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Old 10-12-2009, 05:53 PM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Steelers not happy opponents are hanging around

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slu...v=ap&type=lgns
Steelers not happy opponents are hanging around

By ALAN ROBINSON, AP Sports Writer 2 hours, 56 minutes ago

PITTSBURGH (AP)—Every fourth quarter is an adventure for the Pittsburgh Steelers, every game is a struggle.

They’re losing games that good teams usually win, and barely winning games that good teams typically dominate. They were forced into overtime in the opener to beat the Tennessee Titans, a team that has yet to win a game. They labored to close out the Detroit Lions, winners of one of 21 games the last two seasons.

Five games into an uneven season, the Steelers are 3-2, yet they haven’t resembled the team that won the Super Bowl last season—and they know it. They can only imagine what their record would be if they were played the same schedule as the Patriots (3-2), who have faced an unbeaten team every week.

“Maybe some games last year you knew you were going to win,” safety Ryan Clark(notes) said. “You kind of relax and just go out there and go through the flow. This year we’re not like that. We’re not the same team. We’re not the team that won the Super Bowl last year. We’re the ’09 Pittsburgh Steelers and we have trouble in the fourth quarter.”

A team that prided itself on winning games late last season has been outscored 55-13 in the fourth quarter, the NFL’s worst such differential. These fourth-quarter failures cost the Steelers losses to the Bengals and the Bears, and even the Lions were in position to tie them Sunday before losing 28-20 in a game Detroit trailed by 15 points.

“Teams are coming at us,” Clark said. “Teams believe they can win in the fourth quarter.”

What might seem surprising is that, despite these self-acknowledged failings, there are numerous positive signs for the Steelers, who return home to play the Browns (1-4) and Vikings (5-0) in their next two games.

Their pass rush, missing most of the season, returned with seven sacks in Detroit, including three by James Harrison(notes) and 1 1/2 by LaMarr Woodley(notes), who came into the game without any this season. Rashard Mendenhall(notes) ran for 242 yards and three touchdowns the last two games. Ben Roethlisberger(notes) is completing 73.8 percent of his passes, and isn’t getting as sacked as much as he did the last three seasons. He has been dropped 13 times, or five sacks fewer than at this point last season.

There’s more: Hines Ward(notes) is on pace to catch more than 100 passes for only the second time in his career. Heath Miller(notes) is averaging nearly six catches per game and is being used more than any Steelers tight end in years. All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu(notes), who injured a knee in the Sept. 10 opener and hasn’t played since, should return Sunday.

And the Steelers, two games down to Baltimore only two weeks ago, have caught the Ravens (3-2) and are only a game out of the AFC North lead with a home game left against the Bengals (4-1).

Still, the Steelers are largely disappointed with a season in which three games have been decided by 3 points and only one game has had a 10-point margin. On Sunday alone, there were scores of 44-7, 45-10, 41-0, 31-9 and 33-14 in the NFL.

As Roethlisberger said after the Steelers couldn’t put Detroit away in the last quarter, “I’ll have to be better, the standard is higher for us on offense.”

“We’ll get it right,” Ward said. “Would we like to close teams out? Yes, of course. But when teams are playing the Pittsburgh Steelers, we’re the defending champions, and they’re going to give us their best.”

Even if the NFL hasn’t exactly done that to the Steelers. Because three AFC division champions from last season aren’t playing well (Titans, Dolphins and Chargers), the Steelers’ schedule would appear to be one of its easiest in seasons. It’s substantially weaker than last season’s, when they played what might have been the roughest schedule any Super Bowl winner took on.

This season, they still have two games left against the Browns, plus one each against the Chiefs (0-5), Raiders (1-4), Packers (2-2) and Dolphins. Unless their fourth-quarter problems intensify, the Steelers conceivably could match last season’s 12-4 record merely by playing at their current uneven level.

“We’re still searching for the Steelers,” linebacker James Farrior(notes) said.
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Old 10-12-2009, 06:00 PM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers not happy opponents are hanging around

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Originally Posted by mesaSteeler View Post

“Maybe some games last year you knew you were going to win,” safety Ryan Clark(notes) said. “You kind of relax and just go out there and go through the flow. This year we’re not like that. We’re not the same team. We’re not the team that won the Super Bowl last year. We’re the ’09 Pittsburgh Steelers and we have trouble in the fourth quarter.”


.
this is a huge problem. last season EVERY game from the colts on had that playoff atmosphere and sense of urgency (even the prior game with the sb champ giants).

the steelers players need to wake up and re-gain that sense of urgency. after beating the titans maybe they got a bit complacent, and were already counting themselves into the playoffs.
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Old 10-12-2009, 06:06 PM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers not happy opponents are hanging around

This team is nothing like the 2005 team during their last 6 games. Some of the players are saving it for the playoffs. Some coaching is very stealth in order to not give away too much to the opposition. Fortunately BB and Mendy have been very effiecient. If not for the defense falling asleep in the 4th quarters, we are 5-0.
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Old 10-12-2009, 06:35 PM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers not happy opponents are hanging around

were so used to being able to kill our division opponents that we take them for granted, we have gotten complacent after the super bowl, and now need to get urgent, cuz its not going to be a cake walk thru the division, the ravens and bungles are tougher than last year, now i think we wont lose another division game this season, its definitely possible that we could, but the fact is, if we had troy, and played like normal, we would be 5-0
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Old 10-12-2009, 06:45 PM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers not happy opponents are hanging around

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this is a huge problem. last season EVERY game from the colts on had that playoff atmosphere and sense of urgency (even the prior game with the sb champ giants).

the steelers players need to wake up and re-gain that sense of urgency. after beating the titans maybe they got a bit complacent, and were already counting themselves into the playoffs.
Urgency, intensity, attitude...maybe it's just me but they don't seem fired up.

The most irritating thing is how strong we start & how weak we finish. Don't sit on a lead, blow'em out. Period.
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Old 10-12-2009, 06:53 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers not happy opponents are hanging around

Well Im glad this is coming straight from the horses mouth

I was getting tired of reading posts of people pumping up the other team to feel better about lackluster performances by the Steelers

Lets face it folks we're not playing Champinship football right now

acknowledging it is the 1st step and hopefully with Troy back we get that machine movin at full Steeler Power
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Old 10-12-2009, 07:02 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers not happy opponents are hanging around

the Steelers’ schedule would appear to be one of its easiest in seasons...the Steelers conceivably could match last season’s 12-4 record merely by playing at their current uneven level.


12-4 playing like they are?

Well, it would keep the fans happy by giving them something to complain about - but if we can win the division, I really don't care what their record is
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Old 10-12-2009, 07:08 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers not happy opponents are hanging around

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Lets face it folks we're not playing Champinship football right now
It's October, not January. We're two missed FGs (which are made 99% of the rest of the time) and a non-tackle on 4th down from being 5-0 and we haven't put together a full game yet. It'll come.
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Old 10-12-2009, 07:09 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers not happy opponents are hanging around

At the fifth game last year, we weren't playing championship football either.

News falsh folks......neither are this years' Cinderella's, the Bengals.
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Old 10-12-2009, 07:49 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers not happy opponents are hanging around

But V don't come out strong, do V? I mean the team starts like this, & then picks itself up & go into play-offs. I'm not worried.
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