Originally Posted by Riddle_Of_Steel
I think you need to look at the game more closely-- Flacco did not make "pinpoint passes when he needed to"-- they took a page out of the Patriots playbook and spread our defense out and starting picking on the weaknesses in our coverage-- i.e. McFadden, Farrior, and Gay.
They used Lee Evans' speed to deepen the field and only threw the ball 3 times in his direction. His sole purpose in their scheme yesterday was to keep Ike Taylor and Polamalu occupied in deep coverage while they work to exploit the weaknesses in our short to moderate passing defense.
The reason Rice had the whole middle of the field to work with is because they succedded in spreading our defense too thin to make stops in the middle (helps when Foote/Farrior try to tackle with one arm).
And you can bet your money that we will be seeing teams try to run that very same offense against us each week until the Steelers demonstrate to the rest of the league that they can stop it.
Flacco did indeed make pinpoint passes when he needed to. The opening drive he threw a great ball to Boldin who was well covered. The next drive a big play was called back due to holding that he threw to the TE, also in tight coverage. The other 2 touchdowns weren't covered well, but perhaps I misrepresent my point, which is Flacco didn't play a Bradyesque or Rodgersesque game---not even a Cutleresque one against us, dare I say.
Yes, this was not a repeat of the patriots game, where the Pats used the pass to set up the run, or a repeat of the Saints or Packers games last year, where they didn't bother running at all. The Steelers got gouged on the line of scrimmage, gave up a couple big runs and a lot more unsatisfactory ones. Even on "good" plays we were giving up 3-3.5 a run in the first half. The run D didn't seem as bad in the second half but by then the damage was done.