Steelers, in typical moronic fashion under Tomlin, play starters (and ignore a golden opportunity to let younger guy’s get valuable playing time) and win a meaningless game against the Browns, 24-something, wasn’t really paying attention. This win will take the Steelers down at least 4 or 5 spots in the draft. Great job, guys. It’s like the cherry on top of a shit sundae that is the 2012 season.
Here is what I’d like to see happen in the offseason. Basically a fan wish list -
1. First and foremost – Tomlin is fired as head coach. This won’t happen but should.
2. Ben actually buy’s into Haley’s system. Probably won’t happen so Haley should be let go and Ben should just call his own plays.
3. Mendenhall is let go and Steelers get a legit starting RB. Dwyer, Redman, Rainey are not the answer.
4. If Haley comes back he pulls his head out of his ass and quits running the ball over and over again up the middle.
5. Wallace is re-signed for cheap or let go.
6. Woodley comes into next season in shape or the Steelers find a way to trade him. Talk about a completely underachieving, overpaid injury-prone player.
7. Steelers find some sucker that will trade for Ziggy Hood.
8. Steelers get a new ST coach, new WR coach, training/conditioning coaches, etc.
9. Larry Foote is let go. Willie Colon is let go, I don’t care what his contract says. Trade him, get him the hell off the team, he’s a cancer.
10. In the draft the Steelers actually pick up some impact players (LB, S, WR, RB, whatever) that can contribute right away.
11. Steelers find a new punter.
12. Steelers find a young QB and/or a reliable veteran QB. This area was once again neglected, Steelers finally signed a younger QB in Hoyer and promptly let him go and kept an injured Leftwich on the team. Why? Who the hell knows.
It’ll be interesting to see what changes actually occur in the offseason. Obviously there will be a couple coaching changes (OL, obviously and probably ST) but fans hoping for real changes will probably be disappointed. The Steelers will probably view this season as just one of those down years with some bad luck and poor execution to blame for a non-winning season. The truth, of course, goes much deeper for this team’s woes this year. With Tomlin at the helm I only see this team continue to slide into mediocrity. Combine Tomlin’s mediocre coaching with some poor drafts in recent years and it doesn’t paint a good picture. At the same time I wouldn’t be surprised if the Steelers finish 10-6 and 11-5 next season, ending in a short exit out of the playoffs. The NFL, after all, is a mediocre league where anything is possible and the Steelers STILL are a talented team, although the window does seem to be quickly closing with most of the talent on the team comprised of aging vets.
And that is what is frustrating as a fan of this team, watching a talented team with a quickly closing window with guy’s like Ben, Harrison, Polamalu being led to underachieving seasons in a mediocre league under a mediocre head coach. Just wasted seasons. It sucks to root for a player or coach to fail but this is starting to remind me of the Kordell years where I found myself hoping he’d be benched and it taking FOREVER for that to happen under Cowher’s watch. Wasted seasons for a talented team with a super mediocre QB. I wasn’t wrong then and I doubt I’m wrong here so do we hope for a losing season under Tomlin next year so that he may get the boot or hope for another 10-6 or 11-5 season and a short exit out of the playoffs? See, it’d be one thing if Tomlin was improving or showing positive contributions to the team but that simply is not happening from my perspective. If anything, he’s somehow getting worse as a head coach, as he stubbornly never even seems to learn from past mistakes. Most head coaches stamp an identity on the team’s they coach, what is this team’s identity under Tomlin? There is none. Cowher, for all his shortcomings, most definitely gave his teams an identity, both good and bad. As the transition from vets to young guys continue I believe more fan’s will be forced to open their eyes to the reality that this team is being led by an incompetent, ineffective head coach. Time will tell. Let’s see what changes occur in the offseason.
The Steelers lose in typical dumb, heart-breaking fashion under Tomlin, 13-10 to the Bengals on a last second FG. Turn out the lights, the party is over for this season. No playoffs and not even a winning record. Pretty bad considering how easy the schedule was this year.
The Good - The defense played their hearts out all game long. Too bad it was all for naught. Some of the nice plays made by this unit
- Keenan Lewis had a GREAT pass breakup in the 1st half in the endzone. He managed to keep his hand in where the ball was going and did not give up on the play.
- Cortez Allen had his best game ever in his young career, including snagging two INT’s and forcing a fumble as well as making a great pass breakup on a 3rd down play with the score tied late in the 3rd quarter. It was pretty weird seeing a Steeler CB grab not one but two INT’s.
- Curtis Brown had really solid coverage down the sideline against AJ Green in the 2nd half, preventing a deep pass.
- Troy, looking like the Troy of old, on an amazingly well timed line plunge for an untouched sack on Dalton. Thing of beauty.
- As a fan, it was great seeing how well this secondary played.
- Lebeau called an aggressive game, bringing probably the most amount of pressure all year. The defense and secondary responded with some great play.
- Timmons had a great hustle play up the middle fighting off a RB block for a nice sack.
- GREAT play by Harrision tackling a scrambling Andy Dalton for no gain late in the game, if he doesn’t snag him he gets a decent chunk of yardage. Bengals would eventually punt again.
- Suisham’s long FG to tie the game up, 10-10.
- Antonio Brown had a really solid game including a great move to get wide open for a 60 yard TD reception which would be the lone TD all game for the Steelers.
The Bad – Another game of stale, predictable playcalling by Haley, making it too easy for the opposing defense. Too many long-developing running plays up the middle with slow RB’s. Too many predictable pass plays once again. When you combine that with some dumb mistakes and decisions by Ben and it’s not a good combination, obviously. Ben is a HOF’er, but I think it’s true that he can be sort of a drama queen and I think it’s obvious that he is not buying into Haley’s offensive philosophy which, regardless of what you think of Haley’s playcalling, will make any offensive system look worse than it actually is. Still, Haley has been a big disappointment of late.
- Speaking of which, *Yawn* another run up the middle on 1st down for no gain. Come on, Haley. On the same series, a bullshit slow plunge up the middle on 3rd and 3. You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. On one side of the ball, I see a team (Bengals) throwing the ball, because y’know, they are aware that running it too much is a waste of valuable time in a huge game. I see another team (Steelers) stubbornly trying to run the ball all game long and wasting valuable time in a huge game. How about a 1st down pass today? It’s like Arians never left!
- After Cortez Allen’s first INT, which set up the offense at around the Bengals 30, the Steelers offense promptly pisses it away with another short half-hearted series devoid of any killer instinct whatsoever, the cherry on top being Ben STUPIDLY taking a sack, effectively taking the team out of FG range. You just can’t win close games like this with dumb mistakes like this. This team under Tomlin never seems to learn.
- Then Butler punts the ball out of the EZ for a net of a 17 yard punt. Might as well have gone for it. UNBELIEVABLE. This last sequence (the offense imploding and basically taking points off the board and the horrible punt) makes one want to simply turn the TV off.
- After this series and seeing the way the Steelers scored their lone TD up to this point, why delay the obvious? Passing is the only way the Steelers are scoring TD’s in this game why wait until the end of the 4th quarter to go that route? Just dumb. What’s even dumber is the Steelers NEVER stop running the ball on 1st down right down to their last series ending in the dubious decision to attempt a 53 yard FG. Gutless.
- Seeing Hampton jump offsides on a 3rd and short, negating a successful challenge and a 3rd and short stop deep in Bengals territory. This team is just full of mistakes on a weekly basis.
- Ben taking another STUPID sack on a 2nd and long in the 3rd quarter after another dumb running play, dump it off, throw it away. DUMB.
- Watching the third down play after the 3rd quarter sack. UGLY. Ugly call. Ugly execution. Watching Rainey bobble the ball up in the air dangerously. Dumb.
- Too many slow developing plays on this offense, it’s like they are in slow motion.
- Watching the O-line collapse rather easily on a number of pass plays. Bengals just want it more I guess.
- Speaking of which, watching Ben take a bad hit to the knees and up high by two Bengal defenders. Can this offense even get a string of 1st downs in this game? Can the O-line block today? Survey says no.
- On the same play, watching DeCastro get beat bad by Atkins.
- Watching a rare drop by Miller down the seam. Then seeing the offensive MVP leave the game with a leg/ankle injury in the 4th quarter.
- There’s nothing more mind-numbing than seeing a team come out on offense and play sloppy, super conservative (run, run, run) and dumb and then have the head coach decide to attempt a 53 yard FG at the end of a tied game. So, the head coach is OK with playing loser ball for the majority of the game offensively but then when it comes to a crazy, not conservative decision like a 53 FG in a tie game late in the 4th? What the hell, let’s do it, even though the team has lost games earlier in the season based on the very same decision!
- Watching the end of the season on Ben’s INT late in the game, leading to the Bengals game-winning FG.
CBS Fun Facts - Steelers down by double digits for 4 straight weeks now (Let’s be honest, this team didn’t deserve a playoff spot this year).
- Steelers offense leads the NFL in scoring in the final 2 minutes of the 1st half (Take of this what you will).
The Weird - A holding call on the other team on a ST play.
- Marvin Lewis with an EXTREMELY questionable decision to attempt a 56 yard FG with just 3:22 left in a tied game. 56 Yard FG is tough anywhere but it’s really hard at Heinz Field. Considering how ineffective the Steelers offense had been up to this point, maybe not so questionable.
The funny and sad irony is everyone (including myself) wanted Bruce Arians gone and now the team that he is coaching is going to the playoffs with a team (the Colts) with less talent than the team he once coached on. My point isn’t about comparing Haley with Arians as some might think, it’s about comparing Arians and Tomlin. How does one explain this? Especially considering the cupcake schedule the Steelers had this year?
….So are fans finally starting to wake up to the fact that Tomlin isn’t a very good head coach? I’m not even sure he qualifies as a head coach, considering I, nor anyone else can tell me, after all these years, what he does or contributes to this team other than making dumb decisions during games and having a team that routinely show up in games looking flat, unprepared and playing dumb. Hate to say I told ya so, but I told ya so, have for years now. Now is the time to get the online petition started – FIRE MIKE TOMLIN! Realistically, it won’t be happening this year but it honestly should. Look into your heart, you know it to be true. Honestly, that’s all I want at this point, get a new coach and let’s start over. It’s going to be a long off season. Sucks.
Steelers lose in another sloppy (and crazy) filled game on the road to the Cowboys, 27-24 in OT. About the only silver lining in this loss is the Steelers still control their own destiny to the playoffs. Although, who knows if that even matters at this point.
The Good - Heath Miller once again came to play, amassing almost 90 yards in the first half and obviously trying his hardest to make up for the continual sloppy play of the WR corps. For reasons we’ll probably never know, he was then taken out of the gameplan the rest of the way until one lone catch in OT.
- Keenan Lewis continues his solid play at the CB position including, including great coverage on a deep pass, a pass breakup on a 3rd and 8 in the 1st quarter and a terrific pass breakup in the endzone late in the game. Lewis was injured on the play and would not return.
- A nifty dump off to Will Johnson for an easy 13 yard pick up in the 1st half. Why aren’t more calls like this called in this offense? Later in the game Johnson made a nice snag down the sideline for 21 yards. Outside of Miller, this guy might’ve been the most consistent and reliable receiver in this game.
- Watching Ben buy eons of time in the pocket, spin out of trouble and finally find Miller down the sideline for the Steeler’s only TD of the 1st half. A thing of beauty.
- Nice to see a good return by Antonio Brown without any penalties on the play.
- Watching Jerricho Cotchery making a GREAT leaping grab deep inside Cowboys territory. The old vet can still make some plays.
-Watching James Harrison come through like the champion he is as he forces a HUGE fumble with Kiesel recovering inside the Steelers 10 as the Cowboys were threatening to go up by 10-0. Late in the game, Harrison also had a HUGE sack forcing a Cowboys punt with the game tied 17-17. It was all for naught, though. He was also held a good bit, of course no flags called by the refs.
- After being picked on for a good amount of time, newly activated CB Victorian breaking up a pass after Romo bought a ton of time to find someone downfield.
- Timmons had another really nice game in both run support and pass coverage including a HUGE run stop on the Cowboys 1st possession of the 2nd half on a 3rd and 1. Timmons also had another nice play where he flew in like a torpedo for a big 13 yard sack on Romo. Unfortunately it was another wasted effort as the Cowboys somehow drove down for a TD on the drive.
- Watching Redman’s terrific effort and run on the 1st play after the Steelers get the ball back after the Harrison sack.
- Seeing DeCastro’s 1st start in a real game and playing very well. Same goes for the rest of the O-line. Unlike last week, Ben had tons of time in the pocket today. That is until the end of the game and OT when things got a little bit shakier. Still, an improvement over last week.
- Wallace finally contributing with a big 60 yard grab on an underthrown ball by Ben, leading to a Steelers TD.
The Bad - Another long list as the Steelers played sloppy and dumb for a good bit of the game, per usual. Honestly, the Steelers were extremely fortunate to be tied at the end of the 1st half as they were outplayed by the Cowboys for most of the game up to that point.
- The scattershot and predictable offensive gameplan, especially early on was hard to watch without becoming extremely frustrated. Not much rhyme or reason or strategy to it. This led to watching, for a second straight week, an opposing defense seemingly knowing the plays the Steelers offense was running. Laying on routes, jumping on bubble screen plays, etc. Haley needs to mix things up better, show different looks. He really seems to be on cruise control right now which is unacceptable.
- On the first drive another drop by Manny Sanders after a big hit. It was initially ruled a fumble but overturned which lead to…
- A horrible play on 3rd and 10, a short slant to Wallace that was deflected by the Cowboys D-line and nearly picked off, even if Wallace catches that ball he is getting stopped short and maybe fumbles considering all the defensive traffic around him.
- Finally watching a decent offensive series on the 4th drive of the game only to have it sabotaged with some really bad execution, broken plays (the missed handoff to Dwyer) and a poor WR screen play on 3rd down leading to a FG instead of potential and much needed TD. This late in the season and still mistakes like this is hard to watch.
- Ben, early on and late, used some bad judgment and audibles leading to some near turnovers and in the end one turnover in OT. Of course the underachieving WR corps didn’t help in that department.
- Poor run by Rainey on a nifty draw play out of the shotgun on a 3rd and 5. Good call, actually, poor execution.
- Another crappy punt and coverage by Butler and Co. Quick, someone fire the ST coach.
- Watching a defense that looked flat and lackadaisical early on, no pass rush and some real poor play including -
- Watching Foote get stiff-armed for about 5 or 6 yards on an early 3rd and 1 run play. Watching Foote run unabated up the middle and completely missing Romo. How about inserting a younger and faster LB on these kinds of plays instead of one of the slowest players on the teams? Just a thought.
- Soft cushions early on by the CB’s, if you’re going to run that defense then make sure you make the tackles when the WR’s make the early short catches, which didn’t happen on a number of plays.
- Speaking of tackling, way too much sloppy tackling throughout the game. Poor effort all around.
- Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray averaged almost 6 yards a run. That’s all that needs to be said about the Steelers run defense and all the sloppy tackling in this game.
- Watching Cam Heyward over peruse and inadvertently opening up a huge hole for an easy run on the Cowboys 1st drive.
- Watching Foote in pass coverage, it was ugly in 2008, it’s REALLY ugly in 2012.
- Watching the softee coverage in the 1st half by the Steelers secondary. Newly activated CB Victorian picked on early and often.
- Watching Kiesel and the rest of the D-line bounce around like a bunch drunken pinballs on the Cowboys big run at the end of the 1st quarter, setting up a 1st and goal.
- Seeing one Steeler CB with a 15 yard cushion on the Cowboys 3rd and 6 with about 2 minutes left in the game. Of course that’s where Romo went with the ball, luckily the ball was thrown low and the Cowboy had to go to the ground to catch it, forcing a 4th down and punt.
- Seeing Polamalu not do much at all.
- Seeing Woodley generate hardly any pressure on Romo.
- Watching zero pressure on Romo as he leisurely finds a rookie TE down the middle of the field for an easy 29 yard completion down to inside the Steelers redzone. On the next play, Rome finds a SUPER WIDE OPEN Jason Whitten in the endzone for an easy TD. Too easy, way too easy.
- Seeing this offense recently only score TD’s when running a no-huddle offense. Like with Arians, doesn’t say much about the job Haley’s been doing of late.
- Crappy ST punt and coverage on the ensuing 4th down punt after the Wallace drop as the punt hits around the 10 and bounces into the endzone. Net punt of about 29 yards, GREAT. Quick, someone fire the ST coach.
- Watching a horrible dumpoff by Ben on 3rd and 5 after Brown’s great punt return. The ball ended up bouncing at the feet of Will Johnson (or was it Dwyer?). Could’ve been a 1st down, another wasted opportunity. Let’s not forget the overly conservative playcalls and formations on this short series right after the Steelers scored a TD on the previous no-huddle drive at the end of the 1st half. Very strange. Ben actually had a number of bad throws where he short-hopped receivers.
- Watching what seemed like a NICE snag by Wallace along the sideline on a big 3rd and 6 on the Steelers 2nd drive turns out to be another Wallace fuck up as he bobbles the ball before getting just one foot inbounds. What a underachieving player of late. Wallace was thrown to 7 times before he actually caught a ball in this game. That’s not going to cut it.
- Jonathan Dwyer continuing to show the world that he is a B-level RB in a starting role. Decent RB but doesn’t excel at anything, questionable vision and fairly slow.
- Seeing the YMC be almost irrelevant on the 2nd quarter TD drive. At least the Steelers finally went to other options since these WR’s weren’t getting the job done.
- Watching Ben take a horrible sack on a 3rd down on the Steelers last drive, taking the Steelers out of FG range, although the FG would’ve been very long regardless.
- …And…another horrible punt/coverage at midfield after the 3rd and 5 into the endzone. Quick, someone fire th– Ah, forget it.
Watching the Steelers do their hardest to lose the game at the end of the 4th quarter, after taking the lead, 24-17.
- Fumble by Brown on the punt return
- Horrible playcalling/execution/routes/protection on the Steelers final offensive possession.
- A 15 yard cushion on a 3rd and 6 (luckily not converted by a bad Romo pass).
- Brown running out of bounds after a short catch on 3rd and 26, allowing the Cowboys to save a TO.
- HORRIBLE punt coverage on an actual great punt by Butler at the end of the game.
- Steelers taking a TO after stopping the Cowboys at midfield with 34 seconds left. Why? Because they are an unprepared team that plays not to lose games instead of playing to win games. All starts with the supposed man at the top.
- Ben’s INT in OT which sealed the loss, the cherry on top was Wallace just watching the CB pick it off, watch him get up off the turf and run about 30 yards to the GL. I’d say that is pretty indicative of what this team is all about – lazy, dumb, half-hearted efforts way too much of the time.
The Ugly -Larry Foote on Jason Whitten – that should never happen.
- Watching a fake handoff bootleg by Ben for about 3 yards and a hit at the end. Horrible playcall if it was a playcall, with the way this offense has been playing who knows what the hell happened.
- Watching Dwyer miss a handoff (and possibly another on the Ben bootleg play). How many offenses at this point in the season are fucking up like this? Unbelievable.
The Weird - WHY not keep throwing to Miller in the 2nd half? The Cowboys can’t cover him, throw in Paulson as well, who hasn’t been thrown to since October. Very strange the way this team plays and is coached.
Another predictably frustrating game by the Steelers, filled with some great plays and a lot of dumb plays. Two games left, let’s see what happens. I thought it was pretty telling when Phil Simms mentioned during the game that they asked Tomlin about why the Steelers have seemed flat recently to which Tomlin replied “There’s nothing special I can say, it’s up to the players to make plays.” A very defeatist outlook from a mediocre head coach that clearly has no answers to the problems on this team.
The Steelers play one of their worst games of the year, losing 34-24 at home to the struggling Chargers.
The Good - Ben, coming back from injury, actually showed up and played well for most of the game. Too bad nobody else did on the offensive side of the ball.
- Ben’s perfect (but dangerous) pass and catch by Plaxico at the end of the 1st quarter on a 3rd and long. Ben’s a gunslinger, no doubt about that.
- Ben’s perfect TD bomb to Wallace in the 3rd quarter. That was a thing of beauty and Wallace actually held onto the ball! Amazing.
- Casy Hampton blowing up a 3rd and short run with a great run stop in the 2nd quarter at midfield.
- Lewis with great coverage on a 3rd and10 pass breakup after the Chargers WR seemingly got it. Best surprise of the 2012 is Lewis’ play, without a doubt.
- Nice open field tackle by youngster Cortez Allen in the 1st half. Later in the game, bad open field tackle, allowing a 1st down to Chargers RB Matthews.
- With the Steelers unable to get past the 50 yard line until the very end of the 1st half and the Chargers constantly getting the ball at midfield, it was a miracle the score was only 13-3 at halftime.
- Mike Wallace rebounded from his usual bad drops to make a few nice catches late in the game. Too little, too late, though.
- Suisham’s long FG at the end of the 1st half to close the score to 10.
- Great effort by Foote to get pressure on Rivers up the middle on a 3rd and short after the Steelers TD score.
The Bad - *Warning long list, lots of rantings of a possibly irrational (but often right) fan*
- Watching the Steelers constantly lose the battle of field position in the 1st half with bad punting, shoddy and flat play and predictable gameplanning.
- The predictable offensive gameplan. This gameplan summed up the game perfectly – let’s not try anything new, let’s just go through the predictable motions and hope that’s good enough to get the W. Predictable and ineffective run plays run with half-hearted execution, short and lazy bubble screens and end arounds to Wallace, etc. Chargers were all over that. Haley needs to do a better job of adjustments and gameplanning. When WR’s aren’t getting open or are having problems catching the ball, get the RB’s and Heath involved more. Make things easier for the WR’s, etc. When the O-line is playing like shit and not giving the QB time give him shorter options, etc.
- Seeing Ziggy Hood get trucked by a RB for 3 or 4 yards before making the tackle. Too soft. Then watching him drop a ball thrown practically right to him two plays later. 1st round pick? If this guy was a 5th round pick he would’ve been cut by now. What a waste.
- Watching the usual early rust, especially on offense, little did I know this would be rust all game long until it didn’t matter.
- Another crappy punt by Butler. This guy’s performance on punts has really gone downhill. That’s not good.
- Watching all the predictable run plays and shoddy run blocking in the 1st quarter.
- Watching back to back offsides plays by the Steelers two best defenders – Polamalu and James Harrison, turning a 3rd and 10 into a 1st and 10 for the Chargers.
- First play on the Steelers drive after the Chargers score first – Colon with another false start. What a worthless pile of shit this guy is. Why was this guy in the starting lineup to begin with? Horrible decision.
- Jonathan Dwyer’s bad running vision. I like the kid’s attitude but far too often he is missing holes and running into guys in the backfield. A-level RB this guy is not.
- Another crappy punt by Butler. Time to look for another punter, it won’t happen but should.
- Some shoddy snaps by Pouncey. What the hell happened to this guy?
- Antonio Brown has not been the same since coming back from his injury. He seems a little bit more timid and he seems to have inherited Wallace’s hands. That’s concerning.
- Another drop by Wallace on a contested pass.
- Wallace dropping a crucial deep ball on a great pass by Ben considering he had to move up in a collapsing pocket to unload it. Another horrible effort by Wallace.
- O-line playing like crap a good bit of the game – bad run blocking, penalties, bad snaps, seeming indifference to Ben getting chased on every pass play.
- Watching Ben once again doing a great job of eluding another jail break and finding Brown downfield….where he promptly drops it. Great support, guys!
- Watching youngster Curtis Brown bite up and get burned for a TD, of course Ryan Clark is too slow to get over to help on the play.
- Ben was the Steelers leading rusher at halftime.
- The Steelers coming up short on a 4th and less than a yard at the end of the 2nd half. Why call such a predictable play when the run game and O-line has been dominated up to that point in the game? At least call something more unconventional. In the end that’s bad, overly safe coaching.
- As mentioned before, with the Steeler WR’s having a bad day and not getting open, why was the offensive gameplan not adjusted to use short passes to the RB’s and Miller? Why is Miller always seemingly forgotten for stretches of games? He is the most reliable receiver on the team at this point.
- Seeing Mike Tomlin run over to pat Philip Rivers on the butt and have a good laugh with him after he scampers for 3 or 4 yards in the 3rd quarter. Hey, dumbass, your team is down by 10 at home and the Chargers are driving! This was shades of Cowher laughing it up on the sideline with Michael Vick in his final season as coach of the Steelers. Inexcusable bullshit considering the result today.
- Seeing Harrison looking like he has lost a step on the Rivers scamper play as he seemingly ran out of steam, trying to loop around a blocker.
- Seeing Clark with a SHITTY tackle/whiff on a 3rd and 13 run that went for a 1st down. Did Clark do one damn thing in this game?
- Watching the Chargers on the opening drive of the 2nd half, take almost 10 minutes of time and ending in a TD. Embarrassing. Don’t worry, guys, Tomlin has this, him and Rivers are best buddies now! What the hell was Lebeau doing on that drive? I honestly have no idea.
- What’s the first play after the Chargers score on that long drive? Well, after the usual holding call on the kickoff return, it’s a lazy backwards pass deflecting off Steeler TE Paulson for a recovered fumble in the endzone for a TD for the Chargers! Implosion COMPLETE! The overhead angle looked like it was slightly going forward but the refs are dumbfucks and the Steelers honestly didn’t deserve to have the call reversed with the way they played, especially considering Brown didn’t even attempt to recover the ball in the endzone on the play. Instead he just sort of stood over it like a dumbass which makes sense since this team might be the dumbest in the NFL.
- Fake punt conversion for the Chargers, deep in Chargers territory. Unbelievable. Sometimes, a team (and coach) with nothing to lose is the most dangerous opponent. Especially when your own team’s coach is a dumbass.
- More ST penalties. One, a holding call in the 4th quarter cost the Steelers 27 yards after Brown had a nice punt return. AWESOME job correcting this, Tomlin! Better fire someone ASAP! Are the Steelers going to break the record for most ST penalties in a season? Could be close!
- Ben’s INT in the 4th quarter. The final nail in what has been one of the most embarrassing losses since maybe the Browns game of 2009.
- Not going for 2 after the Steelers scored a TD with 6 minutes left in the game. That would’ve brought it to a 2 score game instead of a 3 score (3 possession) game. GREAT coaching, Tomlin. No onside kick on the ensuing kickoff. probably because the ST doesn’t even practice that play during the week. Best young head coach in the NFL!
- The funny thing is the Steelers scored another TD with about minute left in the game. Do the math, folks. Tomlin’s decision to go for 1 instead of 2 killed ANY chance of the Steelers coming back with that last TD. Bad judgment from a bad head coach.
The Weird -
- Deep in their own territory, the Steelers somehow get called for a holding call on Mike Wallace on a run play. Really, refs? REALLY?
- Seeing a CB that the Steelers just promoted to the active roster this week playing outside one on one and getting burned for a TD pass in the 4th quarter. OK, Whatever! Fuck it.
- HORRIBLE holding call on Miller in the 4th quarter. Seriously, fuck these refs. What a joke, NFL.
- Plaxico makes a terrific snag in traffic in the 1st quarter and is never seen from again the rest of the game.
- Phil Simms is a douchebag – After the refs finally call a penalty on the Chargers that actually benefits the Steelers, a CLEAR DPI penalty, he says some bullshit like ”That’s a bang bang play” No, dipshit, that’s a clear penalty.
- Once again Mike Tomlin’s stupidity shines through. Why the hell is Ben still in the game with just over 2 minutes left in the game and down by two scores? So he can get injured again? Beyond STUPID, especially considering how sieve-like the O-line has been all game long. I think Tomlin might actually be a saboteur, secretly working for another team.
This team has become frustratingly not fun to watch at this point. The pattern is clear – get up for 1 out of every 3 or 4 games, play and coach sloppy and dumb the rest of the time and hope that’s good enough, etc. The good news is the Bengals, who the Steelers will have to beat for the last playoff spot, lost by 1 to the Cowboys today. The bad news is this team’s problems and shortcomings are never addressed or improved upon. It’s clear that it all starts with Tomlin, the sad reality is Pittsburgh won’t be getting a new head coach in probably a very long time.
The Steelers play another sloppy (but yet resilient) game, edging out the Ravens, 23-20 on the road in what could potentially end up being a huge win.
The Good - The Steelers pass blocking was great, Charlie Batch had tons of time to throw the ball throughout the game.
- Watching Heath Miller play like a champion, per usual. His TD catch was a thing of beauty.
- Charlie Batch’s gritty play in the 2nd half.
- Manny Sanders rebounding with a couple nice grabs after two disastrous plays.
- The nifty fake bubble screen play that went for big yardage when Batch connected with Miller down the seam. Great play.
- Mike Wallace rebounding with a couple nice grabs after being a complete loser in the 1st half.
- The secondary’s pass coverage continues to be fairly strong outside of a couple boners.
- Watching James Harrison return with a signature strip sack play at a crucial time in the game. HUGE.
Mixed Bag - The running game, in particular Dwyer and Redman. It’s pretty clear at this point that neither player is a #1 RB and it’s an area of the team that the Steelers will have to address in the offseason. Both ran hard tonight but both showed a lack of vision (and skill) on a number of runs, runs that could’ve resulted in at least 2 or 3 yards but instead resulted in no yards.
The Bad - Mike Wallace continuing to play like a complete loser. The dropped deep ball in the 1st half, giving up on the pass on the very previous and then giving up on the overthrow in the endzone by Batch. Horrible throw but what did Wallace do on the play? Absolutely nothing, no attempt to actually catch the ball. Inexcusable, but this has been his play and attitude going back to last year, outside of the occasional “splash” play.
- Manny Sanders inexplicable catch and fumble. Yikes. Then the dropped pass on 3rd down on the next series. Ugh.
- The Steelers run defense continues it’s inconsistent play.
- The officiating was once again horrible. The PI call in the 1st half and then the roughing the QB call on the Ravens at the end of the game, both bullshit. I’d be pretty pissed off if I were a Ravens fan on that call since it essentially gave the win to the Steelers. This is the worst thing an official can do in this situation – STAY OUT OF THE GAME in critical situations like this unless it’s blatant. Let the teams decide the outcome, fucking Goodell. I’d feel worse, except I hate the Ravens and objectively speaking they played a bad game.
- Watching Charlie Batch play like a panicked rookie in the 1st half. Locking onto WR’s and needlessly jumping around behind some great pass protection was tough to watch.
- Not getting Heath Miller involved until the end of the 1st half? Inexcusable.
- Once again some questionable playcalling by Haley and Co. When the Steelers got the ball back deep in their own territory with about 6 minutes left in a tie ball game the Steelers took the super conservative route with two back to back runs for about 3 yards. If Batch doesn’t connect on that 3rd down and long play there’s a pretty decent shot the Steelers do not win this game. The Ravens would’ve gotten the ball back in good field position with little time left. Another example of making things risky by ironically going the “conservative” route.
- ST’s play continues it’s poor play. Bad punting and poor blocking on punt returns.
This is a great win but the Ravens played a bad game and I was shocked that this team was 9-2 headed into today’s game. Maybe John Harbaugh should be considered a coach of the year candidate because this Ravens team, outside of a few players, is mediocre. Not to take anything away from this win, but the Steelers still played a sloppy and at times undisciplined game. That definitely needs improvement. Let’s keep things in perspective going forward.
Steelers, unsurprisingly at this point, play like a bunch of incompetent losers under their incompetent head coach and lose to the hapless Browns, 20-14. Don’t know what’s worse – that the Steelers lost to the Browns or that I’m not really surprised by the outcome at this point.
The Good - The defense continues it’s great play overall.
- I missed the 1st half and some of the 2nd half.
- If there are a couple more games like this we might start hearing some ”Tomlin fired?” rumors.
The Bad - Everything else obviously – the 8 TO’s, Batch’s performance, the coaching, the officiating.
- Every time I see referee Ron Winters I just want to punch him in the face. The guy and his crew are incompetent jackasses. When I turned on the TV and saw the penalty count – 9 for each team in the 3rd quarter I just shook my head. OK, the NFL clearly doesn’t care about the actual sport of football anymore, it’s all about the product. Well, who wants to see a game with this many penalties (a number of which were not penalties or easily could’ve not been called)? It’s a BAD product.
- Mike Wallace continues to be a very one-dimensional WR and once again failed to fight for a ball and played like a big loser for most of the game.
- Mike Tomlin is a bad head coach. How many more games like this until fans start to wake up to this truth? 8 turnovers, sloppy and undisciplined play (as usual), playing down to competition, dumb game management. This shit is on display pretty much every week.
- Speaking of which, it sure would’ve been nice to have that last TO at the end of the game today, wouldn’t it?
The Weird - Seeing the Steelers aging and injured defense turn it on in the past month or so. A team with Larry Foote at LB, a slow FS, an aging D-line and Troy Polamalu out for most of the season playing this well? Pretty damn impressive, even if some of the competition hasn’t exactly been that impressive.
This has been a pretty forgettable season thus far, but the Steelers still have a chance to do something, although with each passing week it’s looking less and less likely that the team will make any sort of mark on the 2012 season. Let’s hope Ben is back for the Ravens game.
Steelers lose an ugly and boring game at home against the equally unimpressive Ravens, 13-10. This game will be totally forgotten except for an admirable effort by the Steelers defense and the usual gaffes, mistakes and coaching miscues.
The Good - The defense. Pretty much the only good thing for the Steelers. Woodley played a decent game, the D-line played inspired ball against the run. Harrison had some nice pressure at times. The secondary continues it’s great play. This has been arguably the one real nice surprise this year. Keenan Lewis and Ike Taylor playing great ball. I’ve been down on Ryan Clark a lot for some time but I think he may be playing his best ball this season. Still don’t understand why he’s a FS, though, he’s definitely not a cover guy.
- Dwyer, outside of a poor run on a 3rd and one, had another really solid game.
- Manny Sanders had some nice grabs for big yards.
The Bad - Pretty much everything else.
- Watching Byron Leftwich act hurt after every play. Is this guy out of shape? Is anyone on this team in NFL shape? Leftwich’s passes and decision making were bad all game. Why the coaching staff stuck with him in the 4th quarter, especially considering this guy clearly did not want to be out there was mind boggling to watch.
- I’ve bitched and moaned why the Steelers need to address the backup QB situation for years now. The team’s negligence in this department played a huge part in the loss tonight.
- Time and again the Steelers defense gave the ball back to the offense only to see this unit piss it away with indifferent play and coaching from the QB, WR corps, Tomlin and Haley.
- ST play, horrible, punt return for a TD and plethora of blunders.
- Watching Mike Wallace play like a complete loser. First, A fumble after clearly not wanting to get hit leading to a Ravens FG and in the 4th quarter quitting on a low pass by Leftwich at the end of the game which was HUGE considering how bad Leftwich was playing, the score and situation. Where is the accountability for this kind of horseshit play, Tomlin?? Is it because Wallace makes a great play every once in awhile that this kind of horrible quitter play is OK? BULLSHIT.
- Once again the wasted TO’s come back to bite this team in the ass. Does Tomlin EVER learn from past mistakes? So far it sure as hell doesn’t look like it. To be fair, with the way Leftwich was playing maybe it wouldn’t have mattered but I thought the object was to win the damn game.
-Watching Mendenhall embarrass himself as he gets piledrived by Ngata after performing another one of his dumb spinmoves. Maybe the Steelers can actually trade him right now for a 4th or 5th round draft pick instead of getting nothing in the offseason.
- The very last offensive series for the Steelers. Want to see a dumb team in action? Here ya go! With just a minute left and the Steelers down 3, deep in their own territory, Mendenhall fails to run out of bounds after short dumpoff. Leftwich then takes an eternity to snap the ball on the following play instead of simply spiking it. Brilliant! Mike Tomlin – best young head coach in football, LOL. That’s what the sports media tells me so I know it’s true!
- The Steelers definitely did not overcome the ineptness of Tomlin in this game. If Ben had played the team may have been able to overcome another game of bad ST play, sloppy play, dumb penalties, the usual bad coaching and preparation, wasted timeouts, lack of discipline, etc. But that didn’t happen unfortunately.
I’ll just say this – if Leftwich starts next week, expect another nailbiter against the Browns with the definite possibility of a loss which would obviously be bad, real bad. Steelers should sign a FA QB NOW. Fuck the offseason, this shit is about 5 years late, tonight was more than ample proof of that.