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Old 11-22-2009, 09:02 PM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Arians playcalling and special teams doom Steelers in 27-24 loss

Arians playcalling and special teams doom Steelers in 27-24 loss
November 22, 7:03 PMPittsburgh Sports Examiner
Matt Pawlikowski
http://www.examiner.com/x-2703-Pitts...-in--2724-loss

There were plenty of things that went wrong in the Steelers 27-24 loss to the Chiefs and now sitting at 6-4 overall, it has many wondering; do they have the intestinal fortitude to carry on into the playoffs from here?

With six games remaining, just two (Oakland and Cleveland) appear as potential wins, but after the debacle in Kansas City on Sunday, even those are questionable, although the Browns seem to be playing for the 2010 Draft after a loss to the lowly Lions.

So that game, you might pencil in a ‘W’, but the rest? It's anyone’s guess now, especially when you can't play situational football against a team that not only had won just two games prior to Sunday, but was without two of its best players.

Let’s start from the get-go as to what went wrong, which was a lot.

Special teams coach Bob Ligashesky obviously didn't have his unit ready for this one, after giving up the winning points against the Bengals via a kick return the previous week. Just 16 seconds into the contest, Jamaal Charles took it 97 yards to the house and the Chiefs had a 7-0 lead.

It was beyond pathetic.

How can a unit, where the head coach cuts one of its players to send a message earlier in the week, on the first play of the game allow it to happen for the fourth time in five weeks.

Still, the Steelers resiliency overcame it and for the remainder of the half and the game were dominate both on offense and defense and it looked like they were ready to put a nail in the Chiefs coffin. During regulation the Steelers gained 463 yards to the Chiefs 263.

Then came the blunders and maybe a little complacency. Yes, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (who left the game with a possible concussion in overtime) had a passer rating over 100 and close to 400 yards in the air. But Roethlisberger also tossed two critical interceptions in the Red Zone.

Granted with the Steelers leading 17-7, the first one was a rare Heath Miller mistake, where he should have caught the ball and Andy Studebaker caught it. But the other where he tossed the ball into four Chiefs defenders was a lousy decision.

Which is the best way to describe offensive coordinator Bruce Arians play calling during the game, a bunch of lousy decisions.

Why has he abandoned the muddle huddle which had so much success in the Steelers five game win streak? Why doesn't he have designed plays to alleviate the pressure off Roethlisberger like a screen pass? And why has he abandoned the run when it comes to the Red Zone?

Thanks to his pass happy offensive scheme, the Steelers now lead the league in the longest period of time not having a running back get into the end-zone via a run play. Not exactly Steeler football.

You can also pinpoint the turning point in the game on Arians, once again his play-calling especially in the overtime session.

One could say Ike Taylor should have made the interception and if he does, the outcome may be different. But Arians call when the Steelers were driving and faced a third-and- two at the 35 probably cost the team the game.

The reason is simple. Rashard Mendenhall was toting the ball with confidence and his previous three runs on the Steelers possession in overtime, were seven, seven and eight yards.

Instead of running it down the gut and putting Jeff Reed into his field goal range, Arians decided in his wisdom to utilize a toss play to Mewelde Moore that resulted in a three yard loss.

Those three yards were the difference between Reed being in range and Reed being out of his range.

Arians only calls plays though. It's no secret he doesn't believe in three yards and a cloud of dust, instead relying on pass first. That passer though is the one in pads. The guy catching the ball, the line, the guy toting the ball - they were on the field. (Well it's no secret that a lot of Steeler Nation doesn't believe in Arians either. However it's still Tomlin's responsibility to fix this. - mesa)

And while there where bright spots, those players including Dick LeBeau’s top ranked defense, had too many blunders especially when it came to the Red Zone to overcome- meaning now instead of regaining a hold on the North Division, the Steelers will be fighting it out for a Wild Card slot at best.
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Old 11-22-2009, 09:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: Arians playcalling and special teams doom Steelers in 27-24 loss

I totally agree with calling a few screen passes here and there. The Chiefs blitzes today were killin us and we still didnt do anything to try and slow it down. Screens and short passes thats called making adjustments in the middle of a game and in your game plan so you dont get Ben's head ripped off.
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Old 11-22-2009, 09:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: Arians playcalling and special teams doom Steelers in 27-24 loss

Totally agree. Tomlin always preaches situational football but the Steelers have a hard time following the practice of it. Sometimes a plunge up the gut is necessary. How Mendenhall isn't getting 25 carries a game is beyond me. I think they don't use Muddle Huddle because Ben was calling to many run plays and Arians wants him throwing.
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Old 11-22-2009, 09:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: Arians playcalling and special teams doom Steelers in 27-24 loss

Quote:
Thanks to his pass happy offensive scheme, the Steelers now lead the league in the longest period of time not having a running back get into the end-zone via a run play
That pretty much sums it up.
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:19 PM   #5
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Default Re: Arians playcalling and special teams doom Steelers in 27-24 loss

ON Ben's 2nd pick, why in the hell do they go 5 recievers on 1st and goal from the 8?. Ben tried to force the ball to Ward who had at least 3 guys around him. Spaeth was running free at the 5.
But for crying out loud go under center with a RB behind you, so at least the D has to respect the run. They do this way too much, and there is no need for it. They have a decent run blocking O LINE and good RB's. These are the types of play call and formation calls from B.A that drives people nuts. He calls a good game until he hits the red zone, then I think he gets to cute and outsmarts himself trying to get the perfect play.
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:44 PM   #6
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Default Re: Arians playcalling and special teams doom Steelers in 27-24 loss

Same old Arians scapegoat thread. But........we won a SB with him.
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Old 11-22-2009, 11:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: Arians playcalling and special teams doom Steelers in 27-24 loss

Yes we won a SB with him, but our offense was ranked 21st+ last year and his play calling hasn't improved much. Play calling wasn't the cause of today's loss, but it sure didnt help either. Poor execution on the field is why we lost today. It just seems when we're in close games this year and we need one or two plays to put the game away, he seems to call some stupid plays which is why everyone comes down on him.
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:29 AM   #8
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Default Re: Arians playcalling and special teams doom Steelers in 27-24 loss

Could not agree more
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:41 AM   #9
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Default Re: Arians playcalling and special teams doom Steelers in 27-24 loss

geesh the offense put up around 500 yds today , what more do you want ?
... where's the articles bashing lebeau and the fourth quarter defensive brain farts ? would the offense had gained more yardage if they ran more and passed less ? hell no. ..last week against the bengals i thought they should have ran more based on how crappy the passing game was going, and it looked like mendenhall could have found room to move the chains. ben had a good day today with the exception of pass blocking breaking down towards the 4th qt.
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:46 AM   #10
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Default Re: Arians playcalling and special teams doom Steelers in 27-24 loss

Our offense is so loaded with talent it isn't even funny.

How many 1st round picks do we have offensively? Ben, Mendy, Miller, Holmes...who am I forgetting? Not to mention Ward. We've got play makers on offense. When your players consistently perform below their ability then you have to look at the coach.

In this case you cannot honestly believe our offense had the 21st best players last year. The play calling is killing us and nothing will convince me otherwise. You cannot be one dimensional in the NFL and expect to win. You cannot ask your QB and your O-line to not make mistakes when the defense can pin their ears back and just come after you. Hasn't our defense proven that over the last decade or two? I mean come one people! What has been our defensive philosophy? We force offenses into become one dimensional....we shut their run down and force them to pass. When that happens our defense does it's job.

Arians has a fast car and he thinks he needs to drive it w/ the pedal to the floor. Problem is you won't get very far before you wreck driving like that. We need to slow things down. We need to balance our offense out. We should not be swinging for the fences as much as we do....we strike out way too much. This was the perfect game to grind it out. Don't put Ben in a position to fail....especially in a game like this against an opponent who can't stop the run. That game plan was even worse then last weeks and I didn't think that could happen.
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