Welcome to another edition of ACTING CORDIAL, where we pretend to not hate the other team for, like, ten minutes or something, so we can mutually exchange information like we're both normal functioning humans in society. But then those ten minutes pass and I want to rip this dudes throat out. Essentially, we toss five questions back and forth between the participating blog that covers the Vikings opponents this week, and pick their feeble brains for information. This week, we tapped Bloguin Brother Blitzburgh Blog (So many B's!) to see why two morbid teams like the Steelers and the Vikings suck so bad. Be sure to head over to Blitzburgh Blog this week to and check out the answers we dropped for them. Otherwise, let's get to bidness.
Purple Jesus Diaries: What the heck is going on in Steel Town?! Is the team just old, devoid of talent, or what? I don't understand this huge fall from grace.
Blitzburgh Blog: There's a lot going on, and none of it is good. After a historical tendency to build teams through the draft, the Steelers haven't been drafting well for the last 5 or 6 years, and it's beginning to show. The high draft picks on the offensive line haven't panned out so far (and the one that has, Maurkice Pouncey, is out for the season) and it's affecting the whole team. Even the defense is struggling as they play from behind on the scoreboard, and their whopping 0 (zero) turnovers (and like three sacks) on the season aren't helping matters. It's a defense that's built to play with a lead and force the opposing offense to make mistakes. That isn't happening for all the above reasons.
PJD: Is Ben Rapey-Face still injured, or was Mike Wallace really that good of a receiver?
BB: Ben Roethlisberger (come on, it isn't that hard to spell) does look a little bit older and slower this year, dating back to a shoulder injury suffered late last year. As for Mike Wallace, he's a good receiver, but he isn't the reason the offense is bad. With no ability to run block, the Steelers are reduced to a one-dimensional game plan (and their pass blocking is only marginally better). Antonio Brown is a legitimate #1 receiver, but Emmanuel Sanders hasn't been great, Heath Miller is just coming off of an injury, and Jerricho Cotchery is old. Pepper in a few inopportune turnovers and you have a recipe for a really inept offense.
PJD: Who do you actually LIKE on defense right now, someone you expect to do well every play? Maybe another one who will lead the team into the future?
BB: Jarvis Jones. We haven't seen enough of him yet, but he has all the ingredients to be a defensive playmaker. The Steelers' defense is predicated on rushing the passer, and Jarvis is going to be the guy to do that. He plays lights out in game situations, runs down returners in the kicking game, and maybe even has the athleticism to cover guys on short passing routes. They're lofty expectations for a largely unproven rookie, but the Steelers' future hinges on his ability to make big plays on defense. Oh, and Troy Polamalu. He's a superhero. I don't know what more needs to be said about that guy.
PJD: What is the funniest thing you can imagine any Steelers player doing in London while they're there?
BB: I try to think of humorous situations involving the Steelers in London and all I'm coming up with are Big Ben puns. Brace yourself, that storm is coming.
PJD: How do you anticipate this epic pillow fight ending? Who pulls out the victory, and why?
BB: The Steelers showed some good things against the Chicago Bears last week and proved that from time to time, they can play competent offense. However, competent offense doesn't win games unless your defense is phenomenal, and they aren't. They absolutely have to start making negative plays for the opposition and getting turnovers to feed their anemic offense. As for a prediction, I'll definitely say it's going to be an ugly game unfit for showcasing to an international audience. Predicting a Steelers win would require them to improve in every facet of the game and might still need the Vikings to play badly anyway. I'll do it anyway though, because a veteran team like this has to turn it around eventually, right? Steelers win, 17-14.
Thanks again to those gay steel workers
from Blitzburgh Blog
for chiming in. May the best team win this weekend, which I hope is the Steelers, because we sure need that number one draft pick!