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View Full Version : NYT- Did Steelers Miss Chance to Run to a Title?


Atlanta Dan
02-08-2011, 08:42 AM
Someone else asks why the Steelers got pass happy after closing the gap to 17-14 and having a first down in Green Bay territory midway through the third quarter after Moore had picked up teh first down on third and one - maybe AJR II can ask Tomlin while they are discussing the future career prospects of the offensive coordinator?

The Steelers were at their best early in the second half of the Super Bowl. Let’s take a look at their offensive play selections:

First possession of third quarter Run, run, run, run, run. Result: Touchdown.

Second possession of third quarter (first three plays) Run, pass, run. Result: First down in Green Bay territory.

Now let’s recap the sequence in detail. Rashard Mendenhall’s 8-yard touchdown run less than five minutes into the second half capped a 50-yard drive that was churned out exclusively on the ground. Green Bay’s lead, which had been 21-3, was narrowed to 21-17. When the Steelers’ defense forced a three-and-out on Green Bay’s next possession, Cowboys Stadium was roaring. The Steelers got the ball back at their 40-yard line, and three plays later, Mewelde Moore ran for 7 yards on third-and-1 to give the Steelers a first down at the Packer 44.

Was it a perfect opportunity to ground and pound to a seventh Super Bowl title?

The Steelers’ rushing attack had already gained 119 yards on 20 carries and was well on its way toward putting its stamp on the game. Heading into the Super Bowl, one of the key statistics working in the Steelers’ favor was their ability to run and the relative weakness of the Packers’ 18th-ranked rushing defense. The Steelers’ rushing success presented a great opportunity to take time off the clock, to neutralize the playmaking of Packers linebacker Clay Matthews and to keep Aaron Rodgers off the field. So it seemed obvious for Pittsburgh to continue emphasizing its running game.

But apparently it wasn’t.

After Moore picked up that first down at the Green Bay 44, the Steelers ran the ball only three more times the rest of the way. On that possession after Moore’s first down, the Steelers threw or attempted to throw on their next five plays. :banging:

When Ben Roethlisberger was sacked at the Green Bay 34 on a third-and-13, the Steelers’ second drive of the third quarter had officially stalled. And when Shaun Suisham followed with a missed field-goal attempt from 52 yards, the Steelers’ roll in the first 10 minutes of the third quarter had stalled as well.

One of the key plays of the game — and the last Steelers rushing attempt — came when Mendenhall fumbled on the first play of the fourth quarter. But by then, the momentum had already evaporated.

Pittsburgh’s final rushing totals — 23 attempts for 126 yards (5.5 yard average) and a TD — were good. But they could have been great, and could have led to a seventh Steelers championship.

http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/08/did-steelers-miss-chance-to-run-to-a-title/#more-73883

FanSince72
02-08-2011, 08:52 AM
I was thinking the same thing.

There was a series in the third quarter where we were running and moving the ball beautifully and then we got down inside the 40 or 35 and starting throwing all over the place and went 3 and out and then missed the FG.

I thought to myself, "Why the hell did we stop running - we were doing fine?"

And a lot of those passes were way downfield looking for the quick score. I thought we went through all that back in the middle of the season when Arians and Ben agreed that they were trying to bite off too much too fast?

Dino 6 Rings
02-08-2011, 10:48 AM
I really do tend to agree with this read in some respects. But you also can't fumble on the 33 of the other team when you have it on 2nd and 2. Just can't do that.

maybe if we keep running or if Ben hits a wide open Wallace, we aren't worried about it, but in retrospect, and even during the game lots of us probably thought...Just Keep Running it.

Fire Arians
02-08-2011, 12:04 PM
i was saying that the entire game even being down 21-3 DO NOT ABANDON THE RUNNING GAME.

of course with arians, pounding the rock is beyond his comprehension, he always has to get cute and deviate from what actually works. fire his ****ing ass. Of course stat wise they're good, they have too much talent not to put up some numbers. situational football? no.

now I know why arians always calls a good game against the ravens, it's not like we can ever run the ball on them anyway so his pass happy offense works wonders vs them. what about teams we can run against? shit like this happens.

I also wanted to see more of a 1-2 with redman. mendy seems to get tired after 3 carries in a row. redman is a power runner that I thought green bay would have trouble stopping. I've been saying all along green bay's defense is finesse, you beat a finesse defense with smashmouth running.

kirklandrules
02-08-2011, 01:07 PM
Totally agree. On that drive that the Steelers suddenly stopped running the ball in the 3rd quarter, while they were still running, the camera (between plays) showed Matthews standing in his huddle sucking wind. I thought for sure the Steelers were going to pound it down their throats and win this game. But that would have been too easy ... why not win it through the air!

Fire Arians
02-08-2011, 01:15 PM
that defense was probably thanking us when we stopped pounding the rock

stb_steeler
02-08-2011, 01:18 PM
I was thinking the same thing.

There was a series in the third quarter where we were running and moving the ball beautifully and then we got down inside the 40 or 35 and starting throwing all over the place and went 3 and out and then missed the FG.

I thought to myself, "Why the hell did we stop running - we were doing fine?"

And a lot of those passes were way downfield looking for the quick score. I thought we went through all that back in the middle of the season when Arians and Ben agreed that they were trying to bite off too much too fast?

Same story all season....One word= Arians

4xSBChamps
02-08-2011, 03:20 PM
There was a series in the third quarter where we were running and moving the ball beautifully and then we got down inside the 40 or 35 and starting throwing all over the place and went 3 and out and then missed the FG.

if somebody can give me a link to a list of the sequential plays from SB45, I'd appreciate it

going strictly from memory, after we ran the ball down the fild to make it 21-17, we held GB, forced a punt, then ran the ball a few plays to reach their 45 yard-marker:
on 2st down, we tried a deep pass down the Left sideline which fluttered-about for an incompletition, then on 2nd down, we completed a pass to approx GB 29, good for another 1st down

3 more consecutive pass-plays were chosen, incomplete on 1st down, and I believe 2 short sacks on 2nd & 3rd moved the ball back to the GB 35, resulting in a missed 52 yard FG:
despite closing to within 3 points late, our offense never regained that momentum, and our running-game, which GB has shown no ability to stifle, was abandoned

Atlanta Dan
02-08-2011, 03:35 PM
if somebody can give me a link to a list of the sequential plays from SB45, I'd appreciate it

http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/playbyplay?gameId=310206009

4xSBChamps
02-08-2011, 03:38 PM
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y272/Glensgages/movies/LtCmdrTomDodgesaluting.jpg

ricardisimo
02-08-2011, 03:42 PM
Typical Arians: it's working well now, which means they'll be expecting it later, which means I need to move to the pass, and stick with it especially if it's not working, because they won't see that coming. Until that starts working, then switch gears again. :doh:

Sixburgher
02-08-2011, 04:10 PM
Totally agree. On that drive that the Steelers suddenly stopped running the ball in the 3rd quarter, while they were still running, the camera (between plays) showed Matthews standing in his huddle sucking wind. I thought for sure the Steelers were going to pound it down their throats and win this game. But that would have been too easy ... why not win it through the air!

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't that the same drive where Roethlisberger missed a wide open Wallace for what would have been a sure TD?

4xSBChamps
02-08-2011, 04:18 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't that the same drive where Roethlisberger missed a wide open Wallace for what would have been a sure TD?

on the 1st of the 5 straight passes that I am thinking-of, I recall the ball was thrown to Wallace deep down the Left side of the field ~ it was either thrown over the wrong shoulder, or it fluttered, and although he was behind the defender, Wallace looked-like a center-fielder trying to catch a fly-ball at wind-swept Wrigley Field, as it fell harmlessly to the ground

I wrongly thought there were pair of sacks after the 1st down at the GB 29, but that log shows an incompletion, followed by a completed pass for negative yards, then the sack on 3rd down:
I knew we lost yards on consecutive pass-plays of that possession

Ricco Suavez
02-08-2011, 04:32 PM
I have been waiting for someone to chime in on this. I will never understand why coaches in the NFL will abandon something that is working.The reason some consider Belicheat a "Genius" is that he will keep coming at your weakness until you can prove you can stop them. We ran very well to the right side which is where the Packers were prone to give up the largest chunks of yards accordingly to season statistics. IMO we should kept pounding until they showed they could stop it or change something in their defense which might have give us opportunities elsewhere. Every back we had, had success Moore and Redmon not just Mendy.

If we want to play blame game I have to blame Ben for a very poor performance, the defense which did little to slow down Rodgers and co on third down and the coaching staff for abandoning the run, a questionable field goal attempt, and timeout and clock management.

kirklandrules
02-08-2011, 04:41 PM
If we want to play blame game I have to blame Ben for a very poor performance, the defense which did little to slow down Rodgers and co on third down and the coaching staff for abandoning the run, a questionable field goal attempt, and timeout and clock management.

Your list pretty much says it to me, except I'd add that Wallace didn't make adjustments to a few balls thrown and Brown hosed the first drive of the game by running the wrong route.

4xSBChamps
02-08-2011, 04:56 PM
I will never understand why coaches in the NFL will abandon something that is working.

it's my belief that a vast majority Offensive Coordinators are too-much like exotic chefs & clothing-designers:
they'd rather [phaggish-sarcasm] 'let their creative juices flow and take them into places others can't comprehend' [/phaggish-sarcasm] than play it simple & be successful

after winning SB4 in January 1970, Kansas City's Hank Stram was deemed the 'creator of the 1970's offense', with his concept of a moving pocket and a short passing attack, yet he never coached a team to another playoff victory, while coaches like Gibbs & Parcells won multiple Lombardi's with a structured but less-explosive offensive talent 20 years later:
I'd guess that OC feel they won't be noticed and never 'progress' (i.e. - become Head Coaches) if they just run the ball 40 times a game, even-if they win, so they try to re-invent the wheel with intricate passing formations & plays

:noidea: