PITTSBURGH -- Everyone needed to sleep it off. Rash words, decisions, or thoughts weren't the best answer after watching the Pittsburgh Steelers lose their third-straight game, falling to the Cincinnati Bengals, 27-17.
Now, it's time to talk, though. The Steelers dropped a game they had no right losing. In fact, losing back-to-back before Cincinnati doesn't even compare to what happened Monday night.
It happened, and now it's time to start pushing questions. Maybe this team isn't as good as they looked the first 11 weeks. Maybe, it's about some adjustments working and others not.
No matter what the problems are, the Steelers have alarms going off all of the place. And it's time to address them ASAP.
JuJu Smith-Schuster's Dancing is Now an Issue
The Buffalo Bills started the narrative of JuJu Smith-Schuster adding extra motivation to Steelers games, and the Bengals ended it. If JuJu Smith-Schuster dances on another opposing team's logo, someone in a Steelers uniform needs to stop him.
This is Smith-Schuster being himself, understandably. The young veteran is a ball of joy and energy. For the most part, he backs up his actions by playing tough, physical football - and making plays for the Steelers.
Then, Vonn Bell stepped onto the field.
Everyone saw the fumble. And everyone knew immediately that it was because of the TikTok dance.
If this wasn't a narrative being discussed by players, it wouldn't even matter. Honestly, if the Steelers were still winning it wouldn't matter.
But they aren't, and it's time to turn the focus back to football. Let this group of young players have fun, but when you start paying for that fun, it's time to put it away.
There shouldn't be another TikTok 50-yard line dance this season — end of discussion.
Running Game Found, Ben Roethlisberger Now Lost
The good part about Monday night was that Diontae Johnson and Benny Snell Jr. responded as well as they could have. Two second-year guys stepped onto the field with a lot of doubt behind them and showed that they're capable of performing in the National Football League.
The bad part is that Ben Roethlisberger has disappeared and has yet to step up like Johnson and Snell.
It could be throwing the ball 44 times per game at 38-years-old after coming off elbow surgery, but even head coach Mike Tomlin said it's not a health thing.
"It just wasn't good enough like all of us, me included," Tomlin said postgame. "We have to be better."
Unfortunately, the Steelers can't be better unless Roethlisberger's better.
Roethlisberger finished with an underwhelming 20 of 38 passes for 170 yards, a touchdown and an interception. This included a wapping seven of 16 passes for 19 yards and an interception in the first half.
We can talk about a $41 million cap hit next season later. Right now, it's about finding anything to salvage before the postseason.
Give Snell the starting job in the backfield next week, tell Smith-Schuster to stop adding more attention to a losing team, and then everything is on Roethlisberger.
A Hall of Fame career would look better after a bounce-back finish to a depleted season.
Mike Tomlin Should be Taking Blame
Sorry, but defending Mike Tomlin has gone on too long. This is a 'relying on those around you too much' issue, and that falls in the hands of the head coach.
Randy Fichtner has been maybe the worst offensive coordinator in the NFL this season. That hasn't been a secret since, well, last year.
Roethlisberger is struggling with no consequence. Mason Rudolph might not be better, but anything leaves more hope than a veteran who's getting worse by the week.
"It just wasn't good enough like all of us, me included."
Well, adjustments are being made, game plans are changing and players are getting benched. Unfortunately, until Roethlisberger and Fichtner fall under the same umbrella as the rest of the team, none of it really matters.
What changes can come? That's for Tomlin to know and us to find out. But something needs to be done before a Hall of Fame quarterback ,and his best friend and offensive coordinator, cost them a playoff run.