The AFC divisional game between the Steelers and Jaguars took place on Sunday, January 14th, 2018 at Heinz field. The final of the game was 45-42 in the Jaguars favor.
The Steelers had an embarrassing showing on defense to one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL as well as a couple head-scratching calls on fourth down plays in this game. It’s no wonder that many Steelers fans are clamoring for offensive coordinator, Todd Haley, and defensive coordinator, Keith Butler, to be fired. The Steelers coordinators are certainly on the hot seat.
Steelers Coordinators on the Hot Seat
There has been a lot of extra-curricular news surrounding Todd Haley the entire 2017-2018 season as the Steelers offensive coordinator. Ben Roethlisberger has had a sub-par relationship with him ever since he has been the Steelers coordinator. For example, in the beginning of the season, Ben had said he preferred that Haley coached from the press box instead of on the field. Also, there has been friction between the two involving play-calling for most of the 2017 campaign.
On Sunday, Todd Haley has struck again with extremely questionable play calls on fourth down plays that eventually led to turnovers on downs. There were two separate instances of 4th-and-1 in this game when bad play-calling was a factor. Haley called a pitch to the right side to Le’veon Bell that was easily swallowed up by the Jacksonville defense. Later in the game he called a long pass play to JuJu Smith-Schuster that had ended up being incomplete. Big Ben boasts that nickname for a reason and that is because of his tall, burly stature. The right call on these circumstances would have been to utilize the QB sneak to gain the one yard needed to extend the drives. Roethlisberger is 18 for 19 on 4th-and-1 rushing attempts in his career, including playoffs. He is very capable of picking up that one yard needed and should have been called upon to do so.
These eventual turnovers on downs lead to scoring drives by the Jags offense. It is time to fire Todd Haley, as he has been to much of a distraction to the club as well as having a strained relationship with Ben Roethlisberger.
Much like the first match-up against Jacksonville, Leonard Fournette had a field day against the struggling Steelers defense. He recorded over 100 yards rushing along with three touchdowns.
The “Steel Curtain” did not have a sack or a turnover in this game when they should’ve been plentiful against a quarterback like Blake Bortles. Bortles was able to dink and dunk all over the Steelers defense. The linebackers could not cover over the middle, the interior defensive line couldn’t stop Fournette, and the secondary let up detrimental long pass plays to the Jags offense. This defense led the NFL in sacks, even in front of “Sacksonville”, but they weren’t able to even record one of them.
Tackling was even problematic throughout the game. There are many players who must be reconsidered, and Mike Mitchell might be the headliner. The Steelers must address the inside linebacker position in the draft, assuming Ryan Shazier’s career is over.
Maybe it is time to make a change at the defensive coordinators position. Keith Butler could be on the hot seat.
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