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 Loss in Miami exposed Steelers - again

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Hawaii 5-0

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PostSubject: Loss in Miami exposed Steelers - again   Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:22 am

Loss in Miami exposed Steelers - again

by MATT STEEL

The title sounds like I'm upset. But I'm not. I haven't had the juices flowing for a Steelers game the last three or four seasons. Yes, the defense was obviously putrid Sunday. Big plays, poor tackles, holes off stretch plays in the C gap you could drive trucks through -- I get it. But this team's strength is supposed to be the offense. That unit is supposed to carry this team. And yet year in and year out we see the SAME thing over and over again.

I wrote this a few years back when the Steelers were losing to the 1-8 New York Jets and 7-9 New Orleans Saints, and the worst team in the league at the time, the Tampa Bay Bucs, at home: This offense will be a roller coaster. It will look great some weeks and then out of nowhere, when a poor team has a good game plan against the Steelers passing attack, the Steelers will lose to an inferior opponent. And for several years, my primary point has been that when you look to physically control an inferior opponent, you can easily break them mentally. And how how do you break them physically and mentally? You run the damn ball.

I turned on the TV this morning getting ready for work and I heard Merril Hoge talking about the Dallas Cowboys on ESPN. Hoge explained how the Cowboys dictated tempo and control of the game by running the football. They did the same thing in 2014 with DeMarco Murray, despite most "media experts" predicting the Cowboys' last-place 2013 defense would be even worse with the loss of DeMarcus Ware. In 2015 we saw the Cowboys struggle on both sides of the ball with the loss of Murray in free agency and the return to a pass-heavy offense. With the suspension of Randy Gregory and injury to top 2015 pick Demarcus Lawrence, the experts were predicting the demise of that defense this year. Yet in spite of all that, the Cowboys are 4-1 with a defense that has just 10 total sacks, topped, with 2, by two guys I didn't even know were with the organization.

The game is never going to change in this way. Your running game will always provide consistency. It provides a team with a strong foundational structure. When you decide to get away from that, philosophically, you create leaks in your team foundation. And occasionally those leaks will be exploited and the dam will blow up in your face, even against the most gawd-awful teams.

Lets go back in time a bit. In 2014: five sacks and two turnovers against Tampa Bay; 10 points, including a late meaningless score, against the Browns; 13 points against the Jets; and four combined garbage-time touchdowns against the Jets, Browns and Saints in those games. In 2015, 17 points, including a late and somewhat garbage-time score against the Ravens in Baltimore.

In the last three seasons, all three Super Bowl champions enjoyed a bye week in the playoffs. The worst loss any of those championship teams had was to a 7-9 team. Without Ben Roethlisberger, along with other injuries, the Steelers are looking like they are headed to a 4-3 record and might very likely be on the outside looking in when it comes to getting a bye week, once again due to another loss to a poor football team.

All week, I wondered whether this game would turn out similar to the 2014 game against the Jets. In that game, Roethlisberger threw two interceptions and Le'Veon Bell had 11 carries. Against the Dolphins, Ben threw two interceptions and Bell had 10 carries. The Steelers have a luxury with Bell that no other team who's had a Hall of Fame-caliber back may never have had: They have a guy who doesn't fumble. One fumble in what is now his fourth season, and yet they still won't consistently hand it to him.

Yes, William Gay could have turned the game with a pick-six that would have put the Steelers up 15-3. But the critical sequence was the sack out of field-goal range in which the Steelers abandoned their rhythmic mix of run and pass that got them to that point of the field. On third down, they called a play in which Jesse James had to block Cameron Wake one on one, and, knowing this, Ben still held the ball too long and cost his team three points. And rather than re-establish the run on the very next play, Ben got injured scrambling and was intercepted, Finally, when the appearance of Landry Jones forced the Steelers to give Bell three carries to net 26 yards, they decided to get cute and out-think the Dolphins with a throw on third-and-1. Incomplete, punt, touchdown.

The defense was on the field for much of the first half, but at least they were making the Dolphins settle for field goals. Had the Steelers looked to control tempo with a steady mix, it's likely they would've owned possession of the ball and kept their defense off the field. The Steelers failing passing game allowed the putrid Dolphins to control tempo, which was too much for that defense to handle.

Are you telling me if you give the ball to Bell, say, 24 times, he's not going to churn out at least 100-104 yards against that defense? And in doing so protect the ball and keep your beat-up defense off the field? Come on, that's all they needed to do to control and eventually win the game. But this coaching staff has been showing a complete disregard for the defensive side of the ball for some time now, when it comes to in-game decisions. They never support their defense with playcalls under two minutes that would leave the opponent with no time left once they get the ball. No need to look back further than the previous week when the Steelers wanted to achieve their offensive goal of scoring 30 points instead of running the ball, running out the clock, and exposing their defense to less plays in the last two minutes of the contest.

It all seems like decisions are made to keep the $100 million QB happy. And this loss starts with Roethlisberger. We see far too many people who live in world of comforting beliefs rather than facts. Never is that more apparent in society than during election season. Roethlisberger is no different. He "believes" he can do exactly what Tom Brady does. But he can't. Because for whatever reason the facts are that there are 2-4 games a year when Ben looks like a completely different human being out there. He never has and shown that he ever will be that consistent when it's all on him. Most games he hums along beautifully, but then out of nowhere come games of erratic passing and decision-making. Ben doesn't want to "believe" he never has nor ever will be as consistent as Brady. So he's pushed and pushed to change the foundation with which this franchise built six championships. Meanwhile if seems like Todd Haley and Mike Tomlin don't want to rock the boat of a guy who makes nearly a hundred million more than they do.

to read rest of article:

http://www.scout.com/nfl/steelers/story/1718480-overrated-pretenders

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effyou515



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PostSubject: Re: Loss in Miami exposed Steelers - again   Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:58 am

another hole in the offense is the line of scrimmage to 10 yards out short passing game or crossing routes. Ben is always looking 10 yards plus passing routes.

help the o-line out early with the running and short passing game.

nothing frustrated and tired the 70s Steelers pass rush then Paul Browns offense Bill Walsh short horizontal passing routes to stretch out the defense. Still works in todays game and the Steelers have the players but Ben doesn't like those routes he wants to go down field no matter the pass rush.

the short horizontal passing game opens up the running and long pass plays.

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solardave

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PostSubject: Re: Loss in Miami exposed Steelers - again   Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:35 am

Bell rushed for 58 yards on 10 carries. 5.8 plain and simple yet we tried everything but run the ball.

That 3rd and 1 when they let Jones throw the ball was a textbook WTF moment. Our O-line line couldn't hold back their front 7 but was blocking well enough to run. That should be a no brainer.

On the other side no team should be this inept at stopping the run because they're missing one or two players. (Heyward and Shazier). 8 men in the box but you also have to have smart players who don't do stupid shit like Mitchell. I'm beginning to wonder if Dangerfield is not a better fit there.
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jak341

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PostSubject: Re: Loss in Miami exposed Steelers - again   Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:59 am

solardave wrote:
Bell rushed for 58 yards on 10 carries. 5.8  plain and simple yet we tried everything but run the ball.

That 3rd and 1 when they let Jones throw the ball was a textbook WTF moment. Our O-line line couldn't hold back their front 7 but was blocking well enough to run. That should be a no brainer.

On the other side no team should be this inept at stopping the run because they're missing one or two players. (Heyward and Shazier). 8 men in the box but you also have to have smart players who don't do stupid shit like Mitchell. I'm beginning to wonder if Dangerfield is not a better fit there.

I didn't have a problem with the pass call there. It was a 3rd and 1 and the Dolphins had 7 [or whatever number it was] in the box. Your QB has to be able to complete a short pass for the 1st there in that situation. If Ben was in the game, do you think the Dolphins are putting 7 in the box?

I go back to this: if you have to toss 3/4 of your pass plays out of the book because your backup QB comes in, he is really a QB to begin with? And if this sounds like a shot against Jones, you are correct. Jones didn't lose us the game though; that was a total team effort. Jones cost us that drive where the game really started to slip away.

Going to the above article though, it is 100% correct. This happens every single year. We lose to these statistically bottom feeding teams. The bigger issue is how we lose. It's not like a hard fought match that is coming down to field goals. We simply shit the bed against these types of teams.
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PostSubject: Re: Loss in Miami exposed Steelers - again   Wed Oct 19, 2016 9:55 am

jak341 wrote:
solardave wrote:
Bell rushed for 58 yards on 10 carries. 5.8  plain and simple yet we tried everything but run the ball.

That 3rd and 1 when they let Jones throw the ball was a textbook WTF moment. Our O-line line couldn't hold back their front 7 but was blocking well enough to run. That should be a no brainer.

On the other side no team should be this inept at stopping the run because they're missing one or two players. (Heyward and Shazier). 8 men in the box but you also have to have smart players who don't do stupid shit like Mitchell. I'm beginning to wonder if Dangerfield is not a better fit there.

I didn't have a problem with the pass call there. It was a 3rd and 1 and the Dolphins had 7 [or whatever number it was] in the box. Your QB has to be able to complete a short pass for the 1st there in that situation. If Ben was in the game, do you think the Dolphins are putting 7 in the box?

You're right he should be able to make that play but knowing Jones and his lack of skills I still think the best shot was Bell. As for the article I agree it is 100% spot on and this falls on coaching! If us shitting the bed is a mindset by players it is up to Tomlin, Haley, and Butler to change this mindset by any means. Even if that calls for sitting starters if they can't see the "SENSE OF URGENCY". We can not afford to lay down in any game.

I go back to this: if you have to toss 3/4 of your pass plays out of the book because your backup QB comes in, he is really a QB to begin with? And if this sounds like a shot against Jones, you are correct. Jones didn't lose us the game though; that was a total team effort. Jones cost us that drive where the game really started to slip away.

Going to the above article though, it is 100% correct. This happens every single year. We lose to these statistically bottom feeding teams. The bigger issue is how we lose. It's not like a hard fought match that is coming down to field goals. We simply shit the bed against these types of teams.
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PostSubject: Re: Loss in Miami exposed Steelers - again   Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:17 am

I already had my blowout/rant about not showing up/dropping games  we shouldn't after the Eagles game....Above all else, this is what keeps people coming after Coach T....Even though as this article has alluded to....some of that should be directed at Number 7.

The most frustrating thing about this is for years....was the head in the sand...nope it's not happening ....denial that there was a problem.

" The NFL is a tough league..it happens"
" Playing the steelers is like the SB for these teams, so they play better"
" We haven't had a losing season, shut up all you spoiled brats"
"Byes and winning the division are overrated anyways....just get hot at the right time....remember 05"

Can't remember who, but when we were in the midst of blowing those games to likes of the bucs and saints in 2014.... Some sports writer wrote an article about busting the myth that the Steelers were bad against mediocre teams.....and that sh** just drove me insane.....because you can't fix a problem until you first acknowledge that a problem exists.

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PostSubject: Re: Loss in Miami exposed Steelers - again   Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:38 am

I like these bloggers that say "Ben held onto the ball too long". If nobody is open, he isn't throwing the ball and unless this Matt Steel guy hasn't been a Steeler fan for the past 12 years, he doesn't know that Ben doesn't throw the ball away a lot.

Some blogger re hashing an old beef from 2 years ago and just waiting to lose a game to a team with an inferior record, so he can bring it up again. I'm not taking the bait.

Bloggers that like to complain about Tomlin and Ben, but don't see that they could be a lot worse (Marvin Lewis and Dalton...Andy Reid and Alex Smith...or Bills, Jets, Browns, Dolphins, Texans, Chargers, etc) are spoiled whiners.
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