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Steelers-Saints Recap

The Steelers lose 20-10 to the Saints down in New Orleans in a pretty pathetic effort by most involved.

– Ben played by far his worst game of the year. Time and again Ben would be found holding and holding and holding onto the ball hesitating on his throws which led to sacks and bad decisions. On a number of passes, mostly in the 1st half, Ben was simply off on his throws. He did put together some nices throws on a couple drives but overall a real lackluster effort.

– Mendy had a great 30+ yard TD run in the 2nd half where he was barely touched. The rest of the game he had a few nice runs but overall continues to play way too soft for a guy his size. Has Mendy ever broken a tackle? Does he ever move a pile? I honestly have never seen it. And it seems like he has to put on a spin move on just about every run. Why? I have no fucking idea. Moore played some and had a few nice runs. Redman had a nice 3rd down run.

– Mike Wallace caught 3 passes for 43 yards but was never given a chance to catch a deep one. Ward was held in check with just 3 grabs for only 15 yards. Randel El was thrown to what seemed like 10 times in this game. Why? Who the fuck knows because everytime I saw him out there he was falling and falling and falling down. Heath Miller had a huge fumble in the 4th quarter. Miller was clearly trying to do too much because he only gets about 1 or 2 passes a game and was trying to make the most of it. Mendy had 2 grabs for 14 yards and probably should’ve been used more in the passing game due to the Saints blizting the hell out of Ben all game long.

– The O-line played a really solid game overall. Pouncey was constantly getting to the second level on plays on making blocks. Flozel once again went down with another injury. Reliable this guy is not.

– Missing Brett Kiesel and Aaron Smith the D-line played admirably. Hampton blew up a couple run plays, Hoke had a big run stop. A couple plays the D-line was pushed back on run plays but overall real solid. The Saints did barely run the ball, though.

– Lawrence Timmons had another monster game in the tackling department, leading all players with 11 tackles and an assist. He also was really solid in pass coverage. Woodley and Harrison were constantly putting heat on Brees in this game. It was good to see Woodley finally showing up in that department. He also made a real nice tackle to stop a receiver from getting a 1st down. Farrior had a few nice run stops.

– In the 1st half the CB’s were actually allowed to play aggressively and man up to the Saint WR’s. The result? Just 3 points for the Saints offense. Troy was a flying torpedo on some plays nailing Saint players left and right. He did however blow a coverage when he gambled in the 2nd half. Ike had a nice INT in the 1st half and had some nice open field tackles. Same goes for McFadden. Ryan Clark actually defensed a pass today, the rest of the game he was a non-factor for the most part. In the 2nd half the Steelers reverted back to the cushion defense, thus taking away the CB’s ability to make plays out there.

– Manny Sanders continue to impress mightily in the return game. He did however have another fumble that was luckily recovered by the Steelers. That can’t continue. Randel El has been designated as the fair catch returner. Jeff Reed missed another FG over 40 yards, he is now 1/6 from that range so far this season. Not good. Sepulveda had a solid game.

– The coaches once again showed no signs of actually having a concise gameplan or specific approach in this game. And once again the coaches allowed this team to pitter patter their way through a majority of this game. Lebeau actually allowed his team to be aggressive in the 1st half of the game, manning CB’s up to WR’s and really going after Brees. It was the defenses best effort of the year going back to the Titans game. Then, for some reason, Lebeau reverted back to the soft zone defense for the rest of the game. The result? 17 points by the Saints in the 2nd half and Brees completing 20 of 22 passes. Whose decision was this to go the soft, safe route? Tomlin? Lebeau? BAD MOVE.

– Arians once again had no rhyme or rhythm going with his playcalling. On a 4th and 4, for some reason he sends virtually every WR 20 yards down the field! Why? Who fucking knows. And that was the story tonight in this game. Ben was off but to make matters worse, Arians was sending virtually every WR on virtually every passing down 20 or more yards downfield. Not every play but WAY too many. In a game where the opposing defense is blitzing, how about more dumpoffs? Or more short routes? How about using the TE more? Of course Arians also called another weird end around play that almost ended up being a pick six. On a 1st and goal at the 1 inch line, Arians calls 3 straight run plays. The first was a 2 yard loss, at that point it’s time to do a little PA. The only time this offense seems to click is when Ben is either running the no-huddle or a really up tempo type offense where more passes are thrown in on early downs. That should tell everyone just how effective Arians really is as an OC.

– Someone needs to hide Tomlin’s red flags. Tomlin is just horrible with his challenges, it’s almost like he’s guessing when he throws the flag out onto the field. Tomlin needs to have a pow-wow with Arians, this offense is simply not playing up to it’s potential. It’s time to stop this obsession with running the ball all the fucking time on 1st down. It’s time to change up the tempo. There’s no excuse that this offense, with this much talent, is struggling to put points up on the board. Tomlin also needs to start being a little more assertive with gameplans and philosophy. I just don’t see a coach making a stamp on this team.

– An all-around poor effort coupled with a decent effort by a defense that was clearly handcuffed in the 2nd half. Coaches need to coach better, some players need to step it up or hit the bench. Next week is a big divisonal game against the lowly Bengals. There are no gimmes with this team, though.

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