Who's To Blame?

Sorting through the mess of a 42-37 defeat

Matt Koll
September 17, 2018 - 11:09 am
Sammy Watkins & Mike Hilton

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan)- A lot of things went wrong for the Steelers on Sunday. 

It's tough to pinpoint one moment, one player, one coach, one issue that lead to the 42-37 defeat at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. 

The Fan Morning Show discussed the main culprits Monday morning and most, if not all, rest on defense. First year starter Patrick Mahomes went 23-28 for 326 yards and threw six touchdowns while never turning the ball over. Cornerback Artie Burns got...well...burned all day long by multiple Chiefs receivers (Hill, Watkins, Conley etc.) and the pass rush was virtually non-existant. 

Colin Dunlap wondered how much of the struggles are coming from a reformed defensive scheme that features five defensive backs and puts a lot of pressure on the safety play of Sean Davis as well as the nose tackle in Javon Hargrave to get pressure up the middle or at least create a stalemate along that front to plug up the play. Chris Mack said outside of TJ Watt and Cam Heyward, the players on this defense were dreadful. Bud Dupree wasn't a factor (again). The secondary missed tackles. The linebackers missed tackles. Even Stephon Tuitt was quiet other than a batted ball. 

So, who does this come down on? Well, the obvious look is to defensive coordinator Keith Butler. Do the Steelers have the right personnel to run this defense? And what's up with the defensive playcalling? Head coach Mike Tomlin has said in the past that he calls a lot of the plays on defense, so he deserves blame as well. 

Speaking of Tomlin, why wasn't there an onside kick after the Steelers scored with a little less than two minutes left down by five with two timeouts left? Did he really trust his defense to make a stop? Something they hadn't done all day? 

Offensively, the guys thought the playcalling was a little suspect to begin the game. Chris said Ben Roethlisberger looked like he was off his game to begin things, throwing multiple passes off target. Ultimately, Ben is far from blame for this one. 452 yards passing and three touchdowns without any interceptions is hard to criticize. 

Things need to change and quickly on defense. The guys said that, as of this moment, Keith Butler should be coaching for his job. That leash is running really short. The Steelers should be reaching an ultimatum with him in that he either turns things around in a hurry or he's walked out of the building. 

Oh and there was that fit that Antonio Brown threw on offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner, too. All par for the course at this point, because the Steelers have enabled this kind of behavior all along.  

You can listen to The Fan Morning Show's discussion about this and all things Steelers-Chiefs below. 

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