I'm not going to do a traditional "Tyler's Takes" where I break down certain plays by quarter- because frankly, that would disgust me even more than I already am. What I will do is give you the good, bad and ugly from Monday night's matchup with the Steelers.
- I know it may not seem like there is much to write about here, but there were some bright spots in this game. First off, this offense has some weapons. Jordan Reed is going to get his, and he did again last night. He is the ultimate security blanket for Cousins, and if it hadn't been for an amazing play in the endzone by Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier, he would have had a touchdown early in the game. He is simply amazing with the ball in his hands in the open field.
- Keeping with the same theme on offense, WOW, does DeSean Jackson look good! It's almost like he's a completely different player. He's bigger, faster, more explosive with the ball in his hands, and really looks poised to have a breakout year.
- Crowder also looks to have picked up right where he left off last season, using his skills underneath to find open windows, and turn quickly up-field after the catch. He should easily eclipse his totals from last season in this offense.
- Preston Smith was getting pressure last night, and aside from Kerrigan's strip-fumble, he was about the only one doing so. He just needs to refine some of his ancillary pass rush moves to take that next step.
- Josh Norman played what I thought was an excellent game. When matched up against the best receiver in football, Antonio Brown, he fared very well. He was all over his receiver most of the night, especially at the line of scrimmage, where he was getting excellent jams on his man.
- Our linebackers did not do very well, as the Steelers gashed us for over 150 rushing yards. Will Compton and Mason Foster looked a step-and-a-half slow almost all evening, and they were getting sealed by the Steelers linemen way too often.
- I was going to mention our defensive line, but apparently we don't have one. Enough said.
- It may be time to pull the plug on the David Bruton Jr at strong safety experiment. He continues to miss tackles, and is just out of place in coverage. He made one nice play in coverage to prevent a touchdown, but that shouldn't be enough to warrant him keeping his job any longer over Duke Ihenacho. Man do I miss Jarrett.
- Thank goodness Kirk Cousins is on a one year franchise deal. That may have been the smartest move Scot McCloughan made all off-season. Kirk was absolutely aweful on Monday night. He looked rattled, unsure, and out of his comfort zone. His throws were all over the place, and the interception to Shazier was completely embarrassing. Kirk himself said he didn't want to become a one-hit-wonder...well, it looks like that's the road he going down. Maybe if we finish at 5-11 we'll have a shot at Kelly from Ole Miss.
- Matt Jones is just rotten. Rotten! It's time to get him out of the lineup for good. He runs way too upright, and takes too many hits. He has limited lateral ability, and just doesn't seem to get it as an NFL running back. Time to move on.
- I remember people last year in our season opener against Miami blasting David Amerson. Well, this morning, those people are blasting Bashaud Breeland - and for good cause. Breeland played about as poorly as one could play Monday night. Sure he was going up against the best receiver in the NFL, but man, you're a professional...play like one! He was embarrassed all evening, including in run defense. I bet PFF has him rated at a -.9871469 amongst all cornerbacks who started week one on the right side who's last name ends with either an A, B or C.
- Kory Lichtensteiger and Trent Williams were piss-poor all evening. From one, it's widely expected, from the other it's a shock. Lichtensteiger agains showed why he is not a starting caliber NFL center, being flagged for two penalties, and twice being walked into Cousins lap in pass pro(this against a 3-man rush for most of the evening). Williams was just poor all evening in run blocking, as he couldn't sustain his blocks, and on at least three occasions that I counted, had his man make a tackle for either a loss or no gain.
- Finally, the coaching was just horrible. I don't know what else to say. We were out-coached all evening, and there is no excuse for it.