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Old 01-03-2010, 08:43 PM   #1
A Son of Martha

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Default Steelers win but out of playoffs

Steelers win but out of playoffs

By Bob Smizik | Sunday 4:30 p.m.

The Steelers did what they had to do this afternoon, but not without their typical fourth-quarter defensive meltdown, and for a few hours had ever-so-slight hope they might advance to the playoffs.

But when the Baltimore Ravens beat the Oakland Raiders in a game that ended shortly after 7 p.m., the Steelers were eliminated.

The Steelers needed help from several teams but only the Kansas City Chief, who beat Denver, came through. But it was not enough.

The Steelers got the kind of offensive mix they’ve been seeking all season against the Dolphins. Ben Roethlisberger completed 18 of 27 passes for 270 yards and three touchdowns. He was not intercepted. Rashard Mendenhall carried 20 times for 94 yards and Willie Parker, in what was probably his final game as a Steelers, got 91 yards on 12 attempts.

The Dolphins, playing with third-string quarterback Tyler Thigpen, made it interesting with two TD drives in the fourth quarter. A Ryan Clark interception of a Thigpen pass -- after the Dolphins have moved within three points -- on the Steelers' 2 salvaged the victory.

It was appropriate that the Steelers would almost unravel in the fourth quarter because that was a microcosm of their season. They blew five fourth-quarter leads, which was the most in the NFL. If they could have held on to just one of them, they’d be preparing for the playoffs.

But it wasn’t to be.

Injuries were a major factor in the downfall of the defense, as safety Troy Polamalu and end Aaron Smith missed most of the season. But it was more than that. This just wasn’t as good a team as people expected.

The Steelers finish 9-7 and are left wondering what might have been.

The Steelers got the kind of offensive mix they’ve been seeking all season
Hey Arians why did it take until game 16 to achieve a BALANCED offense? - mesa)
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Old 01-03-2010, 08:46 PM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers win but out of playoffs

I believe the biggest problem this season is the secondary. Troy acted as a giant bandade, and exposed some serious issues with it. Just me 2 cents...
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