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Old 09-27-2009, 11:03 PM   #1
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Default Harris: Steelers' season feels like dejà vu

Harris: Steelers' season feels like dejà vu
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...s_645336.html#
By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, September 28, 2009

CINCINNATI — Will this be 2006 all over again? Will history repeat itself for the defending Super Bowl champion Steelers?

The Steelers don't normally blow 11-point leads in the fourth quarter.

They never lose to the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium — at least they didn't until this year.

You know the Bengals. They wear big, red noses and dress up in clown suits whenever the Steelers visit.

That is, until Cincinnati's stunning, 23-20 comeback win against the Steelers on Sunday — when up was down, right was wrong and the Bengals finally turned the tables on their AFC North rivals.

Clutch fourth-quarter comebacks are usually reserved for the Steelers, not the Bengals.

Cincinnati ended an eight-game home losing streak against the Steelers along with a five-game overall losing streak to the Steelers going back to Sept. 24, 2006 — three years and three days to the date.

"Is that right? Now, we have to start over," defensive end Aaron Smith said.

There's something about the Steelers playing in the month of September the season after winning the Super Bowl that's worth noting.

Just as they were in 2006, the Steelers are 1-2.

If it happens once, it's a coincidence. If it happens twice, that usually signals a trend.

"Correlation? Nah. That's two different years,'' Smith said. "The fact is, we had plenty of chances to put this game way and didn't do it. This was a division game; it had nothing to do with anything else."

Added cornerback Ike Taylor: "I don't remember that far back. I don't even care right now. It's 2009."

Uncharacteristic defensive breakdowns and squandered scoring opportunities against Cincinnati leave the Steelers in third place in the division behind first-place Baltimore and the Bengals.

"The Super Bowl champions (being) 1-2 is not how we envisioned our season starting out," wide receiver Hines Ward said. "We left a lot of plays on the field. If we score touchdowns in the first half, that's not even a ballgame. That's 24-0 or 24-3 (instead of 13-3).''

In the third quarter, crossed signals between quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and wide receiver Santonio Holmes resulted in Johnathan Joseph's 30-yard interception return for a touchdown that cut the Steelers' lead to 13-9.

"It was a miscommunication," Roethlisberger said. "We won't point fingers or put blame on anything.

"It's adversity that we have to face, but we've faced similar situations before."

Defensively, inside linebacker James Farrior blamed himself for Cincinnati's winning touchdown. Two plays before Carson Palmer's 4-yard scoring toss to Andre Caldwell, Farrior said he didn't stop Brian Leonard's 11-yard reception on fourth-and-10.

The last time the Steelers opened 1-2 the year after winning the Super Bowl, they missed the playoffs.

Ironically, the Steelers faced San Diego in their fourth game in 2006 — the same opponent they'll play host to next week at Heinz Field. The Steelers lost to the Chargers three years ago and fell into a 1-3 hole they couldn't climb out of.

"It's a matter of making plays and not making plays," defensive end Brett Keisel said. "If we don't start making them, it's going to be a long year."

John Harris can be reached at jharris@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432
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Old 09-27-2009, 11:31 PM   #2
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Default Re: Harris: Steelers' season feels like dejà vu

2006 all over again...

Losing next week wouldn't surprise me much really, nor would I be all that upset. I'd just come to grips with the fact that history is repeating itself, and that this team is phoning in the season.
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Old 09-27-2009, 11:50 PM   #3
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Default Re: Harris: Steelers' season feels like dejà vu

well hopefully the Steelers dont dwell on past history crap.The past is the past....Sammy Hagar (when he was in VH) sang a song something like this....C'mon lets turn this thing around, right now!

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Old 09-28-2009, 12:17 AM   #4
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Default Re: Harris: Steelers' season feels like dejà vu

well if we lose to the chargers, we wont make the playoffs, if we win, well be just fine, it all depends on how the steelers respond, but then again i thought theyd respond this week
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Old 09-28-2009, 01:17 AM   #5
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Default Re: Harris: Steelers' season feels like dejà vu

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edman View Post
2006 all over again...

Losing next week wouldn't surprise me much really, nor would I be all that upset. I'd just come to grips with the fact that history is repeating itself, and that this team is phoning in the season.
I don't think it's 2006 all over again...

That team's screw ups were primarily the following: (1) Ben throwing awful INTs. This year, Ben is clearly the best player on offense. (2) Crucial turnovers on special teams. Remember all those fumbles on kick and punt returns? Off the top of my head, those cost us two games that year -- first Cincy game (Colclough), and the Atlanta game. This year, knock on wood, that doesn't seem to be a problem, and hasn't been for a while.

There is one similarity between 2006 and 2009 so far -- lack of pass rush / sacks. That is truly bizarre since Harrison and Woodley are (or should be) huge upgrades over Porter and Haggans.

One area where the 2006 team was actually better than this year's (so far) is the running game. Parker made the Pro Bowl that year, and even had some 200 yard games.
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Old 09-28-2009, 01:18 AM   #6
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Default Re: Harris: Steelers' season feels like dejà vu

Also, if anyone on this team really is phoning it in this year, he should be cut to let a young rookie have his chance. No excuses for not giving it your all, especially as a professional with millions of dollars riding on you.
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Old 09-28-2009, 01:33 AM   #7
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Default Re: Harris: Steelers' season feels like dejà vu

Quote:
...Defensively, inside linebacker James Farrior blamed himself for Cincinnati's winning touchdown. Two plays before Carson Palmer's 4-yard scoring toss to Andre Caldwell, Farrior said he didn't stop Brian Leonard's 11-yard reception on fourth-and-10...
Good leader blames himself. God I love that guy being our D cap.
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