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Old 10-04-2010, 07:47 AM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Post-Baltimore thoughts (Dale Lolley)

http://nflfromthesidelines.blogspot.com/
NFL from the sidelines

After hobnobbing around the NFL in the press boxes and sidelines, sports reporter Dale Lolley will let you know the insider scoop.
Sunday, October 03, 2010
Post-Baltimore thoughts

Anybody who would have taken 3-1 coming out of the first four games, raise your hand.

OK. That's pretty much everybody.

Yes, I'm sure you don't like it that the Steelers lost to the Ravens, but it gives this team two weeks to re-focus with what Hines Ward called an angry Ben Roethlisberger coming back.

That's not a bad thing.

The Steelers will still control their own destiny this season.

And Sunday's loss should shut all the idiots up who don't think the Steelers need Roethlisberger.

Baltimore's pass defense was a little better than I gave it credit for. The front seven makes a lot of that happen with the pressure it brings.

Still, there were things that could have been exploited.

Rashard Mendenhall should make the Pro Bowl this season. He's running hard. He's running decisively. He's been the Steelers' entire offense - for the most part - through the first four games when everyone knew he was coming.

Mendenhall will no doubt need the next two weeks off to rest his body up for the remainder of this season.

The Steelers have made it to their bye relatively healthy.

That's good news. Chris Hoke and Trai Essex will be back following the bye.

Everybody wanted to talk about the first four games being the make-or-break portion of this season, but really, it's the next four games.

After playing Cleveland at home in Roethlisberger's return, the Steelers play road games at Miami, at New Orleans and at Cincinnati. That's a tough stretch for any team.

The only good thing about that is that there's no way the Steelers will take the third of those three games, at Cincinnati, lightly.

That's a big thing because history shows that NFL teams don't do well in the third game of three consecutive road games.

If the Steelers can at least split those four games, giving them a 5-3 first half, they'll be in excellent shape.

Remember, Baltimore still has to play at New England, at Atlanta and at Houston. The Ravens also have home games against the Steelers, Dolphins, Saints and Bengals. That's seven pretty tough games left on the Ravens' schedule.

I thought Charlie Batch did a good job with his hard counts against the Ravens. Were they a factor in the two false starts late in the game?

Possibly. But if the Ravens had jumped offside on those, everyone would be saying what a great move they were.

The offense knows the snap count. There's no reason for them to jump offside.

Those two offside penalties really limited what the Steelers could do.

Look at it this way, Mendenhall had two carries for five yards that were negated by the false starts. That would have put the Steelers in a third-and-five from the 8, as opposed to third-and-10 from the 3.

They may have attempted a pass from the 8 off a three-step drop. But you don't want Batch dropping back into the end zone to pass the ball. Too many bad things can happen.

And no, I'm not taking a safety in that situation. When your defense has only given up three touchdowns - to that point - in nearly four games and a touchdown is the only thing that can beat you, you have to make the opponent score a touchdown.
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Old 10-04-2010, 09:30 AM   #2
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Default Re: Post-Baltimore thoughts (Dale Lolley)

Possibly. But if the Ravens had jumped offside on those, everyone would be saying what a great move they were.

The offense knows the snap count. There's no reason for them to jump offside.

Those two offside penalties really limited what the Steelers could do.

Look at it this way, Mendenhall had two carries for five yards that were negated by the false starts. That would have put the Steelers in a third-and-five from the 8, as opposed to third-and-10 from the 3.

They may have attempted a pass from the 8 off a three-step drop. But you don't want Batch dropping back into the end zone to pass the ball. Too many bad things can happen.

And no, I'm not taking a safety in that situation. When your defense has only given up three touchdowns - to that point - in nearly four games and a touchdown is the only thing that can beat you, you have to make the opponent score a touchdown.


I made this point on another thread. The penalties on Kemo and Spaeth were killing for exactly the reasons Lolley says.
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