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View Full Version : This team turned a corner yesterday


LayingTheWoodley56
12-05-2011, 08:49 AM
When the 2011 Pittsburgh Steelers dropped to 2-2 after a very flat, uninspired performance against Houston, and in light of the opening day shellacking that still pains us all, I have to admit that even as an optimstic fan I had my doubts that we were even going to make the playoffs this year.

How wrong we all were.

This team looked excellent yesterday. They played with enthusiasm, a spirited, top to bottom energy from the oldest player on the roster to the youngest. Some thoughts:

- I can't say it strongly enough: our boys just looked like they were having fun yesterday. You had Hines breaking out his signature smile after the 15-yard penalty was called when he was thrown out of bounds. You had a visibly juiced Antonio Brown bouncing back to the sidelines after that punt return with a big smile on his face, and it looked like all his teammates were just as pumped up. You had Sanders emerging from the pile on the kickoff return fumble and emphatically pointing that it was Steelers ball as the crowd went nuts. It's great to see the oldest team in the league (as no one, it seems, gets tired of pointing out) looking like a bunch of kids out there having a great ****ing time playing some football.

- Curtis Brown and Cortez Allen showed a little flair yesterday, jawing with opponents, getting in there and making plays on special teams. There contributions, as well as of course the field goal block by #1 pick Heyward, were huge bright spots yesterday. The penalty-negated TD, then the penalty-negated FG that led to the block I think really deflated the Bungles. Just goes to show, yet again, that penalties and sloppiness will kill you every time.

- James Harrison just gets to the quarterback, plain and simple. What a beast. Keisel has been very impressive this season, and its great to see Zig coming along on the other side. Mendenhall, while still failing to produce the bulk yardage that we would ideally like to see, at least looks like he may be reading this or another message board because he seems to be making a concentrated effort to put his shoulder down and run north and south, not east and west. He showed a nose for the goal line yesterday as well, finally.

- Another two turnovers. Keep 'em coming, it's about time.

- I've always thought that we play best when we establish the run and keep Ben's attempts below 30 or so, even though I've softened that stance somewhat as he has improved markedly as a traditional pocket passer. Still, you saw again yesterday that that formula works. Ben threw the ball 23 times; we won 35-7. The performance on offense was good, but not great as we did have a short field to work with after the special teams turnover, got spotted half the field on the dubious PI call that went our way on Wallace, and of course we had the punt return TD so only 14 really solid offensive points. Still an efficient and effective performance all around.

Overall, yesterday was a dominating performance against a team that everyone kept saying may be for real. I don't think that the Bengals are quite there yet, but they've certainly proven to be no pushover and we flat-out manhandled them. We have one loss against non-purple wearing teams this year, and this team has shown me and everyone else how wrong we have been for even thinking about counting them out after four games. At 9-3 and with what you have to think are three gimme games left on the schedule, we are one great performance in San Fran away from winning 13 games and very possibly again sitting atop the AFC.

FanSince72
12-05-2011, 08:55 AM
You mean how wrong "most of us" were, right?

Because I for one have been saying all along that we haven't peaked yet and that when things start to click we'll be awesome and that we still have our best games ahead of us.
But I do agree that we have seemed to turn a corner and if we're headed towards "peaking" I think we're doing it at just the right time.

Steel_Bus_24
12-05-2011, 09:00 AM
Yep, I didn't think we had much of a shot at 2-2

but then Starks and Gilbert stabilized our OL enough for me to believe

Now we just need to figure out a way to stay healthy enough for the final stretch

LayingTheWoodley56
12-05-2011, 09:07 AM
You mean how wrong "most of us" were, right?

Because I for one have been saying all along that we haven't peaked yet and that when things start to click we'll be awesome and that we still have our best games ahead of us.
But I do agree that we have seemed to turn a corner and if we're headed towards "peaking" I think we're doing it at just the right time.

I am wrong to say "all of us." I'm not saying that I was on the ledge either at 2-2, because I too am usually very optimistic and knowing this collection of players I would never count them out after just four games. There was some doubt beginning to creep in, however. I always felt though, that while the media was piling on us ("old, slow, and done," anyone?) that they were very quick to forget the fact that this exact same team went to the Super Bowl LAST SEASON. To paraphrase Muhammad Ali, "Eat your words!"

steelfury02
12-05-2011, 09:28 AM
Let's just win our games and not worry about sitting atop the AFC

There is a very real possibility that we will be a 13-3 #5 seed. And no, not because the Ravens will win out and swept us. Because if things stand, New England and Houston have 1 less conference loss.

Just saying.

kirklandrules
12-05-2011, 09:32 AM
Are the Steelers still the oldest team in the NFL? I'm thinking now that Smith is on IR and Ziggy starting, Hines no longer the "starter", Legursky starting over Kemo, Gilbert starting, Gay starting over BMac, etc, does that change the equation?

FanSince72
12-05-2011, 09:33 AM
I am wrong to say "all of us." I'm not saying that I was on the ledge either at 2-2, because I too am usually very optimistic and knowing this collection of players I would never count them out after just four games. There was some doubt beginning to creep in, however. I always felt though, that while the media was piling on us ("old, slow, and done," anyone?) that they were very quick to forget the fact that this exact same team went to the Super Bowl LAST SEASON. To paraphrase Muhammad Ali, "Eat your words!"

I'm not busting your shoes.

It's just that the way I look at it is that we can either win or we can lose or we can be good or we can be bad. Since it's just as easy to go with one as the other, I choose to go with "win" and "good". That's not just because I'm a fan, but rather it's because I see the potential and that there's something really awesome just under the surface and that it would just take some time to unearth it and make it work.

Believe me, I've seen this team at its worst (think: 1980's) and we're nowhere near that; quite the opposite, actually. We have all the tools and talent to be one of the best -- if not THE best team we've ever seen and I think that's starting to show.

We're not quite "there" yet, but we're getting closer!

steelfury02
12-05-2011, 09:57 AM
If the special teams even steps it up and makes 1 splash play per game, let alone 3, I would be thrilled

BUT - this offense needs to know how to score on the road, and on a long field (waiting for tomatoes! lol)

kirklandrules
12-05-2011, 10:22 AM
We're not quite "there" yet, but we're getting closer!

Agreed. Doesn't this fit the trend? This team tends to either play average, or just above average, during the regular season. But in the home stretch they really start to turn it on.

LVSteelersfan
12-05-2011, 11:28 AM
They better be geared up for Cleveland. Another division rival who has killed us at the worst possible time in the past. They may play out of their minds on their one shot in prime time this year. I hate the way this team plays down to their opponents. They better kick butt and take names again on a short week.

LayingTheWoodley56
12-05-2011, 11:49 AM
They better be geared up for Cleveland. Another division rival who has killed us at the worst possible time in the past. They may play out of their minds on their one shot in prime time this year. I hate the way this team plays down to their opponents. They better kick butt and take names again on a short week.

I have to think your referring to the 13-6 loss in Cleveland in 2009. I remember that game as one of the truly depressing Steeler games I've ever watched. We were unbelivably inept on offense that night, and it was just another nail in the coffin of a lost season. Other than that game, however, we've almost always handled the Brownies fairly easily, with a few exceptions, over the last decade or so. There not as bad as their record would have them appear, though, this is the "any given Sunday (or in this case Thursday)" NFL and division games always have the potential to be tough.

All of that being said, why don't we just go out there with some energy, avoid letting them hang around and just blow them out of the stadium like we know we're capable of after doing it yesterday? I'm trying to crack some beers and have an enjoyable semi-drunken Thursday night, not have to sweat out a close game against an inferior opponent.

RichardCullinanForever
12-05-2011, 11:57 AM
Let's just win our games and not worry about sitting atop the AFC

There is a very real possibility that we will be a 13-3 #5 seed. And no, not because the Ravens will win out and swept us. Because if things stand, New England and Houston have 1 less conference loss.

Just saying.

I would imagine that Houston loses at least 1 more game, I mean they have a 3rd string rookie QB. Granted their remaining schedule isn't too hard, yet their QB, WR, and RB issues are too large not to drop at least one more. I WANT the Ravens to lose the rest of their games, but I truthfully see them winning out, MAYBE (if we're lucky) dropping one to San Diego or Cinci. We should have just taken care of our business in Heinz against the Rats.

Let's say both Houston and Baltimore lose one a piece, and the Steelers and Pats win out (I think the Pats definitely win out, and as long as the Steelers focus they should as well). The Steelers will have the 1 seed because the Steelers beat NE head to head this season.

It's all speculation, but first and foremost we gotta take care of our business these next 4 games. But I'm happy to feel the sense of urgency in the locker room. It seems that every player understands the 'must win' importance of these remaining games.

steelfury02
12-05-2011, 03:18 PM
it'll be our luck (as fans) that the Rats will lose one and we'll lose one.

THAT would just burn my britches

Shane Oliver
12-05-2011, 03:22 PM
I'll say this much... week one stung. But I knew somehow we'd find our stride. And we did. I wasn't thinking playoffs either. And even if we don't, I'm still wearing my Steelers cap and still representing.

steelfury02
12-05-2011, 03:26 PM
me thinks at this point I want us to get into the playoffs without significant injury

rich4eagle
12-05-2011, 04:18 PM
Let's just win our games and not worry about sitting atop the AFC

There is a very real possibility that we will be a 13-3 #5 seed. And no, not because the Ravens will win out and swept us. Because if things stand, New England and Houston have 1 less conference loss.

Just saying.

I think the seeding with NE favors the Steelers because I believe the first tiebreaker is head to head. I also think the too many people are complacently thinking we already won a playoff spot. We need to win Thursday and see what happens Sunday The likelihood is that if we do win we will still not have locked up a playoff spot.

Denver, Oakland, NYJ, Tennesee and Cincy will all be playing their butts off for a playoff postion, and most of these teams have a rather easy schedule going out. Not time to relax and pump our chests

I hate overconfidence, sets a team up for a trap game, like KC almost became!:tt03:

Expect the Browns to play hard Thrusday after getting thumped yesterday

Win one game at a time

Fire Arians
12-05-2011, 04:31 PM
I think the seeding with NE favors the Steelers because I believe the first tiebreaker is head to head. I also think the too many people are complacently thinking we already won a playoff spot. We need to win Thursday and see what happens Sunday The likelihood is that if we do win we will still not have locked up a playoff spot.

Denver, Oakland, NYJ, Tennesee and Cincy will all be playing their butts off for a playoff postion, and most of these teams have a rather easy schedule going out. Not time to relax and pump our chests

I hate overconfidence, sets a team up for a trap game, like KC almost became!:tt03:

Expect the Browns to play hard Thrusday after getting thumped yesterday

Win one game at a time

we have momentum on our side coming off the short week, I'm going to predict we win big against cleveland. they aren't beating us at heinz field, nor coming close to it.

steelfury02
12-05-2011, 05:08 PM
Did you see how soft they were against the Ravens? Yikes! That was the worst lack of heart (and tackling) I've witnessed in a while. A lot of those guys have packed it in already.

Anyways

Regarding seeding - IF there were a 3 way tie with Houston and New England, the head to head is canceled out, then you go to conference record, so IF everything stands, both would have 1 less conference loss so we might get division, but no bye.

Now - does that mean I think 100% they will go undefeated? No - they have to play @ Cincy next week and Cincy will be ever so desperate. But - look at their schedule after that.V. Panthers, @ Colts, V. Titans.

I actually see them going 3-1 :) Anyways - just DON'T WANT PATS TO HAVE #1 seed. That would suck

FanSince72
12-05-2011, 07:28 PM
I don't care who else wins or loses.

All I want is a rematch with Mister Rogers.

"Can you say Punk'd?"

"Sure... I knew you could."

steelerchad
12-05-2011, 08:03 PM
Did you see how soft they were against the Ravens? Yikes! That was the worst lack of heart (and tackling) I've witnessed in a while. A lot of those guys have packed it in already.

Anyways

Regarding seeding - IF there were a 3 way tie with Houston and New England, the head to head is canceled out, then you go to conference record, so IF everything stands, both would have 1 less conference loss so we might get division, but no bye.

Now - does that mean I think 100% they will go undefeated? No - they have to play @ Cincy next week and Cincy will be ever so desperate. But - look at their schedule after that.V. Panthers, @ Colts, V. Titans.

I actually see them going 3-1 :) Anyways - just DON'T WANT PATS TO HAVE #1 seed. That would suck

Going to Houston again against a 3rd string QB and no Andre Johnson wouldn't scare me too much in the playoffs. Playoff football is a little different, a little faster. A rookie, 3rd string QB would have a tough time against a Steeler D in a playoff atmosphere.

Fire Arians
12-05-2011, 08:08 PM
Going to Houston again against a 3rd string QB and no Andre Johnson wouldn't scare me too much in the playoffs. Playoff football is a little different, a little faster. A rookie, 3rd string QB would have a tough time against a Steeler D in a playoff atmosphere.

The bengals are gonna beat houston. I doubt they will still be the #2 seed at the end of the season

ETL
12-05-2011, 10:46 PM
Let's just win our games and not worry about sitting atop the AFC

There is a very real possibility that we will be a 13-3 #5 seed. And no, not because the Ravens will win out and swept us. Because if things stand, New England and Houston have 1 less conference loss.

Just saying.

We have to root for Cincy to beat Houston this week. If Houston loses, the tiebreaker becomes Head to head and since we beat NE - we can get the #1 seed. If the Ravens do not lose - then we are the #5 seed no matter what Houston or NE do.

ETL
12-05-2011, 10:50 PM
If we are #5 seed - there is a good chance we will play the winner of the AFC west.... Tebow?

Is it too early to talk about how to beat Tebow?

Fire Arians
12-05-2011, 10:51 PM
If we are #5 seed - there is a good chance we will play the winner of the AFC west.... Tebow?

Is it too early to talk about how to beat Tebow?

if denver makes it to the playoffs, they will be one and done. they have had a soft schedule, but the only good team they played in their 5 game stretch was the lions, and they lost.

Rotorhead
12-05-2011, 11:02 PM
I am not worried about Tebow, our Def maches up very well against their off. Timmons and TP can stop him and Woodley and Harrison can contain as well. Their def is another story, they are very Good at pass rush so we will need to employ the NE strategy to do well there. Also, their run Def is not the best. Playing them should be a win for us. I also think Houston will be one and done by either the Bengals or the Jets (I think it will be the Bengals).

kirklandrules
12-06-2011, 12:58 PM
If we are #5 seed - there is a good chance we will play the winner of the AFC west.... Tebow?

Is it too early to talk about how to beat Tebow?

How to beat Tebow .... play the Steelers. The Denver offense is nothing more than a glorified wildcat, which the Steelers have shown they easily handle.

steelfury02
12-06-2011, 02:14 PM
That's the only thing I will say - Tebow hasn't faced an elite defense, and by that I mean Ravens and Steelers - the only two truly elite defenses in my mind. If Green Bay didn't have that offense, they would get scorched by mediocre teams.

Not too early - I only see one possible problem at SF. They will still be fighting for a bye with NO breathing down their necks

If you watched Cleveland - they have all packed it in - plus a god awful St. Louis Rams in Pitt lol. Looks like we are at least another 12-4 squad, with a very real possibility of 13-3. If you would have told me we would have been a 13-3 Wildcard and not a #1 or #2 seed I would have though you were batty.

That's what happens when you let the division slip away :( Ah well - none of the defenses not named Bmore scare me too much, so I honestly think we can win anywhere - except for maybe at M&T. Hate to say it but that would probably be the last place I want to see the Steelers play.

LayingTheWoodley56
12-06-2011, 02:33 PM
That's the only thing I will say - Tebow hasn't faced an elite defense, and by that I mean Ravens and Steelers - the only two truly elite defenses in my mind. If Green Bay didn't have that offense, they would get scorched by mediocre teams.

Not too early - I only see one possible problem at SF. They will still be fighting for a bye with NO breathing down their necks

If you watched Cleveland - they have all packed it in - plus a god awful St. Louis Rams in Pitt lol. Looks like we are at least another 12-4 squad, with a very real possibility of 13-3. If you would have told me we would have been a 13-3 Wildcard and not a #1 or #2 seed I would have though you were batty.

That's what happens when you let the division slip away :( Ah well - none of the defenses not named Bmore scare me too much, so I honestly think we can win anywhere - except for maybe at M&T. Hate to say it but that would probably be the last place I want to see the Steelers play.

I don't think our guys would be scared going into M&T. I have always thought that Baltimore has a good, loud home--field advantage for sure and it would definitely be tougher to beat them there than at our place, but by no means would I be quaking in my boots. We beat them there last season, and we beat them their in 2008 in the famous Tone goal line catch game, albeit in the regular season but the point is we have won there before and we can do it again. We have too many savvy veterans to be scared to play anywhere, even a hostile environment like that which will undoubtedly be in front of a pretty damn juiced up crowd. Its about time probably that they get a chance to host us lol we have knocked them out three times since 01 when they come to Heinz.

I say here, there, anywhere, LET'S **** EM UP! :tt04:

rich4eagle
12-06-2011, 03:45 PM
If we are #5 seed - there is a good chance we will play the winner of the AFC west.... Tebow?

Is it too early to talk about how to beat Tebow?

NO put eight in the box on every down rush six every down and play tight man to man coverage and boom he gets toasted:tt04:

stiller39
12-06-2011, 06:42 PM
You gotta love the new blood that is coming up with the team. They have great role models...A. Smith, Hines Ward. I respect Max Starks and his attitude and how he helped solidfy the O line play. How about Chris Hoke who was always ready to step in behind Big Snack and give it his all. Now B. Mcfadden giving us his best on special teams as he is no longer a starter. I don't think you will find this type of attitude on many other NFL teams or even ANY teams. Coaching has a lot to do with it and kudos to Tomlin and his staff for promoting this type of attitude.