Somewhat lost in the Pittsburgh Steelers (3-3) 24-17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals (3-4) is the fact that wide receiver Mike Wallace nearly gave the game away. No, not literally, but, it is hard not to see how his inability to catch balls in the clutch could have helped get to that outcome.
At this point, Wallace cannot afford another game like that. For a player who wants a lucrative contract at the end of the season, showing suspect hands and an inability to make key contributions in the clutch cannot raise dollar signs. It also will not win over fans, who still look at his contract dispute and training camp holdout as diva behavior and selfishness.
These drops also brought to mind the report from the summer from San Francisco, where their contractual overtures were met with outrageous monetary demands in the Larry Fitzgerald or Calvin Johnson range. As we know now, they passed on visiting with Wallace and moved onto the draft and Randy Moss. That is where the problem with Wallace seems to lie, with his inflated view of his self worth as a NFL wide receiver. Wallace is far from the best wide receiver in the NFL and may not be the best wide receiver on the Steelers. Yes, he has speed to challenge teams deep, but he has a limited route tree and has continued to show shaky hands in 2012.
Yes, Wallace did make some important grabs in the Bengals game, but he also missed enough to put the outcome in jeopardy. This disappointing portion of the game left one thought etched into the minds of fans, if Wallace believes he is worth the same money as Fitzgerald or Johnson, maybe he should produce like them in the clutch. Of course, some fans already know how that will turn out and realize why the Steelers gave big money to Antonio Brown.
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