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Old 11-07-2011, 11:02 PM   #1
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Default Steelers' defensive letdown could have lasting impact


Steelers' defensive letdown could have lasting impact

The Sports Xchange
Nov. 7, 2011
http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/rapid-reports/team/PIT

Here's what it will take for the Steelers to win the AFC North Division for the fourth time in five seasons: If Baltimore goes 5-3 over the second half of the season, the Steelers must go 6-1, or if Baltimore goes 6-2 as it did in the first half of its season, the Steelers must win all of their remaining seven games.

Impossible? No, but improbable might be the word. Sunday night's 92-yard touchdown drive by Joe Flacco and the Ravens not only delivered a 23-20 victory to Baltimore but perhaps the division title and maybe even a playoff seed as well.

There's plenty of football left, but the Ravens have swept the Steelers in their two games and, unless Cincinnati is for real, have a clear path to the division title.

"They are the better team," safety Ryan Clark said. "They are a better football team than we are right now."

Clark and his defensive teammates could not stop Flacco all night. One week after deploying a man-to-man, press defense in the secondary to thwart Tom Brady, the Steelers used the same tactics to a devastating result. They also dropped a couple of would-be interceptions and still have only two all season long.

The Steelers entered the game with the top-rated pass defense in the league and the No. 2 overall defense.

Flacco converted 14 of 21 third-downs for Baltimore, doubling their previous high in a game this season. He was 7 of 13 for all 92 yards on the winning touchdown drive.

Pittsburgh now travels to surprising Cincinnati, which is tied with Baltimore atop the North Division and with the best record in the AFC.

"We've got Cincinnati coming up," cornerback William Gay said. "And that's another fight. That's what we're going to shift our focus over to and try to get a 'W' next week."

Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

, 2011 8:42 a.m. - by Chuck Finder - Grading the Steelers: Coaching
Grade: F. The Ravens had scoring drives of 14, 10, 5, 12 and 13 plays, respectively Ė the last covering 92 yards in 2:26 with the game on the line. Either Joe Flacco is Joe Montana suddenly, or the Steelers failed to get his number after the strip-sack. And Mike Tomlinís admitted special-teams hesitation proved the difference. Steelers RapidReports

Nov. 7, 2011 8:41 a.m. - by Chuck Finder - Grading the Steelers: Special Teams
Grade: C. The kickoff team allowed two returns to midfield. Fill-in punter Jeremy Kapinos didnít kick well, though pinning Baltimore at the 8 was acceptable. Worst of all, there was that field-goal-or-punt hesitation late on Mike Tomlinís part, although thatís more so coaching and not special teams. Steelers RapidReports

Nov. 7, 2011 8:40 a.m. - by Chuck Finder - Grading the Steelers: Defense
Grade: D. Statistically, the Steelers' defense is No. 2 in the NFL. But to give up a long, last-minute TD pass to Baltimore for the second season in a row at Heinz Field Ė and to a rookie WR (Torrey Smith) this time? Worse still, to give up a 92-yard drive? The secondary is the teamís weakest link. Steelers RapidReports

Nov. 07, 2011 10:38 a.m. - by Chuck Finder - Grading the Steelers: Offense
Grade: C. Ben Roethlisberger set a Steelers record with a third consecutive game of 300-plus yards passing. Antonio Brown caught passes off his shoetops and from the night sky. Rashard Mendenhall ran hard. Still, they arenít scoring TDs in the Red Zone Ė evidenced by first down at Baltimoreís 29 in the final 4 minutes, only able to move six yards from there, and then being forced to punt, setting up the Ravens' final and game-winning scoring drive with 8 seconds left in the game. Steelers RapidReports


Nov. 07, 2011 10:30 a.m. - Steelers set mark for most turnovers, fewest recovered
The Elias Sports Bureau concluded that the Steelersí three turnovers through eight games were the fewest by any team in NFL history. The Steelers grabbed a fourth Sunday in their ninth game of the season. By comparison, they had 21 takeaways through nine games last season. The offense, meanwhile, with 15 turnovers makes the Steelers an NFL-worst minus-11. Steelers RapidReports
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Old 11-07-2011, 11:04 PM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers' defensive letdown could have lasting impact

Yup they dug themselves one hell of a hole.
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Old 11-07-2011, 11:08 PM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers' defensive letdown could have lasting impact

They've been in wildcard situations before they can do it again.....
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:59 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers' defensive letdown could have lasting impact

I never realized the full impact of the loss until reading this post. The weird thing is Baltimore plays a very different brand of football against other teams. For some reason, when they play the Steelers it helps define them and they bring their "A" game. Baltimore squandering this lead is not out of the question.
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:31 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers' defensive letdown could have lasting impact

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Originally Posted by ZoneBlitzer View Post
I never realized the full impact of the loss until reading this post. The weird thing is Baltimore plays a very different brand of football against other teams. For some reason, when they play the Steelers it helps define them and they bring their "A" game. Baltimore squandering this lead is not out of the question.
Exactly. It's no sure thing that the Ravens, Steelers or Bengals take the division right now. Still lots of football to be played.

I posted an article in the NFL section about how statement wins mean very little any more (in terms of how a team will do week to week). And so far this season (with a few exceptions), it's been very true.
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:18 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers' defensive letdown could have lasting impact

It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings and right now she's not even in the building.
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Old 11-08-2011, 11:07 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers' defensive letdown could have lasting impact

One thing Tomlin has done is keep this group of guys focused no matter the obstacle - I have full confidence that we are not a 1 and done playoff team. If and when we see these guys again, the outcome will be different.

Now its my turn to pull a Harbaugh:

"We beat ourselves, they didn't beat us." Which, a 92 yard gassing of the defense at the end pretty much sums it up. With red zone corrections over the last half of the season, things still look very, very promising

Keep cheering ladies and gents! Plenty of opportunities left to make some noise
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Old 11-08-2011, 11:30 AM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers' defensive letdown could have lasting impact

I didn't read the article because the title is asinine.

"Steelers' defensive letdown could have lasting impact"

WTF?

That title makes it seem as if we lost by three touchdowns and were steamrolled by Baltimore when no such thing happened.
Did we play our best on that last drive?

No, not at all.

But we lost by just 3 points and if Woodley was healthy, or if a pass or two was either caught or defended it could have just as easily been a "W" for us. So what's with this "letdown/lasting impact" crap?

We've only played 9 games.
For Chrissake it still in the 60's outside!

Relax!
There's still a long way to go.
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Old 11-08-2011, 11:59 AM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers' defensive letdown could have lasting impact

Quote:
Originally Posted by FanSince72 View Post
I didn't read the article because the title is asinine.

"Steelers' defensive letdown could have lasting impact"

WTF?

That title makes it seem as if we lost by three touchdowns and were steamrolled by Baltimore when no such thing happened.
Did we play our best on that last drive?

No, not at all.

But we lost by just 3 points and if Woodley was healthy, or if a pass or two was either caught or defended it could have just as easily been a "W" for us. So what's with this "letdown/lasting impact" crap?

We've only played 9 games.
For Chrissake it still in the 60's outside!

Relax!
There's still a long way to go.
Agreed. And that's not even delving into some of those ref's calls, or lack thereof.
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:09 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers' defensive letdown could have lasting impact

Quote:
Originally Posted by FanSince72 View Post
I didn't read the article because the title is asinine.

"Steelers' defensive letdown could have lasting impact"

WTF?

That title makes it seem as if we lost by three touchdowns and were steamrolled by Baltimore when no such thing happened.
Did we play our best on that last drive?

No, not at all.

But we lost by just 3 points and if Woodley was healthy, or if a pass or two was either caught or defended it could have just as easily been a "W" for us. So what's with this "letdown/lasting impact" crap?

We've only played 9 games.
For Chrissake it still in the 60's outside!

Relax!
There's still a long way to go.
People love to overreact to everything, just remember after week one and week four, the sky was most definitely falling and the Steelers were gonna go nowhere. Then after they beat the Patriots, The Steelers are the best team in the AFC. Now, we suck, our D is exposed, the Steelers are old (you know Warren Sapp is smiling like a ten year old who just got candy right now), the coaching is terrible, Ben is medicore, TP is overrated, William Gay needs to get cut, Lebeau needs to retire, and much much more.

That is how it has been, and that is how it will always be. We are all prisoners of the moment, especially when it comes to something that we all love and cherish (the Steelers). We love the team when they finally beat the Brady bunch, but want to destroy the team when they lose to Ravens on a last second TD pass. It is what it is.
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