View Full Version : Offense's identity is consistently inconsistent

10-18-2011, 01:22 AM
Offense's identity is consistently inconsistent

F. Dale Lolley can be reached at dlolley@observer-reporter.com

PITTSBURGH - For one half, the Steelers could do no wrong.

Every offensive play worked. Every defensive call seemed to result in a stop.

The Steelers were treating the Jaguars like they were their kid brother - in a headlock and giving them a noogie.

Then, just like that, they let up, allowing the Jaguars to get up, dust themselves off and keep playing.

After outgaining Jacksonville 315-68 in the first half Sunday, the Steelers seemed to go into cruise control, allowing the Jaguars to turn a 17-3 deficit into a 17-13 nailbiter.

"It's frustrating because my expectations for our offense are high," said Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

"I'm going to be frustrated for about another half hour, and then I'm going to be happy that we won the game."

There is that.

But good teams don't give a team such as Jacksonville an opportunity to win. They don't give the Jaguars the opportunity to throw the ball into the end zone on the last play of the game with a chance to win.

Good teams put away the Jaguars. The Steelers certainly didn't do that.

"I hate to sit here and say that we didn't do anything because it takes away from their defense, but we've got to come out and keep grinding and putting points on the board," said Roethlisberger. "The sense of urgency needs to stay there."

Instead of urgent, the Steelers looked bored.

Yes, the Steelers ran for a season-high 185 yards against Jacksonville, but only 51 came in the second half.

Roethlisberger attempted only five passes in the second half, completing one. And that completion came on his first attempt in the third quarter. He was sacked three times in the final 30 minutes after barely getting his jersey dirty in the first 30.

For the Steelers, the second half was a myriad of running plays, incompletions and punts.

"It wasn't the kind of finish we were looking for, but we'll take it," said head coach Mike Tomlin.

"We acknowledge that we didn't play the style of football that we like to play in the second half."

For a team with as many offensive stars as the Steelers have, it just wasn't good enough.

Six games into the season, trends are starting to form. And for the Steelers, one trend is that despite their offensive talent, they are wildly inconsistent. They don't seem to know what they want to be - a team that relies on its passing attack or one that leans on its running game.

"(We want) to be balanced; a team that is good, executes on third down and in the red zone," said wide receiver Hines Ward. "It we do that, we're a pretty good ballclub. We just have to be consistent. We're not doing it on a consistent level."

If they want to continue to win, the Steelers better find that consistency, and do so quickly.

Though the schedule is riddled with sub-par teams, there are two important back-to-back home games looming in a couple of weeks against New England and Baltimore. Playing one half of football against teams of that caliber is going to result in a lopsided loss for the Steelers. After all, Jacksonville rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert won't be throwing the ball for those two teams.

http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/spo ... ags-column (http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/sports11/10-17-2011-Steelers-Jags-column)

10-18-2011, 09:13 AM
This offense is going to continue to struggle with consistency as long as Bruce Arians is calling the shots. I'm not blaming all of the offenses' ills on him. Ben missed several wide open receivers for would be touchdowns. But, prime example, last week the gameplan was beautiful, by necessity, but beautiful nonetheless. Did BA continue to build on that? No, he went right back to his same bombs away mentality. And it looked good when it was working. But, just like a basketball team that lives and dies by the three, when it doesn't work it's pretty ugly. And it can cause the offense to be very inconsistent.

So, until there's a change of philosophy, situational playcalling and utilization of available personnel, we're gonnna see this offense go in fits and starts. This offense is just like that box of chocolates in Forest Gump. And Bruce Arians directs it like he's Forest Gump.