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Steelers-Ravens Recap

The Steelers play like losers for a good bit of the game only to come roaring back but ultimately come up short in the end as they lose a big road game to the hated Ravens, 22-20.

The Good – The offense finally started to click in the 2nd half and tallied 20.

– The O-line did not allow a sack once again. Really great to see.

– Bell had one of his best games of his career until he was knocked out of the game. Big run in the 3rd quarter and a number of catches including a big 1st down catch and run on a 2nd and 24 in the fourth quarter resulting in a 1st down.

– The defense played better in the 2nd half, some decent pressure was generated. Jason Worilds looked really good once again filling in for the injured Lamar Woodley. Time to see what team wants Woodley, maybe the Steelers can package Pouncey into the trade.

The Bad – As I alluded to last week and what I hoped wouldn’t happen but definitely expected, the Steelers gameplan was to pucker up as they always do against the Ravens and I guess hope to win a close nail biter in the end. This kind of approach is basically a self-fulfilling prophecy and it’s a gameplan of a team that is coached scared. The end result is what we saw in this game.

– The offensive gameplan in the first half. See above. The Steelers take the opening kickoff and proceed to run the ball 3 straight times and punt. Why not just kickoff instead? The Steelers followed that up with 2 more unsuccessful handoffs before finally giving Ben a chance to throw the ball. What is this shit? Come on. It basically set the tempo for the rest of the half and no points scored for 2 quarters of play.

– Speaking of Ben, he finished with decent numbers and on a few throws his WR’s let him down but overall a really scattershot performance with a number of throws short armed and some questionable decision making.

– Antonio Brown failing to locate a deep pass that would’ve resulted in a TD.

– The botched snap on a 50 yard FG attempt in the 1st half. Horrible execution obviously but worse, horrible decision to attempt it. Coaching scared, coaching not to lose. It was a 4th and 6 at the Ravens 32 with the team down 7. Just go for it. On a previous drive and already down 7, the Steelers faced a 4th and 6 at the Ravens 37 and the Steelers punted. Coaching scared, coaching not to lose was the theme of the game until the Steelers were basically forced to get aggressive in the 2nd half.

– What exactly was going on in the Steelers secondary in the 1st half? They looked completely clueless out there, like they hadn’t even gameplanned for this game. Safeties were no where to be seen on a number of deep throws, CB’s couldn’t locate balls. It was bad.

– The 2 point conversion. Why, why, why was Manny Sanders the intended target on what was basically the play of the game? Sanders had a bad game up to that point, why not target Brown or Cotchery who have been much more reliable this season? Dumb team.

The Embarrassing – Tomlin almost getting run over on a big Ravens kick return as he was basically standing in the field before realizing at the last second what was going on. He’s lucky he wasn’t penalized. Was Tomlin on drugs in this game? He sure looked like it. Just another notch to add to his legacy.

– Bell’s TD run in the 4th quarter being reviewed and reversed due to the NFL’s new helmet rule of calling the play dead as soon as a runners helmet comes off. Great job, NFL. This is the result of a league introducing more and more convoluted rules into the game year after year. Hopefully this play makes the competition committee realize how stupid this rule is considering the outcome of this play and adjusts accordingly. The ruling on this play is simply unacceptable and it did play a big role in the outcome of the game. Complete horseshit.

Summary – Once again Tomlin puts his mediocre stamp onto the team. Botched FG attempts, almost impeding a kickoff returner, dumb decisions and predictably stale gameplans. This game illustrates why this team is in the hole that it is in. Even after 3 straight wins THIS is why it’s hard to picture this team putting together the kind of run that will get them into the playoffs. Even if the Steelers win the next 2, they will have another one of these games in the 3rd game, rinse repeat.

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