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Thread: Formula Still Exists for Us to Win 7th Super Bowl Title

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    Formula Still Exists for Us to Win 7th Super Bowl Title

    Formula Still Exists for Steelers to Win 7th Super Bowl Title

    Posted on November 17, 2010 by ted


    The Pittsburgh Steelers organization and their fanbase were humbled in a 39-26 beatdown by visiting New England on Sunday that was much more lopsided than the final score indicates, and exposed all of the major weaknesses of a Pittsburgh squad that is now injury laden and showing the negatives of having the oldest starting lineup in the NFL.

    That said, while it is highly unlikely, one can still formulate a way and navigate a path that could lead to another Super Bowl title, in large part because there is no great team in the NFL, and only a couple squads present matchup problems that Pittsburgh cannot overcome.

    First, the Steelers must win the AFC North and get a first-round bye. There is no way this depleted team can win three games in a loaded AFC playoffs that will likely include the Patriots, Jets, Ravens, Colts and Chargers if Pittsburgh is the sixth team.

    Pittsburgh must win at Baltimore in three weeks and finish at least 11-5 to have a chance at that bye. 12-4 would likely guarantee it and the Steelers’ regular-season schedule sets up favorably to still finish with a strong record, although going 6-1 the rest of the way does seem unrealistic at this point.

    In the playoffs, Pittsburgh cannot play New England or at Indianapolis. The porous Pittsburgh secondary would be exploited by Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. While the Colts’ offense is less lethal due to injuries, Indianapolis defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis would annihilate the slow-footed, new Steelers offensive tackle duo of ancient Flozell Adams and journeyman Jonathan Scott.

    However, a home game in poor weather against Indy is winnable and the Steelers would have a decent shot against any other potential playoff opponent besides New England, although the Jets and Ravens would present major problems for the Pittsburgh offensive line, and San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers would dissect the Steelers’ secondary. Fortunately, other teams (the Jets in particular) match up better against the Pats or Colts, and thus both Brady and Manning could be eliminated early from the playoffs.

    Ideally, the Steelers could host run-oriented Kansas City or Tennessee in a second-round playoff game, but the Chiefs are unlikely to make the playoffs and the Titans would likely only make it over the Steelers. Even if either did make it, they would be huge underdogs to advance past the wild-card round.

    Here are some things that need to happen on the field for Pittsburgh to win the AFC North despite fielding a worse team than a few weeks ago.

    1. Emmanuel Sanders must replace Antwaan Randle El in the Steelers’ standard 3-WR set. I like having Randle El on the roster, but he is now a below-average NFL No. 3 WR who is no longer super quick, but is still undersized with questionable hands. Throw in the fact that Hines Ward isn’t exactly known for his speed, and the presence of Randle El causes more traffic in the short field. While still raw and learning how to play, Sanders is bigger and much faster than Randle El. Having Sanders on the field most of the time will keep defenses honest and he will only get better with more reps.

    2. Ben Rothlisberger and his receivers must get in sync. (I’ll refrain from going through my “They gave away Santonio Holmes for nothing” rant. You’re familiar with it by now.) Not having Holmes on the field proved disastrous against the Patriots.

    Holmes excelled on connecting with Roethlisberger on hot reads and in sandlot football after plays broke down. He also was a major threat in the middle of the field and could go deep, providing a perfect complement to deep-field threat Mike Wallace and short-field targets Ward and TE Heath Miller. No Holmes this year has bottled up the offense.

    Still, the lack of symmetry between Roethlisberger and his receivers on Sunday was inexcusable and must improve. Getting Ward back healthy and more involved in the offense would help.

    3. Pittsburgh has to re-establish the rushing attack shown early in the season by playing Rashard Mendenhall most of the time at tailback and not being so predictable on when it rushes. This may be the most difficult to imagine, since the Steelers never really tried to run left behind Scott and Ramon Foster on Sunday and quickly gave up on the right side, as they were thoroughly dominated by a New England squad that entered the game ranked 29th in the NFL in total defense.

    4. The makeshift Pittsburgh offensive line has to jell and improve each game as a unit. Scott actually was not horrific at left tackle on Sunday but is a step down from long-time starter Max Starks, who was lost for the year due to a neck injury. If there is any glimmer of hope it is that the 2008 Steelers were world champions despite having the worst starting offensive line and rushing attack of any Super Bowl champion. Of course, that team also had Holmes making all the big plays at opportune times in key games.

    5. New kicker Shaun Suisham must be clutch on field goals and improve the Steelers’ kickoff distance. Most NFL kickers could sail kickoffs longer than Jeff Reed, but I would not bet on the former. Reed has long been clutch on field goals in Heinz Field and the Steelers may regret giving up on him so quickly.

    6. Pittsburgh must get healthy on the defensive line, which was abysmal in Sunday’s loss, getting run on effectively by the Pats and generating no surge on passing downs.

    Defensive end Brett Keisel (hamstring) is likely to miss another game this Sunday against the run-oriented Raiders. Lose that game, and I’m predicting that Pittsburgh will officially nosedive again over the second half of the season and miss the playoffs for a second consecutive winter.

    The Steelers’ other staring end Aaron Smith needs to be back in the lineup by the Jets game after trying to recover from a triceps tear that is usually season-ending. Smith is 34 and possibly in his last season. He should take a lot of Vicodin and get back on the field, because I think Smith at 60 percent is better than journeyman Nick Eason at 100 percent.

    All three starters on the Steelers’ defensive line and four of the team’s top five players at the position have missed at least one game with injuries this season. Of course, that is not surprising when you consider that five of their top six defensive linemen are 30 or older and the Steelers have only selected one defensive linemen (Ziggy Hood in 2009) in the first two rounds over their last nine drafts. At some point, age was bound to creep up and that has finally happened to the Pittsburgh defensive line this fall.

    7. Pittsburgh defensive coordinator D!ck LeBeau must be more creative and take more risks to generate a pass rush when accurate quarterbacks begin picking apart the Steelers’ woeful pass defense as Brady and Drew Brees have already done this year.

    Even though Football Outsiders ranks the Steelers’ pass defense as ninth-best in the league (even after what happened Sunday night), the raw numbers have this D currently rank 27th in the NFL in pass defense and 28th in opponents’ completion percentage. Over its last 16 regular-season games dating back to the end of the 2009 season that I have since tried to expunge from my memory, Pittsburgh has yielded an absurd 4,039 yards passing, even though some of those games have included opposing starting quarterbacks like Matt Cassel, Bruce Gradkowski, Chad Henne (twice), Brady Quinn, Vince Young, Josh Freeman and Colt McCoy, none of whom are viable options as fantasy quarterbacks in just about any week.

    In my opinion, the Steelers have the worst No. 2-No. 3 corner combo in the league in Bryant McFadden and William Gay, with McFadden the better of the two. Since they elected to improve their deep depth at linebacker rather than draft a corner for immediate need in the early parts of their 2010 draft, the Steelers have few other alternatives and are probably best served by staying with that duo at this point of the season.

    LeBeau is arguably the greatest DC in modern NFL history and still ranks among the best in the league. But he was outcoached badly on Sunday by New Engalnd. Even though the Pats no longer have a vertical threat at receiver, LeBeau was so scared of his piss-poor corners being exposed in man coverage that he mostly played a cover-two zone for nearly all of three quarters against Tom Brady, who has long been the kryptonite to LeBeau’s defense. Giving Brady so much time to look for receivers was a flawed and illogical gameplan.

    It was not until late in the game that LeBeau finally started blitzing some out of desperation. He cannot wait so long in the future, because every team will try to emulate the Patriots’ gameplan, although few have the quarteracks to do so.

    8. The Steelers’ stars have to start playing up to their reputations. Ike Taylor, James Harrison, James Farrior, Wallace, Casey Hampton and Mendenhall have all played up to expectations this fall, with Taylor and Farrior probably exceeding them.

    But a list of Steelers disappointments in 2010 would look a scroll of their best players despite the team’s 6-3 record. Ward has 30 receptions for 375 yards and is currently on pace to finish with 53 receptions, which would mark his worst season since his 1998 rookie campaign when he focused more on special teams.

    A year after earning his first Pro Bowl invite due to tallying 13.5 sacks and constantly making his presence felt, LaMarr Woodley has often been a non-factor this fall with just 5.5 sacks through nine games. He registered only one hurry and never even touched Brady despite pass-rushing most of the game on Sunday. Hopefully, he can emulate 2009 when Woodley was pretty much the only Steeler defender who played better toward the end of the season.

    Troy Polamalu started off the season playing like the future Hall of Famer is but has not made any big plays since the Steelers’ third game against Tampa. He will get to the Pro Bowl on reputation but has not played at that level over the past six games. Polamalu needs to start making game-altering plays, which has been wont over the years when healthy.

    While he is still settling in after serving a four-game suspension to start the season and is no doubt missing Holmes, Roethlisberger has looked average since his return and has rarely resembled the franchise quarterback who passed for 4,328 yards and 26 TDs in 2009.

    All of these standouts must play up to their past level if Pittsburgh is to win another Super Bowl title. To be honest, though, I am just now hoping this team makes the playoffs and would be elated to beat the Ravens and win the AFC North. But this team is not a Super Bowl-caliber squad and that was evident to all viewers of Sunday’s debacle. Still, with the right regular-seaosn finish and playoff path, hosting a Lombardi is not as much of a longshot as it would be in other seasons with this current squad.

    http://www.steelerslounge.com/2010/11/p ... itle-year/

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    Re: Formula Still Exists for Us to Win 7th Super Bowl Title

    That Formula is about as long as a dictionary. I felt like a Bills fan reading that, we have many problems it's true, but we will overcome. Forget SB talk, just get a win VS Oakland this week.....
    "If I could start my life all over again, I would be a professional football player, and you damn well better believe I would be a Pittsburgh Steeler."
    -- Jack Lambert --

  3. #3

    Re: Formula Still Exists for Us to Win 7th Super Bowl Title

    Glad to see the author doing what it seems few are willing to do--call out LaMarr Woodley for his lack of performance this season.

    I guess Wood's play could make the Steelers' offseason decision easier...Unless he amps up his production, I'm thinking they will let him walk in free agency, and use the money to concentrate on fixing some of the pressing needs.

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    Re: Formula Still Exists for Us to Win 7th Super Bowl Title

    The Steelers are still on track for a first round bye

    by seton hall and steelers on Nov 15, 2010


    Despite that horrible loss to the Patriots last night, the Steelers are still on track for a first round bye and at least 1 home playoff game.

    The Patriots beat us. Yes I know. However, the two 7 and 2 teams in the AFC are in the East. We all know that a division can only earn one first round bye. That means that either the Jets or Patriots will have to play a road wild card game to start the playoffs. This leaves the Steelers and Ravens (possibly the Colts) for the other first round bye. We also know that the Steelers still play the Ravens. If the Steelers beat the Ravens and play the way they should the rest of the season the Steelers will earn a first round bye. I am rooting for the Jets to beat the Patriots because we still play the Jets. If we beat the Jets and the Patriots lose to the Jets we could still earn home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Here are some scenarios:

    Scenario 1:

    Jets lose to Patriots, and Steelers

    Steelers beat Ravens and both finish 12 and 4

    Patriots earn 1 seed, Steelers earn 2 seed

    Scenario 2:

    Jets beat Patriots, lose to Steelers

    Steelers beat Ravens

    Patriots lose game not vs. Jets

    Steelers earn 1 seed, Jets earn 2 seed

    To recap:

    Even though we were embarrased last night we still control our own destiny for a first round bye and with only a little help home field advantage throughout the playoffs

    Now some goods and bads on the game last night.

    To start with the bads

    1. William Gay: He gave up three TD's to a blocking TE. He should be benched next week because his play was awful.

    2. Trai Essex: He played just horrible yesterday. He looked fat, lazy, and out of shape. If The Big Legursky is healthy next week he better get the start.

    3. the rest of the offensive line: 5 sacks to a horrible defense. Could not create running room. Just unacceptable

    4. The injury bug: Hines Ward suffered a concussion due to a helmet to helmet hit that will likely go un-fined. Lawrence Timmons left the game in the 4th quarter and did not return.

    5. Jeff Reed: Missed a 22 yard FG and barley made a 26 yard FG. He needs to be cut now or at the end of the season. Hopefully now. He is not an NFL FG kicker. He should be sent to the CFL.

    6. The DE's: Every big run Ben Jarvis Green Ellis had was right an one of our two DE's in the game. They were constantly getting pushed off the ball and could not make plays at all.

    7. Deebo and Lamaar Woodley: A group of OLB's that is far and away the best in the NFL. However, yesterday they looked horrible.

    8. The defensive game plan: Coach Dad should know that soft coverage will never beat the Pats. If we play them again we need to rush 5 to 7 every play and have our corners play hard bump and run coverage. If we continue to sag off Pats receivers we will continue to get beat.

    9. ARE: He should be benched in favor of Manny Sanders. He had a drop in the endzone that ended up being huge in the game. He was just pathetic.

    Wow is that a long list of bads. Now moving on to the few goods

    1. Mike Wallace: Mike showed he is a complete receiver. Despite not having any huge deep catches, he had 8 rec for 136yds and 2 tds. I would rate him a top 15 receiver and he is getting better every day.

    2. Emmanuel Sanders: With Hines Ward hurt, Manny Sanders stepped up. He had 5rec for 41yds and a TD and Ben looked to him a lot in the 4th Quarter. He should get the spot instead of ARE and Brown should be dressed instead of ARE. Sanders made one mistake missing a hot read but other than that he played great.

    3. Rashard Mendenhall: Despite an unimpressive stat line, Mendy showed the ability to cut and move. Despite having no blocking Mendy finished averaging 4.5 yards a carry.

    4. Mewelde Moore: He had 5 rec for 79yds and 14yds on the ground. A pretty solid game from Moore.

    5. James Farrior: James had a great game with 5 solo tackles and 5 assists. He did not get burned on pass coverage either.

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/20 ... -round-bye

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    Re: Formula Still Exists for Us to Win 7th Super Bowl Title




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    Re: Formula Still Exists for Us to Win 7th Super Bowl Title

    We're not going to win anything if LeBeau keeps up the 3 and 4 man pass rushes. I think we had a 5-6 man pass rush maybe 4 times all night and on one of those plays NE got 10 yards. The other three nothing, with one being an intentional grounding with 10 yard loss and loss of down. It was pure insanity to keep up the 3/4 man pass rush over and over and over and just see the D chasing NE receiver's all over the field and getting tired. It was absolutely the most ret*rded thing I have ever seen.

    We have the formula for #7. Now if we can just master the obvious.

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    Re: Formula Still Exists for Us to Win 7th Super Bowl Title

    Quote Originally Posted by Crash


    now thats what I call HILARITY! haha
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    Re: Formula Still Exists for Us to Win 7th Super Bowl Title

    Saint LeBeau should not be given a free pass here either, it seemed like Tom Brady understood our defense better than some of our own players do.


    "7. Pittsburgh defensive coordinator D!ck LeBeau must be more creative and take more risks to generate a pass rush when accurate quarterbacks begin picking apart the Steelers’ woeful pass defense as Brady and Drew Brees have already done this year.

    Even though Football Outsiders ranks the Steelers’ pass defense as ninth-best in the league (even after what happened Sunday night), the raw numbers have this D currently rank 27th in the NFL in pass defense and 28th in opponents’ completion percentage. Over its last 16 regular-season games dating back to the end of the 2009 season that I have since tried to expunge from my memory, Pittsburgh has yielded an absurd 4,039 yards passing, even though some of those games have included opposing starting quarterbacks like Matt Cassel, Bruce Gradkowski, Chad Henne (twice), Brady Quinn, Vince Young, Josh Freeman and Colt McCoy, none of whom are viable options as fantasy quarterbacks in just about any week.

    In my opinion, the Steelers have the worst No. 2-No. 3 corner combo in the league in Bryant McFadden and William Gay, with McFadden the better of the two. Since they elected to improve their deep depth at linebacker rather than draft a corner for immediate need in the early parts of their 2010 draft, the Steelers have few other alternatives and are probably best served by staying with that duo at this point of the season.

    LeBeau is arguably the greatest DC in modern NFL history and still ranks among the best in the league. But he was outcoached badly on Sunday by New Engalnd. Even though the Pats no longer have a vertical threat at receiver, LeBeau was so scared of his piss-poor corners being exposed in man coverage that he mostly played a cover-two zone for nearly all of three quarters against Tom Brady, who has long been the kryptonite to LeBeau’s defense. Giving Brady so much time to look for receivers was a flawed and illogical gameplan.

    It was not until late in the game that LeBeau finally started blitzing some out of desperation. He cannot wait so long in the future, because every team will try to emulate the Patriots’ gameplan, although few have the quarteracks to do so."

  9. #9

    Re: Formula Still Exists for Us to Win 7th Super Bowl Title

    All three starters on the Steelers’ defensive line and four of the team’s top five players at the position have missed at least one game with injuries this season. Of course, that is not surprising when you consider that five of their top six defensive linemen are 30 or older and the Steelers have only selected one defensive linemen (Ziggy Hood in 2009) in the first two rounds over their last nine drafts. At some point, age was bound to creep up and that has finally happened to the Pittsburgh defensive line this fall.

    Smitty was a 3rd rounder, Keisel a 7th. They just haven't scored with any of the low round line picks in a while, because more teams are playing 3 - 4's and using Steeler type players that we used to have virtually all to ourselves on draft day.

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    Re: Formula Still Exists for Us to Win 7th Super Bowl Title

    Quote Originally Posted by TallyStiller
    All three starters on the Steelers’ defensive line and four of the team’s top five players at the position have missed at least one game with injuries this season. Of course, that is not surprising when you consider that five of their top six defensive linemen are 30 or older and the Steelers have only selected one defensive linemen (Ziggy Hood in 2009) in the first two rounds over their last nine drafts. At some point, age was bound to creep up and that has finally happened to the Pittsburgh defensive line this fall.

    Smitty was a 3rd rounder, Keisel a 7th. They just haven't scored with any of the low round line picks in a while, because more teams are playing 3 - 4's and using Steeler type players that we used to have virtually all to ourselves on draft day.
    Very true which is why you should at least consider defensive changes where you don't waste two years converting DTs to DEs and DEs to LBs. It forces you into a numbers game that makes it hard to keep young players while they are learning because they can't contribute right away. The aging is therefore a self fulfilling prophecy.
    Playing Fantasy Football does not qualify you to be the in the front office or on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are professionals and you are not!

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