Tim Benz: An airing of grievances even without a Steelers game | TribLIVE.com
Breakfast With Benz

Tim Benz: An airing of grievances even without a Steelers game

Tim Benz
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Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters runs for a touchdown after he intercepted a pass intended for Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jaron Brown during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Seattle.

So I’m sure you’re thinking, with no Pittsburgh Steelers game this week, there will be no “Airing of Grievances” on “Breakfast With Benz.”

C’mon. You know me better than that.

Just because the Steelers give us so much to complain about, that doesn’t mean we can’t complain without them.

Especially when it comes to the NFL. Especially when so much that happened this week had ties to the Steelers.

So here’s a special non-Steelers “Airing of Grievances.”

But when I say “non-Steelers,” I mainly mean “all Steelers.”

Just without them actually suiting up.


Seattle Seahawks

Thanks for nuthin’, boys.

You had a golden opportunity to go undefeated and proclaim yourselves AFC North champs! But you blew it against the Baltimore Ravens.

And that hurt the Steelers.

After winning three games against the other clubs in the division, Seattle opened the doors to CenturyLink Field, and Ravens came barreling through.

Baltimore squashed the Hawks 30-16. That further established the Ravens’ position of strength atop the North with a 5-2 record. The Steelers and Browns — both on their byes — are tied for a distant second at 2-4.

Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson ran for 116 yards and threw for 143. The team out-rushed Seattle 199-106. And new cornerback Marcus Peters nabbed a pick-six off of Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson in his first game in purple and black.

The Ravens have their bye next week.

The loss was particularly costly for the Seahawks as they also watched San Francisco improve to 6-0 with a 9-0 win over the Redskins.


Ryan Fitzpatrick

Does he actually make the 0-6 Miami Dolphins competitive?

That’s not what the Steelers need next Monday night when Miami comes to Heinz Field.

I was hoping for what would amount to a double-bye against the awful Fins.

Over the first four weeks, Miami was outscored 163-26. But they’ve been better the last two games. And that seems to have partially coincided with Ryan Fitzpatrick going back in at quarterback.

He started the season but was replaced by Josh Rosen. However, Fitzpatrick eventually got back into the lineup last week against the Washington Redskins. He nearly led a 14-point second-half comeback that came up just short as Washington held on to win 17-16.

Then, on Sunday, the Dolphins took a 14-9 lead into halftime on the road against a Buffalo Bills team that went into the game 4-1. Buffalo came back to win. But Fitzpatrick was 23-for-35 for 282 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

He led a late touchdown drive to pull the Dolphins within a field goal, before the Bills somehow returned the ensuing onside kick for a 31-21 final score.

With Fitzpatrick at QB, though, Miami has looked significantly more NFL-ish of late.


Just run away and hide

If the Steelers are to get back in the playoff race, one of two things needs to happen.

Well, three things. First of all, they need to win a bunch of games.

Then they need the Ravens to cool off, so they can track them down in the AFC North.

Or they need a bunch of teams in the AFC wild-card race to struggle the rest of the year. So it sure would be nice if the likes of the Houston Texans would just run away and hide in the South.

Instead, though, Houston (4-3) lost to the Indianapolis Colts (4-2), 30-23. So that means both of those clubs now have four wins. With the struggles of the North and the West, it looks like the 5-1 Bills are in the driver’s seat for one wild-card spot as the potential runners-up to New England in the East.

And that sixth spot in the postseason tree may go to one of those South clubs with eight or nine wins.

Indy staying above .500 with a road date at Heinz Field in two weeks (Nov. 3) looms large.


Speaking of improving

The Los Angeles Rams may have gotten back on track in advance of their trip to the North Shore as well.

Penn Hills product Aaron Donald leads his club to Pittsburgh on Nov. 14. The Rams (4-3) had been struggling, losers of three in a row.

But they whipped the woeful Atlanta Falcons (1-6) in Georgia, 37-10, on Sunday.

Newly acquired cornerback Jalen Ramsey had four tackles and forced a fumble, which L.A. didn’t recover. Donald had a strip-sack fumble recovery that also injured Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan.

Good luck to the Steelers offensive line containing him. After a slower start than usual, Donald has three sacks and two forced fumbles in his last two games.


Save it

Few things in sports bother me more than the NFL couch doctors.

You know, the docs who make a name for themselves by offering “educated guesses” on what a player’s injury may be.

Without examining them. From the comfort of their living rooms.

Usually they’ll offer a few different predictions, on a few different outlets, or even in the expanse of one tweet or article.

Then they profess themselves “right” whenever the diagnosis closest to one of their “predictions” is announced.

That practice went into total mania mode in the moments after Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes got hurt Thursday night. Here is a classic example of what I mean.

So, to be clear, his prognosis was, “Could be fine. Could also need total amputation.”

Got it.

Does a long-term injury diagnosis really need to be guessed before the game is even over? Or before a player gets an MRI or X-ray?

What’s the point? That’s not educated information. That’s just throwing darts while showing off your medical degree.

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Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

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