Originally Posted by harrison'samonster
I absolutely agree with your point about holding onto the ball in the 4th qtr. TOP also might be a result of trying to be more balanced on offense. That is crucial to offensive success in the long run, nobody wants to become one-sided.
I heard Trent Dilfer talking about TOP recently... specifically, talking about playing against the Broncos. [I think Dilfer is a great analyst. He watches a LOT of film, and is very savvy about offense.]
Simply, Dilfer said that the best way to stop Peyton Manning is to keep him on the side-lines.
Dilfer pointed specifically to the Steelers-Broncos game from earlier in the season, and said that the Steelers did it right... except, they had to settle for FGs instead of TDs.
Likewise, on a personal level, I do not necessarily need to see drastic changes to this offense. What I would like to see is what Dilfer said: scoring TDs instead of FGs.
I know that some do not like what Haley was doing, but IMO, this offense was on the right track towards that change (TDs instead of FGs). Were they there yet? No. Were they on the right track? Yes. Remember, if BB converts two more third downs, at the end of the Oakland game & the end of Tennessee game, the Steelers would have made them 8-1.
Speaking of third downs, before this season, when trying to convert third down (e.g. 4 yards), I would see BB drop back, and he has a RB open for the first down (5 yards), but BB would routinely throw it 20 yards down field. Now, a lot of those times, we would all cheer the long completion, but not always... sometimes, the ball would fall incomplete, and the drive would stall: no third-down conversion, with a FG... or, worse: no third down, with a sack taking them out of FG range.
For the first nine games (pre-injury), BB was keeping scoring opportunities alive: he had the best third-down conversion rate in the entire league.
Then the injury occurred...
...and, the third downs stopped being converted. In turn, the offense had multiple three-&-outs (and/or drives that ended in FGs as opposed ot TDs).
Like Dilfer said, the thing (maybe the only thing) that the Steelers need to work on is converting third downs in the red-zone, in order to increase their opportunities for scoring FGs (not getting knocked out fo FG range) and/or increase their opportunities for scoring TDs (coverting third downs, as opposed to always going for the TD on every down inside of the 30, in order to get three (or six) more downs to try & score).