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Old 12-24-2010, 09:15 AM   #1
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Default Steelers handle Carolina easily, but offense continues to sputter

Steelers handle Carolina easily, but offense continues to sputter

Friday, December 24, 2010 12:05 AM
Written by Bob Smizik

This is pretty much what you expect when one of the best teams in the NFL goes up against the worst team in the NFL.

The Steelers (11-4) had their way with the Carolina Panthers (2-13) last night at Heinz Field, 27-3.

But it was hardly a thing of beauty. A down note was that once again the offense could have been more efficient and not left as many points on the field. The Steelers ineffectiveness inside the 20-yard line is a concern. They were in the red zone four times in the first half and produced only one touchdown.

But the victory was thorough and decisive. No need to embarrass Carolina coach John Fox, an ex-Pitt and Steelers assistant, who will not be back next season.

In defense of the Steelers, it's not easy maintaining full focus against so lightweight an opponent. But there's no excuse for the first half failures.

After halftime, this game had all the drama of a pre-season matchup. It wasnít a matter of who would win but how badly the Steelers would.

As the third quarter turned into the fourth, all that was left to ponder was whether coach Mike Tomlin would sit the battered and bruised Ben Roethlisberger. He didnít. Roethlisberger took every snap including the final knee.

Big Ben was near flawless in the first half as the Steelers took a 20-0 lead. He completed 16 of 23 for 259 yards and one touchdown. He only threw nine times in the second half and finished with 320 yards and a 111.5 passer rating.

Facing the Steelers defense, Jimmy Clausen wasnít so good. The rookie never had a chance. He completed 10 of 23 for 72 yards and a 33.2 passer rating.

If the Steelers win at Cleveland Jan. 2 or Baltimore loses one of its final two games, they will be the second seed in the AFC and earn a first-round bye in the playoffs

The Steelers played without safety Troy Polamalu last night and the defense barely missed him. If heís held out of the Cleveland game, heíll have had more than a month to rest up for the playoffs. A healthy Polamalu is vital to the Steelers success and it looks like heíll have every opportunity to be rested and ready to go.

It's possible, if Baltimore loses, the game at Cleveland will lack meaning. That might be not so good. The Steelers need a game with an edge to get their offense straightened out -- if that can be done.

(Same old problems. No red zone offense. The offense won't be straightened out as long as Arians is OC. If Tomlin won't fire him then Rooney should fire them both. - mesa)
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Old 12-24-2010, 10:25 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers handle Carolina easily, but offense continues to sputter

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They were in the red zone four times in the first half and produced only one touchdown.
17 points in the 2nd quarter.

Someone needs to pay more attention when watching the game.
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Old 12-24-2010, 10:59 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers handle Carolina easily, but offense continues to sputter

They were 2-6 in the redzone and two of those ended up in zero points. Not gong to win many playoff games with that kind of production.
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Old 12-24-2010, 11:20 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers handle Carolina easily, but offense continues to sputter

It's just that Ben and Arians want to go for it all, instead of getting the first down.

But I really liked the high flying offense tonight. I'll tell you why. Once we enter in the playoffs we'll probably have to face either the Colts or the Chargers and then after that the Patriots. Ben needed to create more chemistry with his young receivers and prepare for a possible shoot out with those teams. I think Ben said it perfectly. We are not the 70's Steelers who rely on the run game. Sure a little more balance is needed, but they are on the right direction.
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Old 12-24-2010, 12:01 PM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers handle Carolina easily, but offense continues to sputter

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17 points in the 2nd quarter.

Someone needs to pay more attention when watching the game.
Don't forget that Wallace's TD was from outside the redzone ... thus it's not included in this particular stat.
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Old 12-24-2010, 12:30 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers handle Carolina easily, but offense continues to sputter

Arians....
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Old 12-24-2010, 06:10 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers handle Carolina easily, but offense continues to sputter

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Originally Posted by mesaSteeler View Post
(Same old problems. No red zone offense. The offense won't be straightened out as long as Arians is OC. If Tomlin won't fire him then Rooney should fire them both. - mesa)
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Old 12-24-2010, 08:46 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers handle Carolina easily, but offense continues to sputter

I know Arians is an average to below average coordinator, however, the last few weeks, our receivers and TE have been dropping passes in the end zone like I pop tic tacs in my mouth. Spaeth had a clear TD in the Jets game and dropped. Before that, every reciever dropped a pass in the Pats game, Sanders drop in Carolina, etc etc.

In the Saints game, Big Ben was on fire in the 4th and down 10-13 with 4 min left, Heath Miller fumbles in Saints territory at the 30.

These are the things that have plagued me as far as how far the Steelers could go this year. Their discipline and fundamentals has gone into the crapper. From dropped passes, to holding calls in the worst areas of the field.
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Old 12-25-2010, 12:45 AM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers handle Carolina easily, but offense continues to sputter

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I know Arians is an average to below average coordinator, however, the last few weeks, our receivers and TE have been dropping passes in the end zone like I pop tic tacs in my mouth. Spaeth had a clear TD in the Jets game and dropped. Before that, every reciever dropped a pass in the Pats game, Sanders drop in Carolina, etc etc.

In the Saints game, Big Ben was on fire in the 4th and down 10-13 with 4 min left, Heath Miller fumbles in Saints territory at the 30.

These are the things that have plagued me as far as how far the Steelers could go this year. Their discipline and fundamentals has gone into the crapper. From dropped passes, to holding calls in the worst areas of the field.

I was at the Saints game.. Ben was hardly on fire. I love how we pick one play like the Miller fumble and put the blame on him. Ben was 17/28 195 and 1 pick. If he would have played better though out the game it wouldnt keep coming down to one drive or one mistake, which happened to be by Miller on that night. Ben looked lost and was totally out played by Brees that night. It was a long walk from the Superdome to Magazine street that night. Try walking about 15 blocks around midnight on Halloween with a Steelers shirt on after the Saints beat us.
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Old 12-25-2010, 03:27 AM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers handle Carolina easily, but offense continues to sputter

I think it was just Arians and Ben trying out some different things, it obviously didn't work so hopefully they trash it during the next 10 days and find something that works.,... Like using redman as the goal line back like he was brought on to the roster to be.
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