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fordfixer
11-23-2009, 04:01 AM
Bires: no guarantee of playoffs
By: Mike BiresBeaver County Times
Monday November 23, 2009 12:06 AM

http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sport ... yoffs.html (http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sports_details/article/1424/2009/november/23/bires-no-guarantee-of-playoffs.html)

In the visitor’s locker room at Arrowhead Stadium, it looked like death warmed over.

In one corner, Santonio Holmes just plopped down in his stall, gazing gloomily into space.

A few feet away, there was Heath Miller, looking as dejected as he’s ever been since coming to the Steelers.

In the training room was Ben Roethlisberger, still glassy-eyed and shaking off a throbbing headache, the result of late-game concussion.

In another corner of the Steelers dressing quarters were the defensive backs who got scorched for a handful of late game-turning plays. One of them, free safety Ryan Clark, suggested that “(The media) will blame that on Troy, too.”

On one hand, Clark is right. Of the Steelers’ four losses this season — including a mind-boggling 27-24 overtime decision Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs — Polamalu didn’t play.

The all-star safety missed two three-point losses earlier in the year in Chicago and Cincinnati with a sprained knee ligament. He basically missed the last two losses, too. Last week, he was rendered inactive after suffering another knee sprain in the first quarter in a home loss to the Bengals. He wasn’t in uniform Sunday either.

Surely, Polamalu is missed but he can’t be blamed for this debacle in Arrowhead. The Steelers still had superior talent. They should have routed the Chiefs, who were only 2-7 and 10-point underdogs.

Instead, the Steelers self-destructed.

Last week against the Bengals, the Steelers were beaten by a better team.

This time, they beat themselves.

They were gashed by Jamaal Charles’ 97-yard touchdown return just seconds in.

Rookie wide receiver Mike Wallace lost a fumble after a 33-yard reception.

Advertisement Miller missed a catch-able pass that turned into a momentum-changing interception.

Roethlisberger threw a red-zone interception after marching the offense 64 yards to the Chiefs’ 10-yard line. That pick was returned 94 yards to set up a Kansas City TD.

In many ways, the loss in Kansas City was similar to the Steelers’ Sept. 27 loss in Cincinnati.

At halftime at Paul Brown Stadium, the Steelers led 13-3 and had a 258-91 edge in total yards.

At halftime Sunday at Arrowhead, the Steelers led 17-7 and had a 279-47 edge in total yards.

In both of those losses, the Steelers got the ball back on the second half kickoff, only to turn the ball over on Roethlisberger interceptions that weren’t his fault.

In Cincinnati, Holmes ran the wrong route to allow an accurately thrown pass to be returned for a TD.

In Kansas City, Miller’s miss turned the tide.

“When you let a team hang around like that, you give them a chance,” Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward said.

Against the Chiefs, the Steelers had a 515-282 advantage in total yards and a 44:07 to 22:25 edge in time of possession, and still lost.

In the gloomy Steelers locker room, Miller promised to keep the faith.

“We are a resilient team,” Miller said. “I know two losses in a row are never easy to swallow. But it’s not over.”

No, it’s not over in the slumping AFC North, but at this stage of the season, the Steelers don’t appear to have what it takes to make it back to the Super Bowl.

Unless they quit self-destructing, they will not make the playoffs.

Oviedo
11-23-2009, 08:41 AM
We very easily could find ourseleves in the same position as the Patriots last season and we have no one to blame except ourselves. Four loses by a total of six field goals is just not doing what you need to do to win.

Yesterday was a microcosm of the problem. Great reception and then fumble by Wallace. Heath letting a ball deflect off his hands and then into the hands of a Chief. Then the great KO coverage. All little things that are execution related and can be fixed but the players need to execute.

We could easily be undefeated right now if we just played up to the potential we have on this team. That is a collective issue that players and coaches need to fix or we won't be in the play offs and we will be talking draft sooner than we would like.

BURGH86STEEL
11-23-2009, 08:48 AM
We very easily could find ourseleves in the same position as the Patriots last season and we have no one to blame except ourselves. Four loses by a total of six field goals is just not doing what you need to do to win.

Yesterday was a microcosm of the problem. Great reception and then fumble by Wallace. Heath letting a ball deflect off his hands and then into the hands of a Chief. Then the great KO coverage. All little things that are execution related and can be fixed but the players need to execute.

We could easily be undefeated right now if we just played up to the potential we have on this team. That is a collective issue that players and coaches need to fix or we won't be in the play offs and we will be talking draft sooner than we would like.

Outside of practice I don't know what the coaches can do to fix the problems that happened on the field. It seems to be a different player every week. If it were one player they would sit that player. Sometimes the mistakes have been uncharacteristic mistakes.

Is this a sign that this is not the Steelers year? Only time will tell. They still are within reach of winning the division. They have to take care of biz against the Ravens this week. If they can limit the costly mistakes, I like their chances.

Oviedo
11-23-2009, 09:16 AM
We very easily could find ourseleves in the same position as the Patriots last season and we have no one to blame except ourselves. Four loses by a total of six field goals is just not doing what you need to do to win.

Yesterday was a microcosm of the problem. Great reception and then fumble by Wallace. Heath letting a ball deflect off his hands and then into the hands of a Chief. Then the great KO coverage. All little things that are execution related and can be fixed but the players need to execute.

We could easily be undefeated right now if we just played up to the potential we have on this team. That is a collective issue that players and coaches need to fix or we won't be in the play offs and we will be talking draft sooner than we would like.

Outside of practice I don't know what the coaches can do to fix the problems that happened on the field. It seems to be a different player every week. If it were one player they would sit that player. Sometimes the mistakes have been uncharacteristic mistakes.

Is this a sign that this is not the Steelers year? Only time will tell. They still are within reach of winning the division. They have to take care of biz against the Ravens this week. If they can limit the costly mistakes, I like their chances.

I am usually the most optimistic person on this board, but the stars don't seem to be aligning for the team this year. As you point out it is a different player every week that creates a sanfu that hurts this team. Beating Baltimore in Baltimore may be more than this team can pull off this year especially if Ben is not 100% or is actually out and we already know Troy won't be playing.

NW Steeler
11-23-2009, 11:49 AM
Everything that is happening this year is the opposite of last year. Last year, there were one or two plays that were pivotal to the outcome of a bunch of games and they would always go our way. This year, when we have needed the big play, it hasn't happened. We have made a critical mistake or allowed a late drive by the other team. Last year you could just feel that we had something special going on. This year it just isn't there. Not being able to fix the special teams play is very bothersome, as well as the continued offensive play calling that leaves one scratching their head. Of course, everyone will feel a lot better if we beat the Ravens Sunday night. That game is our season.

Jooser
11-23-2009, 12:33 PM
Some things about this year remind me of the 2005 season:

1. The Steelers suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Bungles (I know, this year it's two, but the circumstances are similar)

2. The Bungles seem to be heading towards the North crown again.

3. The Steelers are slumping midseason and a lot of folks are beginning to write them off.

4. The Bungles were, and are again, media darlings.

5. The Colts started that season off 10-0, just like this season. Most in the media are ready to crown them already.

6. The Ravens were the pick of the division pre-season, but floundered to 3rd place.

In summary, I guess it's fair to say that given those circumstances that year, the '05 team came back the second half and performed a miracle. Not many saw it coming. Can the '09 team repeat? Only time will tell. One thing's for sure, as a fan, we have to keep our faith. Losses like yesterday are gut-wrenching and hurt like hell. But if the Steelers do come back from this in the same fashion they did in '05, do you want to be one of the one's left standing there who adamantly proclaimed that they could not? Six games left lads and ladies. The season's not finished. I'm not burning my couch yet (a little WVU humor :wink: ). One thing I know for certain, I'll be right in front of my TV next Sunday to see how things turn out, and I hope they turn out well!

Let's Go Steelers!!!!
:tt2 :tt2 :tt2 :tt2 :tt2 :tt2 :tt2 :tt2

Oviedo
11-23-2009, 12:41 PM
Some things about this year remind me of the 2005 season:

1. The Steelers suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Bungles (I know, this year it's two, but the circumstances are similar)

2. The Bungles seem to be heading towards the North crown again.

3. The Steelers are slumping midseason and a lot of folks are beginning to write them off.

4. The Bungles were, and are again, media darlings.

5. The Colts started that season off 10-0, just like this season. Most in the media are ready to crown them already.

6. The Ravens were the pick of the division pre-season, but floundered to 3rd place.

In summary, I guess it's fair to say that given those circumstances that year, the '05 team came back the second half and performed a miracle. Not many saw it coming. Can the '09 team repeat? Only time will tell. One thing's for sure, as a fan, we have to keep our faith. Losses like yesterday are gut-wrenching and hurt like hell. But if the Steelers do come back from this in the same fashion they did in '05, do you want to be one of the one's left standing there who adamantly proclaimed that they could not? Six games left lads and ladies. The season's not finished. I'm not burning my couch yet (a little WVU humor :wink: ). One thing I know for certain, I'll be right in front of my TV next Sunday to see how things turn out, and I hope they turn out well!

Let's Go Steelers!!!!
:tt2 :tt2 :tt2 :tt2 :tt2 :tt2 :tt2 :tt2

I never lose faith but you have to scratch your head with the way this season is playing out. Just seems like the perfect confluence of bad luck, injuries and poor performance. I fully believe that the Steelers can still win the AFC North however we have put that outcome in the hands of others because we failed to take what was there for our taking.

It is not losing faith to acknowledge we have given ourselves a steep hill to climb but I believe we can climb that hill and get into the play offs. Once in the play offs, all bets are off.

Jooser
11-23-2009, 01:01 PM
I don't deny that we have a deep hole to climb out of. We were in neck deep in 2005 as well. I also acknowledge our poor play so far this season in that we have virtually given away every game we've lost this season. If we "stop the slop", we can win out and get into the playoffs. I guess my point is that, at this point in the 2005 season, the Steelers had us scratching our heads as well. How this season will play out is still up in the air, but I'm not writing us off yet, that's all....

-Joos