Patriots receiver Phillip Dorsett celebrates his second-quarter touchdown Sunday night against the Steelers. [The Providence Journal/Bob Breidenbach]

This article contains opinion.


The 2019 NFL season is underway, and the Steelers are 0-1 for the first time since 2015. To nobody’s surprise, the Patriots were the team handing Pittsburgh those L’s both seasons. 

For those that haven’t heard, the Steelers got absolutely shellacked in their season opener by the New England Patriots, 33-3.  The affair was so embarrassing for the Steelers that broadcasters were laughing aloud at them for much of the fourth quarter. Many issues, internal and external, caused this butt-whooping. 

Let’s start with the external issues. For starters, Antonio Brown was released from the Raiders early Saturday afternoon and was soon picked up by the New England Patriots. Some Steelers fans still want to point the finger at him somehow. 

I’m over it. Get over it. He’s a Patriot. 

You can whine, complain and moan all you want. Nothing is going to change the fact that Brown did what he did, and he’s a New England Patriot. 

As long as I’m writing Steelers articles, this will be the last mention of Antonio Brown. He’s not a Steeler and hopefully never will be again. 

The other external factor here is Bill Belichick. 

The man is the most brilliant mind this sport has ever seen. No one has put in the time and effort that this man has put into building the dynasty that resides in Foxborough. He’s a man that is nearly impossible to game plan against, but he’s not invincible. Which brings us straight into our internal chaos that is the Pittsburgh Steelers.

As mentioned, Belichick is NOT invincible. But when it comes to Mike Tomlin, Belichick is immortal. 

Tomlin has had his rear end handed to him by Belichick and Brady on numerous occasions. The worst part about the matter is that Tomlin has had since April 17 to game plan against the Pats. 

But what did Tomlin do? He got content with his scheme that barely beat the Patriots in December and just kept it for the 2019 season opener. 

Did Tomlin seriously not think that Belichick was going to come back stronger than ever and dissect the game plan he already knew was coming? We’ve been thinking it for all too long; now it’s time to say it: fire Tomlin. Regardless of his regular season record, he’s the reason we’ve wasted all of Roethlisberger’s prime and watched numerous superstars walk out of town disgruntled. 

The secondary was an atrocity, but Keith Butler’s job is one that needs to stay. Although Butler has been exposed very badly on a few occasions, the man has pushed the Steelers to back-to-back seasons of leading the league in sacks. Hopefully the return of Sean Davis, whenever that might be, will boost morale amongst the secondary. 

Ben Roethlisberger and JuJu  Smith-Schuster didn’t look too bad, however. The Steelers QB had a rough stat line, but so many incompletions came from the receivers blatantly dropping balls like it was what they were out there getting paid for. I’m not saying Ben had a good game; he still overthrew many wideouts deep, one resulting in an interception. 

Donte Moncrief was an absolute embarrassment for Pittsburgh. The Pats’ secondary did look amazing and were interfering with a lot of passes, but Moncrief couldn’t catch swine flu at the equator. I’m looking for a lot more targets for James Washington against Seattle Sunday. 

The offense should be in much better shape against one of the worst 2018 secondaries in the league. It will more than likely be a shootout at 1 p.m. Sunday. 

The Steelers need a big bounce back game, or it could be detrimental to the team’s success. 

If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that 68,000 strong will be on their feet louder than ever for the Steelers 2019 home opener this weekend.

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