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Old 01-08-2010, 12:22 PM   #1
vrabinec
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Default How bad special teams, a sloppy offense and coaching decisions cost us 15-1

I started lookid at what the biggest problems with the Steelers were and I was amazed that at one point (right after the Jamaal Charles kickoff return for TD to open the KC game) our defense had given up 11 TD's and our special teams and offense had given up 8 via kick returns, interception returns for TD, and fumble returns for TD. So I started to go through the games to see what the scores of the games would have been if we had simply been able to tackle a return man somewhere between the 25 and 35, if we hadn't thrown any interceptions that were returned for TD's, if we hadn't coughed up any fumbles that weren't returned for TD's, if we hadn't gone for it on 4th down in field goal range, fumbled or thrown interceptions in the red zone, missed field goals that were 45 or shorter in decent weather conditions, dropped onside kicks in obvious onside kick scenarios, or comitted penalties or gotten sacked to take ourselves out of field goal range.

By my calculation, we would have scored 405 points instead of 368. This doesn't even include getting stuffed for no yardage on 3 consecutive plays at the opponents 36 without making any concerted effort to at least move the ball into field goal range (you wouldn't believe how many times things like THAT happened)

By my calculation, we would have given up 217 points instead of 324. Yup, that's not a missprint. That would have made our +- 189, which would have been the best in the NFL. Now, some of those drives would have turned into points anyway, but probably not enough to make a difference. We should have been 15-1. The only game we would have lost anyway, believe it or not, is the Cleveland game.

Here are the plays:
1. Tennesee- Ward fumbles at the Titans 3. Score should have been 16-10
2. Chicago- Reed misses 2 very makeable field goals, one miss sets up Chicago nicely for a FG of their own. Score should have been 20-7
3. Cincinnati 1- Ben throws a pick-6. Steelers go for it on 4th and 4 instead of punting and Cincy comes back to barely get in FG range (I didn't count this, just letting you know). Score should have been 20-16.
4. San Diego- Logan's fumble is returned for a TD. Chargers recover an onside kick and score a TD. Score should have been 38-14
5. Detroit- Ben gets intercepted for a pick-6. Score should have been 28-13
6. Cleveland 1- False start on Starks takes us out of field goal range. Cribbs returns one against us for 6. Mendenhall fumbles in the red zone. Score should have been 33-7
7. Minnesota- Harvin returns a kick against us for a TD. Score should have been 27-10
8. Denver- Ben gets sacked, stripped, and they return it for a TD. Ben throws a red zone pick. Score should have been 31-3
9. Cincinnati 2- Bernard Scott returns a kcik for a TD against us. Ben interception sets up Cincy in the red zone for a FG. Again, I'm not even including things like that a Spaeth fumble forces us to kick from deep in our own zone which sets them up for a FG or that a Harrison personal foul helps them set up for another FG. Score should have been 12-6
10. Kansas City- Charles returns the kick for 6 against us. Ben intercepted in the red zone, ball is returned into our red zone, setting a FG for them. Overtime should never have happened, but even in overtime, Moore is stuffed for a 3 yard loss to take us out of field goal range. Score should have been 27-14
11. Baltimore 1- Spaeth commits offensive holding, taking us out of FG range. Overtime should never have happened, but Dixon throws the pick in OT to set up their FG. Score should have been 20-17
12. Oakland- Steelers go for it on 4th and 1 at the Raiders 5 and don't make it. Ben sacked to take us out of field goal range. Ben gets intercepted in the red zone. Again, this doesn't even include our special teams letting Gary freakin Russel get a big return that basically sets them up for a FG. Score should have been 33-27
13. Cleveland 2- A cribbs return sets up a FG. This game we still would have lost 10-6. Of course, maybe if we were 12-0 going into that game, they would have played with a little more enthusiasm.
14. Green Bay- Botched onside kick sets up the Packers inside Steeler territory. Score should have been 37-26 (or 30-26 if you figure we wouldn't have made that last second drive)
15. Baltimore 2- Ben gets picked deep in our end to set them up for a FG. Score should have been 23-17
16. Miami- I didn't see anything in the parameters stated above that changed the score, but we did have that delicious topping to the season when Ben threw a deep pass that got intercepted as we tried to kill the clock. Score should have been 30-24

This is a travesty, and it doesn't include lost opportunites. It's possible we were the sloppiest team in the NFL when it came to offense and special teams. We'll see if Tomlin notices the same stuff and has the brains to fix it next year.
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Old 01-08-2010, 12:27 PM   #2
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Default Re: How bad special teams, a sloppy offense and coaching decisions cost us 15-1

Quote:
Originally Posted by vrabinec View Post
I started lookid at what the biggest problems with the Steelers were and I was amazed that at one point (right after the Jamaal Charles kickoff return for TD to open the KC game) our defense had given up 11 TD's and our special teams and offense had given up 8 via kick returns, interception returns for TD, and fumble returns for TD. So I started to go through the games to see what the scores of the games would have been if we had simply been able to tackle a return man somewhere between the 25 and 35, if we hadn't thrown any interceptions that were returned for TD's, if we hadn't coughed up any fumbles that weren't returned for TD's, if we hadn't gone for it on 4th down in field goal range, fumbled or thrown interceptions in the red zone, missed field goals that were 45 or shorter in decent weather conditions, dropped onside kicks in obvious onside kick scenarios, or comitted penalties or gotten sacked to take ourselves out of field goal range.

By my calculation, we would have scored 405 points instead of 368. This doesn't even include getting stuffed for no yardage on 3 consecutive plays at the opponents 36 without making any concerted effort to at least move the ball into field goal range (you wouldn't believe how many times things like THAT happened)

By my calculation, we would have given up 217 points instead of 324. Yup, that's not a missprint. That would have made our +- 189, which would have been the best in the NFL. Now, some of those drives would have turned into points anyway, but probably not enough to make a difference. We should have been 15-1. The only game we would have lost anyway, believe it or not, is the Cleveland game.

Here are the plays:
1. Tennesee- Ward fumbles at the Titans 3. Score should have been 16-10
2. Chicago- Reed misses 2 very makeable field goals, one miss sets up Chicago nicely for a FG of their own. Score should have been 20-7
3. Cincinnati 1- Ben throws a pick-6. Steelers go for it on 4th and 4 instead of punting and Cincy comes back to barely get in FG range (I didn't count this, just letting you know). Score should have been 20-16.
4. San Diego- Logan's fumble is returned for a TD. Chargers recover an onside kick and score a TD. Score should have been 38-14
5. Detroit- Ben gets intercepted for a pick-6. Score should have been 28-13
6. Cleveland 1- False start on Starks takes us out of field goal range. Cribbs returns one against us for 6. Mendenhall fumbles in the red zone. Score should have been 33-7
7. Minnesota- Harvin returns a kick against us for a TD. Score should have been 27-10
8. Denver- Ben gets sacked, stripped, and they return it for a TD. Ben throws a red zone pick. Score should have been 31-3
9. Cincinnati 2- Bernard Scott returns a kcik for a TD against us. Ben interception sets up Cincy in the red zone for a FG. Again, I'm not even including things like that a Spaeth fumble forces us to kick from deep in our own zone which sets them up for a FG or that a Harrison personal foul helps them set up for another FG. Score should have been 12-6
10. Kansas City- Charles returns the kick for 6 against us. Ben intercepted in the red zone, ball is returned into our red zone, setting a FG for them. Overtime should never have happened, but even in overtime, Moore is stuffed for a 3 yard loss to take us out of field goal range. Score should have been 27-14
11. Baltimore 1- Spaeth commits offensive holding, taking us out of FG range. Overtime should never have happened, but Dixon throws the pick in OT to set up their FG. Score should have been 20-17
12. Oakland- Steelers go for it on 4th and 1 at the Raiders 5 and don't make it. Ben sacked to take us out of field goal range. Ben gets intercepted in the red zone. Again, this doesn't even include our special teams letting Gary freakin Russel get a big return that basically sets them up for a FG. Score should have been 33-27
13. Cleveland 2- A cribbs return sets up a FG. This game we still would have lost 10-6. Of course, maybe if we were 12-0 going into that game, they would have played with a little more enthusiasm.
14. Green Bay- Botched onside kick sets up the Packers inside Steeler territory. Score should have been 37-26 (or 30-26 if you figure we wouldn't have made that last second drive)
15. Baltimore 2- Ben gets picked deep in our end to set them up for a FG. Score should have been 23-17
16. Miami- I didn't see anything in the parameters stated above that changed the score, but we did have that delicious topping to the season when Ben threw a deep pass that got intercepted as we tried to kill the clock. Score should have been 30-24

This is a travesty, and it doesn't include lost opportunites. It's possible we were the sloppiest team in the NFL when it came to offense and special teams. We'll see if Tomlin notices the same stuff and has the brains to fix it next year.
I respectfully understand your frustration and I feel we could have easily won at least three more games instead of the losses but we need to move on- FORWARD.
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Old 01-08-2010, 12:41 PM   #3
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Default Re: How bad special teams, a sloppy offense and coaching decisions cost us 15-1

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I respectfully understand your frustration and I feel we could have easily won at least three more games instead of the losses but we need to move on- FORWARD.
And IMO THE BIGGEST PART of moving forward from this is to make sure THIS crap doesn't happen again. A good coaching staff should be able to cut this down to a minimum. We'll see next year if we have a good coaching staff. I keep thinking of something I heard Jimmy Johnson say once. He said, "Every year, you're really only competing with 10 teams. The others will self-destruct though sloppy play, bad personnel decisions, and bad coaching." We self-destructed this year, and took ourselves out of contention. I can live with it happenning once. If it happens again next year, I'll be in a different frame of mind.
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Old 01-08-2010, 12:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: How bad special teams, a sloppy offense and coaching decisions cost us 15-1

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This is a travesty, and it doesn't include lost opportunites. It's possible we were the sloppiest team in the NFL when it came to offense and special teams. We'll see if Tomlin notices the same stuff and has the brains to fix it next year.
Good piece of work Vrabinec!!

We hear a lot of discussion about "Yebbit SBXLIII" as MT validation. The stuff you have here didn't happen last year (as much). We were really lucky in 08 and the defense either kept us in enough games, or outright won a few, not the least of which was the AFCCG.

So is the difference between the two seasons the "way the ball bounced? Could be. I really don't see much evolution in MT's body of work. The only thing I see that I can solidly attribute to MT was the defense blocking very well on run backs. Kudos to MT for that. The rest of the 3 seasons I see a young man that's "growing into his job".

So will MT "notice the same stuff and have the brains to fix it"? The cliché (MT speaks in clichés) - It remains to be seen. But I haven't noted anything in his tenure here or the off season so far to indicate that he will. Notwithstanding the Zierlein and Ligeshesky dismissals, the larger issue hasn't been addressed. In fact, he caved to it.

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And IMO THE BIGGEST PART of moving forward from this is to make sure THIS crap doesn't happen again. A good coaching staff should be able to cut this down to a minimum.
And that id precisely why finished 9-7 and missed the play offs. The better staffs make corrections within games. The lesser ones (that survive) make the corrections from one season to the next. The rest don't.

One VERY telling thing happened in 09. They lost the locker room for a spell. It was evident. It was particularly evident in Cleveland 2. I don't think they've recovered. And I think caving on the larger issue will make the situation worse.
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:21 PM   #5
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Default Re: How bad special teams, a sloppy offense and coaching decisions cost us 15-1

Good analysis, but Ben didn't throw a pick in the Miami game. I think you're confusing him with Holmes on that stupid trick play.
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:31 PM   #6
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Whiny, whiny, whiny. If ANY other team's fans posted something like this during one of our good seasons, most of you would be ridiculing them.

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15. Baltimore 2- Ben gets picked deep in our end to set them up for a FG. Score should have been 23-17
I'm sorry, did you forget the opening drive interception that WE got, putting us on their 10 yard line! How about the back to back fumbles, saving us from bad field position? How about the fact that the Ravens imploded in that game and missed so many opportunities, and we ended up winning it anyway!

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7. Minnesota- Harvin returns a kick against us for a TD. Score should have been 27-10
My god. You CANNOT be serious. Do you not remember our TWO turnovers returned for touchdowns from literally our own goal line. Come on man, grow up.
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:35 PM   #7
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Default Re: How bad special teams, a sloppy offense and coaching decisions cost us 15-1

You can't call it a coaching faliure when shut down ike instead of wrapping himself around the carries legs tries to helplessly push murphy out of bounds.... murphy regained balance and was off like usain bolt.

that is a player error. not coaching.

Get your heads of your asses and start blaming some of the players efforts, yes some of it was coaching BUT a WHOLE lot of IT was PLAYERS.
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: How bad special teams, a sloppy offense and coaching decisions cost us 15-1

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Good analysis, but Ben didn't throw a pick in the Miami game. I think you're confusing him with Holmes on that stupid trick play.
He did but it was called back because of the holding. The problem was the play call and that we were chucking it deep when we should have been trying to kill the clock.
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: How bad special teams, a sloppy offense and coaching decisions cost us 15-1

I respect the author for trying to spark debate/convo. Why are some of you coming down on them so hard? Isn't this MB all about convo/debate ??
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:42 PM   #10
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Default Re: How bad special teams, a sloppy offense and coaching decisions cost us 15-1

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Whiny, whiny, whiny. If ANY other team's fans posted something like this during one of our good seasons, most of you would be ridiculing them.



I'm sorry, did you forget the opening drive interception that WE got, putting us on their 10 yard line! How about the back to back fumbles, saving us from bad field position? How about the fact that the Ravens imploded in that game and missed so many opportunities, and we ended up winning it anyway!



My god. You CANNOT be serious. Do you not remember our TWO turnovers returned for touchdowns from literally our own goal line. Come on man, grow up.
You can't control what the other teams, do, but you CAn control what you do. Yes, I understand that other teams turned the ball over in the red zone against us. I can count four, a Culpepper interception, and a couple other ones like the Favre turnovers. Point is, we comitted those types of mistakes FAR MORE than our opponents did, even the opponents that were supposed to be "bad" teams, like Cleveland. If you disagree, feel free to go through the play by play of the worst team you can think of, and see how many points THEY cost themselves. Bet it's nowhere near what we cost ourselves.
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