View Full Version : Post-Green Bay thoughts

12-21-2009, 06:04 AM
NFL from the sidelines

After hobnobbing around the NFL in the press boxes and sidelines, sports reporter Dale Lolley will let you know the insider scoop.

Post-Green Bay thoughts

No sooner had Ike Taylor recovered the Steelers' surprise onside kick - only to have the flag thrown for touching the ball at 9 1/2 yards - than the press box armchair coaches started with the 'I can't believe he did that' refrains.

I was not one of them.

At the time, I told another writer that Tomlin likely did it because he knew his defense couldn't stop the Packers and even if the Steelers didn't recover the ball, it would give the Pittsburgh offense more time to score.

Turns out, that was exactly what Tomlin was thinking. He admitted as much after the game.

That, in itself, was a refreshing bit of honesty. All too often coaches make a move like that and then say they were just rolling the dice.

Tomlin called out his defense while also taking a risk calculated to help win a game.

It was a good move.

I know the Bruce Arians bashers will look at the run-pass ratio in this game and say it's proof that Arians doesn't know what he's doing.

But when you look at what the Steelers were doing when they did try to run it against Green Bay's front seven and then look at what they did attacking the Packers' overrated secondary, you see what the Steelers were trying to do.

The Steelers averaged 3.4 yards per rushing attempt and Ben Roethlisberger threw for a team-record 503 yards.

Green Bay's front seven is fast and athletic. It's secondary, well it's made up over overhyped Charles Woodson - how many penalties is that? - and a bunch of bums.

Sounds sort of like the Steelers.

I know I'm in the media and - at least according to Ryan Clark - don't know what I'm watching, but if I'm Tomlin, I've seen enough of Tyrone Carter missing tackles and taking bad angles on the back end of plays.

Now, we can start talking about playoff scenarios and including the Steelers in them.

And they aren't as far-fetched as they once seemed, especially with Denver's ridiculous loss at home to Oakland. Wait, where have we seen that one before?

Seriously, I thought Sunday's game was the one the Steelers would lose before rebounding to win their final two.

I expected Miami to lose in Tennessee and the Jets-Falcons game was a tossup. That Denver loss was an early Christmas gift to all of you Steelers fans from Santa Goodell.

So here's what we've got now coming up:

The Steelers, of course, host Baltimore next Sunday. The Steelers need a win, but a loss wouldn't do much to hurt Baltimore given Denver's loss Sunday. The Ravens will win a tiebreaker with the Steelers based on a better division record.

Denver travels to Philadelphia, where the Broncos should get the snot stomped out of them by an Eagles' team that is hitting its stride and needs the win to clinch a division title.

Now, let's look at the 7-7 teams.

Jacksonville heads to New England, where the Patriots always play tough and need a victory to try to gain the No. 3 seed in the AFC playoffs. That should be a loss for the Jags.

Miami hosts Houston in what will be an elimination game for the loser. The Steelers would be better served by Miami holding serve at home since they finish up with the Dolphins in Week 17. But even if Houston wins, it must host New England in Week 17 and the Texans are behind the Steelers in the AFC playoff race, anyway.

The Jets, the other team ahead of the Steelers right now, travel to Indianapolis this week. The wildcard is whether the Colts will play their regulars in the game. But they will have had 10 days off between games, so the guess here is that they do. Even if the Jets somehow win that one, they have to finish up with the Bengals at home, a game Cincinnati could need to possibly move past New England into the No. 3 spot in the AFC.

Tennessee hosts red-hot San Diego on Christmas day. I would say the Titans should win that based on San Diego's soft run defense, but since the Steelers hold the head-to-head tiebreaker on the Titans.

Obviously, we'll know a lot more about what's happening after next weekend's games, but the Steelers' win Sunday made them relevant once again.

That's a tough injury for Greg Warren, who tore his ACL on the final play of the game.

It's also a tough injury for the Steelers, who must now find a new long snapper. It's a good thing it happened on the final play, though.

Imagine if the Steelers had been forced to go for a two-point coversion on the final play of the game instead of just kicking the PAT because Warren was out.
Posted by Dale Lolley at 12:48 AM

12-21-2009, 07:04 AM
Here are my post game thoughts.

Finally B.A. took advantage and adjusted to the other team and HE CALLED A GREAT GAME!!

Joe Burnett, alternating with Gay, is starting to look like a player.


I didn't like the last two kickoffs we had, the pooch or onside, but Tomlins explanation of the on side makes some sense.

Mendenhall is a STUD. We need to get him at least 20-25 touches a game (catch or run)

Wallace is the real deal, aside from Harvin he is the best offensive rookie in the league.


12-21-2009, 10:50 AM
Here's some of my thoughts about this game.

Where was this effort last week offense?

How come we couldn't pick up blitzes against the Browns but we usually managed against a superior Packers front 7?

Ben was victimized by 4 drops this week, all were costly and had we lost all could have been looked at as critical.

Other than Jeff Reed's field goals the special teams were again a burden.

Why was Mendenhall on the sideline the second to last series of the game. One touch Willie ( that's what it usually takes to bring him down) got two consecutive carries and predictably crumpled on contact. Notice on on our final series Mendenhall breaks several tackles and goes for 9 yards with the same sort of blocking Willie got stuffed on. ( it got nullified by a hold) And does anyone think Parker gets that 2 yard touchdown run Mendenhall did when he was contacted at the line of scrimmage?

The onsides kick in that situation was a ridiculous call. Usually. Given the way his defense has played all season inm that situation it was understandable.

I hope the defense takes it as a slap in the face. they deserve it.

LeBeau and Tomlin better start finding ways to minimize the exposure of these crappy db's.

How the hell can they justify deactivating Lewis every week? You telling me he could cover any worse than what we've been going with every week? I think I could take 5 mannequins out of a store window and line them up across the field and they wouldn't do much worse.

Is Ike Taylor injured or is he being asked to play against his strenght? Ike's specialty is man to man, but with Troy out I think the Steelers go way too much with zone for his liking.