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mesaSteeler
09-11-2009, 08:02 AM
No-huddle saves Pittsburgh
http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth
September 11, 2009 2:15 AM

With the running game struggling, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger put the offense on his shoulders and led the Steelers to a victory.

Posted by ESPN.com’s James Walker

PITTSBURGH -- For three-and-a-half quarters Thursday night, the Pittsburgh Steelers' offense owned a rare trifecta.

The unit couldn’t run. It couldn’t pass. It couldn’t block.

Yet in crunch time, Pittsburgh made a difficult decision. It went against the grain -- and its long-standing identity -- and utilized a shotgun-style, no-huddle offense in the fourth quarter and overtime.

Suddenly the Steelers could pass, they could block, and they could even run at times when needed. The result was a 13-10 season-opening overtime victory over the stubborn Tennessee Titans at Heinz Field.

After stalling most of the night, the Steelers flipped the switch and went Tom Brady on the Titans to the tune of 363 passing yards. Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw the football 43 times, which is a two-game total for him in some weeks. The ploy brought out the best in the offense and its quarterback when it mattered.

The quick-hitting, no-huddle offense helped the Steelers gain 173 yards on their final three drives, which resulted in the game-tying and game-winning field goals by kicker Jeff Reed in the fourth quarter and overtime.

Is this something the defending Super Bowl champions could go to all season?

“Maybe,” said Roethlisberger smiling, showing he’s not completely opposed to the idea.

The Steelers tried to control the clock and run the football early. But the combination of a very good Titans defense and a porous and inconsistent Steelers running game made it nearly impossible to stick to the original game plan.

It was clear after the first quarter that Pittsburgh could not win this game on the ground. The Steelers’ first four runs amounted to minus-4 yards. On the night, they gained 36 yards on the ground in 23 carries, which is an awful 1.6 yards per carry. Willie Parker led the team with 19 yards on 13 carries, and his longest run was for 8 yards.

Even in victory, this was an atypical night for the Steelers (1-0).

Pittsburgh had two 100-yard receivers in Santonio Holmes (131 yards) and Hines Ward (103 yards). The pass-to-run ratio was nearly double in favor of the pass, 43-to-23. Special teams were exceptional all night. Yet the Steelers' defense gave up a touchdown by being sloppy right before halftime.

Overall, it was so not 2008.

“We talked about ... winning the trench warfare. We didn’t do that,” said Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, who admitted the reigning champs have a lot of work ahead of them. “I thought we had to take care of the football and win the turnover battle because [Titans quarterback] Kerry Collins is great at taking care of the football. We didn’t do that. Chances are the more violent team usually wins. The jury is out on that.”

Another thing that wasn’t 2008 was losing Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu. While trying to recover a blocked field goal attempt in the second quarter, Titans tight end Alge Crumpler fell awkwardly on Polamalu’s knee. The Steelers star didn’t return to the game.

Tomlin said afterward that Polamalu has an MCL sprain in his left knee and speculated that he could be out of the lineup for the next three to six weeks. Still, the defense held firm and only allowed three points in the second half and overtime, which was enough to preserve the victory. But Collins managed a solid performance, notching 244 yards, one touchdown, one interception and an 81.1 passer rating, with most of his success coming with Polamalu out of the game.

“I was telling [Steelers backup quarterback] Charlie [Batch], when he’s not out there, it’s just not the same,” Roethlisberger said of missing Polamalu. “He’s just a phenomenal player and you could see it tonight. We wish him a speedy, speedy recovery.”

How Pittsburgh’s top-ranked defense from a year ago adjusts to life without Polamalu will be one of the season's most interesting storylines.

There are a lot of plays that defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau has built around Polamalu’s unique talent and leadership. So there is a very good chance Pittsburgh’s defensive playbook will be condensed over the next several weeks. Backup safety Tyrone Carter replaced Polamalu in the second half and recorded one tackle.

The great news for the Steelers is they earned an important victory against a likely playoff contender in the AFC. Teams can never predict how things will shake out with potential tiebreakers down the road.

Pittsburgh also won its seventh straight season opener, which is the longest streak in the NFL. Tomlin's crew has 10 days to prepare for its next game, Sept. 20 on the road against the Chicago Bears.

“Hopefully we will learn some lessons so the road will be a little less bumpy next time,” Tomlin said. “Such is life in the NFL. We will take the victory

(Note see URL for videos about the game. - mesa)

steelpride12
09-11-2009, 09:59 AM
The no huddle looks good again this season. Ben truly knows how to manage the offense and what plays to use each snap. During the one drive they were running no huddle for some reason we called a time out and the next play I think Ben was either sacked or it was an INT, which goes to show we need to keep running our no huddle for that whole series and keep tiring that defense out.

mmalone
09-11-2009, 10:08 AM
After stalling most of the night, the Steelers flipped the switch and went Tom Brady on the Titans to the tune of 363 passing yards. Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw the football 43 times....

The quick-hitting, no-huddle offense helped the Steelers gain 173 yards on their final three drives,

Lets me remember.. Ive been saying this all year......

Quick Passes, i send videos of the plays from the Pats, people make fun of me, now its vogue....

Hello People, close the play book on Arians and let our team play.

Pass Short, Pass Long, Pass East, Pass West.... Then start running, when the D's are worn out. If you need to run, pitch it out and run off the ends somewhere...

screw up the middle...

screw this establish the run first then pass later.... its a dead game plan... 3qtrs of crap. next week. we shall see.. this is the test next week. do we play the same way. or do we change.

i have the feeling mr. stubborn will give us 2 qtrs of crap before we turn it on again.

sad to say....

fansince'76
09-11-2009, 10:21 AM
Lets me remember.. Ive been saying this all year......

Quick Passes, i send videos of the plays from the Pats, people make fun of me, now its vogue....

No, you incorrectly identified a number of passes as screens, and then people made fun of you.

Revisionist history much?

revefsreleets
09-11-2009, 10:22 AM
Lets me remember.. Ive been saying this all year......

Quick Passes, i send videos of the plays from the Pats, people make fun of me, now its vogue....

Hello People, close the play book on Arians and let our team play.

Pass Short, Pass Long, Pass East, Pass West.... Then start running, when the D's are worn out. If you need to run, pitch it out and run off the ends somewhere...

screw up the middle...

screw this establish the run first then pass later.... its a dead game plan... 3qtrs of crap. next week. we shall see.. this is the test next week. do we play the same way. or do we change.

i have the feeling mr. stubborn will give us 2 qtrs of crap before we turn it on again.

sad to say....

Typical...the two-minute is ALL Ben and no Arians?

Newsflash...Arians called a helluva game yesterday...we HAVE to run the ball some, we aren't going to throw the ball every single down.

Also, I made fun of you because you INCORRECTLY labeled NE's dink and dunk passes to Welker "screen plays", because you, for the most part, don't know what the eff you're talking about, and now to come in here and act like you were right all along insults the intelligence of fans who actually UNDERSTAND how an offense runs...

Finally, at NO point in last nights game did we become a "run first" team...I think there was only one "run-run-run" series all night. We ARE a passing team, and we will establish the pass and run off of it...THAT has been the knock on Arians, not your half-assed and backwards assessment of the state of the offense, and for you to state that we now run too much is over-the-top nonsensical garbage...not to mention flat out the OPPOSITE of what everyone was complaining about Arians before...

You have a tremendous amount to learn about the game of football, and to start thumping your chest about stuff you only have a rudimentary understanding would be embarrassing for a normal person...

mmalone
09-11-2009, 10:42 AM
No, you incorrectly identified a number of passes as screens, and then people made fun of you.

Revisionist history much?

no i put up the wrong video , it was the giants screen video i reposted...

pats short pass and giants screen videos.

sorry... look back....

mmalone
09-11-2009, 10:46 AM
Newsflash...Arians called a helluva game yesterday......

Wow....

We shall see in Chicago, what happens...

You guys stick up for Arians and act as stubborn as he does while he calls a crappy game...

You must have had the Rosie filter on your tv screen again for 3 qtrs...

revefsreleets
09-11-2009, 10:46 AM
I call bullshit...

Steel Head
09-11-2009, 10:49 AM
nice to read an article from espn/nfl/whatever where the guy actually knows what he is talking about

The no-huddle offense did save our us

GeneralRobinson
09-11-2009, 10:57 AM
Did anyone notice that on the game winning drive when Ben, before the third and one conversion to Holmes, looked to the sideline and shook his head? I wonder if coach called a run and Ben wanted the slant.

Steel Head
09-11-2009, 11:00 AM
Did anyone notice that on the game winning drive when Ben, before the third and one conversion to Holmes, looked to the sideline and shook his head? I wonder if coach called a run and Ben wanted the slant.

he probably shook off whatever stupid play Arian's called.

revefsreleets
09-11-2009, 11:03 AM
Yup...ALL the bad calls were Arians, and ALL the good calls were Ben's.

It's the same retardation from the same retards, and the REAL problem is the people who bitch the loudest and longest also know the least about football...

And also, it would appear, welch on bets...

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-11-2009, 11:17 AM
I think Ben has the experience and confidence when calling plays and running the no huddle. The big thing was the Titans mostly ran a 4 man (and sometimes 3) rush, which the O line handled.

The run game was sloppy. Ben turned the wrong way on the Mendenhall collision, then Mendy followed Miller the next time when there was a big hole to the right of Hartwig. Starks let his guy slant all the way to the A-gap and cut off a draw for Parker. It was keystone cop-ish.

Its a work in progress. Take the win, but have to be happy that we know an experienced group of Ben, Hines, Santo, Miller, Moore, can produce in the 2-min offense if they need to.

LVSteelersfan
09-11-2009, 11:24 AM
The only play that really irritates me to no end was the sack Ben took with the empty backfield. ARIANS. QUIT RUNNING THAT PLAY. It NEVER works. Ben gets sacked 9 times out of 10 on those empty backfield sets. That is the one play that drives me up the wall because we are going to lose Ben for the season if he takes a hard shot on one of those non-blocked empty backfield sets. Keep a RB back there to at least slow them down a little bit.

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-11-2009, 11:29 AM
The only play that really irritates me to no end was the sack Ben took with the empty backfield. ARIANS. QUIT RUNNING THAT PLAY. It NEVER works. Ben gets sacked 9 times out of 10 on those empty backfield sets. That is the one play that drives me up the wall because we are going to lose Ben for the season if he takes a hard shot on one of those non-blocked empty backfield sets. Keep a RB back there to at least slow them down a little bit.

That sack is on Ben. He needed to regognize that Kearse was coming unblocked from his right side. They overloaded the right side and the principle is to let the furthest rusher make the longest run and block who you can.

If they rush 6 and you have 5 receivers in a pattern.....you need to make a quick read and get rid of the ball.