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fordfixer
01-05-2010, 02:17 AM
Cook: Here's why Steelers failed
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10005/1025778-87.stm

After further review, disappointment and frustration are not the best words to describe the Steelers in those hurtful moments Sunday after they realized there would be no New Year's miracle and they would not be going to the playoffs.

Bewilderment and disbelief are.

Tackle Willie Colon best put it into words.

"You keep asking yourself, 'How did we get in this position?' "

Well, I'm here this morning to answer that question, not just for Colon and the fellas, but for anyone else who can't quite believe the defending Super Bowl champions are out after being 6-2 at midseason.

No need to thank me.

The Steelers failed because of a 17-14 loss in Chicago Sept. 20 ...

The defense blows a 14-7 lead in the fourth quarter, a portent of many bad days to come. There will be fourth-quarter collapses in four more defeats. Kicker Jeff Reed -- perhaps the team's most reliable player -- misses field-goal tries from 38 and 43 yards. He will make 25 of his next 27 kicks, missing only from 52 and 53 yards. An embarrassed Reed says, "If there's one player who can single-handedly lose a game, I'll take credit for it."

The Steelers failed because of a 23-20 loss in Cincinnati Sept. 27 ...

They lose for the first time in nine games at Paul Brown Stadium despite leading, 20-9, in the fourth quarter. Wide receiver Limas Sweed drops what should be a 34-yard touchdown pass. Bengals cornerback Johnathan Joseph intercepts a Ben Roethlisberger pass when wide receiver Santonio Holmes turns the wrong way and returns it 30 yards for a touchdown. Running back Rashard Mendenhall is benched on offense because he -- in coach Mike Tomlin's words -- "wasn't on his details this week." An already baffled Colon says, "It's just a numbing feeling right now."

The Steelers failed because of another loss to the Bengals, this one, 18-12, at Heinz Field Nov. 15 ...

The Bengals' Bernard Scott returns a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown. Safety Ryan Clark drops a fourth-quarter interception. The offense moves inside the Bengals' 12 on four occasions, settling for a field goal each time. Roethlisberger has a 51.5 passer rating. A humbled Big Ben says, "I played bad."

The Steelers failed because of a 27-24 overtime loss at Kansas City Nov. 22 ...

Just when you thought you couldn't possibly see another kickoff return for a touchdown, the Chiefs' Jamaal Charles takes the opening kick 97 yards for a score. That makes four in five games by an opponent, tying an NFL single-season record. The defense blows a late 24-17 lead, giving up 30- and 47-yard passes on consecutive plays, then giving up another 61-yarder in overtime. Cornerback Ike Taylor drops an interception moments earlier in overtime. Tight end Heath Miller -- maybe the team's most dependable player if Reed isn't -- turns an easy catch into an interception when the ball clangs off his hands. Roethlisberger throws an interception from the Chiefs' 10 as he's hit and watches linebacker Andy Studebaker return it 94 yards to set up a field goal. Running back Mewelde Moore is stopped for a 3-yard loss on third-and-2 at the Chiefs' 35 in overtime as the offense wastes a 516-yard day. A contrite Tomlin says, "I have to have this football team better prepared to play."

The Steelers failed because of a 20-17 overtime loss in Baltimore Nov. 29 ...

Roethlisberger is held out because of a concussion late in the Kansas City game, leading to a national flap when wide receiver Hines Ward appears to question his toughness. Ward apologizes to Roethlisberger but says his words were misconstrued. Second-year man Dennis Dixon fills in admirably in his first significant NFL appearance but throws a crushing interception in overtime after the defense couldn't hold a 17-14 lead late in regulation. A steely Tomlin promises the team will "unleash hell."

The Steelers failed because of a 27-24 home loss to the Oakland Raiders Dec. 6 ...

Tomlin's fightin' words seem hollow after the defense collapses, wasting 10-6, 17-13 and 24-20 leads in the fourth quarter. Rookie cornerback Joe Burnett drops what should have been an interception on the Raiders' winning drive. Roethlisberger slips and comes up short on a fourth-and-1 sneak from the Oakland 5. A pessimistic Taylor describes the team's playoff chances as "slimmer than a dog on a diet."

The Steelers failed because of a 13-6 loss at Cleveland Dec. 10 ...

The team's fifth consecutive defeat is the most painful, ending a 12-game winning streak against the woeful Browns. The defense is shredded for 171 rushing yards by the NFL's worst offense. Roethlisberger's offense can't get a touchdown against the league's worst defense, which is playing without five injured starters. He is sacked eight times. Realistic-to-the-bone nose tackle Casey Hampton says of those fading playoff hopes, "It's a wrap, man. This [bleep] is a wrap."

And so it was.

The Steelers won their final three games to finish 9-7, but it wasn't enough. For the second time in five years, they didn't even make the playoffs after winning the Super Bowl.

The disappointment and frustration are understandable.

The bewilderment and disbelief are not.

The reasons for the Steelers' failure are quite clear.
Ron Cook can be reached at rcook@post-gazette.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10005/10 ... z0biTFU4CN (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10005/1025778-87.stm#ixzz0biTFU4CN)

Ghost
01-05-2010, 09:33 AM
The Steelers failed because of a 13-6 loss at Cleveland Dec. 10 ...

The team's fifth consecutive defeat is the most painful, ending a 12-game winning streak against the woeful Browns. The defense is shredded for 171 rushing yards by the NFL's worst offense. Roethlisberger's offense can't get a touchdown against the league's worst defense, which is playing without five injured starters. He is sacked eight times. Realistic-to-the-bone nose tackle Casey Hampton says of those fading playoff hopes, "It's a wrap, man. This [bleep] is a wrap."

I keep reading this and don't understand how the Steelers allowed this to happen. The stats from this game are truely unbelievable. Not a single TD against the NFL's worst defense statistically AND they were missing 5 starters. Sacked 8 times (8!!!!!).

With the season on the line the Steelers laid a giant turd.

I think this is one of the worst defeats in the last 30 years.

Jooser
01-05-2010, 11:55 AM
We just had bad karma, that's all I can say. It was sloppy performance, poor coaching, and just absolute bad effing luck!

Mel Blount's G
01-05-2010, 01:43 PM
NFL Opponent Returning Statistics - 2009


RK TEAM ATT YDS AVG LNG TD
1 Tampa Bay 46 878 19.1 37 0
2 Atlanta 46 938 20.4 39 0
3 Dallas 47 967 20.6 67 0
4 Cleveland 52 984 18.9 46 0
5 St. Louis 43 1032 24.0 97 1
6 Seattle 46 1059 23.0 53 0
7 Jacksonville 47 1069 22.7 93 1
8 Oakland 42 1078 25.7 95 1
9 Washington 56 1104 19.7 55 0
10 Denver 49 1115 22.8 95 1
11 Arizona 61 1248 20.5 63 0
12 Carolina 51 1267 24.8 97 1
13 Buffalo 59 1271 21.5 52 0
14 Cincinnati 58 1289 22.2 58 0
15 Detroit 58 1353 23.3 102 1
16 San Francisco65 1415 21.8 101 1
17 Kansas City 60 1446 24.1 103 2
18 Indianapolis 60 1519 25.3 106 1
19 Chicago 64 1552 24.3 62 0
20 Miami 71 1557 21.9 87 0
21 Baltimore 77 1565 20.3 53 0
22 Houston 71 1597 22.5 71 0
23 NY Giants 77 1619 21.0 53 0
24 NY Jets 70 1685 24.1 101 2
25 New England70 1705 24.4 51 0
26 Tennessee 71 1714 24.1 99 1
27 Pittsburgh 74 1795 24.3 98 4
28 New Orleans 74 1813 24.5 87 0
29 Green Bay 80 1824 22.8 83 0
30 Philadelphia 81 1907 23.5 52 0
31 San Diego 87 1909 21.9 93 1
32 Minnesota 91 2060 22.6 77 0

papillon
01-05-2010, 01:47 PM
NFL Opponent Returning Statistics - 2009


RK TEAM ATT YDS AVG LNG TD
1 Tampa Bay 46 878 19.1 37 0
2 Atlanta 46 938 20.4 39 0
3 Dallas 47 967 20.6 67 0
4 Cleveland 52 984 18.9 46 0
5 St. Louis 43 1032 24.0 97 1
6 Seattle 46 1059 23.0 53 0
7 Jacksonville 47 1069 22.7 93 1
8 Oakland 42 1078 25.7 95 1
9 Washington 56 1104 19.7 55 0
10 Denver 49 1115 22.8 95 1
11 Arizona 61 1248 20.5 63 0
12 Carolina 51 1267 24.8 97 1
13 Buffalo 59 1271 21.5 52 0
14 Cincinnati 58 1289 22.2 58 0
15 Detroit 58 1353 23.3 102 1
16 San Francisco65 1415 21.8 101 1
17 Kansas City 60 1446 24.1 103 2
18 Indianapolis 60 1519 25.3 106 1
19 Chicago 64 1552 24.3 62 0
20 Miami 71 1557 21.9 87 0
21 Baltimore 77 1565 20.3 53 0
22 Houston 71 1597 22.5 71 0
23 NY Giants 77 1619 21.0 53 0
24 NY Jets 70 1685 24.1 101 2
25 New England70 1705 24.4 51 0
26 Tennessee 71 1714 24.1 99 1
27 Pittsburgh 74 1795 24.3 98 4
28 New Orleans 74 1813 24.5 87 0
29 Green Bay 80 1824 22.8 83 0
30 Philadelphia 81 1907 23.5 52 0
31 San Diego 87 1909 21.9 93 1
32 Minnesota 91 2060 22.6 77 0

You mean giving up TDs on kick returns and punt returns doesn't benefit the defense by allowing them another offensive series to rest? :evil: :P

Pappy

Mel Blount's G
01-05-2010, 03:04 PM
Jeez pappy, you really ARE a glass-is-half-FULL fan :lol: Captain Lemming and the posse of kool-aid drinkers are right there with ya :wink:

RussBII
01-05-2010, 03:10 PM
I think we might be beating a dead horse here.

I actually kind of take some hope from this post. The Steelers were 1 or 2 plays away from the playoffs, and about 5 plays away from being 13-3 or 14-2...

And that's with Tyrone Carter and Willie Gay flailing about for 11+ games.

-Russ

Oviedo
01-05-2010, 03:18 PM
I think we might be beating a dead horse here.

I actually kind of take some hope from this post. The Steelers were 1 or 2 plays away from the playoffs, and about 5 plays away from being 13-3 or 14-2...

And that's with Tyrone Carter and Willie Gay flailing about for 11+ games.

-Russ

But what will change on defense next year. You can't say that Aaron Smith and Troy will be back for the whole season because recent history would indicate that is more hope than reality.

papillon
01-05-2010, 03:19 PM
I think we might be beating a dead horse here.

I actually kind of take some hope from this post. The Steelers were 1 or 2 plays away from the playoffs, and about 5 plays away from being 13-3 or 14-2...

And that's with Tyrone Carter and Willie Gay flailing about for 11+ games.

-Russ

This is called NFL parity. Many believe that the NFL defines parity as 32 teams with an 8-8 record, but what they really want is for each game to be competitive and have a few key plays here and there determine who is the better team.

Last year the Steelers made those few plays and won the Super Bowl. This year they did not make those plays and consequently missed the playoffs. The NFL doesn't want a bunch of teams that are clones of each other, they enjoy having undefeated teams, but they also enjoy the fact that those teams can be pushed by lesser teams.

Pappy

feltdizz
01-05-2010, 07:30 PM
I think we might be beating a dead horse here.

I actually kind of take some hope from this post. The Steelers were 1 or 2 plays away from the playoffs, and about 5 plays away from being 13-3 or 14-2...

And that's with Tyrone Carter and Willie Gay flailing about for 11+ games.

-Russ

and a miracle on 4th down from 8- 8)

a dropped Mason pass from 7-8

a Clark INT against Miami from 6-8

a 28 point collapse against SD from 5-8
we had 2 games that weren't in doubt this year.. the rest were nail biters..

looking back this team either took a year off or we think we are better then we really are.

skyhawk
01-05-2010, 08:54 PM
I think we might be beating a dead horse here.

I actually kind of take some hope from this post. The Steelers were 1 or 2 plays away from the playoffs, and about 5 plays away from being 13-3 or 14-2...

And that's with Tyrone Carter and Willie Gay flailing about for 11+ games.

-Russ

This is called NFL parity. Many believe that the NFL defines parity as 32 teams with an 8-8 record, but what they really want is for each game to be competitive and have a few key plays here and there determine who is the better team.

Last year the Steelers made those few plays and won the Super Bowl. This year they did not make those plays and consequently missed the playoffs. The NFL doesn't want a bunch of teams that are clones of each other, they enjoy having undefeated teams, but they also enjoy the fact that those teams can be pushed by lesser teams.

Pappy

Bingo Pap!!

I suggest everyone re-read the above!!

skyhawk
01-05-2010, 08:56 PM
I think we might be beating a dead horse here.

I actually kind of take some hope from this post. The Steelers were 1 or 2 plays away from the playoffs, and about 5 plays away from being 13-3 or 14-2...

And that's with Tyrone Carter and Willie Gay flailing about for 11+ games.

-Russ

and a miracle on 4th down from 8- 8)

a dropped Mason pass from 7-8

a Clark INT against Miami from 6-8

a 28 point collapse against SD from 5-8
we had 2 games that weren't in doubt this year.. the rest were nail biters..

looking back this team either took a year off or we think we are better then we really are.

I think it's a little bit of both. I think this team and its fans really think we are better than they really are. The same plays that got them to the Super Bowl last year were the same plays (not made) that kept them out of the playoffs this year.

This team has twice rode some highflying mojo and momentum with alot of luck to win both in 2005 and 2008.

If any team has benefited the most from the NFL's parity, it is the Pittsburgh Steelers!

NorthCoast
01-09-2010, 01:39 PM
The Steelers failed because of a 13-6 loss at Cleveland Dec. 10 ...

The team's fifth consecutive defeat is the most painful, ending a 12-game winning streak against the woeful Browns. The defense is shredded for 171 rushing yards by the NFL's worst offense. Roethlisberger's offense can't get a touchdown against the league's worst defense, which is playing without five injured starters. He is sacked eight times. Realistic-to-the-bone nose tackle Casey Hampton says of those fading playoff hopes, "It's a wrap, man. This [bleep] is a wrap."

I keep reading this and don't understand how the Steelers allowed this to happen. The stats from this game are truely unbelievable. Not a single TD against the NFL's worst defense statistically AND they were missing 5 starters. Sacked 8 times (8!!!!!).

With the season on the line the Steelers laid a giant turd.

I think this is one of the worst defeats in the last 30 years.


This game was likely the nail in Zeierlin's coffin. The last time the OL looked this inept was against PHilly 2 yrs ago I think. The team looked emotionally spent and I kind of wonder whether some Cowher energy could have produced a different outcome. Keep in mind with talent so even in the league I think emotion plays a bigger factor than some people realize. We always hear stories of teams searching for emotional leadership...
I don't think we had any in this game.

NorthCoast
01-09-2010, 01:46 PM
I think we might be beating a dead horse here.

I actually kind of take some hope from this post. The Steelers were 1 or 2 plays away from the playoffs, and about 5 plays away from being 13-3 or 14-2...

And that's with Tyrone Carter and Willie Gay flailing about for 11+ games.

-Russ

and a miracle on 4th down from 8- 8)

a dropped Mason pass from 7-8

a Clark INT against Miami from 6-8

a 28 point collapse against SD from 5-8
we had 2 games that weren't in doubt this year.. the rest were nail biters..

looking back this team either took a year off or we think we are better then we really are.

I agree feltdizz...we could easily have ended with a record of 6-10 without some amazing winning clutch plays. We just never really separated in games this year.

BURGH86STEEL
01-09-2010, 02:03 PM
I think we might be beating a dead horse here.

I actually kind of take some hope from this post. The Steelers were 1 or 2 plays away from the playoffs, and about 5 plays away from being 13-3 or 14-2...

And that's with Tyrone Carter and Willie Gay flailing about for 11+ games.

-Russ

This is called NFL parity. Many believe that the NFL defines parity as 32 teams with an 8-8 record, but what they really want is for each game to be competitive and have a few key plays here and there determine who is the better team.

Last year the Steelers made those few plays and won the Super Bowl. This year they did not make those plays and consequently missed the playoffs. The NFL doesn't want a bunch of teams that are clones of each other, they enjoy having undefeated teams, but they also enjoy the fact that those teams can be pushed by lesser teams.

Pappy

I agree. Other fans have hope their teams can improve and make the playoffs from one year to the next.

All of us believe that we still have the best team in the AFC North.

feltdizz
01-09-2010, 03:33 PM
The Steelers failed because of a 13-6 loss at Cleveland Dec. 10 ...

The team's fifth consecutive defeat is the most painful, ending a 12-game winning streak against the woeful Browns. The defense is shredded for 171 rushing yards by the NFL's worst offense. Roethlisberger's offense can't get a touchdown against the league's worst defense, which is playing without five injured starters. He is sacked eight times. Realistic-to-the-bone nose tackle Casey Hampton says of those fading playoff hopes, "It's a wrap, man. This [bleep] is a wrap."

I keep reading this and don't understand how the Steelers allowed this to happen. The stats from this game are truely unbelievable. Not a single TD against the NFL's worst defense statistically AND they were missing 5 starters. Sacked 8 times (8!!!!!).

With the season on the line the Steelers laid a giant turd.

I think this is one of the worst defeats in the last 30 years.


This game was likely the nail in Zeierlin's coffin. The last time the OL looked this inept was against PHilly 2 yrs ago I think. The team looked emotionally spent and I kind of wonder whether some Cowher energy could have produced a different outcome. Keep in mind with talent so even in the league I think emotion plays a bigger factor than some people realize. We always hear stories of teams searching for emotional leadership...
I don't think we had any in this game.

I think the short yardage blocking and the glaring OL struggles with stunts did Z in.

Everyone keeps pointing to the Browns game as the nail in the coffin. I don't buy it. We were on a crushing 4 game losing streak and had 3 days before this game. I think we just mailed this one in and hoped Cleveland would make their usual mistakes. The season was lost way before the Browns game but I think it was a game that embodied our whole season.

RuthlessBurgher
01-09-2010, 05:28 PM
All of us believe that we still have the best team in the AFC North.

Except maybe Jom. :wink: