Originally Posted by maddog78
Good teams find a way to win those games, like we did last year and in 2010. When you do it a number of times, you're a good team, not just an average team that got lucky several times.
Conversely, if you fail week in and week out to make the game changing plays to win games, you're not a good team.
Maybe we would make them if Harrison, Woodley, and Polamalu were always 100%, but they're not, and unfortunately, that's a characteristic of this team that we have to live with. Two of them are aging and oft-injured, the other appears to have a chronic hamstring problem.
Another bad quality of this team is the offensive line. Even before the injuries in Tennessee, the run blocking has been god awful. I don't know if we need a new OL coach, new linemen, or linemen in better shape, but they're fat. slow, and immobile and are getting whipped up front routinely.
I don't see how either of those last two situations I mentioned drastically improve this year, and barring that, not sure how we start making more plays. The backups on D aren't good enough to not screw up enough to lose, nor are the starters on the OL.
I agree: the age & way in which Troy & Harrison play the game have taken a toll on their bodies. Likewise, Woodley's girth seems to create his injuries. BUT, the difference between winning & losing is very slim... and if even one of those three is on the field, something small (one more stop on third down) is going to happen. I'm not talking about anything even very "noticeable."
Likewise, the onus is on BB (not the "blame", the "onus") to convert one more third down, specifically at the end of the game. (Or, for a WR to make a TD, instead of dropping, fumbling, or falling down with the ball: merely a 4 point difference.) Again, something barely noticeable.
The OL, in my opinion, is better. Is it like the 2005 OL? No. Is it better than last year? Yes. The Colon can block very well. That alone is an upgrade over Kemo. Obviously, the rest of the parts, as a whole, are merely average, but for whatever reason, BB is not getting sacked nearly as much this year. (Of course, that could be due to his getting rid of the ball more quickly.)
As far as good teams winning those games... I agree: these games should not come down to that one play. But, it appears, across he league, that games are doing just that: staying close & being decided by one play.
The Taperiots lost to a team with a rookie QB and a team with no "real" QB. Those games should not have been close... yet, they were.
Lastly, PITT, despite not looking great, are tied for THIRD in the conference, with three losses.
3. PITT, NE, MIA, BUFF, SD, DENV.
Thus, again, this season is not over... because, while PITT has looked bad at times, so has EVERY other team (at some point this far). And now, HOU & BALT will be dealing with injuries... so, expect them to drop back to the pack a little bit.