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mesaSteeler
12-18-2009, 07:00 AM
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/print_658361.html

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Embattled Steelers are preaching team unity

By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, December 18, 2009

What happens when you combine the NFL's fourth-ranked defense with an offense featuring a 3,000-yard quarterback (Ben Roethlisberger), two potential 1,000-yard receivers (Santonio Holmes and Hines Ward) and a potential 1,000-yard rusher (Rashard Mendenhall)?

You get the 6-7 Steelers.

The Indianapolis Colts entered Thursday night's game against Jacksonville with a 13-0 record, along with the NFL's 17th-ranked defense. The New Orleans Saints, also 13-0, feature the league's 21st-ranked defense.

How is it that two unbeaten teams have defenses ranked lower than the Steelers, who along with the Washington Redskins, are currently the only two teams with Top 10 defenses with losing records?

"There's probably a lot of teams in the league that'd like to be where we are,'' defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said regarding his defense following Thursday's practice. "The bottom line is: We haven't won enough games, and we have to do something about that.

"That's not offense, defense or special teams. That's all of us.''

LeBeau said this year's defense is being compared with last year's unit that ranked No. 1 in total defense, No. 1 against the pass and No. 2 against the run.

"I said last year, that's an aberration,'' LeBeau said. "You take the top team this year. They'd be way behind what we were last year.''

Last year, the Steelers led the league in total defense, permitting 237.2 yards per game. This year, the New York Jets are currently ranked No. 1, allowing 264.7 yards per game.

On paper, the Steelers' defense is ranked higher than the two teams who, entering last night's game, were tied for the best record in the league.

The Steelers are No. 1 against the run and No. 13 against the pass. Indianapolis was No. 17 against the run and No. 20 against the pass. New Orleans is No. 19 against the run and No. 23 against the pass.

Overall, the Steelers' defense isn't making enough plays to compensate for an offense that ranks below two of the league's elite units.

The Steelers are second in the league with 39 sacks and haven't permitted a 100-yard rusher in the past 31 regular-season games. However, the Steelers have recorded only eight interceptions, compared with 15 for Indianapolis entering last night's game and 24 for New Orleans.

"Their offenses are making plays,'' Steelers safety Tyrone Carter said of the Colts and Saints. "But if you look at it, their defenses are stopping guys and making plays. Last week against Atlanta, New Orleans came up with an interception, and they made another key stop. That's two possessions that the Saints stopped and got their offense in position to make plays.''

The Steelers' offense ranks No. 9 overall No. 12 rushing and No. 16 passing. Indianapolis is No. 4 overall No. 5 rushing, No. 3 passing. New Orleans boasts the league's top-ranked offense - No. 5 rushing, No. 3 passing.

Said Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward: "You really can't pinpoint why we don't have a better record. We're all in it together.''

John Harris can be reached at jharris@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.

SH-Rock
12-18-2009, 09:36 AM
Stats don't mean nothing. The steelers start off strong, excluding last Thursday against the browns, but they cannot finish games. They allow so many points and let so many leads go in the fourth quarter. They need to to get hyped up throughout the game and finish games

plenewken
12-18-2009, 09:50 AM
Stats don't mean nothing. The steelers start off strong, excluding last Thursday against the browns, but they cannot finish games. They allow so many points and let so many leads go in the fourth quarter. They need to to get hyped up throughout the game and finish games

They start off strong??? Check the number of points scored during the 1st quarter, and the first half since the beginning of the season. They leave way too many points on the field and have an awful 3 down conversion rate. 3 and out has become a very bad habit.
A total of 54 offensive plays against the Browns is pathetic, They should have had at least 70 against the worst defense in the League.

Bottom line is our offense couldn't put the game away against weak defenses and our defense couldn't prevent weak opponents from scoring. I won't even talk about special teams. ................

scsteeler
12-18-2009, 09:53 AM
Stats are what they are STATS. The Steelers on offense are moving the ball but when they get inside the red zone just don't seem to have the formula this year to get into the end zone. The defense while looking good on paper have problems stopping teams when it really counts and add in a special teams that has been totally horrible this year equals the losing season we are having now.

Steelers will not be this way always you just have to weather the storm and deal with these types of years.