Biggest blame goes to the offense for their inability to move the ball after turnovers. Twice they got the ball with good field position, failed to acquire a first down, which ultimately resulted in two missed field goals. Lots of people love to hate on Jeff Reed, but I’m not one of them and I won’t blame him for the misses. Anything over 40 yards towards the open end—the most difficult end to kick towards in the league—I won’t put on the kicker. If the offense gains ten yards on either of those drives the kicks are good and we’re tied at the least.
The defense had what was probably their weakest performance yet—to put that in perspective, they gave up 17 points to a team expected by most to win the division—not exactly a horrible day for any defense.
So we go from our fourth string QB to getting our starter back in Ben, who has two weeks to prepare for the Browns coming to Pittsburgh. This is perhaps the best scenario for Ben to return to—coming to a 4-0 team might have some questioning whether or not we need him, but it’s still better than the 2-2 most people had projected.
As for the long-term forecast for the division, it’s a positive yesterday as we dropped the game by only three points with our fourth string QB and our defense both playing below their potential. It’s a long season though; let’s not get ahead of ourselves!