Shannon on who’s to blame in Pittsburgh’s 45-42 loss to the Jaguars

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Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless discuss Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars 45-42 win against Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

- Shannon, who do you think it deserves the most blame for the Steelers' loss?

- There's a lot of blame to go around, Skip Bayless.

- Mmmm.

- I'm going to give 65% to the defense. 65%. I'm going to give 25% to the-- the coach, Mike Tomlin.

SKIP BAYLESS: All right.

- And I'm going to give the other 10% to Ben?


- Skip, this is why I've had no confidence in the Steelers in the last seven, eight years because their defense is the weak link. This is not the Steelers that you mentioned-- you mentioned earlier in the '70s. This is not your mom's. This is not your grandfather's and your father's. This is not their Steelers. They're not the Steel Curtain.

They're built to play offense. All the talent is on that side of the ball. Antonio Brown, the JuJu Schuster-Smith.


- You've got Martavis. You've got Ben. You've got Le'Veon. So they have to score points.

Now, Ben Roethlisberger has seven turnovers in two games. 21 points directly from his hand has gone on the board without Blake Bortles being on the field. Another Blake Bortles twin was in New England on Saturday night. I don't know if y'all saw him. He goes by the name of Marcus Mariota. Everybody keep talking about Blake Bortles, but, phew, that's probably up there. That's neither here nor there, Skip.

The thing is that, when you look at the way the Pittsburgh Steelers plays, they get down 28 points-- they were 28-7, I think, at one point in time-- and then you look at Ben and he's having to-- that's because the Jags are saying, OK, we'll give you these throws. He's going to have a bunch of yards.

But they answered every call. They get close. Blake Bortles make that one throw. Boom. Now they get a touchdown. 45 yards to Cole. And that's what you're going to have to have, Skip. And I've said this since about week eight, nine. I said, in the AFC, the only team that's constructed to beat the New England Patriots is the Jags because of their defense.

The question that I have-- the odds makers have that, too, because they're nine and 1/2 point underdogs in New England-- can he make those four or five throws that he made yesterday? Can he make those again in New England knowing that you're one game away from the Super Bowl?

Skip, he made a couple of throws that got them first downs. He made a big throw that got them a touchdown on the fullback F2 split. Because they're running the ball so well, these linebackers got to honor-- they've got to honor Leonard Fournette. So what did the fullback do? He comes up, fakes like he's going to block one of them, right down the hole. We call that fullback F2 split. They going to split to the side, he's going to go up the middle, boom, drop the ball.

Then, Skip, can you get another one or two first downs when you're backed up in your own territory? And what we mean by those first downs, Skip, you might not-- they might not lead to points, but what it allows you to do is flip the field position battle. So instead of punting the ball from your end zone or your back end zone line and Tom Brady getting the ball at the 50, can you get two first downs and not punt the ball and make Tom Brady have to go-- go 80 yards in order to get a touchdown? You keep giving him 40 and 50 yards, he's going to break you.


- There's enough blame to go around. Skip, Mike Tomlin. This is what-- help me understand. With 2:18 on the clock, seven-point ball game, you onside kick it? So I just want to make sure-- I just want to make sure I'm hearing you correctly. You don't have enough confidence that, if you kick the ball out of the end zone and they're going to go 75 yards, you don't have confidence in them there. But--

SKIP BAYLESS: That's what he said.

- Hold on. But you onside-- in the military, they have something called CDA, Collateral Damage Assessment.


- Skip, if you don't get this ball, what then? Cause if you can't stop them going 75, what makes you think I'm-- you going to stop them from going 10. Skip, they got the ball at the 36. They went nine yards, so now they're kicking a 45-yard field goal. Huh?

- Mmm.

- Now, since Mike Tomlin's been there, they've recovered one onside kick. That was in 2007. If I'm not mistaken, I think that might be the first year Mike Tomlin took over as head coach.


- So that's what you're-- so that's what you're telling me? One for 20 including yesterday, that's what their percentages are. In football, coaches say hey, we play the-- we play percentages.

SKIP BAYLESS: Yep. Mm hmm.

- So now you're one-- so going into that, you one for 19. Your defense-- your defense hasn't stopped them.


- But now, all of a sudden, you within seven, your defense is going to hold them. Skip, they went nine yards was in field goal range. Let's say for the sake of argument they only go-- let's just say they get two first downs. Two first downs and that's not in field goal range. They're going to need at least four first downs to get in field goal range, Skip. That's why I got to put some of this at his feet because-- And also, if I'm not mistaken, Mike Tomlin is a defensive coordinator. Now, if that's the way you cut your teeth--


- Why is your defense so porous?

SKIP BAYLESS: Great question.

- Now, Ben, you have to bear some culpability because, again, you're turning the ball over.


- You're putting the-- and when your-- when your defense is the weak link, you can ill afford to put them on the field any more than they need to be there. Remember, we talked about this with your Cowboys, Skip. They're already porous. You don't want them playing any more than they absolutely have to. I would like for my defense to come on the field after we score a touchdown, not before. I don't want them to be on the field, Skip, because we turned the ball over and we're going to have to defend the short field because we know that's not what they represent.

And for all these guys to be doing all this, I never understood it, Skip. Because when you look at the Jags and you look at the way they're built defensively--


- They built for the long haul. They built for real. And all these guys, Mike-- it was reported that Mike Mitchell is standing outside the locker room, y'all going to know my name. Dude, do you know what you represent? You are not the Legion of Boom. You're not Earl Thomas. You're not on one of these top five defenses. And you're doing all this talking.


- Man, boy, they lit them up. You'd see Malik Jackson, Jurrell Casey, this is who they are. Now, I'm telling you-- now, if Blake Bortles can do exactly what he-- I don't need him to do anymore. I don't need 300 from him. If he can do exactly what he did yesterday, Skip Bayless, they will beat the Patriots on Sunday.