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mesaSteeler
12-28-2009, 04:44 PM
Puzzling losses are looming large
By F. Dale Lolley, Staff writer, dlolley@observer-reporter.com
http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/localsports/12-28-Steelers-Ravens-column
This article has been read 616 times.

PITTSBURGH - Playoff scenarios be damned, the Steelers are simply focusing on winning one more game - next week at Miami.

"Until they officially rule us out of the playoffs, we're going to continue to fight," Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward said.

That fight continued Sunday against the Ravens, as the Steelers not only won to keep their own playoff hopes alive, they also forced the Ravens into a must-win situation next week at Oakland.

But at least the Ravens control their own fate.

After being 6-2, the Steelers lost five games in a row. Three of those losses came to bottom-feeders Cleveland, Oakland and Kansas City. Had the Steelers won just one of those games, they would enter next weekend in control of their own fate.

Instead, they can beat the Dolphins and still not make the postseason.

"But the fight that this team has shown in the last two weeks," Ward said, "that we didn't quit, shows a lot about the character of our team."

One wonders where that character was during the five-game losing streak.

Where was that heart of a champion?

How can the Steelers be 6-3 when playing opponents with a .500 or better record, yet be 2-4 against against sub-.500 teams?

It will be something head coach Mike Tomlin will ponder long into the offseason - whenever that begins.

"Sometimes when you lose, you look for deeper reasons," Tomlin said. "Every week I come in here and tell you it's a play here or a play there. You've got to make a play. You've got to make a significant play at significant moments. When we've lost, it's been because we haven't. When we have won, it's because we have."

Perhaps the most significant plays in Pittsburgh's 23-20 victory Sunday over Baltimore were two touchdowns the Ravens had called back because of penalties, and a wide-open touchdown pass that was dropped by wide receiver Derrick Mason. Each happened in the second half.

Forgive the Steelers if they weren't feeling badly for Baltimore. The Steelers have been similarly victimized this season. That's why Pittsburgh is left in a precarious spot, needing not to beat Miami and then get some help from other teams to make the playoffs.

That's certainly not where the defending Super Bowl champions felt they would be heading into the final week of the season.

"Hopefully, we can win and have teams do what they need to do to get into this dance," said linebacker James Farrior. "That's the ultimate goal.

"That's all we can control. We'll see what happens. We've still got life and we're still fighting. ... Everybody's goal is to make this right and get into the (playoffs) and do some damage. It will definitely be tough if we don't make it. But we're going to go out and play hard regardless."

And if they don't get into the playoffs, the Steelers can spend an entire offseason replaying every moment of that five-game losing streak, thinking about the significant plays they didn't make.

F. Dale Lolley can be reached at dlolley@observer-reporter.com

tony hipchest
12-28-2009, 04:50 PM
PITTSBURGH - Playoff scenarios be damned, the Steelers are simply focusing on winning one more game - next week at Miami.

"Until they officially rule us out of the playoffs, we're going to continue to fight," Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward said.

is that so?

didnt hines declare the season over after the raiders loss (and before the browns loss), to which TEAM CAPTAIN, james farrior stood up and declared he didnt give a shit about what hines had to say? :scratchchin:

eafratitpm3
12-28-2009, 04:55 PM
Yes that is so! If you really think the Bengals and Patriots are going to put Pittsburgh into the playoffs you are really delusional. The Steelers fate was set when the Colts took Manning out, end of story. They will go to Miami and win but this season ended when they lost to the Raiders, Chiefs, & Browns. Bank on it!

PalmerSteel
12-28-2009, 06:03 PM
i am a realist and know there is more of a chance for a tornado sunday than to make the playoffs but i will enjoy watching the game anyway.

GodofGridiron
12-28-2009, 06:04 PM
Yes that is so! If you really think the Bengals and Patriots are going to put Pittsburgh into the playoffs you are really delusional. The Steelers fate was set when the Colts took Manning out, end of story. They will go to Miami and win but this season ended when they lost to the Raiders, Chiefs, & Browns. Bank on it!

Yep !!! Im afraid youre correct. This team couldve helped themselves by beating teams they were favored against. Its ridiculous to expect teams to "help out" our cause. If im a player on this team i wouldnt even watch any games because id know we failed ourselves and have no one to blame but ourselves. We fumbled our chance to defend our title 5 weeks in a row.

mesaSteeler
12-28-2009, 07:39 PM
i am a realist and know there is more of a chance for a tornado sunday than to make the playoffs but i will enjoy watching the game anyway.

:applaudit::applaudit::hatsoff::hatsoff:

A voice of sanity speaks. I completely agree with you.

Preacher
12-28-2009, 07:47 PM
i am a realist and know there is more of a chance for a tornado sunday than to make the playoffs but i will enjoy watching the game anyway.

Its not quite that unrealistic. LOL.

Pats are still playing for seeding. So their winning the game against the Texans is definitely plausible.

That leaves either Raiders vs. Ravens. Yes, I doubt that one is a win for us... but the Raiders have beaten us AND the Bengals. They have one game left, and the opportunity to play spoiler, not to mention end up with a better record then they have had in some time. The Raiders will come to play. I still doubt its a win. But it is not at all out of the realm of possibility.

Or Cincy and the Jets. This one is strange. I simply don't thing they rest players for the reason that they can't afford a let down after the last two weeks. They have to play and play tough to get momentum for the playoffs.

I say, if this weekend was played out 100 times, the Steelers make the playoffs 7-10 times.

And 7 to 10 % chance is a HECK of a lot better chance than getting hit by a tornado in January! :wink02:

jjpro11
12-28-2009, 09:08 PM
i am getting tired about hearing about those lousy losses.. especially on here.. what's done is done. they screwed up.. plain and simple. just look forward to next Sunday's games and sit back and see what happens.

tony hipchest
12-28-2009, 09:14 PM
i am getting tired about hearing about those lousy losses.. especially on here.. what's done is done. they screwed up.. plain and simple. just look forward to next Sunday's games and sit back and see what happens.sticking your head into the sand doesnt change the fact that we lost to 3 of the 6 shittiest teams in the entire nfl, and only scored 6 points against the browns, and any of those is what ultimately may cost us a chance to defend our glorious, record setting, 6th championship.

but it is what it is. i doubt we can silence the opinions of how much it sucks just to keep those who are tired from being tired. :yawn:

a nap usually seems to work...

LVSteelersfan
12-28-2009, 11:54 PM
Steelers don't deserve to be in the playoffs. If they sneak in the back door, I will root for them all the way. I will root for them to kick Miami's butt all over the field even if it means not making the playoffs. The Steelers are the only team and I don't care what any other team does. I was disappointed over and over and over this year but the Steelers were in every single game all the way to the end, two in OT. I will still root for them forever no matter how they play. Who knows. Oakland beat Denver as well as us and Cincinnati. Baltimore may be going into a trap game as teams rarely play well going from the East coast to the West coast. I doubt the Bungles game will mean anything to them, so the Oakland game is a must game.

pghfrank1948
12-29-2009, 08:09 AM
It really hurt having the Stains and Raiders knock them out of the playoffs. Maybe next season they wont play down to teams they should beat. They ripped my heart out on that 5 game streak but I still got my fingers and toes crossed and a Win in Miami is just what they need to get a little pride back. I doubt if the Bungles can beat the Jets with their starters let alone backups. But I bleed black and gold so win or lose Go Steelers!!!

steelcity1974
12-29-2009, 08:29 AM
Steelers don't deserve to be in the playoffs.

They deserve it if they win and get the right combination of losses from other teams. Since when does perception have anything to do with "deserving" to make the playoffs? Only thing that matters is your record and if you're in the top 6, you deserve to be in. This isn't college football where sports writers vote to decide who deserves it.

markymarc
12-29-2009, 11:17 AM
One wonders where that character was during the five-game losing streak.

Where was that heart of a champion?

How can the Steelers be 6-3 when playing opponents with a .500 or better record, yet be 2-4 against against sub-.500 teams?

These are the things I want to know. While I am still holding out hope for a wild card spot, I truly believe that 5 game losing streak will seal our fate. Unfortunately the entire team decided to turn it on way too late.