Of all the woes, there was none bigger than Donte Moncrief
Last season, Julian Edelman, Golden Tate and Mike Evans lead the NFL in drops with eight. Last night, Donte Moncrief dropped six.
Lets start from the top. The Pittsburgh Steelers don't want to dwell on Sunday night's disaster because outside of 60 minutes, yesterday, they're still a team many believe can make a Super Bowl run.
A fun-loving, team-oriented group of players who struggled in the worst atmosphere in the NFL on opening night. It wasn't a playoff game, or anything that decides their future. All it was, was opening night in Foxborough.
Winning football games is about adjustments, though. The NFL is a constant turning orb, and if you can't make moves on the fly then you'll fall behind quickly. After Sunday night, adjustments clearly need to be made.
Coaching schemes, player rotations and lineup changes will all be discussed prior to Tuesday's practice. Above all the adjustments Mike Tomlin and the coaching staff will consider making, Donte Moncrief will sit at the top.
It seemed unbarrable watching Ben Roethlisberger drop back to pass. At one point, you sat there saying to yourself, 'please don't throw it to Moncrief'. A player many were excited to add in the offseason, the former Jaguar and Colt showed that he wasn't ready to be a key part of the Steelers offense.
Now, predicting the future is hard in situations like this. Saying Moncrief comes out at Heinz Field next Sunday and drops another six passes is something no one is willing to claim. It's nearly impossible to determine from his Week 1 performance, that his entire season is a bust; simply because it was that bad.
It's still a factor that needs to be discussed as much as any. The Steelers are trying to replace the best wide receiver in football. JuJu Smith-Schuster looked reliable when thrown to. After him, Tomlin and Randy Fitchner need to decide if James Washington or Moncrief provide the best chance to make plays on the outside.
If the answer is Washington, a former second-round pick who, outside of one deep ball, didn't get nearly enough attention, what does that mean for Moncrief. Diontae Johnson looked like a flashy slot guy who Ben liked connecting with over the middle. Ryan Switzer is the inside receiver with the best chemistry outside of JuJu.
Moncrief then falls to a role player. A $3.5 million fifth receiver.
It's not about the money at this point, it's about the wins. Moncrief didn't lose Pittsburgh the game, but he certainly didn't help. The team will make adjustments to fill the gap Kameron Kelly created and the issues linebackers covering receivers made. Deciding how to utilize their number two wideout is a little different.
There's never any point in panicking after Week 1. Win or lose, the next 15 . weeks decide more about the season than the first. But if you lets the problems linger, the more significant each week becomes.
A clear decision on Moncrief heading into Week 2 is needed. If it means benching him, working him back into the rotation at a prove-yourself rate is acceptable. Winning means everything, though, and it's hard to say you'll win many games when you turn nine targets into 3 catches for 7 yards.