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Thread: My Mid-Way Thoughts @ 5-3 (Long)

  1. #1

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    My Mid-Way Thoughts @ 5-3 (Long)

    The following is just my thoughts about the first 8 games of the season --- and to point out my perspective on where the team has failed and where they've succeeded.

    The Denver Loss --

    4th quarter the score is 19-22 the Pittsburgh Offense takes the field AND....they go three and out.
    The Pittsburgh Defense holds the Broncos to a FG (19-25) and still gives the Steelers a chance to win.

    I see many of you write that you'd prefer the Steelers Offense be given the chance to win the game, as opposed to the Steelers Defense --- so "what" did the Steelers do to win this game??? They threw a pick 6 --- 19-31 game over.

    This is not the Defense's fault in my opinion -- the offense had two chances to win this game and failed on both occassions. However (now 7 games later) I think installing a new offense is most to blame here. Ben missed a few opportunities and in the end I think it has more to do with understanding the offense -- the offensive line also struggled, and that could be due to the linemen figuring out their assignments and Haley getting used to their strengths and weaknesses.

    The Jets Victory

    At the mid-way point of the 2nd quarter the Jets score a FG and then are shut down for the rest of the game - Defense plays very well.

    Ben hits 10 different receivers.
    In the 4th Quarter they use a 10:13 possession to seal the game -- Offense plays well.

    I don't take anything away from this victory - because I think the Steelers played well, however the Jets seem to be completely lost this season -- just falling apart at the seams....somebody tell me again why Tebow was so important to sign???

    Raiders Loss

    (Again) Ben impressively uses 10 different receivers, however the running game is awful -- 40 combined rushing yards from Redman and Batch.

    Defense gets a Turnover on the first play -- turned into an Offensive TD
    Defense gives up a big play to McFadden --- however, I think what made that play so big is how poorly Ryan Mundy played the angle --- he seemed to get swept up inside and just forget to tackle the runner --- in my opinion Ryan Mundy is simply not solid enough to be used as a Steelers starter. Polamalu either needs to find a way to stay healthy -- or both he and Mundy need to be replaced by someone who can play at a Steelers level on defense. Keep in mind Polamalu will go down as one of my all time favorites for Pittsburgh -- but he's one of four first round guys we're not getting much production out of.

    Another First Rounder who hasn't been healthy is Mendenhall --- I would love to know how Haley could have used a healthy Mendenhall, but again if he can't stay healthy -- he's got to go. Dwyer fumbles on the Pitt 30 giving Oakland the ball and an easy score.

    At 11:40 in the 3rd Quarter Pittsburgh is up 24-14, the Special Teams allows the Raiders to get to the Pitt. 48 and eventually score.

    At 1:31 in the 3rd Quarter the Steelers Defense gives up a length of the field TD to the Raiders - 31-28.

    The Steelers offense drives the field and Antonio Brown fumbles on the Oak. 36....Steelers Defense holds the Raiders to a FG -- 31-31.

    Yet another chance for the Steelers Offense to "win" the game with 6:40 on the clock....they punt.

    Oakland gets a game winning FG.

    In my opinion this isn't a "defensive meltdown" or the defense's fault. Two Costly fumbles, a Special Teams mistake, and the Offense fails to win the game when given another chance.

    That being said I appreciate the hustle that Antonio Brown and Dwyer are showing -- I think both guys are earnestly trying to showcase their talents and play at their highest levels. The Antonio Brown fumble was a killer....but I think Antonio is having a great season so far, and playing (for the most part) smart football.

    Eagles Victory

    The Eagles just looked awful, and the Steelers (both the offense and defense) got lucky that the Eagles are playing so poorly.

    Suisham comes in and nails a game winner -- in Pittsburgh in bad weather -- a win is a win.

    Titans Loss

    Pittsburgh is up 10-6 and then the following -

    Blocked Punt sets the Titans up at the 1 yard line -- 10-13 Titans

    Ben throws an INT -- in the Titans Red Zone -- Tenn. drives the field for a FG 10-16 Titans.

    Those two plays by the Special Teams and Offense "could" have been a 10 point swing in favor of the Titans instead of the Steelers.

    Pittsburgh goes up 20-16, Steelers Defense Holds/ Pittsburgh goes up 23-16, Steelers Defense allows TD 23-23

    Steelers offense gets to the Titans side of the field and attempt a 54 yard FG -- Suisham has the direction but not the length -- Titans hit a 40 yard FG for the win.

    For the 5th time in 5 games the Pittsburgh Offense is in a position to win the game for the Steelers with either a tied game or down by 3 or 6 points.
    And for the 4th time they fail (twice against Denver)

  2. #2

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    Bengals Victory

    Steelers down 7-3 to the Bengals.

    Ben Fumbles on the Steelers 8 yard line -- Steelers down 14-3

    Defense tightens up and the Bengals after scoring a FG in the 3rd QT -- don't cross their own 39 yard line for the rest of the game.

    Steelers "find" their running attack -- Dwyer rushes for 47 yards in the last drive.

    **The Bengals victory is where I believe the Steelers/Haley have found their offense. The Steelers only win by 7 points, but have outscored the Bengals 20-3 since early in the 2nd quarter, and the Steelers are driving with thier last drive --- The Bengals have no answers on either side of the ball.

    With the exception of DeCastro, Mendenhall and Polamalu -- the Steelers are beginning to look healthy. I think the Offensive Line is beginning to figure out the offense -- which is allowing Ben to flash an even more dangerous version of himself, the running game seems to work for both Dwyer and Redman -- and the passing game seems to work for multiple receivers.

    Redskins victory

    Pittsburgh Offense - No fumbles, No Int's = No problems.

    Similiar to the Eagles the Redskins looked pretty awful in Pittsburgh. The Defense played well -- but it's easy to look good when the opposition drops the ball that many times.....the Redskins WR were so bad -- RGIII was perhaps the most dangerous WR on the field?!?

    NYG victory

    I thought the Giants victory showed how much progress the Steelers have made over the course of this season.

    For whatever reason -- the officiating was abysmal against the Steelers

    The score at the half "should" have been 10-3 Pittsburgh -- but a flat out incorrect call on Ryan Clark in the endzone (the call was a hit to the helmet, which wasn't even close)....and then a fumble that wasn't by Ben that was returned for at TD made the game 10-14 Giants at halftime.

    Steelers Defense allows a 50 yard FG and then also only allows a 23 yard Field Goal following a Roethlisberger INT.

    After the last Field Goal the Steelers only allowed the Giants offense to get to the:

    Giants 23
    Giants 7
    Giants 10

    in their last three drives.

    After Ben's INT -- the Offense gets back on track -- an incredible play by Mike Wallace. A great Special Teams play by Sanders -- which ends unsuccessfully with a trick special teams play. Defense holds -- Steelers get the ball and punch it in with Isaac Redman.

    The Giants game could be a momentum builder for the Steelers --- with seemingly all the calls going for the Giants, the Special Teams, Offense and Defense all click in the 4th quarter to give us all a sense of what this team is capable of.


    With the exception of Polamalu -- I believe the Defense has been slowly getting healthy and into better playing shape over these past few games.

    Keisel, Hampton, James Harrison are all coming off relatively serious injuries and are doing their best to play as close to their former prime as they once did.

    Ryan Clark has played inspired football -- and in Troy's absense LeBeau seems to have given Clark the chance to be the "play-maker". Also Keenan Lewis has played very well at CB (however he is in a contract year). I think anyone who "blames" LeBeau for these losses or for the short-comings of our defense simply can't bring themselves to "see" the offensive failures for some reason??

    Not to say that I think the Offense is completely to blame. I think the Offense is a work in progress with Haley at the Helm -- and if they can limit their turnovers and continue to build on their momentum I think the Steelers Offense could be the best we've seen since Bradshaw and the boys.

    Ben is lethal on 3rd Downs, he seems to have a lot more zip on the ball, the young offensive line continues to get better and Ben hasn't taken anywhere near the hits we've seen him take in the past several seasons. If we can get DeCastro on the field -- and keep a healthy group of Running Backs and WR's the Steelers could be on the verge of putting up some big better time than as we get ready to play a depleted Ravens team.

    Suisham has looked very solid and the return game with Sanders, Brown and Rainey at times is scary.

    Here's hoping we continue to build for the next half of the season!


  3. #3
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    Really great and thorough write up bull. Nice job. I also 100% agree. If and when this team gets healthy it's going to be lights out football. It's a damn shame Spence got hurt before the season got rolling because he could be splitting time with Foote and be in line for a very solid year next season. We're running well which keeps the defense fresh because they're on the field less and our corners are playing great football. Will Allen as mentioned a few times already in various other posts has also been surprisingly solid with Troy hurt. Things are definitely starting to click. Let's just hope Brown and Rainey aren't laid up long and the rest of the team can get healthy.

  4. #4

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    Great recap LB.

    While I'm in agreement that Ben and the O are to blame for the record, I also think the D could have done a little more. We should be 8-0. We're not, but we are on the upswing. We still might be 8+ weeks away from peaking. I'm becoming a believer.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by flippy View Post
    Great recap LB.

    While I'm in agreement that Ben and the O are to blame for the record, I also think the D could have done a little more. We should be 8-0. We're not, but we are on the upswing. We still might be 8+ weeks away from peaking. I'm becoming a believer.

    I agree. To say the offense is more responsible for the Oakland and Tennessee loss is ridiculous. The defense failed in both of those games. Fortunately, they seem to be finding their footing.

  6. #6
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    Dude has a couple of good weeks in MNFE and suddenly he's writing Beowulf II....

    Great write up but I think you chose to slant it towards the offensive woes insted of the defense. When calling out the offense for a 3 and out, why not do that as well for the D's inability to do the same? 4 Times the offense has gotten a lead into the 4th Q and the D couldn't protect it (by as much as 10 points). Even with many of the mistakes by the O or the special teams; the defense stepping up would have mitigated the mistake and no points would have been scored. At times there have been bad teams (Raiders and Titans are both horrible) that moved the ball with ease and at will on the D (and the Skins would have if their WRs had realized there was a game that day). Hopefully this past game has turned that all around. I think a 10 if not 11 win season is very realistic at this point.
    Last edited by Ghost; 11-06-2012 at 09:30 AM.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
    Dude has a couple of good weeks in MNFE and suddenly he's writing Beowulf II....
    Well played

  8. #8

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    Solid write up...and I must agree about Ryan Clark. He doesn't get alot of love on here but he is the real deal. He is playing terrific Steeler ball. He is physical and making big plays.

  9. #9
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    Eli's eyes look nutty nutbars in that picture. That deserves a "caption this" thread.
    Even if Bill Belichick was getting an atomic wedgie, his face would look exactly the same.

  10. #10
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    Great detail, but I think that it can be simplified. The offense especially started the year off a little confused. They had a new offense in place and a key part who had not worked with the team throughout the summer. On top of that there were rotating parts on the OL with every current starter a question mark. Starks coming off of major knee surgery, Colon playing a new position, Pouncey injury misses a game, Foster replacing Decastro who was named starter in the pre season, Adams replacing an injured Gilbert who was busy injuring everybody else. An OL is not meant to go through that much instability.

    On D, you still have two DLs who were rooks last year so did not get a first year camp, and two more coming off of injury. Two OLBs who have been injured, and a new starter (albeit a veteran of Lebeau's D) inside. Timmons coming off a horrible season where he was shifted outside and in. New starter at corner and another who had some odd rust to shake off. Maybe most importantly, the team is learning to play and thrive without number 43 back there.

    My point of all this is that all of these issues were valid reasons as to why we were not winning games, and all seem to be working themselves out in time. This is not the NCAA so it does not matter where you are ranked week 1, only where you finish. This team is poised to get stronger as the season wears on.


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