We all need to take a collective breath and settle down. Every time we take a loss, the same threads come rolling around ...
Mike Tomlin Sucks! Fire him!
Mike Wallace is terrible! Cut him!
... and I think to myself, what?
I understand frustration guys, I really do. Losing to the Ravens is never easy and always takes a toll. I mean, they're the fucking Ravens - who wants to lose to those pricks? But misplacing the blame and making ridiculous threads about who to fire and who to cut are just that - ridiculous. As a unit, this team is good. By good, I mean very good. Show me another team in the league built to be 6-4 after losing 3 pro bowlers, including the franchise quarterback and (arguably) the number one wide receiver. Couple that with the defensive captain and perennial play-maker on defense, and everyone thought this year would be terrible. Instead, overcoming adversity is what the Steelers do and once again they've shown it.
Our Defense is a Top Unit
Our defense is scary good right now. Torrey Smith had one catch for 7 yards. AJ Green had one catch for 8 yards - these are considered to be among the best wide receivers in the AFC, and they were non-factors. The way our secondary is working right now, I don't think there's a quarterback in the NFL who could succeed, they're just talented from top to bottom.
Early on in the year, we were calling for LeBeau to be fired and a new defensive scheme to be brought in. I'll admit, I was guilty of this too. Then, good ol' Dick proved once again why he's a defensive genius and the defense started to play lights out football. The secondary is number one in the league without Polamalu playing.
I don't think that point can be stressed enough and instead, needs to have bells and whistles playing every time it gets mentioned. The mantra of next-man-up is a good one to have, but you can't replace guys like Troy. Will Allen stepped his game up and Ryan Clark is showing why he's probably the most underrated defensive player in the entire NFL. This unit isn't number one by "smoke and mirrors" (as people in this thread have tried to point out) or luck, they're just talented. Holding the Ravens to 3 points (excluding the turnover) after they put up 55 points and holding Ray Rice to 40 yards on 20 carries.
Mike Tomlin is a Top 3 Coach
We have an elite coach. By elite, I mean top 3. I only say top 3 because there's an argument to be made that Coughlin and Belichick are better coaches, but I wouldn't take either of them over Tomlin right now. You can criticize his "poor game management" or being too buddy-buddy with his players, but the simple fact of the matter is: he's been to two Super Bowls and won once. I'm not going to compare ex and current coaches which seems to be popular on this site.
Tomlin is an excellent motivator, and the guys simply want to play for him. They're buying what he is selling, and it's working. I won't get into his winning % and how fast he got to 'x' amount of wins, because that isn't important. They're winning right now, and winning starts with the coaching staff.
This Offense Starts and Ends With Ben
It became painfully clear last night what Ben means to this team. This offense starts and ends, lives and dies, with Ben at the helm. If there was ever a case to be made for Ben being MVP, it was last night. Roethlisberger doesn't play pretty or put up flashy stats, but he knows how to win games and without him running the two minute drill last night, we didn't have a shot. I'll keep this short and sweet because we all know what he means to this team, but with 7 behind center, we always have a chance to win games.
The Mike Wallace Hate Needs to Stop
In the "official Mike Wallace sucks thread", Wallace is getting blamed for drops and fumbles, which ultimately led to our loss. Granted, he fumbled and it led to 3 points, but he's also our top wide receiver and our scheme isn't letting him play properly. I've used this in another thread but I think it's appropriate here: not letting Mike Wallace go deep and make plays on the ball is like having a Lamborghini and driving the speed limit with your hands at 10 and 2 - incorrectly. There's not a CB that can take him one-on-one in the entire NFL if Mikey decides it's time to go deep. He absolutely has weaknesses, like his inability to fight off double coverage and still make the "big catch", but he's still the top threat on this offense.
Also, he fumbled - it happens. Do you remember when Dwyer fumbled and it led to points against the Raiders? Where was the hate there? Where was the "official Jonathan Dwyer sucks thread"? There wasn't one. Why? Dwyer isn't being used as a scapegoat for the offense and Wallace is. He held out of training camp and it looks like a lot of us are still bitter about it, but it's time to move on. I won't get into why he held out or whether or not it was the right thing to do, but we're past the midpoint of the season and we need to look forward, not back. If we're going to criticize Wallace make it with valid points and complaints, not this bullshit of his attitude. I am a firm believer that Mikey is the future of this team and other teams are recognizing his talent level which is why he is commanding double teams on almost every play. He's our top receiver, let's not turn our back on him now.
Overall - We Have a Great Team
When this team gets healthy and we have Roethlisberger back - we're going to be a team that no one wants to play in December. With the way our defense has been playing and Woodley and Harrison are finally starting to get things going - this is a team that is built for a Super Bowl run. I'm confident and optimistic at this teams chances to bring home a title, but that title starts with getting Ben back.
On to Cleveland.