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mesaSteeler
12-20-2011, 06:25 PM
NFL from the sidelines
http://nflfromthesidelines.blogspot.com/
After hobnobbing around the NFL in the press boxes and sidelines, sports reporter Dale Lolley will let you know the insider scoop. Dale can also be heard as a sometime host on ESPN 970-AM. Follow him on Twitter at dlolleyor.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Post-SF thoughts

Starting Ben Roethlisberger Monday night was absolutely the right call for the Steelers.

Roethlisberger is the Steelers' franchise quarterback, a two-time Super Bowl winner.

He said he was healthy enough to play. If that happens, he plays.

The fact that Baltimore lost Sunday night had nothing to do with Roethlisberger playing. That decision had already been made.

Really, there's not a lot to say about this game.

The Steelers did the one big thing against the 49ers that they absolutely needed not to do - turn the ball over.

They didn't force any of their own - though that call against Keenan Lewis for interfering with the return man was a bad one and should have resulted in a fumble recovery for the Steelers.

You can't beat anyone at minus-4.

Steelers fans should be rooting for the Bengals.

Given Baltimore's struggles on the road this season, there's no reason a motivated Cincinnati team can't beat the Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium in Week 17.

All the Rashard Mendenhall haters need to watch Monday night's game. He ran the ball well and hard against the league's top-rated rush defense in a game in which the Steelers needed a running game to protect their quarterback.

The offensive line did an outstanding job keeping Roethlisberger clean until late in the game.

The Steelers' rush defense was solid for the most part against a very good rushing attack. But where was the pressure?

The few times the Steelers did get pressure on Alex Smith, Smith threw the ball wildly.

StainlessStill
12-20-2011, 06:45 PM
My quick thoughts:

-Ben actually played better than I thought. Before everyone rips down my throat and points out the 4 turnovers, only 2 was really on him. That first one was VERY poor route running. David Johnson ran such a horrid route that didn't cause any separation or window for Ben to throw into. Bad play all-together. That second one just got away from him and went through the hands of Heath. The other interception was desperation. That fumble, however, was ALL on Ben. He held on way too long. Very un-intelligent to hold on to that ball forever with an ailing foot.

-Our offense actually moved the ball and had some nice drives. Our red zone deficiency is haunting us. As soon as we approach that 20 yard line, here comes the false starts, illegal formations and offensive holding penalties. We must get better in putting the ball in the endzone.

- Lawrence Timmons is becoming a complete waste on this defense. I've seen him ALL YEAR play out of position on defense. It happened in week one and happened severely last night. He also generates a lack of fiery on his blitz's, always getting stood up by weaker running backs. Sylvester should be breathing down his neck.

- We must get healthy. Woodley is getting fatigued, Pouncey and Ben are struggling with high ankle sprains and Mewelde (who is a great precision runner) is out with an MCL injury. Cleveland REALLY f*cked us up that Thursday Night.

- Lack of running game scares me and Arians lack of trust in it really has me fuming since Mendenhall was actually running hard and finding holes last night.

-Ben passing it for 44 times on a bum ankle just goes to show how out of touch we were last night, across the board in coaching.

-Time management was a joke.

-Defense must get off the field on third downs.

- Being -4 in turnovers and averaging the ball at the 15 yard line is a losing formula, even to the Bad News Bears or the Little Giants.

- Defense MUST force a turnover for once in their lives.

-LeBeau's defense STILL struggles against tight ends that decide to take advantage of it. Those 2 huge catch's by Vernon Davis were nails in our coffin after a HUGE 51 yard FG from Suisham.

-Max Starks had his first bad game since he returned.

stb_steeler
12-20-2011, 06:57 PM
I still cant understand why we never do any play action pass or roll outs. It seems average or worse teams do it all the time with success. That play 9ers did on us in the redzone with the TE works most of the time on us and we never seem to pick it up, C'mon the guy was uncovered totally. And yes i do realize Ben couldnt do those types of plays lastnight but what about other days.

StainlessStill
12-20-2011, 07:02 PM
I still cant understand why we never do any play action pass or roll outs. It seems average or worse teams do it all the time with success. That play 9ers did on us in the redzone with the TE works most of the time on us and we never seem to pick it up, C'mon the guy was uncovered totally. And yes i do realize Ben couldnt do those types of plays lastnight but what about other days.

With Ben hurt, those roll-outs are cacked, in true Arians fashion. The only time we used the roll-out was in the pre-season when Ben tore it up and how our offense looked smooth in doing so. We did it so well, Arians haven't used it since.

lipps83
12-20-2011, 07:07 PM
Kind of hard to run play action or roll Ben out by design when you are constantly playing out of the shotgun with 4 or 5 wide from the first whistle to the last.

TRH
12-20-2011, 07:24 PM
my thoughts:

1 - our coaches have to start firing the team up more, get them ready to play. Did you see how venomous the 49ers defensive line looked last night? Ours in contrast looked like they just got up from a nap.

2 - stop running the same plays in a row. Just because Mendenhall has a 4, 5, 6 yard run, DOES NOT mean you run the exact same freakin' play again. Guess what happens? He gets stuffed. Almost every time. Because we're so predictable.

3 - What the hell has happened to Timmons? Instead of a budding superstar, he's a zombie-in-headlights on the field. No game changing plays coming from him.

4 - We HAVE to start producing turnovers on defense. I was watching our backfield make tackles and it didn't even look like they were trying to strip the ball loose. Thats not going to win games.

5 - Stupid penalties, but i'm not even going to go deep into this one, because we were called for a bunch of very borderline calls that no way gets called on other teams. A sorry performance by the refs last night...really bad.

6 - Worst part of the game for me? Watching us not get to the QB. That cost us the game as much as anything. What has happened to his defense?????? We can't even get to the QB anymore? Not even a little bit? I don't know if its motivation/effort or bad defense coaching. It was sickening to watch.
How sad has it become when our opponents have a like 2nd or 3rd and 25 and i'm like "they'll convert it....no problem"

7 - oh yeah, how could i forget......offense scoring 3 points. 3 g@%^#! points. They better wake up. Can't win anything when you score 3 points.

tanda10506
12-20-2011, 07:32 PM
My quick thoughts:

-Ben actually played better than I thought. Before everyone rips down my throat and points out the 4 turnovers, only 2 was really on him. That first one was VERY poor route running. David Johnson ran such a horrid route that didn't cause any separation or window for Ben to throw into. Bad play all-together. That second one just got away from him and went through the hands of Heath. The other interception was desperation. That fumble, however, was ALL on Ben. He held on way too long. Very un-intelligent to hold on to that ball forever with an ailing foot.

-Our offense actually moved the ball and had some nice drives. Our red zone deficiency is haunting us. As soon as we approach that 20 yard line, here comes the false starts, illegal formations and offensive holding penalties. We must get better in putting the ball in the endzone.

- Lawrence Timmons is becoming a complete waste on this defense. I've seen him ALL YEAR play out of position on defense. It happened in week one and happened severely last night. He also generates a lack of fiery on his blitz's, always getting stood up by weaker running backs. Sylvester should be breathing down his neck.

- We must get healthy. Woodley is getting fatigued, Pouncey and Ben are struggling with high ankle sprains and Mewelde (who is a great precision runner) is out with an MCL injury. Cleveland REALLY f*cked us up that Thursday Night.

- Lack of running game scares me and Arians lack of trust in it really has me fuming since Mendenhall was actually running hard and finding holes last night.

-Ben passing it for 44 times on a bum ankle just goes to show how out of touch we were last night, across the board in coaching.

-Time management was a joke.

-Defense must get off the field on third downs.

- Being -4 in turnovers and averaging the ball at the 15 yard line is a losing formula, even to the Bad News Bears or the Little Giants.

- Defense MUST force a turnover for once in their lives.

-LeBeau's defense STILL struggles against tight ends that decide to take advantage of it. Those 2 huge catch's by Vernon Davis were nails in our coffin after a HUGE 51 yard FG from Suisham.

-Max Starks had his first bad game since he returned.

I agree with all of these. I'm not worried about Starks, he's going to have a bad game now and then and he was against a good player. LeBeau does have to figure out the TE's. The zone works great for us but we need something to switch to when teams start using the TE's in the passing game. Something similar to the gameplan against the pats. As mentioned, we need turnovers to win in the playoffs and even more so, we need to be healthy.

tanda10506
12-20-2011, 07:35 PM
Post Game thought: Was that loss mainly due to so many injuries and a suspension? Are we ready for the playoffs since we keep losing to playoff teams? Can we really do it on the road?....what do you guys think?

Atlanta Dan
12-20-2011, 08:10 PM
Post Game thought: Was that loss mainly due to so many injuries and a suspension? Are we ready for the playoffs since we keep losing to playoff teams? Can we really do it on the road?....what do you guys think?

Road win against the AFC West champ (unless it is San Diego) the first weekend - road loss in Baltimore or New England on January 14 - 15

Hopefully Arians gets canned January 16

Danny136200
12-20-2011, 09:07 PM
NFL from the sidelines
http://nflfromthesidelines.blogspot.com/


All the Rashard Mendenhall haters need to watch Monday night's game. He ran the ball well and hard against the league's top-rated rush defense in a game in which the Steelers needed a running game to protect their quarterback.
.

I was thinking that exact, same thing. I think Mendenhall ran really well, especially against the top tun defense.

Bayz101
12-20-2011, 09:28 PM
Mesa and Stainless are both right, in my eyes. Good points, great posts. :thumbsup:

SteeleReign
12-20-2011, 10:10 PM
Road win against the AFC West champ (unless it is San Diego) the first weekend - road loss in Baltimore or New England on January 14 - 15

Hopefully Arians gets canned January 16

He should have been fired after the game. How the f&%# does Arians justify throwing the ball that many times with Ben dealing with a bad wheel?! They should have run the ball 40 times last night. If nothing else, they keep the game close and lose 6-3...or maybe win 10-6. But, throwing the ball that often put their franchise QB at high risk for the post-season.

And, I hate hearing this crap about letting Ben do what he wants because he's a veteran and a professional, etc...the coaches (Tomlin and Arians) need to grow a pair and tell their QB how the game will be played. I appreciate Ben's desire to play. but sometimes his personal desire stands in the way of a team goal.

I think about the O-Co for the Pats giving Marcia Brady an earful...have you seen that on our sideline in the last couple of years? I want to see some damn passion out of these guys....coaches and players alike.

Hines0wnz
12-21-2011, 12:34 PM
I think Mendenhall ran really well, especially against the top tun defense.

I was pleasantly surprised as well. My thinking was there would be many 1 or 2 yard runs sprinkled with some no gains and losses but he popped some nice 5-10 yard runs in there. My only criticism is running that sprint draw too much after Mendy got that initial 10 or 11 yard run the first time. Arians should have changed up the formation and run it from different looks but I also understand that Ben's lack of mobility was a factor in what play could be called.

One addtional thought....how clutch is Cotchery on 3rd downs? He looks like a great mid-season pickup. :tt02:

MasterOfPuppets
12-21-2011, 01:21 PM
One addtional thought....how clutch is Cotchery on 3rd downs? He looks like a great mid-season pickup. :tt02:
ummmm...cotchery was signed BEFORE the season started ...:wink02:

Hines0wnz
12-21-2011, 03:20 PM
ummmm...cotchery was signed BEFORE the season started ...:wink02:

Right, thanks. :doh:

Rotorhead
12-21-2011, 06:20 PM
-just when i start forgetting how bad Ariens is, he fails miserably like last night.

-why werent we in max prot mode, 2 TE, 2 RBs, Ben in Shotgun most of the night. We can run the draw play and short passing routes from there all night and Ben doesnt get killed.

-when are we going to realize 10+ yd cushions dont work? EVER!

-while it didnt cause us to lose, that was the worst night of reffing i have ever seen, not only can we not touch a QB without a suspension, now we cant hit a punt returner! (that should have been our ball)

-i dont understand how the entire can come out that flat knowing we can take the #1 seed with a win, just discisted with the entire lack of effort

jjpro11
12-21-2011, 06:44 PM
this game pissed me off more than any other game this season... even more so than the Ravens losses. it had me absolutely furious, both during and after the game. we had the #1 seed right there in our hands.. we had a chance to put those Ravens losses in the back window.. all that good fortune on Sunday, and they pissed it all away. now the Ravens are all happy, and our chances at reaching the Super Bowl got a lot tougher.

TRH
12-21-2011, 10:49 PM
this game pissed me off more than any other game this season... even more so than the Ravens losses. it had me absolutely furious, both during and after the game. we had the #1 seed right there in our hands.. we had a chance to put those Ravens losses in the back window.. all that good fortune on Sunday, and they pissed it all away. now the Ravens are all happy, and our chances at reaching the Super Bowl got a lot tougher.


I was also far angrier with this game than any other this year.
The 49ers looked like rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth dogs and when you looked over to our side of the field, the Steelers looked like they were half asleep.

plenewken
12-22-2011, 07:20 AM
I was also far angrier with this game than any other this year.
The 49ers looked like rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth dogs and when you looked over to our side of the field, the Steelers looked like they were half asleep.

Yep, no passion, no hunger whatsoever. Business as usual with Tomlin........

narmold
12-22-2011, 12:43 PM
Yes this was absolutely blown opportunity on our part. But I do have faith that Baltimore could lose one of their last two. It's a long shot but Cleveland might beat them if the Ravens played like they did Sunday Night. But a more plausible loss is against the Bengals in Cinci. So I think we still have hope to win the North

Hines0wnz
12-22-2011, 12:49 PM
I was also far angrier with this game than any other this year.
The 49ers looked like rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth dogs and when you looked over to our side of the field, the Steelers looked like they were half asleep.

Yep, no passion, no hunger whatsoever. Business as usual with Tomlin........

Fellas, it did bug me a bit too but I also realized:

1) The Steelers have been there, are a veteran team with championship experience so they carry that quiet confidence.

2) The Niners.....none of #1 is true for them. haha But, they are hungry, a very good team and were coming off 2 road losses + it was their last regular season home game. Makes for a very difficult opponent.

3) No excuse, but Ben was hurt and made them easy to defend against. A healthy Ben makes for a different outcome, guaranteed.

grward
12-22-2011, 12:56 PM
Fellas, it did bug me a bit too but I also realized:

1) The Steelers have been there, are a veteran team with championship experience so they carry that quiet confidence.

2) The Niners.....none of #1 is true for them. haha But, they are hungry, a very good team and were coming off 2 road losses + it was their last regular season home game. Makes for a very difficult opponent.

3) No excuse, but Ben was hurt and made them easy to defend against. A healthy Ben makes for a different outcome, guaranteed.

I respectfully disagree. I think a team, no matter how many times they have been there - done that ... they need to be foaming at the mouth to do it again. Our team has been FLAT since last year's Super Bowl. It's no fun to watch and I believe has contributed to some of our problems.

FanSince72
12-22-2011, 12:56 PM
3) No excuse, but Ben was hurt and made them easy to defend against. A healthy Ben makes for a different outcome, guaranteed.

Agree absolutely!

After watching Ben miss throws to Wallace along the sideline and to him again on a skinny post, then to Miller and on several other occasions with other receivers, I said to myself that if he could step up and step into his throws with his normal mechanics and not have to favor that leg, we would have been up by three scores real fast and the rest of the game would have been a cake walk.

I really want a rematch with Green Bay in the SB, but I'd actually like to meet SF there - with Ben healthy - and watch him show them how it's done.

THAT would be tasty indeed!

jjpro11
12-22-2011, 01:16 PM
Yes this was absolutely blown opportunity on our part. But I do have faith that Baltimore could lose one of their last two. It's a long shot but Cleveland might beat them if the Ravens played like they did Sunday Night. But a more plausible loss is against the Bengals in Cinci. So I think we still have hope to win the North

even if that happens, you'd still need Houston to lose to either Indy or Tennessee for us to regain the bye week.. otherwise, Houston and New England will finish ahead of us and get the bye and we'd still play Wild Card weekend (against the Ravens to boot).. and even if we do get the bye, barring an upset in the platyoffs, we'd have to go to Foxboro for the AFCCG.

the Steelers simply threw away the golden of all golden opportunities Monday night.

Hines0wnz
12-22-2011, 02:38 PM
I respectfully disagree. I think a team, no matter how many times they have been there - done that ... they need to be foaming at the mouth to do it again. Our team has been FLAT since last year's Super Bowl. It's no fun to watch and I believe has contributed to some of our problems.

I'll take 10-4 flat over treading water at near a .500 after Cowher's SB win in 2006. I think you, like many of us, are just flat spoiled by the Steelers' success over the past decade and have the bar set too high. What did you expect, a Packers-like run going for an undefeated season? All things considered, this has been a very good season so far.

DanRooney
12-22-2011, 02:42 PM
I'll take 10-4 flat over treading water at near a .500 after Cowher's SB win in 2006. I think you, like many of us, are just flat spoiled by the Steelers' success over the past decade and have the bar set too high. What did you expect, a Packers-like run going for an undefeated season? All things considered, this has been a very good season so far.

If you're going to blame the last game on Ben's injury then you can do the same for the first 8 games of 2006. He was in no condition to play.

steelbad@50
12-22-2011, 04:34 PM
I respectfully disagree. I think a team, no matter how many times they have been there - done that ... they need to be foaming at the mouth to do it again. Our team has been FLAT since last year's Super Bowl. It's no fun to watch and I believe has contributed to some of our problems.

U cant tell me that losing a Super Bowl to the Packers is sitting well with our Steelers. That bad taste is not out of there mouths and wont be until they win the next Super Bowl. I believe Hines Ward who can speak for the team said something of the sort after the loss. U can bet your a$$ its not forgotten. Its a new season come playoff time. :tt04:

plenewken
12-22-2011, 04:52 PM
even if that happens, you'd still need Houston to lose to either Indy or Tennessee for us to regain the bye week.. otherwise, Houston and New England will finish ahead of us and get the bye and we'd still play Wild Card weekend (against the Ravens to boot).. and even if we do get the bye, barring an upset in the platyoffs, we'd have to go to Foxboro for the AFCCG.

the Steelers simply threw away the golden of all golden opportunities Monday night.

Yeah and we haven't won in Cleveland yet either. I hope they won't underestimate the Browns.
The Steelers proved several times that they can lose to any team, particularly weak ones. I know, the same can be said of the Packers but that's not an excuse.

jjpro11
12-22-2011, 05:49 PM
Yeah and we haven't won in Cleveland yet either. I hope they won't underestimate the Browns.
The Steelers proved several times that they can lose to any team, particularly weak ones. I know, the same can be said of the Packers but that's not an excuse.

thankfully it's not a prime time game.. we have played like shit in every prime time game this season.

Hines0wnz
12-23-2011, 01:10 PM
If you're going to blame the last game on Ben's injury then you can do the same for the first 8 games of 2006. He was in no condition to play.

1 game vs 8 games........is that a GMAT equation?