Analyzing the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Week 3 win over the Bucs Pittsburgh Steelers Womens Hoodie , by the numbers 49 yardsJames Conner definitely did not have a record-setting game rushing the ball. But when it mattered, he came through in a big way. In the final two drives of the game, Conner had 49 yards on 5 carries. One of those carries was a 4-yard loss on a strange sequence where Ben Roethlisberger changed the play at the line and then almost missed the handoff. The play put the Steelers behind the sticks and helped kill the drive.The most important run of the night was the 17 yard rush right before the two-minute warning to put the team in victory formation. There was no secret as to what the Steelers were going to do as they lined up with their jumbo package in an obvious running formation. But Conner managed to break free while staying inbounds for a game-clinching play.75 yardsYes, Vance McDonald had a nice 75-yard touchdown catch and run which included a posterizing stiff arm. But that wasn’t the most impressive 75 yards of the night. The 9 play, 75-yard touchdown drive in 1:09 to end the first half was a thing of beauty. On the drive, Ben Roethlisberger was 8/9 for 74 yards to five different receivers. The only other yard on the drive was the one yard penalty for pass interference. It was arguably the most important possession of the game for the Steelers as they were answering a Tampa Bay field goal knowing the Bucs would received the second-half kickoff.22/235The total number of penalties in this game was ridiculous. I understand the penalties the first week, and perhaps even the second, but things should be much more cleaned up by week three. Of those 22 penalties for 235 yards, 155 yards on 13 flags were attributed to the Steelers.Needless to say, the penalties on the Steelers are ridiculous. Something needs to improve as the season continues. But the total number of penalties and yards for this primetime game is something the league cannot afford to continue. The massive number of penalties makes for an inferior product to showcase on a Monday night.1The Steelers did not score in the second half of this game. A big reason for this was they only had one possession in the third quarter. On said possession, the Steelers moved the ball 46 yards on 11 plays enroute to a 47-yard missed field goal attempt.The biggest reason the Steelers only had one possession in the third quarter was the opening drive of the half for Tampa which took 7:53. It was actually a nice job by the defense to keep the Bucs out of the end zone after being on the field for so long.1140For the first time in his career, Ben Roethlisberger has passed for more than 300 yards in each of the first three weeks of the season. Ben has a total of 1140 yards which averages to 380 per game. The closest Ben has ever come to this total in his career was 2011 when he passed for 942 yards (314 per game) the opening three weeks, leading the Steelers to a 2–1 record.Before this season, Roethlisberger’s record for consecutive 300 yard games to start a season was in 2015 when he passed for 300+ the first two weeks. Unfortunately the streak came to an end during a week-three win in St. Louis when Ben left in the third quarter with a knee injury which kept him out of the next three games.Roethlisberger’s longest streak of consecutive games throwing for 300 yards or more during the same season is four games in 2015 (weeks 9-12). Ben will get a chance to tie that record next week at home against the Ravens on Sunday night. Le’Veon Bell needs to call (or maybe he’d prefer to tweet) Mike Wallace.The Pittsburgh Steelers are not unfamiliar with egotistical stars that have overvalued their worth, and try to move on to greener pastures. Mike Wallace also looked for those pastures. He found fields of green in free agency. Fortunately for him, they were green with the dollar bills he desired. But, unfortunately for him, they turned out to be burnt-out lawns. And, soon, that money dried up, too. Back to Wallace’s story in a moment.Le’Veon Bell’s holdout is perplexing in many ways. He’s leaving lottery-winning amounts of money on the table every week, all while supposedly preserving his body for his big payday next season. He surely wanted the Steelers to struggle without him鈥howing his worth to the NFL world.While the Steelers are not off to a sterling start, they seem to be getting their footing for a Super Bowl push, sans Bell. Worse for Bell Womens Customized Pittsburgh Steelers Jerseys , James Conner has been, at times, fantastic. He catches the ball better than advertised, and scores TDs in numbers that Bell never did. Conner looks the part.
The Steelers’ slow start is due to defensive deficiencies, not offensive. Nobody is blaming Conner for the team’s hiccups this season. Bell misplayed his hand so far, lost generational amounts of money, and he still needs to return this season and play to become a free agent next season. So, who says he doesn’t get hurt on his first carry after he comes back?!This is a gladiator sport where players go down constantly.Okay, so maybe he does stay healthy playing rest of season. And, he does preserve the wear-and-tear on his body he so feared. It is still easy to suggest Le’Veon Bell may not get the amount he’s looking for next season. The Steelers and Conner proved him replaceable. Will NFL teams not take notice of that fact?But, okay, this is the NFL, and certain teams seem to always overpay. Perhaps Le’Veon Bell gets his big payday, being paid as both a RB and WR, at 17 mil/yr or so. So, let’s look into a crystal ball. If he does get his overinflated, self-assessed value, you’ll one day likely read the sports headline: (Insert team name here) want Bell to accept pay cut, or be cut.This is the same thing that happened to Mike Wallace with the Dolphins after two seasons when he fled the “cheap” Steelers. (Forget that the Dolphins also overpaid for Brandon Marshall and Ndamukong Suh, and let them loose, too! We’ll stick with Wallace’s story here. Like I said, the NFL is littered with stories like these.) Contracts are not guaranteed in the NFL. When players go for those ultimate dollar deals, they almost always get cut a short time later if they don’t agree to lower their contract price. Besides QBs, precious few live them out. The Steelers were smart http://www.steelerscheapshops.com , letting Wallace walk for his huge contract, and signing the cheaper Antonio Brown to a nice-sized, but workable, contract. You never saw the Steelers ask Antonio Brown to lower his contract, right? Because it was a sensible contract that was affordable but still allowing Brown to do well, too. Antonio Brown would end up playing out his contract with a HOF quarterback in Big Ben. Roethlisberger makes WRs look better than they are, that is what great QBs do. Don’t forget that even Nate Washington turned his Pittsburgh career with Ben tossing him the ball into big bucks with Tennessee! Nate was Mike Wallace before Mike Wallace. Like Wallace (and even Brown), Ben makes these players look better than they are. Just as the Steelers’ top-notch offensive line, HOF quarterback, and HOF wide receiver make Bell better. With All-Pros in the passing game, Bell rarely sees 8-in-the-box behind his talented line. But, back to Wallace.He overvalued himself, as did many pundits such as ESPN analyst and HOF receiver Chris Carter. Carter suggested that Wallace was an irreplaceable, impact player. This was generally believed throughout the NFL. The Dolphins, most experts said, got a stud in Wallace. Pittsburgh should not have let him walk.Wallace went on to pedestrian seasons with multiple clubs after leaving Pittsburgh (Ben). Suddenly, Wallace had his passes in Miami flung to him by Ryan Tannehill, and the Chris Carters of the world forgot about him.Had he stayed in Pittsburgh, his numbers would be inflated and he’d still be thought of as an elite receiver. Tethered to Ben Roethlisberger for the last 5 seasons would have changed his career trajectory. Most likely, he would have signed another impressive but fair contract – the same thing the Steelers offered him before.Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald wrote on 2/19/15: “I believe the Dolphins want to pay Wallace to his performance level rather than his potential performance level, which is what they paid for when they signed him as a free agent in 2013.” He adds: “The point is Wallace wasn’t top 5 in anything except his salary.”Hello, Le’Veon Bell, this is your likely future. A humble ending to a unhumble man.