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mesaSteeler
09-13-2010, 07:55 PM
Madden: Steelers survive, not thrive with Dixon
http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sports_details/article/1501/2010/september/12/madden-steelers-survive-not-thrive-with-dixon.html
By: Mark Madden
Beaver County Times

Sunday September 12, 2010 11:55 PM

The Steelersí offensive game plan protected Dennis Dixon.

As a result, the Steelers offense disappeared. Witness nine points (no touchdowns) in 60 minutes.

Dixon was rarely put at risk. Everything was simplified. Dixon wasnít asked to make plays. But in the quest to shield Dixon, collateral damage was inflicted on the entire offensive platoon. Nobody made plays.

Well, except Rashard Mendenhall.

Mendenhallís 50-yard scamper to glory saved the day for a Steelers offense that was otherwise mostly without distinction. Perhaps the approach was proper. Perhaps the Steelers just got lucky.

At any rate, the desired result was achieved. The Steelers are that much closer to the promised land of 2-2 sans suspended quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Anything better would be a bonus and, looking at yesterday, quite fortunate.

True, Dixon won. Does that make him the right choice at quarterback?

Dixon did not warm up to the game. He threw several passes well short. Dixon dinked and dunked, avoiding grievous mistakes. His numbers were average (18-for-26, 236 yards), his quarterback rating a middling 80.6.

Dixon apologists will say he played well. They said he played well at Baltimore last year, too ó when he made the mistake that lost the game.

Running plays for Dixon were not called. Passing attempts rarely morphed into runs when Dixon was under pressure. He played like Charlie Batch. Given that, wouldnít starting Batch serve the Steelers better?

No matter. The Steelers won, which will deservedly get Dixon the nod at Tennessee. The Steelersí first four games are about surviving. Not developing. Not elevating. Not grooming. Surviving.
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The Steelers put up decent offensive stats. They outgained Atlanta, 354-295. Hines Ward (six catches, 108 yards) did well. Mendenhall had 120 yards, but a mediocre day came good because of his final run. Same with Mike Wallace, who had a 52-yard catch but just one other.

Dixon looked best on the Steelersí first possession of the second half. The aforementioned bomb to Wallace put the Steelers on Atlantaís 26. Then, on third-and-19, Dixon hit Ward for 17 yards. No first down, but Dixon showed maturity as he settled for giving Jeff Reed a much easier field-goal try.

But the Steelers got just nine points in regulation. Zero touchdowns, three lousy field goals. Mendenhallís dash provided a happy ending, but offense is about scoring. The Steelers didnít score much.

The Steelers did show a definite commitment to the run, with the run/pass split coming in at 31/29 ó just about 50/50. Itís not unreasonable to surmise that Mendenhallís burst was a well-earned climax to a day that saw the Steelers pound, pound, pound the ball behind a physical offensive line.

The defense answered a few questions. Troy Polamalu provided an exclamation point by jumping a route with an ungodly burst of timing to make a fourth-quarter interception that would have won the game had Reed not uncharacteristically missed a 40-yard field goal.

Atlanta got just 58 yards on the ground. Thatís old-time Steelers defense.

This team could be very good ó with Roethlisberger, not Dixon.

But yesterday, with Dixon, the Steelers were good enough. Thatís all they needed to be.

PhantomJB93
09-13-2010, 08:06 PM
pretty much agree with everything except the obvious hints that Batch should be starting. Even if Dixon isnt running around on QB draws, the mere fact that he possess the ability to run so well, especially now with both Colon AND Starks out, is enough to keep him in IMO. Even if he's strictly passing, Id rather have Dixon who can at least try to turn nothing into something when the pressure comes than Batch who will almost surely end up being sacked.

LVSteelersfan
09-13-2010, 08:11 PM
The Steelers just need to hold on until Ben gets back. Whether it is Dixon, Batch or Leftwich does not matter. The defense needs to be great, the STs need to be ok and the offense just needs to make no big mistakes in Ben's absence. With that combo they should be able to get to 2-2 by the end of Ben's suspension and maybe better if lucky. Tampa Bay sucks. The Titans and Ravens not so much. I am just happy the powers that be did not make the first four games New England, New Orleans, Baltimore and Cincinnati. We only got one of those teams. Tennessee could be tough but is winnable if the defense can stuff Johnson and confuse Vince.

tony hipchest
09-13-2010, 08:11 PM
sorry mark. not every team can have your hero matt cassell. :rolleyes:

MasterOfPuppets
09-13-2010, 08:27 PM
why in the hell are people expecting a guy, in his second ever start, to play flawless ... he was 18 of 26..... so thats 18 good passes vs 8 missfires....:noidea:

christ people act like ben doesn't throw out some crappy balls and boneheaded picks. he's certainly had his share of not so great games...

Set-Man
09-13-2010, 08:33 PM
He is pretty right on with the article but a little harsh on Dixon. I think we were very lucky to win the game especially after Reed missed the game winning field goal. Batch would have probably broken his pubic bone (I think that's the only bone he hasn't broken)

I couldn't believe that they didn't have any plays for Dixon to roll out. I think if we do that he would be a more dangerous QB. Hopefully they work that into next weeks gameplan.

scsteeler
09-13-2010, 09:56 PM
why in the hell are people expecting a guy, in his second ever start, to play flawless ... he was 18 of 26..... so thats 18 good passes vs 8 missfires....:noidea:

christ people act like ben doesn't throw out some crappy balls and boneheaded picks. he's certainly had his share of not so great games...


I could not have said it better. :applaudit::applaudit:

SteelersinCA
09-13-2010, 10:02 PM
The only thing that bothered me, get ready for it Arians supporters, is why in the owrld on 3rd and long are we throwing short little passes to randel el? I mean come on, the dude isn't breaking any tackles and gaining 2 yds is getting us nothing. I was very frustrated when that happened about 3 times.

MikeHaullace
09-13-2010, 11:05 PM
I really don't see what the big deal is.

Dixon lived up to my expectation. I said before the game, I would have really liked to see a Michael Vick-like performance against the Falcons.

Reality set in and the game was played.

The Steelers won. Dixon showed me that he can manage a game like any one else with any significant playing time as a QB could. He is a great athelete, playing as a mediocre QB, on a consistently good team, with a consistently great defense.

If you really want to have reason for concern, move your butt over to the Offensive Line thread. That's where the sky should be falling.

Thanks, Dennis, for not losing the game.

Thanks, Falcon Defenders, for dropping three interceptions.

1-0

I'll take it. :tt03:

tony hipchest
09-13-2010, 11:16 PM
good take mr. haullace.

i think you will find your grounded and repectable points readilly accepted around here.

MikeHaullace
09-15-2010, 01:04 AM
lol

Didn't mean to be a thread-killer. :doh:

Downbylaw
09-15-2010, 08:53 AM
why in the hell are people expecting a guy, in his second ever start, to play flawless ... he was 18 of 26..... so thats 18 good passes vs 8 missfires....:noidea:

christ people act like ben doesn't throw out some crappy balls and boneheaded picks. he's certainly had his share of not so great games...

They expect Elite play from a THIRD TEAM QB and excuse the games like Giants (Ben 5 turnover, Eagles 5 turnovers, Titans 5 turnovers, Jags- 07 playoffs- 6 turnovers, etc). They have a bias. They excuse ALL that Ben does and his replacement has to be flawless or its not up to snuff. Even if he is flawless they will say "Well we cant win any championships with him".

Downbylaw
09-15-2010, 08:58 AM
The whole board saw that I called for Batch to be the starter. The reason for that was his experience. Dixon is inexperienced and it shows in his progressions and pre snap reads. Will he get better? Time will tell. I know the Titans play alot of man to man defense and that will make for easier reads for Dixon and give him a better chance of having success. The complicated zones are what gives him trouble. In man to man all you have to do is locate the one on one matchup.

lionslicer
09-15-2010, 02:14 PM
The 2000 Ravens pretty much won on just field goals, with the occasional defensive touchdown. If the Steelers defense can hold the next 3 games, their record could be a lot better than NFL analysts predict. If they can shut down the Titans, I say they go 4-0

DanRooney
09-15-2010, 02:29 PM
why in the hell are people expecting a guy, in his second ever start, to play flawless ... he was 18 of 26..... so thats 18 good passes vs 8 missfires....:noidea:

christ people act like ben doesn't throw out some crappy balls and boneheaded picks. he's certainly had his share of not so great games...

More Dixon coddling. What's new?

8 misfires and 4 of them to the other team that could have gone for 6 the other way. I by no means want Batch to start but Dixon needs to play better. It's only a matter of time before the Dixon babying gets old. He's a 3rd year quarterback.

DanRooney
09-15-2010, 02:32 PM
They expect Elite play from a THIRD TEAM QB and excuse the games like Giants (Ben 5 turnover, Eagles 5 turnovers, Titans 5 turnovers, Jags- 07 playoffs- 6 turnovers, etc). They have a bias. They excuse ALL that Ben does and his replacement has to be flawless or its not up to snuff. Even if he is flawless they will say "Well we cant win any championships with him".

Peyton Manning threw 6 against the Chargers. Guess that means he sucks too.

Dixon's passes were all low risk and he pretty much was unable to move the ball other than 2 drives. That doesn't happen with Ben.

Vis
09-15-2010, 02:32 PM
The only thing that bothered me, get ready for it Arians supporters, is why in the owrld on 3rd and long are we throwing short little passes to randel el? I mean come on, the dude isn't breaking any tackles and gaining 2 yds is getting us nothing. I was very frustrated when that happened about 3 times.

Maybe because the nervous, inexperienced QB is throwing the checkdown without looking down field to the receiver the play is designed to go to first.

mikegrimey
09-15-2010, 04:43 PM
It's funny how everyone says that Dixon didn't lose the game but if

A. The Falcon's D picked of any one of those numerous gifts he tossed to them
B. Mendenhall never took it to the house and we end up losing in OT

People would be blaming his plebeian performance and the 9 points we put up in regulation as to why we lost because you really can't knock a defense that held a good QB, receiving corp, and running game to 9 points in regulation.
Dixon was a bit better than in his first game, but still hasn't even lead a drive into the red zone even once. There was a spark of hope with his long throw to Wallace, hopefully he settles down and plays better.
You can say he was improved but he really didn't even manage this game that well.

steeltheone
09-15-2010, 09:04 PM
Turn him loose....Let him run!