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lamberts-lost-tooth
11-17-2008, 04:36 AM
Win doesn't mask Steelers' problems
By Mike Prisuta
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, November 17, 2008

The Steelers didn't so much as beat the San Diego Chargers as they did survive them Sunday.

And themselves.

Their reward is a 7-3 record and sole possession of first place in the AFC North Division. A frustrating two-game losing streak at Heinz Field also has been snapped.

But if this team is destined to contend for the AFC championship, it's going to have to do a whole lot better than 11-10 at home over what's left of one of last season's AFC finalists.

For the record, referee Scott Green's crew admittedly blew the call on the game-concluding, touchdown-that-wasn't by Troy Polamalu.

But even at 18-10, the Steelers would have emerged having improved to 7-3 and having regained first place and having snapped their home losing streak all without the benefit of scoring an offensive touchdown.

The Steelers had a 100-yard rusher (Willie Parker, 115), a 100-yard receiver (Hines Ward, 124) and a 300-yard passer (Ben Roethlisberger, 308), and still they couldn't cross the goal line.

That's difficult to do, but the Steelers found a way.

A couple of ways, actually.

One was to muck up another goal-to-go from the 1.

Coach Mike Tomlin could have called timeout after a third-and-8 completion to Nate Washington came up, the officiating crew maintained, inches shy of the goal line.

Tomlin should have at least challenged the spot, which may have resulted in a TD being awarded but at the very worst would have allowed the Steelers a pause to organize themselves.

Instead, they tried to play "beat the play clock", barely avoided a delay-of-game call, ran Mewelde Moore rather than Parker (did I mention he had 115 yards in his return from injury?) and suffered a 1-yard loss for their trouble.

Getting stuffed in such a fashion is becoming habit-forming.

Just as troubling is what the Steelers have become philosophically, which is the type of team they love to defend against.

They throw sideways. They throw underneath. They check down.

Rarely do they attack down the field any more.

Dick LeBeau knows such an approach isn't going to beat his defense, and he coordinates appropriately, believing teams aren't going to be able to go the length of the field and score touchdowns throwing sideways and underneath.

I think LeBeau is onto something.

It's especially difficult to dink and dunk your way to six points when penalty flags are frequently flying.

The Steelers committed a season-high 13 penalties against the Chargers (14 if you include an illegal block flag against James Farrior on an interception return that was offset by an unnecessary roughness call against the Chargers).

Seven of those were against the offense, including three against Ward.

Four of the penalties were assessed against the Steelers' special teams.

Their day also included regaining possession at the Steelers' 6 after the free kick from the opposite 20 that followed the safety registered by James Harrison. Moore didn't field the ball cleanly and Lawrence Timmons committed an illegal block.

And kicker Jeff Reed said he "didn't make myself ready" prior to a missed 51-yard field goal because he thought the Steelers would be punting.

All of the above gaffes somehow were overcome.

None of it is championship stuff.


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_598794.html

HometownGal
11-17-2008, 08:43 AM
The Steelers didn't so much as beat the San Diego Chargers as they did survive them Sunday.

And themselves.

Their reward is a 7-3 record and sole possession of first place in the AFC North Division.

But if this team is destined to contend for the AFC championship, it's going to have to do a whole lot better than 11-10 at home over what's left of one of last season's AFC finalists.



Can't say I disagree. Though the Steelers did notch a win, they really are going to have to find ways to work out the kinks in the offense and score!!! 11 points just ain't gonna do it against the better teams.

jjpro11
11-17-2008, 08:54 AM
what are they talking about not throwing downfield anymore? nate washington had like 3 straight games with 50 yard receptions. who's to say some of those check down passes werent intended to be deep ball passes? with the weather the way it was, its understandable to tighten your playbook a bit. we threw long to holmes in the first, but he was covered. i think this game was about getting ben's confidence back, and arians knew that.

RoethlisBURGHer
11-17-2008, 09:06 AM
Dropped passes and penalties kept the Steelers from scoring offensive touchdowns.

Were all those penalties actually penalties? I don't know...I don't truly beleive the Steelers were penalzied 13 times for violations they actually commited.

I don't want to sound like a Seahawks fan, but after thinking about it, I think the refs didn't want the Steelers to blow the Chargers out of the water. They wanted to keep the game within the points in Vegas.

We play again Thursday. Lets see if we can score some offensive touchdowns against Cinci.

I also agree with jjpro11, a lot of the offensive gameplan was getting Ben's confidence back. I think it worked and we'll have the good Ben back for the rest of the season.

steelpride12
11-17-2008, 09:08 AM
These mistakes right now are very fixable. We are stacked on offense and defense our only problems from yesterday are Penalties, dropped passing and the lingering injury bug which we all wil hope to be healed up by the playoffs.

SanAntonio'sHomes
11-17-2008, 10:02 AM
Holmes had three steps on Jammer on the long attempt, but like so many times this season Ben could not get the ball to him in stride. He threw it too short and Jammer made a play on it. I dont know if it is the injury, but Ben is struggling with the deep balls. I would rather just keep moving down the field with the short game.

El-Gonzo Jackson
11-17-2008, 10:10 AM
Come on people...its a 1 pont win.

Tomlin is the greatest. Arians is an offensive wizard. Ben is the best QB in the NFL and Willie Parker is back. :rolleyes: Kool aid lineup starts to the right.

verks36
11-17-2008, 10:13 AM
steelers offense has been kinda sucking recently

ill be happy to come out with a win in any game where the penalties are that far skewed

Steelerfreak58
11-17-2008, 10:31 AM
I will quote Phil Simms on his take on the Steelers offense because it explains it in such an excellent and concise way...

"Befuddled and sputtering"

nicesteel4life
11-17-2008, 11:30 AM
I will quote Phil Simms on his take on the Steelers offense because it explains it in such an excellent and concise way...

"Befuddled and sputtering"

PLEASE PLEASE DONT EVER QUOTE PHIL SIMMS ON HERE! :rofl:

vasteeler
11-17-2008, 11:50 AM
400 + yards on offense take away our dumb penalties and we blow the chargers out:tt02:

revefsreleets
11-17-2008, 12:15 PM
14 penalties versus 1.

I'm sorry, but the fix was in. We were supposed to lose this game...the directive came down and the Steelers fought through it to win. same thing happened when we played SD a few years ago. The Chargers were holding all game, and not one single flag. I was embarrassed for the refs...it was an atrocity.

PalmerSteel
11-17-2008, 12:19 PM
our offense is what it is and wont be changed this year.
there is no question not drafting o line men early burnt us but hindsight is always 20 20

if we keep the penalties and turnovers down and our d stays healthy we can still contend for the championship.

Rek
11-17-2008, 12:20 PM
400 + yards on offense take away our dumb penalties and we blow the chargers out:tt02:

Not to mention 2 INTs and a couple sacks to boot.

Dino 6 Rings
11-17-2008, 12:26 PM
Offense wins games but Defense wins championships.

Once we get to the Playoffs, we have the type of Defense that we can win out with scoring only 20 points a game. Our D is that freaking good. Its so much like watching the Ravens or Giants of last year where the Offense just needs to Not Lose the Game and our Defense can dominate and take over games.

I'm of the mind set that maybe, Ben should focus on Managing the Offense instead of trying to be "the man". He did a great job of Managing the game this weekend, and that is all we need to win.

Just don't make mistakes on offense, and ride the Defense through the Playoffs.

Run the ball, short passing game, once in a blue moon take a shot deep, and let the defense win us a championship.

TackleMeBen
11-17-2008, 12:26 PM
we all know what the problem is.. the oline cant block to save their lives most of the time.

but i have to agree the penalties were nuts..13/2.. i mean come on. .as mike golic says, there is holding on every play, so why didnt the bolts get more calls... i think i heard that this was the most penalties the steelers had gotten since 02.

revefsreleets
11-17-2008, 12:30 PM
Were there two flags?

T.Richardson
11-17-2008, 12:31 PM
If the offense can play consistently like they did today, The Steelers will be unstoppable, wit that defense!

Dino 6 Rings
11-17-2008, 12:36 PM
Were there two flags?

The Stats are actually counting a Flag for the "Illegal Forward Lateral" at the end of the game if you can believe that.

TackleMeBen
11-17-2008, 12:41 PM
The Stats are actually counting a Flag for the "Illegal Forward Lateral" at the end of the game if you can believe that.
yes i can believe that.. this is the nfl... you know :wink02::chuckle:

revefsreleets
11-17-2008, 12:44 PM
Big Time Wrestling more like it....

Steely McSmash
11-17-2008, 12:53 PM
Holmes had three steps on Jammer on the long attempt, but like so many times this season Ben could not get the ball to him in stride. He threw it too short and Jammer made a play on it. I dont know if it is the injury, but Ben is struggling with the deep balls. I would rather just keep moving down the field with the short game.

Excellent point on the long ball obervations. Even in the last game the one that the receiver (ward?) came back to would have been a TD if he's hit in-stride with the ball.

I think game management is a legitimate gameplan for most opponents if the defence is containing the other team.

It really pains me to see the Steelers passing to pick up short yardage third downs. you can argue that it makes sense or not -- just painful to see.

If the O-line can gel a bit over the next 6 games and we can get back to running a little better, we could make a decent playoff run. Otherwise I see us failing against playoff caliber teams.

CanadianSteel
11-17-2008, 05:03 PM
C,mon lets show some faith here...... Our D has been friggin awesome this year and the O has the capability to be much better. If we cam get the offense on track just a little more the next few weeks we can definately go to the SuperBowl. I think its important tio get the second seed and a bye to get rested. If we can get Health... Bmac ...Parker, Ben and others back and heathly for the playoffs the skys the limit.
O a return game and punter would be nice also :tt02:

Pittsky
11-17-2008, 05:20 PM
blah blah blah...theres plenty of other teams at the top of the AFC/NFC that have had ugly wins, close calls, bad games...whatever u wanna call it. example: titans. barely winning against a mediocre team in OT. im sure that same writer is praising them right now though, calling them super bowl material. :blah:

Dino 6 Rings
11-17-2008, 05:46 PM
Bottom line

"Ben come here...listen man...do me a favor, just manage the game. Don't try to win it on every throw. Manage the game and take care of the ball and let our defense destroy folks. Thanks Ben."

El-Gonzo Jackson
11-17-2008, 06:50 PM
The Stats are actually counting a Flag for the "Illegal Forward Lateral" at the end of the game if you can believe that.

I bet there will be a retroactive fine for excessive celebration in Troy's mailbox too. :wink: Goodell will probably think he hit the ball too hard on the ground in celebration. :doh:

TackleMeBen
11-17-2008, 06:56 PM
I bet there will be a retroactive fine for excessive celebration in Troy's mailbox too. :wink: Goodell will probably think he hit the ball too hard on the ground in celebration. :doh:
lmbo, that is too funny.. and the sad part is knowing how the nfl likes to fine players i wouldnt be surprised if it were true.. :wink02:

missedgehead
11-17-2008, 07:15 PM
I will quote Phil Simms on his take on the Steelers offense because it explains it in such an excellent and concise way...

"Befuddled and sputtering"

Agreed with Mr. Simms on that. :) Unbelieveable we could not get a TD. Of course when our genius of an OC, what do you expect? The penalties did not help and I am not sure about Ben's deep ball.

Michael Keller
11-17-2008, 07:38 PM
I have been extremely critical of Arians and his play calling for the past two years. I remain as critical as ever but I see the beginning of improvements in our offense. I am going on record and saying the steeler ofense will be vastly improved the remainder of the season . We won"t even recognize it come play off time. The offense will improve inspite of Arain not because of him. I am seeing an entirely different assertive , passionate Mike Tomlin and I am liking it. His foot print may be be on Arians' butt . I sure hope so. Look for a creative goal line offense , coming soon.

eafratitpm3
11-17-2008, 07:41 PM
I think Tomlin is making a point to the offensive line that until they can show they can get a yd to score a TD they will continue to try and run it in. What ever happened to the old bootleg?

stillers4me
11-17-2008, 07:41 PM
I have been extremely critical of Arians and his play calling for the past two years. I remain as critical as ever but I see the beginning of improvements in our offense. I am going on record and saying the steeler ofense will be vastly improved the remainder of the season . We won"t even recognize it come play off time. The offense will improve inspite of Arain not because of him. I am seeing an entirely different assertive , passionate Mike Tomlin and I am liking it. His foot print may be be on Arians' butt . I sure hope so. Look for a creative goal line offense , coming soon.

Amen.

I don't think the players were the only ones who got called out this week.

JEFF4i
11-17-2008, 07:54 PM
Tomlin is really sitting into his coach role well, he is showing that even though he's still new, he's the boss. I love it, and I'm really glad we got him.

That said, I think offensively we played really really well. I'm a golfer, and sometimes you hit the ball better than ever, but don't score like you are.

The analogy I'm drawing is our stats and numbers don't equate with our score. Thanks refs!

Michael Keller
11-17-2008, 08:03 PM
Tomlin is really sitting into his coach role well, he is showing that even though he's still new, he's the boss. I love it, and I'm really glad we got him.

That said, I think offensively we played really really well. I'm a golfer, and sometimes you hit the ball better than ever, but don't score like you are.

The analogy I'm drawing is our stats and numbers don't equate with our score. Thanks refs!

I like the analogy. So true and so cool.