Sunday, November 28, 2010

Post-Buffalo thoughts

Every week the talking heads talk about which team is the best in the NFL.

Good luck with that.

If this season has proven anything, it's that no game is a given.

The Steelers' 19-16 overtime win against the Bills showed that once again.

The Steelers dominated the first half as much as they had dominated any game this season. Yet Buffalo took them to overtime in a game in which the Steelers rushed for 200 yards.

The biggest difference was penalties for the Steelers.

Guard Chris Kemoeatu and Ramon Foster had a combined six holding penalties called against them - four by Kemoeatu.

That's a tough day at the office, despite the big rushing totals.

The bottom line in this league this season is wins and losses. And right now, the Steelers' record says they're 8-3.

That's not the best record in the AFC, but it's right there. And they will head to Baltimore next week with an opportunity to take control of the division.

That's all you can ask for.

© Shaun Suisham gets high scores for his four field goals - including the game-winner in overtime - but his kickoffs weren't anything special.

In fact, the special teams coverage units had easily their worst game of the season, nearly costing the Steelers the game - until Keenan Lewis came up with a big strip of Leodis McKelvin in overtime that cost the Bills another five yards.

But, since they've been solid all season, we'll write that off as one bad game.

© Had the Steelers lost the game to the Bills, would Kemoeatu have been released as Jeff Reed was earlier this season after having a bad game in a bad loss?

© The Steelers were blowing some ridiculous holes open in Buffalo's defensive line. I think I might have been able to get 50 yards Sunday.

Maybe not.

© James Harrison now has 10 sacks, the first player in team history to have three consecutive seasons with at least 10 sacks.

But, apparently, he's no longer allowed to hit the quarterback unless it happens to be a sack.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

"© Had the Steelers lost the game to the Bills, would Kemoeatu have been released as Jeff Reed was earlier this season after having a bad game in a bad loss?"

No, because it was just one game. Reed had sucked all year before he was cut.

Anonymous said...

Dale, any word on Mcfadden's hamstring? We can't expose Gay on the outside.

Anonymous said...

Nothing infuriates me more than holding calls on the Steeler offense when the Steeler outside linebackers are drug to the ground play after play. It's one thing when it is one or two, but back to back weeks of triple yardage is garbage, and these calls against Harrison are criminal. Something needs to be said ASAP, because that disparity will result in a loss next week.

Dale Lolley said...

McFadden's hamstring doesn't look good.

Eason appears to be OK, though they won't know for sure until Monday.

Anonymous said...

I looked at the box score, and I'm wondering how this game went to overtime.

The Bills obviously had 80+ fewer penalty yards and were a little better on kick returns, but the Steelers mainly dominated every meaningful statistic.

Total yardage, total plays, YPA, YPC, TOP, turnover margin, and passer rating were all slanted heavily in the Steelers' favor.

It must have just been a fluky kind of game.

Anonymous said...

Mike Tomlin needs to contact former Steeler Ray Seals to see if he has any of those 60 minute men t-shirts leftover.

marc said...

tomlin needs to take one for the team and speak out about the penalties and eat the fine from the nfl. it won't get enough attention until the head coach says, "watch the game tape, this is bull..."

mendy is good, but he still holds the ball too low.

was it me? did woodley even play, i hardly noticed him this game.

both teams tried to kick the game away. take the win and move on.

Anonymous said...

"tomlin needs to take one for the team and speak out about the penalties and eat the fine from the nfl. it won't get enough attention until the head coach says, "watch the game tape, this is bull..."

I agree

I hate rex ryan, but here is one aspect where his big mouth is a positive. He would have sounded off by the 2nd quarter of the raiders game

tomlin has to do it

Anonymous said...

Here is something walterfootball.com wrote in their Steelers-Bills game preview:

"I hate betting the Steelers when the public is pounding them, given the old Rooney connection to sportsbooking. Something shady always seems to happen."

Just coincidence, or is he on to something?

Patrick said...

maybe I'm just nuts, but I thought the only thing good about this game was Suisham and Ben for the most part.

The fact Buffalo stays in games against other quality teams is completely irrelevant when the Steelers made the mistakes they made today. Any team would have been in that game.

I can't beleive anyone could be happy after that loss... I mean win... yeh win.

adamg said...

Doubt Tomlin saying anything in public about the officiating would be productive. However, the Steelers should put a tape together of all the times BR gets hit and no calls and send that to the league. I'm not a BR fan at all, but just look at yesterday when he got hurt. He was already down when a second Bills player came in and bent him backwards. If the NFL is going to protect qbs, it has to be ALL qbs.

Loved seeing the Hotel just lay like a sack of concrete on top of Maybin(?) during Ben's 18 yard scramble for a 1st down.

It seems teams are now daring BR to beat them from the pocket. He has to get quicker in his reads/checkdowns.

Anonymous said...

"I can't beleive anyone could be happy after that loss... I mean win... yeh win."

Patrick,

Have you ever been happy after a win? Your posts have never given me that impression...

Anonymous said...

Woodley is not worth the money he is going to command on the open market. Rather give that money to Timmons and Ike.

If there was such a thing as an atrocious win, that was it. Hopefully we're getting lucky while we're getting around to actually playing well (not perfect, just solid and non-stupid) for four quarters.

Anonymous said...

Woodley has been a non-factor for most of this season. Makes drafting Worlids make more sense.

If Mcfadden can't play the Steelers are in big trouble. We have absolutely NO ONE who can step up in the secondary after an injury. Kenaan Lewis and Gay don't have the talent.

Ben was really inconsistent this game. He had some big conversions but he also seemed to blow alot of plays looking downfield for the big play. Of course all the penalites on the offensive line didn't make his life easy.

Anonymous said...

The panic side of me is a little bit like, "Oh dear, if we play like that against Baltimore, we'll get killed!" But I think we'll play much better against Baltimore, a very close game, probably decided by a turnover, a call, a play here, play there, etc. Who would've thought I'd be so worried about losing Nick Eason? Dear Fate -- please bring Steelers pass rush on Sunday night, and give superhuman ability to Jonathan Scott.

Anonymous said...

if the Steelers couldnt block that white DT yesterday, how are they gonna block Ngata? how is J Scott gonna block Suggs? LOL

marc said...

even though they ran well against the bills, i think they need to come out passing against the ravens and use that to setup the run.

the raven's run D is too good for our make shift o-line and getting into 3rd and long is a recipe for disaster. i also think this would be a good game to break out screen plays to mendy to take advantage of the raven's over pursuit.

the defense must have a great game if mcfadden is out. timmons must contain ray rice and woodley must show up in the pass rush or the ravens will score 21+ points.

btw, why was gay 8 yards off the ball on a 4th and 2 play in the 4th quarter? is he really that stupid or did they actually tell him to do that? either way, someone is an idiot. when they lined up for the play i said, "look how far gay is off the receiver, first down."

Anonymous said...

@adamg: I think it would be productive for Tomlin to say something in public, but it can't be a meek statement. We've already seen how fines and officiating are being driven by possible public reaction, rather than by merit.

If Tomlin can make a statement that gets the press talking about the calls/non-calls, specifically the ones against the Steelers, it may help get the boat balanced again. (And if it gets worse, that will just make it more obvious that something is off.)

adamg said...

I think the only thing criticizing either the league or officials in public will bring the Steelers is more heat down on them. It's best to work behind the scenes, imho.

BTW, did anyone miss Matt Spaeth yesterday? His absence proved the offense can run just as well with Johnson and Essex as the extra blocker when needed. Spaeth is someone who could be easily cut in order to sign another DL.

elyman said...

Spaeth is playing well this year, both catching balls and run blocking. Cutting him would be a huge mistake.

Anonymous said...

arians' offense uses 3 TE sets. No way he's cut

but yeah, he's probably being having he's best year ever. I never thought he had problems as a receiver, he just didn't get thrown to, but as a blocker he sucked so bad, but this year he's done a complete 180

joe said...

great job by the new kicker.
offense still doesn't score enough td's. nothing new, nothing changing there
offensive penalties are ridiculous, tomlin doesn't seem to care

someone from the nfl needs to explain to nfl fans how in the hell jh's hits on the qb were wrong the last two weeks. you have killed the passion many of us have for the game.

Anonymous said...

The Steelers do NOT look like a Super Bowl team to me.Vick makes Ben look like a high school kid.

Vaflyer said...

To me, the Super Bowl worthiness or not comes down to mostly the health of this defense. We are so beat up on the Dline it is crazy. At some point, we must get healthy or it will be a no-go.

Anonymous said...

Quoting anonymous, "We can't expose Gay on the outside".

There is something queer about this statement.

Patrick said...

"Have you ever been happy after a win? Your posts have never given me that impression..."

I was not happy after the "wins" against Miami, Cinci, or Buffalo, no.

Were you?

Patrick said...

and Dale I'm suprised at your "thats why they play the games" mentality about this team playing down to competition. You can't say well you never know ..... an underrated team could sneak up on you in this day's NFL.

If you want to say there is not a lot of parity and the margins between good and bad teams aren't that big, then fine, understood. But you can't say that about the Steelers playing Buffalo when they tried to do everything they could to hand the other team the game. That has nothing to do with "today's NFL" and everything to do with the Steelers making idiotic mistakes on an almost weekly basis.

Besides Stevie Johnson's incredible Limas Sweed imitation, McKelvin could also have easily ended that game. The Steelers played pathetic and its kind of a shame they don't get called out on it because of these miracle wins.

marc said...

dale,
i have to agree with patrick on that one. parity is when relatively evenly matched teams play each week.

if you call this past game a result of parity, then you are in essence saying the bills are a playoff contending team based on the assumption they are relatively even to the steelers.

or, you are implying the steelers are not as good as thought and are even with the bills.

but, i think we can all agree the steelers are more talented than the bills. therefore, they played so poorly that they should have lost the game, but were saved by even worse play from the bills.

that's not parity.

Dave said...

If Woodley doesn't start to make more of an impact soon he'll essentially become Kendrell Bell.

adamg said...

IMO, the Bills are a better team than their record shows, but they are also one that doesn't yet know how to win. That is the difference between them having a winning record and a losing one. In games like yesterday, the Steelers expect to win and the Bills, otoh, expect to lose. Buf has lost 5 games by 5 points or less and 3 in OT to 3 division leaders KC, Balt and Pgh and only lost by 8 to NE. They are within a whisker of being a .500 or better team.

Henry said...

Dale,

Do you think that the reason the D looks vanilla at times is because Lebeau is trying not to put too much on tape for opponents come post season?

It's been said before that when competing against Tom Brady, if you put it on tape once, he'll remember it next time.

Also, is it time to rotate Worilds in with Woodley more? 56 just doesn't seem to have it thus far this season.

Patrick said...

are you guys nuts about Woodley? He did not have a good game yesterday, but you're not going to bench him and let the opposing offense focus solely on Harrison.

Remember too, last year he had a really slow start. He also has 6.5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles this year. Its not like he hasn't done anything.

totaji said...

I know the defense is being hammered here, but the fact is, You cant have the ball a whole half and just put up 13 pts. I have never liked Bruce A. but two years of this is too much. We don't have the defense to make up for such an ineffectual offense. The defense is playing good enough. We blast them for blowing leads - but they are leads that are rarely solid. Sure our last super bowl D was something to behold, but there was a good reason Santonio Holmes was SB MVP. He could deal with BRs broken plays. We don't have that.

Are these rebuilding years for the greatest team?

Henry said...

@patrick

I'm by no means advocating benching Woodley. My point is that some RTs in the league can match his bull rush as they are beasts themselves. I'm saying take advantage of those types of lineman with Worilds speed rushing abilities that Woodley just doesn't possess.

Dale Lolley said...

So let's see, this is the same Buffalo team that took Baltimore to OT at Baltimore a few weeks ago and should have beaten the Ravens as well - if not for a play that wasn't blown dead when it should have been.

Buffalo's not bad. Can't stop the run, but the d-line can pass rush and the Bills can score. They put up 30-plus on the Ravens.

The penalties were a huge factor. Still not sure what Kemoeatu did to draw the holding penalty that negated a 42-yard Mendenhall run. The Harrison call gave them life on offense and was pretty ridiculous as well.
Now, Kemoeatu did deserve the other holding penalties, but I digress.

Ben also started throwing some balls short, particularly in the second half when he was having trouble with his plant foot.

As for Walterfootball or whatever rinky-dink organization posted the thing about the gambling, that's too ridiculous to justify with a response.

Anonymous said...

Does this make Since, Andre Johnson and Cortland Finnegan get fined 25k for haveing a brawl in the middle of a game and James Harrison gets fined 75k for playing football. What's up with that.

Anonymous said...

It's embarrassing listening to Steelers fans complain about how "terrible" the team is.

Anybody watching the Cardinals tonight? Talk about terrible. Remember last year when everyone was wishing the Steelers had hired Whisenhunt instead of Tomlin?