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- Steelers Stock Report: Whose stock is trending upward after beating the Ravens
Steelers Stock Report: Whose stock is trending upward after beating the Ravens
Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Just take your victory as humbly as possible, say thank you, and move on.
John Harbaugh and the Baltimore Ravens did everything in their power to pull defeat from the jaws of victory Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh. In the end, Harbaugh was once again successful in that endeavor.
Honestly, Harbaugh has been probably the biggest reason for the Steelers winning streak against the Ravens recently. He has habitually rolled the perverbial dice, going all in for the win. Maybe it’s a knee-jerk reaction to all of the late game comebacks by Big Ben and company over the years, but Harbaugh goes against the odds regularly against the Steelers, to the detriment of his team.
His overly aggressive decisions against the Steelers are about as successful as a Mike Tomlin challenge flag. In other words, not good.
In the end, I just want to say thank you to the Ravens. Thank you for more John Harbaugh mind numbing decisions. Thank you for the 8 dropped passes, including 2 easy touchdowns. Thank you for the late game gift turnovers, which allowed the struggling Steelers to stay in the game. Finally, thank you for the man coverage on George Pickens, the Steelers only real offensive weapon in the game, particularly on the game winning touchdown. One more, thank you for yet another perfect image of a thoroughly shocked and bewildered John Harbaugh. Priceless!
Steelers Stock Trending Up: T.J. Watt
As his famous older brother J.J. loves to point out, T.J. Watt is the best defender walking the planet. Watt is relentless. No other defender impacts the game quite like Watt, eerily similar to his aforementioned 3 time DPOY big brother.
Watt’s instincts and intangibles set him apart from his peers. He excels on batting down passes at the line of scrimmage when teams try to neutralize his pass rush with quick passes. Again, just like his big brother. On one of his 2 sacks in the game, Watt went full on Matrix, as he bent his body in a superhuman kind of way at full speed to sack Lamar Jackson. What made it even more impressive was the fact that neither the running back trying to chip, or the right tackle trying to block him, never really touched him. He was too low and too fast. Unbelievably impressive.
Steelers Stock Trending Down: Gunner Olszewski
I honestly have no idea how Olszewski still remains on a NFL roster. I cringe every time that I see him on the field. When he is on offense, it’s the equivalent of the Steelers playing 10 against 11, or with one hand tied behind their backs. On returns, he is a soul crushing mistake waiting to happen. Once again, his fumble on Sunday could of, and should of, lost the game for the Steelers. Thanks again, John Harbaugh. Seriously, enough is enough. Gunner’s gotta go.
Steelers Stock Trending Down: Officiating
The officiating was ridiculous Sunday. The Ravens are one of the most physically aggressive teams in the NFL, on both sides of the ball. They were only penalized twice on the day, and the first one wasn’t called until late in the third. Some of the missed calls were blatant. Patrick Queen climbed all over Darnell Washington a full second before the pass arrived, but no flag. Three separate times Alex Highsmith, who had 11 QB pressures in the game, was not just held, he was bear hugged. Each instance was such an illegal invasion of privacy that Highsmith must have considered getting a restraining order against the Ravens LT after the game. Come on, NFL. Do better.
Steelers Stock Trending Up: Broderick Jones
What a debut for the Steelers talented first round selection. Jones enjoyed what was easily the best game for a Steelers offensive tackle this season. Jones showed precisely why the Steelers traded up the get him. His run blocking was above the line, as advertised. However, his pass blocking was shockingly good. Jones officially didn’t allow a pressure in the game, and Pickett seemed more comfortable in the pocket as a direct result. On one occasion, Jones not only completely shut down a Ravens pass rusher, but he put the overmatched defender flat on the ground. It was a quick glimpse at what type of player Jones potentially could become. No way that Jones should come out of the lineup.
Steelers Stock Trending Up: Jaylen Warren
Here’s a news flash: The Steelers offense is struggling. Incompetent game plans and play designs are well documented. This has led to struggles at every offensive position. The offense has no rhythm or identity. There is no individual aspect of the offense that the Steelers can rely on. Success happens in spurts, usually because of a Herculean effort by one of the skill position players. The two main culprits have been George Pickens and Jaylen Warren.
Warren has played like a man possessed this season. He runs as hard as any back in the league. Warren utilizes his low center of gravity and contact balance to it’s full advantage, and he keeps his short but powerful legs pumping throughout the play. His effort level is off the charts, and he plays with reckless abandon. You have to love and appreciate the “never say die” mindset. Warren needs more touches, because his burst has proven invaluable for a offensive line struggling to open and maintain running lanes.
Steelers Stock Trending Up: Joey Porter Jr
So Teryl Austin thinks Porter isn’t quite ready to be a starter, but Levi Wallace is. That should be grounds for immediate dismissal of the Steelers “in over his head” defensive coordinator. The NFL is a copycat league, and you better believe that opposing offenses are targeting Wallace from the opening snap. I would say his coverage is severely lacking, but that would suggest that Wallace is actually covering someone. Wallace would have been victimized for another TD or two Sunday if the Ravens receivers were capable of catching easy passes. Plus, his lack of speed and quickness makes him an ineffective tackler.
Enter Joey Porter Jr stage right. Excellent length and tenacity. Constantly in the receiver’s grill with tight coverage. Solid speed and quickness, and his avatar like dimensions provides an intimidating presence to the secondary. The moment never seems too big for Peezy’s little boy. After one interception in the preseason, and his first regular season one on Sunday, I believe any concerns about his hands can safely be laid to rest. Porter needs to be more physical in run support, but he is just too talented to keep on the bench.
Steelers Stock Trending Down: Montravius Adams
The other misfit starter that Teryl Austin insists on keeping in the starting lineup. I was ecstatic when I saw that Keannu Benton was going to be getting more playing time. I thought it was going to come at Adam’s expense. Wrong. Instead Benton was manning Cameron Heyward’s vacant position. While I agree that will eventually be Benton’s long term position, I want to see Benton take over as the starting nose tackle this season, with Breiden Fehoko providing some occasional relief. Rotate Armon Watts, Isaiahh Loudermilk, and Adams until Cam Heyward can return midseason. These moves should adequately address the Steelers interior run defense issues. Especially with the Steelers inside linebackers rounding into form.
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