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mesaSteeler
11-09-2010, 06:39 AM
Another epic collapse averted
Bob Smizik
Tuesday, November 09, 2010 12:30 AM
http://communityvoices.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/sports/bob-smiziks-blog/26043-another-epic-collapse-averted

It was 2009 all over again -- almost.

The Steelers came perilously close last night to revisiting the nightmares of last season. There were, in fact, inches from possibly blowing a 20-point to the Cincinnati Bengals.

But not this time. This time the defense held -- barely.

A fourth-down, on-the-money pass from Cincinnati quarterback Carson Palmer to Jordan Shipley, which would have been good for a first down inside the 5-yard line with 34 seconds remaining, was jarred loose by a vicious -- and clean -- hit by James Harrison.

This is one Harrison hit the NFL won’t review. But the Bengals and Shipley won’t soon forget it.

It enabled the Steelers to win, 27-20, and go to 6-2 and remain tied for first place in the AFC North with the Baltimore Ravens.

For the longest time the game had the look and feel of an easy Steelers' victory. The Bengals had the look of the hapless, dysfunctional team they often are. It wasn’t so much that the Steelers were mastering the Bengals but that the Bengals just couldn’t get much right.

The victory seemed all but sealed on the first play of the fourth quarter when the Steelers took a 27-7 lead on a 39-yard touchdown pass from wide receiver Antwaan Randle El to Mike Wallace. Nice call, Bruce Arians.

But the rest of the quarter had the trappings of a disaster as the defense bent and broke -- but finally held.

After the Steelers went ahead by 20, the Bengals came right back with a five-play, 57-yard touchdown drive with Palmer throwing 27 yards to Terrell Owens for the score.

On the Steelers next possession, Ben Roethlisberger was intercepted and with the help of three penalties against the Steelers totaling 50 yards, the Bengals scored again.

The Steelers’ offense took 5 minutes, 6 seconds off the clock on their next possession as seven straight carries by Rashard Mendenhall moved the ball 43 yards to the Bengals’ 28. It was old-fashioned Steeler football and the way Bill Cowher teams had protected so many leads. But Jeff Reed, who earlier made a 53-yard field goal, missed from 46 yards and the Bengals were very much alive.

This set the stage for some high drama as Cincinnati took over with 3:59 remaining and Palmer moved the Bengals from their 36 to the Steelers' 12 before the drive was stopped by Harrison’s hit.

The fourth quarter was a vivid reminder of last season when the Steelers became famous for blowing leads in the final 15 minutes.

The defense was solid for most of the game, limiting the Bengals to only 272 yards total and 54 on the ground.

The Steelers offense was ordinary next to some of the high standards set previously by Roethlisberger. He completed 17 of 27 passes for 163 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. His passer rating was a below average 76.6. Mendenhall carried 22 times for 99 yards.

But it was a win that maybe will finally get 2009 out of the minds of the Steelers defense.

The Steelers' 6-2 record is an even more ominous reminder of 2009. That was their record after eight games last season. They then lost their next five.

The Steelers will be challenged strongly in six days when they play the New England Patriots at Heinz Field.

TRH
11-09-2010, 08:37 AM
yep. If there's one thing the team needs to address, work on, and fix this week, its the collapse of the secondary.
If i was an opponent playing us.....i would NO doubt put the ball in the air 50 + times come game time.

madtowndrunkard
11-09-2010, 08:59 AM
yep. If there's one thing the team needs to address, work on, and fix this week, its the collapse of the secondary.
If i was an opponent playing us.....i would NO doubt put the ball in the air 50 + times come game time.


The key ingredient to just about every late rally by our opponents has been horrific offensive play calling and turnovers. Once again our offense left our defense out to dry. Arians is the worst OC in the league - PERIOD.

Rotorhead
11-09-2010, 09:12 AM
Honestly the 3rd & 14 complete luck play with Benson was a stop and the Jeff Reed missed field goal should have put it away. But I dont see the logic of putting Gay on TO so he can get burned ALL NIGHT! I think the Def played great and thank god we blitzed almost every play that last drive and forced Palmer into quick throws and shows how our Def was meant to be played!

plenewken
11-09-2010, 09:20 AM
The key ingredient to just about every late rally by our opponents has been horrific offensive play calling and turnovers. Once again our offense left our defense out to dry. Arians is the worst OC in the league - PERIOD.

Absolutely. Owens is a top WR in the NFL. I wasn't surprised to see him score 2 TDs. Our offense was very sloppy last night and thank God, our ST and D produced the turnovers needed by the offense to move into the red zone.

Rotorhead
11-09-2010, 09:37 AM
Well our Off was fine until we lost our top 2 OL so quickly, then things started to get stuffed. Credit to Bengals D coord for trying to capitalize on the changes, but more credit to the backups for filling in nicely.

theplatypus
11-09-2010, 09:56 AM
Honestly the 3rd & 14 complete luck play with Benson was a stop and the Jeff Reed missed field goal should have put it away.

That was the perfect storm of ridiculous shit going the their favor in the 4th quarter. The interception, that 3rd conversion, the trio of penalties, and the missed field goal all combined to make an easy win interesting.

verks36
11-09-2010, 10:35 AM
The key ingredient to just about every late rally by our opponents has been horrific offensive play calling and turnovers. Once again our offense left our defense out to dry. Arians is the worst OC in the league - PERIOD.

agreed. Just as much offense's fault as defense's need to learn how to run and take the air out of the ball in the 4th quarter

ZoneBlitzer
11-09-2010, 10:45 AM
The key ingredient to just about every late rally by our opponents has been horrific offensive play calling and turnovers. Once again our offense left our defense out to dry. Arians is the worst OC in the league - PERIOD.

Agreed. If the Steelers were productive on offense and able to put together long drives and score points, it would take pressure off the defense. The team isn't in sync right now; you have the defense playing some great football for the most part and the offense playing well in fits and spurts. If they could ever get the offense going consistently, this team would be awesome.

Atlanta Dan
11-09-2010, 10:45 AM
IMO Tomlin told Arians to run the damn ball when the lead was cut to 27-21 after Ben threw the pick -
1st and 10 at PIT 29 R.Mendenhall up the middle to PIT 37 for 8 yards
2nd and 2 at PIT 37 R.Mendenhall right tackle to PIT 40 for 3 yards
1st and 10 at PIT 40 R.Mendenhall right tackle to PIT 49 for 9 yards
2nd and 1 at PIT 49 R.Mendenhall right guard to CIN 33 for 18 yards
1st and 10 at CIN 33 R.Mendenhall left guard to CIN 33 for no gain
2nd and 10 at CIN 33 R.Mendenhall right tackle to CIN 29 for 4 yards
3rd and 6 at CIN 29 (Shotgun) R.Mendenhall right tackle to CIN 28 for 1 yard
4th and 5 at CIN 28 J.Reed 46 yard field goal is No Good, Wide Left
DRIVE TOTALS: PIT 27, CIN 21, 8 plays, 9 yards, 5:06 elapsed
http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/playbyplay?gameId=301108004&period=4
Reed screwed up again but the execution was there on that drive which should have sealed the win

But the pick was preceded in the third quarter by a three and out possession featuring three straight passs after the Steelers started the drive at the Bengals 45 with a 20-7 lead and less than six minutes to go in the third quarter

DRIVE TOTALS: 3 plays, 6 yards, 0:35 elapsed:banging:

http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/playbyplay?gameId=301108004&period=3

Way to grind it out with a two TD lead Bruce

MACH1
11-09-2010, 10:46 AM
yep. If there's one thing the team needs to address, work on, and fix this week, its the collapse of the secondary.
If i was an opponent playing us.....i would NO doubt put the ball in the air 50 + times come game time.

See the pats* next game.

TRH
11-09-2010, 10:55 AM
The key ingredient to just about every late rally by our opponents has been horrific offensive play calling and turnovers. Once again our offense left our defense out to dry. Arians is the worst OC in the league - PERIOD.



True. But we still scored 27 points and came within 1 play of losing. Gotta lay some blame to the secondary and consistent marching right down the field by almost every single one of our opponenets almost every game. As put last night by the announcing crew, that is a recipe for losing, we're not going to continue to get "lucky".
That said...we did have the penalties on defense...but surprisingly, our offense did pretty good last night on staying mostly penalty-free.

sharkweek
11-09-2010, 04:30 PM
True. But we still scored 27 points and came within 1 play of losing. Gotta lay some blame to the secondary and consistent marching right down the field by almost every single one of our opponenets almost every game. As put last night by the announcing crew, that is a recipe for losing, we're not going to continue to get "lucky".
That said...we did have the penalties on defense...but surprisingly, our offense did pretty good last night on staying mostly penalty-free.

some of the blame yes, most of the blame is on the offense though

two turnovers on offense led to 14 points when we could have added points or at least killed clock.

The best defense is a good offense, the other team can't score if they don't have control of the ball.

Ben throws an INT when its 27-14. Granted, he should have thrown it harder to a wide open Miller, but it was 2nd and 7 and we should have been running the ball. The Bengals take that turnover (and with a lot of help from gifted penalties) score a TD, making it 27-21. Our next drive we have all run plays and drive it right down the field into FG range, eating a ton of clock. Of course Reed misses what would essentially be a game icing FG and then Bengals are then back in business with decent field position.

The best defenses in the history of all of football cannot be expected to pitch shutouts every week, especially when the offense is giving the other team short fields.

SH-Rock
11-09-2010, 04:53 PM
3rd and 14 lucky Benson

BS roughing the passer penalty

They got lucky and we stomped on their luck

JEFF4i
11-09-2010, 08:55 PM
Not so much this time. They should've played tighter, BUT, in the end, they held them to a four and out to win it.

Ben threw a pick, he shares blame. Reed misses a FG. He shares blame.

JEFF4i
11-09-2010, 08:56 PM
Oh, and an ENTIRE scoring drive of the Bengals being like 50+ yards of penalties and ONE touchdown yard.

markymarc
11-10-2010, 06:56 PM
Maybe I am in the minority, but I really can't blame the defense over the past few weeks. Ben has played 4 games now and really needs to find his rhythm. To me the offense deserves a lot of blame for bad 3rd down conversions and not finding their stride yet.

It's time for the entire offense to step up their play and stop relying on our defense to shut people down.