I thought the Steelers would force a turnover or two that would change this game.
Turns out, I had my teams backward.
@ Ben Roethlisberger was horrible in this game for the first three quarters. And before we start blaming hand injuries, realize that he was 2-7 for 31 yards before banging his hand on Curtis Lofton at the end of the first quarter.
He had also already thrown what should have been a pick 6.
Roethlisberger was not good Sunday by any stretch of the imagination until the fourth quarter. And the Steelers can't afford for him to be not good.
The easy thing to do is blame the head coach or coaching staff for this game. But that doesn't hold water. Roethlisberger can take this one on his shoulders.
Maybe it will inspire him to pick it up down the stretch.
In between were a bunch of blah. It's become a recurring theme for this team.
@ I'm sure you'll hear all of the "flat" talk that is thrown around after every loss. But the defense allowed two first downs on the first three New Orleans possessions and the offense was moving up and down the field in the first quarter.
@ The Steelers are now 2-4 in games that start at 1 p.m. And they're 2-4 in games in which they allow a 100-yard rusher.
Their remaining four games all start at 1 p.m. There's nothing that can be done about that.
But the 100-yard rushers? That's something they can certainly work on.
My first move would be to get Stephon Tuitt into the starting lineup. Getting Steve McLendon back will help as well.
Either would keep Cam Thomas off the field more.
And with Brett Keisel likely done for the season (career?) with a torn triceps, it's time to get around to Tuitt.
@ Despite the loss, the Steelers are still in pretty much the same position they were before the game. Win out and they're in the playoffs.
Losses by Baltimore and Cleveland helped that. Sweeping Cincinnati and also beating Atlanta and Kansas City would put the Steelers at 11-5.
But does anyone have confidence in this team to do that? Only if Roethlisberger plays his best.
@ Le'Veon Bell spent a lot of time pass blocking when he wasn't running the ball in the first half. He was unleashed in the second half, catching eight passes for 159 yards.
Some of that came in garbage time at the end, but Bell should have been a bigger part of the passing game throughout.
@ If you would have told me the Steelers would hold Jimmy Graham without a catch, I'd have guaranteed a victory.
But Drew Brees was good, really good in this game. He threw his five TD passes to five different receivers.