At least the Pirates are doing good and Hockey season starts soon.
The number two was a very significant number for the Pittsburgh Steelers heading into their week 2 matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals. 2, was the number of losses they were trying to avoid to begin the season. 2, is how many times Ben Roethlisberger has lost in his home state of ohio in 17 games (8-1 in Cincinnati, 7-1 in Cleveland.) 2, that’s how many touchdowns the Steeler offense has scored this season. 2, is the number of games they’ve never been below five hundred in Head Coach Mike Tomlin’s tenure and 2002, is the last time the Steeler franchise was 0-2.
0-2 isn’t that big of a hole for this team, in this division.
Two, that’s where the black and gold stand now. Since 1990 when the NFL adopted the current playoff format, only 12% of the teams that have started their season 0-2 have made the playoffs. Only one has made it to the Super Bowl and won. You may remember the 2007, 9-7, Eli Manning led New York Giants. Oh and Pro Bowl Tight End Heath Miller could be returning soon – more on him later – as well as Rookie Running back Le’Veon Bell. So all is not doom and gloom in The Burgh.
The AFC North division leaders – Baltimore and Cincinnati – only have a one game lead at 1-1. The last time the Steelers were 0-2, was in 2002 under Former Head Coach Bill Cower, they went 10-5-1, won the division and beat the Cleveland Browns in a classic Wild Card game in Heinz Field. So there’s still hope.
That hope would come by the way of some key players returning. Say Heath Miller and Le’Veon Bell? Miller’s missed the first two games after tearing up his ACL and MCL in week 16 of last season – Coach Tomlin said he could play in week 3; Bell has battled a lisfranc injury since the preseason. Both would help the anemic offense move the ball and score some points. While we don’t know what the rookie Bell would bring, it’s easy to see Miller’s value. He’s undervalued if you ask me.
Miller led the Steelers in catches, receiving yards and touchdowns.
Miller is the MOST COMPLETE TIGHT END IN THE NFL. Yes, I mean every word. He is in the mold of Jay Novachek, Brent Jones, Ozzie Newsome, and Mark Bavaro to name a few. All those guys are from the late 80’s, early 90’s and were apart of Super Bowl Championship teams or contenders. These guys, like Miller, could catch like a wide out and block like a lineman. Miller’s not one of these basketball players turned pro footballer to help escalate passing schemes. He’s a throwback.Last week I said Maurkice Pouncey was the Steelers best offensive player, Miller is its most consistent and it shows in the Steelers offense.
Miller is Big Ben’s number one target.
When David Paulson caught a 34 yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger in the first quarter last night, I immediately recognized the play as a staple for Miller. Then Paulson fumbled, and I thought Heath would never do that. Miller makes that big play at least three times a game for his quarterback. He was Pittsburgh’s leading receiver in 2012 (71 receptions, 815 yards and 8 touchdowns.)
Who would’ve thought the loss of receiver Mike Wallace to the Miami Dolphins in free agency wasn’t the Steelers greatest loss.
If the Burgh is to repeat the franchise history from 2002 and get this woeful offense going, They’ll need Miller. But if he can’t help turn things around, fans in the Steel city still have postseason baseball coming and the start of the Penguins season to heal their hearts.