Originally Posted by NSMaster56
Not sure that 'playing scared' is the right term.
More objectively, the Steelers play 'conservative' football for sure and said style does bite them in the arse more often than not.
On one hand, this 'keeps them in' every game and usually avoids blowout losses. However, on the other it keeps them from definintely beating their opponents, too.
Overall, it is frustrating and appears to be a fixable 'problem'.
It's mostly about their fixation with time of possession. They fear if the offense scores too quickly the defense will suck and they'll be suckered into a shootout. In reality, this close to the vest football has just put more pressure on the defense to keep the team in the game.
Lets look at where the playoff teams rank in TOP:
San Francisco: 8
Indianapolis: 9 (BOOOO! AIR-HEAD! BOOOOOOO!)
New England: 12
Green Bay: 13
Only 2 of the 12 playoff teams ranked top 5 in time of possession. Obviously, Baltimore and Minnesota are outliers in the opposite direction and most teams that rank that low aren't in the playoffs. But what this would suggest is that if you trade some possession time for some points, being anywhere from 6th to 15th in time of possession isn't the end of the world.