Steel Curtain Network: A Pittsburgh Steelers podcast

3 Winners and 6 Losers after the Steelers loss to the Jaguars

The Pittsburgh Steelers were back on the field Sunday for the seventh game of the 2023 regular season when they played the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 8 of regular season action. The Steelers were losers in the contest, but that doesn’t mean every player had a good or bad performance.

Players who play well can be considered ‘Winners’, while those who left a lot to be desired can be called ‘Losers’. It may sound harsh, but it is the crux of this exercise.

Let’s check in to see who fell on which side of the ledger after the latest game…

…but before we do so it is important for me to note you might believe these numbers, 3 winners and 6 losers, are too modest. The loss vs. the Jaguars was a complete failure, and to list out every player who was “below the line” seems like an exercise in futility.

Let’s get on with it…


T.J. Watt
Stat Line: 2 tackles, 1 solo, 1 PD, .5 sack, 1 QB Hit

Watt could be a winner every game, and even though he looks as if he is hampered by injury, he was still impacting the game. Going back to the injury, it should be known Watt popped up on the injury report at the end of last week with his heel injury. This should be something of note moving forward.

Stat Line: 3 takeaways (2 FF, 1 INT)

This was the first game the Steelers won the turnover battle, and yet didn’t win the game. The defense did plenty to win this game, but the offense couldn’t do anything with the extra possessions. That was ultimately the difference in the game, considering last week vs. the Rams the offense took those extra possessions and turned them into points. The defense did their job in this regard.

Joey Porter Jr.
Stat Line: 5 tackles, 4 solo, 1st start

In his first career start in the NFL, Porter did exactly what I thought he’d do. He provided great coverage snaps, and also had some lapses mixed in. Porter was a more willing tackler in this game, and the touchdown pass to Etienne was a clear miscommunication between the defensive backs. That will happen when the captain of the secondary, Minkah Fitzpatrick, is out of the game. Other than that, I thought Porter played well against a high profile wide receiving corps.


Stat Line: Worst possible time

The Steelers prepare for the Tennessee Titans on Thursday Night Football, and the injuries to Kenny Pickett (ribs) and Minkah Fitzpatrick (hamstring) couldn’t have come at a worse time. The team now has to prepare on a short week without two very key parts of the team likely being available. With that being said, Pickett has the better opportunity to play over Fitzpatrick on Thursday night.

Mike Tomlin
Stat Line: It all falls on the head coach, or it should

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. When things go south, the blame should ultimately fall at the feet of the head coach. Offensive problems? Who hired the coordinator? Who cares that Tomlin is a “defensive coach”. At what point should he shoulder some of the blame for the ineptitude of the unit? Tomlin is a good coach, I’m not trying to say he isn’t, but at some point the production, or lack thereof, has to fall on him. This was a losing effort on Sunday, and quite frankly almost all season.

Offensive Line
Stat Line: 3 sacks, 9 QB Hits, no push in run game

Whether it was Mason Cole’s horrible snaps, or overall inability to run the ball, the offensive line performance this season has been a huge reason why the offense has been stagnant. Sunday the Steelers’ top rusher was Jaylen Warren for 19 yards. Read that again…19 yards. The Steelers offensive line, which was advertised to be maulers, are anything but right now. How do you fix the offense? Start with the offensive line improving.

Matt Canada
Stat Line: Predictability strikes again

Matt Canada continues with his nonsense of his predictable nature. Dave Schofield spoke about this on the post-game show. In the first half, when the Steelers were in shotgun they threw the ball. Every time. When they were under center, they ran the ball all but once. If Dave can figure this out, just think about the advanced analytics department of an NFL team. Being predictable isn’t on a poor offensive line or a young quarterback. It’s on a coach who just can’t seem to get out of his own way.

Stat Line: What the hell was that?

I honestly can’t recall a game where there were more questionable calls than the one in Pittsburgh Sunday. Questionable defensive pass interference calls, questionable roughing the passer calls and of course the botched call on the Chris Boswell field goal at the end of the first half. It was a nightmare for this officiating crew, and something the league has to address if they want to keep the integrity of the game intact.

3rd Down Offense
Stat Line: 3-for-12

3-for-12 speaks for itself, but we all knew this, right? The Steelers didn’t even have a first down in the entire first quarter. Screw scoring points, how bad is it that the fan base is just looking for a first down early in games, and not points. How depressing is that?!

If you want a more detailed look at the above list, check out my “Let’s Ride” podcast in the player below where I outline each Winner and Loser, and MORE!

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