The Stillers are showing the same dichotomy we've seen for years. Below is a Zen look at what we're seeing so far this year:
|The Stillers won by 17 this week.||The Stillers lost by 18 in week one.|
|Stewart has a 61% completion percentage.||Kordell has amassed a measly 59.15 QB rating, has thrown for only 288 yards with 0 TDs and 2 INTs. In addition, 3 of the top 4 longest offensive plays have been runs. To top it off, he's averaging a mere 4.88 yds/att while the team is averaging 4.92 yds/att running the ball!|
|Rather than collapsing and losing a 10-3 lead in the fourth quarter, Pittsburgh shook off the rust of a 3 week layoff and secured its fate by putting up 10 fourth quarter points and thus snapping a 7 game skid in Buffalo. Within the division, they are right back in the mix at only one game out.||It took the offense 116 minutes and 18 seconds to score a TD this year (nearly two full games). And, 56:18 of those minutes were against a Bills defense that was ravaged by injury. Of the 20 points scored, 10 belong to the defense and special teams (DeWayne and Poteat) for superb plays which leaves the offense scoring less than a TD/game.|
|The Bus pounded for 114 yards on 21 carries (a solid 5.43 yds/att).||Amos Zereoue, averaging a massive 7.2 yds/att, has carried the ball only 13 times this season and caught only 2 passes for a whopping 15 touches. Not only could AZ help keep Bettis fresh, but his versatility, mixed with the Bus' punishing style, could be used to keep opposing defenses off-guard -- instead, he rots on the pine.|
|The Stillers averaged better than 15 yards per attempt on punt returns versus the Bills. Poteat again showed his explosive talent with a 39 yard return that setup a Brown FG.||The punt return blockers foolishly got caught with their hands in the cookie jar on two occasions (DeShea and Fiala) pushing the offense back to the 12 yard line.|
|Mularkey apparently simplified the offensive scheme.||Defensive coordinators apparently can simplify their game plans.|
|Kordell has completed a slew of sideline, screen and short curl passes.||That's just about all he has completed.|
|Burress made a decent play holding onto a ball after being undercut over the middle, got wide open in the endzone on another play and is slowly becoming part of the offense.||Burress dropped another easy catch, was called for a personal foul on 1st and goal and was sorely underthrown while wide open in the endzone (thanks #10).|
|The defensive line looked aggressive, the linebackers played well and the secondary was solid. The defense looks capable of carrying the team.||The defense MUST carry the team.|
Maybe the play so far can be attributed to a solid Jags team at home and a brutal 3 week layoff thereafter. Maybe the offense has shown its worse face and can only get better. Maybe the return home will be just what the offensive doctor ordered.
Maybe the defense will have to try and carry the team...AGAIN. Maybe the first
two games are indications of the offensive production to be seen all year. Maybe
the simplified offense just means that opponents can run a simplified defense.
And maybe another sub-par season is in store.