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    Legend hawaiiansteel's Avatar
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    Cook: Turnovers, and lack thereof, the real issue

    Cook: Turnovers, and lack thereof, the real issue

    December 17, 2012
    By Ron Cook / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    ARLINGTON, Texas -- Linebacker Lawrence Timmons had the Steelers' only sack Sunday, throwing Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo for a 13-yard loss in the third quarter. Linebacker James Harrison forced the Cowboys' only turnover, stripping the ball from running back DeMarco Murray late in the first quarter deep in Steelers territory to set up a fumble recovery by defensive end Brett Keisel. The defense didn't have an interception for the seventh time in 14 games and has just seven for the season.

    "That's not going to win ballgames," Steelers safety Troy Polamalu said.

    It didn't Sunday, that's for sure.

    Not when the Cowboys defense had four sacks, recovered a fumble and had an overtime interception that won the game, 27-24.

    The Steelers started the day with a turnover ratio of minus-13, which ranked 29th in the 32-team NFL. That it is now minus-14 is a pretty good reason the Steelers have lost four of five games, are a decidedly mediocre 7-7 and need to win their final two games at home against the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns to make the playoffs.

    "Their defense outplayed our defense today," Polamalu said. "We weren't able to get field position with pressure the way their defense did. We couldn't stop the run in cover-2. We missed tackles and had to put eight men in the box. That put the corners on an island ...

    "Everything worked together."

    Or, more correctly, didn't work together.


    It's not as if the Steelers offense bailed the team out. The guys who are supposed to be stars came up small at the worst times. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw a horrible interception to cornerback Brandon Carr on the second play of overtime. His pass was well behind wide receiver Mike Wallace, who made things worse by turning into a spectator and allowing Carr to get up and return the interception 36 yards to the Steelers 1. Wide receiver Antonio Brown -- the team's Most Valuable Player last season -- lost a fumble at the end of a 22-yard punt return in the fourth quarter, let another punt roll to cost the Steelers valuable field position and failed to stay inbounds to stop the clock when the Steelers were going to have to punt late in regulation. The rebuilt offensive line -- rookie David DeCastro made his first NFL start at right guard, bumping Ramon Foster to left guard -- couldn't get the running game going and allowed Roethlisberger to be sacked four times in the second half.

    "100 percent ... This is on me," Roethlisberger said. "I let the team, the fans, everybody down."

    It's also easy to blame the Steelers' patched-up secondary for the loss. Starter Ike Taylor (ankle) missed his second consecutive game, not coincidentally a second loss.

    His backup, Cortez Allen (hip) also sat out, forcing Josh Victorian to start at cornerback and Robert Golden to play nickel back. It didn't help that starting cornerback Keenan Lewis left midway through the fourth quarter after making a spectacular play to break up a pass for wide receiver Dez Bryant in the end zone. That forced cornerback Curtis Brown into action, a move the coaches clearly didn't want to make after Brown played lousy a week earlier in the loss to the San Diego Chargers.

    Romo threw for 341 yards and two touchdowns and had a passer rating of 111.3. He regularly picked on Victorian, who admitted he was a "little shaky" in the first half but thought he played better in the second half. Steelers linebacker Larry Foote and safety Ryan Clark thought all of the young guys played better as the game went on.

    "We played our same defense," Foote said. "We probably even went a little more zero coverage than usual. We left those guys on an island the whole game and they held up."

    "That isn't why we lost," Clark said of the young secondary. "They were throwing a lot of hitches and outs. It's not like they were beating us with deep routes."

    The old guys are right.

    It took Brown's fumble at the Steelers 44 for the Cowboys to get the tying touchdown after the Steelers had gone ahead, 24-17, and Roethlisberger's interception for the Cowboys to get the winning field goal.

    It's simple, isn't it?

    The Cowboys won because they forced more turnovers.

    You want to know the biggest reason the Steelers have lost four of five games?Their opponents forced 18 turnovers in those five games, they forced four.

    It really is simple.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/...#ixzz2FHavsKm3

  2. #2
    Opponents "forced" 18 turnovers?

    About 1/4 of those were actually "forced"...the rest were just crappy, bonehead plays....

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Slapstick View Post
    Opponents "forced" 18 turnovers?

    About 1/4 of those were actually "forced"...the rest were just crappy, bonehead plays....
    Quote Originally Posted by Steelhere10 View Post
    Turnovers come when the Qb is under duress especially Romo, yet the a Steelers refuse to bring the house on this guy and sit back and bring a 4 man rush all game. That's why the team haven't forced any.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo
    Two weeks in a row against one of the worst OLs in the NFL and we can't touch the QB. Our pass rush makes them look like the Redskins' "Hogs" of the 80s. The inability to get real pressure on the QB renders this defense mediocre at best.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jooser
    Yes, and the inability for the OL to create a push for the running game, RB's fumbling, WR's dropping passes, and Ben throwing INTs renders this offense LESS than mediocre. The whole team is sick, starting with the coaching staff down.
    Quote Originally Posted by pfelix73
    We need to draft some potential play makers on defense...........
    Any one of these statements has a whole lot more truth than Cook's article.

    I think we also see how meaningless some statistics are. The Steelers (at least going into this last weekend) had the #1 defense in the NFL when going by yards allowed per game.
    But in today's NFL, unless you get some turnovers, you're really not the #1 defense. In fact, you might be mediocre. In today's NFL, with the rules favoring the offense, you can't count on stopping the opponent, so you'd better, at times, get the ball away from them (you need pressure and playmakers on D), and you'd better have an offense that can score some points when you get the ball. We don't, and that's why we're sitting at 7-7, on the outside looking in.
    Last edited by BradshawsHairdresser; 12-17-2012 at 12:02 PM.

  4. #4
    Pro Bowler Steelhere10's Avatar
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    Turnovers come when the Qb is under duress especially Romo, yet the a Steelers refuse to bring the house on this guy and sit back and bring a 4 man rush all game. That's why the team haven't forced any.

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    Legend papillon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelhere10 View Post
    Turnovers come when the Qb is under duress especially Romo, yet the a Steelers refuse to bring the house on this guy and sit back and bring a 4 man rush all game. That's why the team haven't forced any.
    I have to disagree a bit on that one. There were multiple times in the second half Romo was under immediate pressure due to a blitz, but had complete confidence to simply throw the ball (almost without looking) out to Bryant regardless of coverage, because he knew his guy could beat Lewis or Victorian (mostly Victorian). At one point on a 3rd and 4 Victorian was giving the WR on his side of the field a 12 yard cushion and Lewis was in press coverage.

    Of all the injuries (excluding Ben) Ike Taylor going down hurt the most. Our pass defense went from really good to really bad in the past 3 weeks. Hopefully, Lewis will be able to go this weekend; if he isn't, AJ Green might be able to get into the HOF after one game playing against Victorian.

    Romo was playing against practice squad corners yesterday. There were more than the one time described above where he clearly just threw it without looking knowing his guy was way better than any corner the Steelers had on the field.

    Pappy


    1.15) Ryan Shazier - ILB/OLB
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    7.215) Daniel McCullers - DT
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    "Before you can win a game, you have to not lose it." -- Chuck Noll

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    Pro Bowler Steelhere10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by papillon View Post
    I have to disagree a bit on that one. There were multiple times in the second half Romo was under immediate pressure due to a blitz, but had complete confidence to simply throw the ball (almost without looking) out to Bryant regardless of coverage, because he knew his guy could beat Lewis or Victorian (mostly Victorian). At one point on a 3rd and 4 Victorian was giving the WR on his side of the field a 12 yard cushion and Lewis was in press coverage.

    Of all the injuries (excluding Ben) Ike Taylor going down hurt the most. Our pass defense went from really good to really bad in the past 3 weeks. Hopefully, Lewis will be able to go this weekend; if he isn't, AJ Green might be able to get into the HOF after one game playing against Victorian.

    Romo was playing against practice squad corners yesterday. There were more than the one time described above where he clearly just threw it without looking knowing his guy was way better than any corner the Steelers had on the field.

    Pappy
    OK let me ask you this, do you consider a 4 man rush a blitz in a 3-4 defense, I guess you can say that but really 4 rushers against 5 OL is not a blitz to me. I saw plenty of times Romo just sit in the pocket with no pressure at all and pick the D apart. I know it's hard to do when you have backup cb playing but even when we had healthy cb it has been a theme for this defense the last couple of years and if you want coincidence as to why there have been less TO for the defense I think that would be why, If you hurry the QB mainly ones who don't like pressure including Romo I think the TO will come. Phill Simms brought up a good point when he said there are three things that DL wants and two was don't get beat deep and tackle. Well you will be high in the rankings if you don't get beat deap, but guess what you want have many To's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelhere10 View Post
    OK let me ask you this, do you consider a 4 man rush a blitz in a 3-4 defense, I guess you can say that but really 4 rushers against 5 OL is not a blitz to me. I saw plenty of times Romo just sit in the pocket with no pressure at all and pick the D apart. I know it's hard to do when you have backup cb playing but even when we had healthy cb it has been a theme for this defense the last couple of years and if you want coincidence as to why there have been less TO for the defense I think that would be why, If you hurry the QB mainly ones who don't like pressure including Romo I think the TO will come. Phill Simms brought up a good point when he said there are three things that DL wants and two was don't get beat deep and tackle. Well you will be high in the rankings if you don't get beat deap, but guess what you want have many To's.
    By definition a blitz is rushing more players than the offense has linemen to block them. Of course, I doubt that is the definition that anyone uses, because it wouldn't be a blitz then until you are rushing 6 defensive players. Lets say that Hood, Kiesel and Heyward are the linemen, that's three, then Harrison or Woodley makes the 4th, it's still not a blitz, but if Timmons, Foote or Polamalu come then in my mind you have a blitz. And, each of those three guys rushed the passer at different times yesterday. Timmons had his sack on what I believe was a "blitz", Foote made a play in the backfield or hurried Romo (I can't remember which exactly) and Polamalu was dancing with an offensive tackle a couple of times. The Steelers "blitzed" and Romo wasn't even worried about where he was going with the ball, he just threw it and it ended up a completion because of bad coverage.

    It's why many sacks are a combination of coverage and pass rushing. If Ike's in the game yesterday, he may have had a pick or Lewis may have had a pick, because a couple of Romo's throws were made without setting his feet and without looking during what I would call a "blitz". I wish I had the video of the game to embed. I can remember thinking when I saw Romo just turn and heave it that there was no way the pass was getting to the intended receiver and then lo and behold Bryant shows up with a Steeler CB yards behind him. I was stunned that the pass could be completed.

    Pappy


    1.15) Ryan Shazier - ILB/OLB
    2.46) Stephon Tuitt - DE
    3.97) Dri Archer - RB
    4.118 ) Martavis Bryant - WR
    5.157) Shaquille Richardson - CB
    6.173) Wesley Johnson - OT
    6.192) Jordan Zumwalt - ILB
    7.215) Daniel McCullers - DT
    7.230) Rob Blanchflower - TE

    "Before you can win a game, you have to not lose it." -- Chuck Noll

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    Hall of Famer Jooser's Avatar
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    We are turnover challenged.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jooser View Post
    We are turnover challenged.
    it's been that way for a few years now.

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    Two weeks in a row against one of the worst OLs in the NFL and we can't touch the QB. Our pass rush makes them look like the Redskins' "Hogs" of the 80s. The inability to get real pressure on the QB renders this defense mediocre at best.
    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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