move on.
The Steelers broke apart their Big Three, and it was smart to do so, especially in the case of Brown.
But doing what they should have done doesn’t mean there won’t be repercussions. In the Patriots game, you saw those repercussions, and they were a glaring red light. It was the worst season-opening loss for the Steelers since 1997.
“It’s humbling,” coach Mike Tomlin said in his news conference after the game. “It sucks.”
When asked about Brown not being part of the offense, Tomlin said the team moved on in March.
Conner, who stepped in and filled Bell’s shoes during his season-long holdout last year, had just 21 yards on 10 carries Sunday. JuJu Smith-Schuster, who is stepping into Brown’s ample cleats this season, had six catches for 78 yards, and most of that came once the game was out of hand. Roethlisberger was 27-of-47 for 276 yards.