The only appropriate reaction to the fourth quarter of the Steelers' record-setting loss yesterday in New England:
Now, what to do about it ...
Deadspin had an interesting article last week about the dramatic turnaround of the Kansas City Chiefs, who a year ago were en route to a 2-14 season and the top pick in the NFL Draft and are now 9-0 and the best team in football.
On the surface you'd say, 'well, duh, they got a new starting quarterback and a new head coach," but that isn't relevant to the Steelers situation because the two gentlemen that occupy those positions for the Steelers now will so again next year (unless something truly cataclysmic occurs).
However, it seems there are two far more fundamental reasons for Kansas City's success: they pressure quarterbacks and they don't turn the ball over.
"Kansas City plays an aggressive, blitzing style of defense under new coordinator Bob Sutton, who came over from the Jets this offseason. It's transformed a pass rush that was average last year to the best in the NFL. Tamba Hali and Justin Houston have already combined for 20 sacks ..."
That's 20 sacks for two guys. The Steelers entire defense has a measly 13.
Furthermore, they aren't turning the ball over.
The "game manager" label can be stupid, but this actually is a case where a quarterback was brought in for his accuracy and aversion to turnovers and installed into a system that didn't ask for anything more. The Chiefs needed the stability desperately: Last season, KC had a turnovers per drive rate of .193, worst in the league. Think about that. Nearly every fifth drive ended with a fumble or interception.
This season the Chiefs have dropped that down to four total turnovers, a rate of 7.1% (both 31st in the league). The Steelers conversely have stunk out stadiums on two continents with 17 turnovers (tied for third in the league) -- a rate of 17.7% (third). Not to mention the abysmal takeaway/giveaway (-11).
Just saying that while firing some permutation of Kevin Colbert, Mike Tomlin, Dick LeBeau & Todd Haley seems to be the popular sentiment, especially after a bed-wetting like yesterday, the solution may be as simple as improvement in two areas.
Then again, they might have to burn the barn down.