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‘They Looked Soft’: Stephen A Smith Rips Steelers after 49ers Loss

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Steelers Mike Tomlin
Steelers HC Mike Tomlin on Sept 10, 2023 Steelers vs 49ers at Acrisure Stadium -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

No one in Pittsburgh is happy about the loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Not only was it a loss, but the 49ers dominated the game from start to finish in a way that Pittsburgh had not seen since before the bye week last year. Perhaps most concerning, Christian McCaffrey and the 49ers offensive line blew the Steelers defensive line off the ball repeatedly, stomping them.

Most pundits reacted to the loss negatively, pointing fingers at Mike Tomlin, Matt Canada, Kenny Pickett, and others. But Stephen A. Smith, a lifetime Steelers fan, returned disappointed from the loss. He felt the team looked soft and had no identity. Moreover, he now thinks the team could finish last in the AFC North.

“They looked soft. They got punked,” Smith said. “Defensively, the Steelers had three sacks, and they were all by TJ Watt. I’m looking at the Steelers right now because we knew the Niners were the superior team, but this was more about the Steelers… I will tell you this: When it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers, I’m very depressed because I’ve been a lifelong, diehard Steelers fan. This is the first time that I’ve ever contemplated them finishing last in the AFC North.”

Nothing Smith says above is outwardly wrong. The Steelers’ defensive line without Cam Heyward is a mess. For one, Larry Ogunjobi and DeMarvin Leal are also banged up. But more than that, it was a three-level failure from Pittsburgh on Sunday. The 49ers had wide-open running lanes and receivers, while Pittsburgh missed tackles in the open field whenever they had a chance.

Regarding a stylistic matchup, the Browns do not make it much easier with Nick Chubb on the other side. The Browns’ interior offensive line should look forward to knocking Pittsburgh’s defensive line back based on their film study. Then, on the offensive side of the football, Pittsburgh must figure out how to get the train back on the tracks. The skill group, now minus Diontae Johnson, takes a considerable hit. But the offensive line has to improve, and Kenny Pickett has to play better. Those two things are a must if Pittsburgh wants better outcomes than they had on Sunday.

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Edward Carmichael
Edward Carmichael
September 12, 2023 9:12 am

as a true Steelers fan, Stephen A. Smith shuold stick with talking about his New York Knicks Stephen A. Smith doesn’t know anything about football the Steelers are still rebuilding and the San Francisco 49ers gave the Steelers a wake up call the SAn Francisco 49ers is very talented at every level on offense and defense