Originally Posted by GoFor7
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.
I don't know, I think your stats prove that TOP is important. 9 out of the 12 playoff teams finished in the top 13 in TOP. Only 3 were in the bottom half of the league and 1 of those just barely (bengals at 17).
I do agree, however, that the Steelers are too preoccupied with TOP. I would rather it be situational, like when we have the lead in the 4th quarter.