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lamberts-lost-tooth
10-20-2008, 07:05 AM
Steelers lucky they were playing Bengals
Monday, October 20, 2008
By Gene Collier, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Peter Diana / Post-GazetteJames Harrison sacks Bengals quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in the first half.

Watching the fitful operation of Bruce Arians' offense across three quarters of shaggy football yesterday, you wouldn't have suspected the Steelers under the direction of Ben Roethlisberger had any aptitude for something as precise as, you know, timing or anything.

But the reality is that this fifth Steelers win of 2008 was essentially an indecorous little monument to that very thing.

There is no better illustration of good timing than putting the three worst quarters of conceptual offense this season on stage against the perfectly awful backdrop that is the Cincinnati Bengals. Winless and virtually skill-less, the Bengals still kept the Steelers well within range all the way into the fourth quarter, making the thousands and thousands of Steelers fans in Paul Brown Stadium wonder what might have happened to Mike Tomlin's fellas had they been matched against a pro team.

"It's not what professional football is all about," was the way Bengals coach Marvin Lewis chose to characterize this mismatch.

No, what this was about was the Steelers dickering for two and half hours over how to take the Bengals apart, then hitting on a couple of big plays and a turnover in the fourth quarter to gallop off, 38-10.

"We killed ourselves in the first half; I called a bad game," said Roethlisberger, who pitched a bad game as well until very late. "I told [offensive coordinator] Bruce [Arians], now I know what it feels like to do that. He told me I did. I should have just stuck to what I saw a lot of times rather than trying to force things. I really felt that we could have had 28, 30 points at halftime."

That's only because they should have.

Instead they ran three consecutive pass plays on first-and-goal from the 3 (settling for a field goal), threw a swing pass to Mewelde Moore on third-and-2 from the Bengals' 44 that Moore fumbled out of bounds well short of the sticks, and pretty much seemed intent on not allowing Moore to take over the game for them until it was almost too late.

"We left a few scoring opportunities out there in the first half, we messed up a third-and-1, we just barely moved ourselves out of field-goal range with a few penalties," Tomlin noted without apparent alarm. "I think any judging at this point is putting a mental ceiling on what we're capable of."

Funny, for most of this winning afternoon, his offense was a lot closer to the floor than the old mental ceiling. It's immensely evident as the most difficult stretch of schedule begins that the Steelers' injuries are precluding the total development of any clear offensive profile.

"We haven't developed our full personality," said center Justin Hartwig, whose linemates managed to keep Roethlisberger vertical all day. "Sometimes we sputter. It's my first year at center and I've got a lot of responsibility, and there are going to be some errors here or there. But we're getting into the hard part of the schedule so we need to start peaking."

Fortunately for the Steelers, while the offense was shooting itself in the foot, as Tomlin described the first half, the Bengals were shooting themselves in the head. The NFL's worst offense started with five three-and-outs, one of which ended in a punt that went virtually straight up, not even reaching the first down marker.

The Steelers refused to capitalize, settling for a 10-7 halftime lead and a flimsy 17-10 cushion entering the fourth quarter, by which point it appeared the Steelers were content just to bore them to death.

Had it not been for the first of Lawrence Timmons' two sacks -- this one coming with the Bengals facing third-and-10 from their 37 with 12 minutes remaining, Cincinnati might even have used a semblance of momentum to launch a tying drive.

"When you're in the football game and you've got the football across midfield down by a touchdown, you've got an opportunity there," Lewis said. "We didn't get the thing done. I'm angry. It's not good."

Instead, five plays later, Roethlisberger found Nate Washington streaking behind emergency roster addition Geoffrey Pope for 50 yards and a touchdown.

"I thought, 'He can't be that open,'" Roethlisberger said. "Willie Colon pushed the defensive end right by me and I just let it go."

Timmons' second sack aborted Cincinnati's next possession, and Roethlisberger went deep again immediately, this time to Hines Ward, who was interfered with by beaten corner Jonathan Joseph at the 14. Moore scored from 2 yards out three plays later to make the swelling arithmetic look more appealing than it was.

Though it was as plain as the black and gold facepaint throughout the stands yesterday that the Steelers will need to be a world more focused and accomplished on offense to deal with the defending Super Bowl Giants Sunday, Arians said it's not a matter of fully developing their offensive personality.

"This is the personality, that whoever we put in there is a starter, no matter that we're without [Willie] Parker, without Marvel Smith, everybody's a starter and everybody is finding their roles," said the OC. "The quarterback missed a couple of throws he usually doesn't in the first half, but I'll tell you, there wasn't a blink at halftime. You knew 7 was going to do it. It's obviously we're going to sink or swim with him, and we're going to swim."

They swam well enough yesterday, but it was good the Bengals were around to show 'em that doggy paddle.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08294/921277-150.stm

vasteeler
10-20-2008, 07:49 AM
:coffee:

DACEB
10-20-2008, 08:37 AM
Yea, forget the fact that we were without three starters on offense and it was a division game (no matter how bad the Bengals are), we suck.

This is the better article, over let's say how good our D played. Whatever it takes to sell those papers!

HometownGal
10-20-2008, 08:54 AM
Wow. If I didn't see with my own eyes that Gene Collier penned that commentary, I would swear it was another of either Smizik's or Bouchette's tear downs.

At least Ben manned up and said he "didn't call a good game" - at least not in the first half, but he did what he needed to do and led his O into the EZ 3 times in the second half to seal the deal.

The O did sputter somewhat in the first half but came alive in the second to pound the Bungles into the turf (literally and figuratively :chuckle:). I think they showed the Bungles early on, though, who was boss by their physical play which is and has long been the trademark of Steelers football. :tt02: I hope they carry that intensity with them into next week's matchup with the G-men.

fansince'76
10-20-2008, 09:11 AM
:coffee:

What he said. :coffee:

More hack "journalism." Does this guy realize that we NEVER trailed? Does this guy realize that the same Bengals team took the defending world champs to OT in East Rutherford? Yes, they suck, but they're still a professional team. Jackass.

DACEB
10-20-2008, 09:26 AM
Does this guy realize that we NEVER trailed? Does this guy realize that the same Bengals team took the defending world champs to OT in East Rutherford? Yes, they suck, but they're still a professional team.

Not to mention division rival, which usually means throwing records out the window.

Michael Keller
10-20-2008, 09:35 AM
I Responded to Collier's article and told him I believed he was absolutely correct in his assessment.

Ben being the guy he is takes the blame for the spuittering but I am not sure I believe this to be true.

My simple assessment of the 2008 Steelers.

1-Their defense is more than capable to take them to the Super Bowl.

2-Special team coverage is vastly improved and again acceptable.

3-Offensive personnel , including offensive line is capable simply because we have a true elite QB. BUT

In any game , especially a play off game , Bruce Arian scares the hell out of me. I fear he will get out coached. Believe me I want to believe differrently but Arian has an established pattern of "going out of sync" and screwing up the offense.

I remain optimistic because this is a good football capable of overcoming a poor OC . I am hoping that Ben becomes like P Manning, meaning a coach on the field that ends up caling most of the plays himself.

We are going to find out in the next 4 weeks how good the Steelers are. I think they are capable of being a Super Bowl team just minimize Arian's play calling role.

Please! LOL

Fire Haley
10-20-2008, 09:50 AM
Fire Arians and let Ben call all the plays.

No-huddle, shotgun, spread offense, 5 wide!!!


Eh, maybe he's just another one of those "smashmouth", stuck in the 70's, run-run-run, 3yrds and cloud of dust, dinosaurs....I thought we weeded all those clods out by now.

El-Gonzo Jackson
10-20-2008, 09:57 AM
I Responded to Collier's article and told him I believed he was absolutely correct in his assessment.



I wholeheartedly agree with you and posted so yesterday.

Good to hear Ben and the coaches admit to leaving points out there and that they could have had 28 by halftime. I even rewatched the game last night and 10-7 at halftime and 17-10 after 3 quarters it was still anybodys game.....which it shouldnt have.

Yes, we couldnt score a TD in 3 plays from the Bengals 3 yard line. We also had a 3rd and 1 in the 3rd quarter and Moore, without a lead blocker, could not convert. The Bengals defense is so lifeless that on Moore's 1st rushing TD, their RDE stood there, flat footed, waiting for Stapleton to pull around and block his outside shoulder to spring MeMo for 13yards.....when he could have made the tackle in the backfield if he keeps moving.

For the first 3 quarters, the Steelers honestly played a better game in the loss vs the Eagles than this eventual rout of the Bengals. It was just the difference in the strength of competittion.

rbryan
10-20-2008, 10:02 AM
You take a 28 point win in this league with no regrets anytime you can. Cincy still has NFL talent that makes million$ just like everyone else.

I think I can find something else in the world to worry about this week.

El-Gonzo Jackson
10-20-2008, 10:14 AM
You take a 28 point win in this league with no regrets anytime you can. Cincy still has NFL talent that makes million$ just like everyone else.



True, they dont ask HOW in the win column......they ask HOW MANY!

I'm just saying the Steelers likely cant show up with that kind of offensive effort in the next few weeks and expect to win a game.

fansince'76
10-20-2008, 10:20 AM
Fire Arians and let Ben call all the plays.

No-huddle, shotgun, spread offense, 5 wide!!!


Eh, maybe he's just another one of those "smashmouth", stuck in the 70's, run-run-run, 3yrds and cloud of dust, dinosaurs....I thought we weeded all those clods out by now.

That's why we tried 3 successive pass plays on goal-to-go, right?

nicesteel4life
10-20-2008, 10:21 AM
I'm glad alot of you arent my close STEELER fan friends, a WIN is a WIN,,,,Period

Doesn't need anal-ysed uness your anal.. I hear the Bengals website is looking for writers!

Totally agree that the Giants almost lost to the Bengals, lost to the Browns and sure didn't play spectacular against San Fran yesterday. Blow it out your pie-hole Gene Collier

rbryan
10-20-2008, 10:24 AM
There's no dominant team that I look at and say theres someone the Steelers can't beat without a perfect game and some luck. The closest thing is the Titans, but its hard to get too worried about a team with K Collins at QB.

I like our chances in pretty much every game on the schedule. Sure, I would have liked yesterdays game to be more of a blow out, but even as bad as you might think Cincy is, no one else has managed to put them away early either.

El-Gonzo Jackson
10-20-2008, 10:41 AM
. The closest thing is the Titans, but its hard to get too worried about a team with K Collins at QB.

.

True Dat!!

SteelMember
10-20-2008, 10:45 AM
There are ALWAYS improvements a team can make, but this was a win and another stepping stone for the Steelers. Yes, they sputtered early, but piled it on nicely to finish. Under another coach they may have been content with the 7 point lead and tried to play ball control for the remainder of the game.:noidea: I like the fact they put their collective feet on their necks until the bungal was drained of all it's blood.

revefsreleets
10-20-2008, 11:12 AM
If I'm reading this right, and I believe I am, Ben is stating that HE called a bad game and that he should have just stuck with the plays Arians was sending in.

Fire Arians!

The coaches called a great game today. The players execution was questionable at many times.

ONLY Steelers fans would rip up a 38-10 win.

GutterflowerSteel
10-20-2008, 11:17 AM
38-10 ~ I'll take it - take it and like it :tt02:

missedgehead
10-20-2008, 11:40 AM
What he said. :coffee:

More hack "journalism." Does this guy realize that we NEVER trailed? Does this guy realize that the same Bengals team took the defending world champs to OT in East Rutherford? Yes, they suck, but they're still a professional team. Jackass.

I don't know what game you were watching, but Ben could have had at least 4 or 5 TD passes, but we kept running the damned ball and Ben DID look a bit rusty in the beginning. He usually is after a bye or time off or whatever. So what if we NEVER trailed? We should have been KICKING THEIR ASSES before halftime. I usually attend this game, but I didn't because I knew (if the STeelers didn't get stupid) the Steelers would have this game over in the freaking first quarter or at least in the first half. Again, for the first half, we played down to their level. It was in the second half when we finally woke up and got the offense going. Did the Bengals take my G Men to OT? Yeah. You forget who the QUARTBACK was in that game: Carson Palmer. Big difference between Palmer who the G Men's defense sacked about 6 times and Palmer came out the game with his current elbow injury and this Fitzpatrick guy that we faced.

I am a Steeler fan, but I am not that much of a homer that I don't see the flaws. I still think we have concerns in the offense. JMO

missedgehead
10-20-2008, 11:44 AM
I wholeheartedly agree with you and posted so yesterday.

Good to hear Ben and the coaches admit to leaving points out there and that they could have had 28 by halftime. I even rewatched the game last night and 10-7 at halftime and 17-10 after 3 quarters it was still anybodys game.....which it shouldnt have.

Yes, we couldnt score a TD in 3 plays from the Bengals 3 yard line. We also had a 3rd and 1 in the 3rd quarter and Moore, without a lead blocker, could not convert. The Bengals defense is so lifeless that on Moore's 1st rushing TD, their RDE stood there, flat footed, waiting for Stapleton to pull around and block his outside shoulder to spring MeMo for 13yards.....when he could have made the tackle in the backfield if he keeps moving.

For the first 3 quarters, the Steelers honestly played a better game in the loss vs the Eagles than this eventual rout of the Bengals. It was just the difference in the strength of competittion.

Exactly. :applaudit:

DACEB
10-20-2008, 11:57 AM
I'm just saying the Steelers likely cant show up with that kind of offensive effort in the next few weeks and expect to win a game.

I look at it this way Gonzo. I see an offense that has incorporated quite a few plays that would have helped us win the Eagles game. I'm seeing an offense that, although not firing on all cylinders, is keeping the defenses on it's toes. We're seeing much more quick passes, draws and screens. We're seeing Ben get the ball out of his hands quicker, and letting the other guys make plays.

I'm not a huge fan of Arians, but I've seen marked improvement since the Eagles game. I like the different looks the offense has been showing, and IMO, coupled with the no-huddle has kept defenses back on their heels some. In turn the O-line has looked much better.

If we can get heathier at the RB position, we could begin to peak at the right time.

fansince'76
10-20-2008, 12:02 PM
I don't know what game you were watching, but Ben could have had at least 4 or 5 TD passes, but we kept running the damned ball and Ben DID look a bit rusty in the beginning. He usually is after a bye or time off or whatever. So what if we NEVER trailed? We should have been KICKING THEIR ASSES before halftime. I usually attend this game, but I didn't because I knew (if the STeelers didn't get stupid) the Steelers would have this game over in the freaking first quarter or at least in the first half. Again, for the first half, we played down to their level. It was in the second half when we finally woke up and got the offense going. Did the Bengals take my G Men to OT? Yeah. You forget who the QUARTBACK was in that game: Carson Palmer. Big difference between Palmer who the G Men's defense sacked about 6 times and Palmer came out the game with his current elbow injury and this Fitzpatrick guy that we faced.

I am a Steeler fan, but I am not that much of a homer that I don't see the flaws. I still think we have concerns in the offense. JMO

Sorry, I'm not going to bitch about a 38-10 blowout win on the road. Seems to me the Bengals were 0-3 with Palmer too. Hate to burst your bubble, but Palmer was playing like shit as well before he got hurt. What's your point? :coffee:

P.S. Pick a bandwagon to ride already. I'd much rather be a "homer" than a bandwagoner.

Dino 6 Rings
10-20-2008, 12:08 PM
Quick, I need to sound smart and important and get lots of hits to my website news article...I know...I'll pick apart the Steelers offense in a game that they scored 38 points and completely dominated the other team.

That'll make the Steelers fans really mad and that'll generate hits to my website for sure! Its a sure fire way to make myself seem needed.

What an effing tool bag.

jjpro11
10-20-2008, 12:17 PM
the game should have started out 14-0 if the ward pass interference had been correctly called.

LVSteelersfan
10-20-2008, 01:56 PM
COMPLAINERS. GLOOM AND DOOMERS !!!! For the umpteenth time. GO AWAY !!! It was a 38-10 blowout. Big time win on the road against a division rival. What the heck do you complainers want? We are 5-1 for criminees sake and the other teams we have to play coming up have been playing like crap. Quit spouting gloom and doom for a WINNING TEAM. Some of you do this every week and the Steelers keep on WINNING.

DACEB
10-20-2008, 02:31 PM
We are 5-1 for criminees sake

We could be 6-0:flap:

Steeldude
10-20-2008, 02:35 PM
This is the better article, over let's say how good our D played. Whatever it takes to sell those papers

keep in mind the steelers' D was facing the bengals. the defense was nothing to brag about. what i mean is they played very well, but look at the competition.

on a different note: i am glad to see timmons getting more playing time and foote getting less :smile:

KeiselPower99
10-20-2008, 02:37 PM
We are 5-1 and a win is a win no matter how we get it. This people would tear us apart if we scored a td on every play and won 91-0.

LVSteelersfan
10-20-2008, 10:26 PM
We could be 6-0:flap:

The Steelers are not perfect. I know they could easily be 6-0 if they would have played better against Philly. But some people just want to complain. I know fans in San Diego, Indy and Dallas would KILL to have their teams be 5-1 right now. Some people would complain if they got hung with a new rope.

VegasStlrFan
10-20-2008, 10:28 PM
I disagree don't undervalue the "D". Our "D" is one of the best in the league. The "O" has not been clicking lately but our "D" will always keep it within reach.

The Bengals have given a few of the top teams fits (Tennessee, Dallas, Giants). This was a solid win. Yea it could've, should've, would've been worse, but a 28 point win is one point less than the Bengals 3 losses to the so called top teams combined.

hizmi
10-20-2008, 10:41 PM
It was a decent win...we dominated the 1st and 4th quarters, but the scoreline definitely flattered us.

Had we simply converted a higher percentage of short yardage plays, we could've blown the game wide open in the first half.

El-Gonzo Jackson
10-20-2008, 10:46 PM
If I'm reading this right, and I believe I am, Ben is stating that HE called a bad game and that he should have just stuck with the plays Arians was sending in.

.

Here is Ben's quote:

I should have just stuck to what I saw a lot of times rather than trying to force things. I really felt that we could have had 28, 30 points at halftime."

I dont think he is saying he should have stuck with what Arians called, rather than he should have just checked down and taken the easier yards, rather than trying to force things and make the big play.

But, that is the whole Risk-Reward issue with Ben that most have been saying ....."let the kid gamble, because it pays off". He held the ball long at times, but this week there was no big pass rush to worry about.

hizmi
10-20-2008, 10:57 PM
Here is Ben's quote:

I should have just stuck to what I saw a lot of times rather than trying to force things. I really felt that we could have had 28, 30 points at halftime."

I dont think he is saying he should have stuck with what Arians called, rather than he should have just checked down and taken the easier yards, rather than trying to force things and make the big play.

But, that is the whole Risk-Reward issue with Ben that most have been saying ....."let the kid gamble, because it pays off". He held the ball long at times, but this week there was no big pass rush to worry about.

He must've been so excited and anxious to make big plays knowing that this was going to be one of the few weeks where he could get time to throw.

steelpride12
10-20-2008, 11:50 PM
This is a good example of why i don't follow sports journalism.
Its an opinion and heres mine. :fingers: