Re: Food for thought....
I almost forgot about this...I've been thinking about this since at least 1997 when Kordell threw the game away.
This analysis is all nice and stuff, and looks factual and whatnot, and, if you are a Cowher hater, easy to jump on board with...here's the dissenting view though.
I submit just this; Quarterbacks.
That's all. QB's. QB's lost most of, if not all of, these games that all these brainiacs are trying to dissect and analyze in the past tense. The one variable a HC has the least control over is the QB. Let's revisit all these scenarios' in which we have been deemed losers because of Cowher...
1994 AFC title game ? In a 17-13 loss to San Diego, Pittsburgh?s leading ballcarrier, Barry Foster, picked up just 47 yards on 20 carries. With his top-ranked rushing attack stifled, O?Donnell was forced to pass 54 times. The Pittsburgh offense found its way into the end zone just once and lost, 17-13.
Classic defensive struggle...may I remind all that we were on the 3 yard line at the end of game and Barry Foster had an O'Donnell pass batted away.
1995 Super Bowl ? In a 27-17 loss to Dallas, Pittsburgh?s top two ballcarriers, Erric Pegram and Bam Morris, were held to just 88 yards on 25 carries. With his twelfth-ranked rushing attack stifled, O?Donnell famously tossed two INTs to wide open defensive back Larry Brown, who set up easy touchdowns for the Dallas offense while earning MVP honors in the process.
In fact, after the Steelers settled down, this was a very even game, due to a superlative defensive effort by the Steelers. Interesting how the author fails to mention that O'Donnell only had (I believe) 6 other INT's coming into this game...O'Donnell played his worst game as a Steelers in his biggest game.., how is that Cowher's fault?
1996 divisional playoffs ? In a 28-3 loss to New England, Pittsburgh?s leading ballcarrier, Jerome Bettis, was held to 43 yards on 13 carries. With their second-ranked rushing attack stifled, quarterbacks Tomczak and Stewart combined for a spectacularly unproductive 16 of 39 for 110 yards with two INTs.
Stewart? Tomczak? And this guy lays the blame on others? Please...
1997 AFC title game ? In a 24-21 loss to Denver, Pittsburgh's leading ballcarrier, Bettis, gave the Steelers a potentially winning performance with 105 yards on 23 carries. But against a champion-caliber defense, Stewart completed just 18 of 36 passes for 201 yards with 1 TD and 3 INTs.
Stewart 3 INT's...I'm pretty sure 2 of them were in the endzone while we were in the redzone...
2001 AFC title game ? In a 24-17 loss to New England, Pittsburgh?s leading rusher, Bettis, was held to a humiliating 8 yards on 9 carries. With his top-ranked rushing attack stifled, Stewart completed just 24 of 42 passes for 255 yards with 0 TDs and 3 INTs, including one each on Pittsburgh?s final two desperation drives.
See a pattern here? Subpar QB's at the helm of superior teams?
2004 AFC title game ? In a 41-27 loss to New England, Pittsburgh?s leading rusher, Bettis was held to 64 yards on 17 carries. With his second-ranked rushing attack stifled, Roethlisberger had his worst game of his previously unbeaten rookie season. He completed 14 of 24 passes for 226 yards and 2 TDs, but tossed three INTs, including one that was returned nearly 100 yards by Rodney Harrison for a back-breaking TD at the end of the first half.
This is where the pattern begins to break...this is the 1st time the Steelers invest in a QB, and the kid wears out. While the author continues to dote on the rush, the Steelers start looking at the pass with an actual top-notch QB at the helm. Cowher may have his Championship team after all, since he will finally not be relegated to second-hand talent and projects/experiments. May I remind all that Ben has zero INT's so far this year..
Last edited by Suitanim; 10-03-2005 at 06:40 PM.