Depending upon which source you want to pull up, you may find that the Pittsburgh Steelers were charged with dropping upwards of 14 passes. No, not on the season to date, but over the course of just the past two games. I don’t know what the record is for the most dropped passes over a two-game span by one team, but I don’t think I want to watch whoever had more than that.
The awful two-game stretch was bad enough to vault them into the ‘lead’ for the most drops by any team in 2020, and leading the way in drops are second-year wide receiver Diontae Johnson and veteran tight end Eric Ebron, in his first season with the team.
Both of these players were known to have some issues with their hands before they ever arrived in Pittsburgh, so it’s not exactly a shock that they would show up, but to have so many issues in such a condensed period of time is uncanny—and I will note, just so happens to coincide with a very unusual stretch of games due to rescheduling because of a viral outbreak.
But delays or short practice weeks don’t make you drop passes. They may not help, but ultimately, there is never an excuse for dropping a ball unless you have eight or more broken fingers. And former Steelers running back Rocky Bleier had some thoughts on all this, tipping his hat in an Instagram post to the Washington Football Team for, as he said, doing what the Steelers could not.
“Of course, we helped them along. We could convert short yardage. A penalty negated a touchdown”, he said. “And once again, dropped crucial passes. I’m gonna say it again: get rid of the gloves. Or take a chapter out of the old school football: keep the gloves and call up Fred Biletnikoff and see if he has any stickum left. The man never dropped a pass”.
A bit later in his video, after venting about the ineptitude of the Steelers’ recent performance on the ground, and the importance of having a running game, he went back in the other direction. “We have a passing game”, he said. “Drop back, punch, drop back, punch. It can be effective—if you don’t drop the ball”.
It’s obvious, but it’s also true. Just think about how different the past two games would have turned out if the only thing that was altered was that the passes that were dropped (for the sake of fairness, let’s say for both teams) were caught, and the game carried on from there. Chances are, the Steelers win both of them, and beat the Baltimore Ravens handily.