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Friday, November 12, 2010

Still think the Ravens don't have any holes?

For the people coming onto this blog and saying the Ravens have no holes, did you catch the game against Atlanta Thursday night?

Baltimore's pass defense was awful. The pass blocking was mediocre. And Joe Flacco was pretty bad as well.

The bottom line is that while the Steelers have their problems, there is no perfect team in the NFL this season. Period.

There are five or six pretty good teams, but they all have issues.

The two that get hot down the stretch will be in the Super Bowl.


Anonymous said...

I can't defend their pass defense, but I don't think the Steelers have a good enough passing attack anymore to exploit a bad pass defense.

And Flacco was masterful in the second half. How many yards and TDs will he throw for in the second half next time they play the Steelers?

Steve-O said...

Apparently somebody missed their Thorazine today. Flacco is a C+ to B- Quarterback and the 2010 Ravens remind me of the Steelers under Tommy Maddox. They're a decent team but they're not scaring anybody.

Dale is right, there are no elite teams, just some very good ballclubs with flaws. Momentum and health will determine the SuperBowl teams this year.

Anonymous said...

Come on Dale, don't you know Baltimore has no holes. They have the best defense in the world. They have never been beat by any team. They only have games taken from them by the refs. lol

Anonymous said...

I live in MD and the idiot Ravens fans are saying when Ed Reed intercepted that 2-pt conversion, he should be allowed to return it for a touchdown (6pts not 2 pts)

LOLOLOLOLOL ravens fans are dumb

marc said...

the raven's offense is completely dependent on ray rice. if the defense just contains him you will have a good chance of winning the game.

flacco is overrated. the yards after catch he gets from the running backs inflate his numbers.

the falcons should have blown that game open early.

keevin said...

Flacco's career playoff stats in 5 games:

57/120 = 48% completed; 660 yds (132 yds/game); 1 TD; 6 INT; QB rating = 46


Patrick said...

this could be a big weekend for the Steelers if they can beat NE. The Jets do not have a garunteed win against the Browns. Steelers could have the best record in the AFC after this week and getting up a game on the Ravens is always great.

With that said, I don't think they stand a chance against NE. Hope I'm wrong

Anonymous said...

Dale, can you link to your newspaper columns? That would be helpul.

Anonymous said...

Missing Heath Miller would be awful this weekend.

Flacco's not as good as Ravens fans probably feel about him today. On the other hand, he's not nearly as overrated as alot of Steeler fans believe him to be.

Anyway, most fan complaints about the Steelers don't have to with them not being flawless. It's usually frustration with Arians' offense, the pass defense, and some Tomlin challenge blunders. All of which are justifiable criticisms.

Geez, what's the big deal? Why don't you just ban all negative comments?


Dale Lolley said...

I don't mind negative comments. In fact, there's absolutely nothing wrong with them.
But many times, they are somewhat unwarranted.
For instance, with Arians, if the Steelers win, it's in spite of Arians. If they lose, it's because of him.
The opposing team never gets any credit. The players rarely get blame.
Was that Arians' fault Roethlisberger threw a horrible interception in Cincinnati?
Was it Arians' fault Jeff Reed can no longer make a 45-yard field goal that would have iced the game?
He throws the ball after the Bengals score to make it 27-14 and he's lambasted for not taking time off the clock because they don't complete any passes.
He runs the ball inside his own 2 with two minutes remaining instead of having his third-string QB throw the ball and he's lambasted for it.
That's all I'm saying.

Anonymous said...

True, some of us anti-Arianites can be unfair or extreme at times.

Personally, this year the only problem I have with him is the New Orleans game. Not even for anything specific, just the fact that the game was the perfect example of all the problems this offense has when it does struggle. Seems like the same things for four seasons now.

I agreed with the turtling vs. the Ravens at the end there, since you had Batch and the Ravens needed a touchdown.

As an admitted anti-Arianite, I sometimes ask myself if maybe it actually to some degree repressed anti-Benism. Ben's style of play, while unique and exciting and headed to the Hall of Fame at this rate and all that, can also be quite frustrating. I need a shrink.

But it does appear to me -- granted I'm not inside Ben or Arians' head, don't have access to coach's tape, don't actually count the number of times the following happens, etc. -- that most of the Ben-Arians offense consists of Ben almost getting sacked, then finding receivers down field once the play has broken down. I know there's something to be said for giving Ben the freedom to use his strengths, but sometimes it seems like, Why not just have Ben draw up plays in the dirt? What would be the difference between that and Arians?

Of course, this is an unfair simplification, but I think there is an element of truth in there somewhere. Back to the shrink now...

marc said...

i think you're missing the point on the criticism of arians. of course the players must execute to win. of course #7 made a bad pass. of course reed missed a FG you expect him to make 9 of 10 times. of course our defense should be able to hold a 20 point lead.

but the point is, arians lacks what only can be described as "game awareness." he has no clue how to call a game depending on how the game unfolds. it's as if he randomly pulls out a predetermined set of plays on any given series and rolls with it. the fact the head coach had to dictate to the offensive coordinator to run the ball to take time off the clock is the only indication you should need that arians is not "aware" of how to protect a lead.

even though that drive ended in a missed field goal it ate up 5 minutes. now imagine if the steelers had done that earlier, with a 20 point lead no less, and the game would have been sealed and delivered.

the players must execute for a team to win. but, that doesn't absolve the coaches from having to make reasonable, logical decisions to put the players in a position to succeed.

Greg Mercer said...

i agree with this last comment. i generally don't have a problem with Arians' play design. HOWEVER, i think his sequencing is awful. He almost always call play action one down too late.

i would also like to see him to do more roll-outs with Ben and swing passes to Mendenhall out of the backfield. During the summer, Arians talked about how Mendendhall had Marshall Faulk potential, but we aren't using him that way.

I would love to see Mendenhall split out and isolated on a LB.

adamg said...

Defenses seems to have adjusted to BR. They no longer allow him to get outside contain, where he can make plays, with any regularity. They keep him in the pocket and make him go through his reads. BA nows needs to adjust to this development with maybe more designed roll outs or other plays.

Benjamin said...

Well said Marc!

All players and coaches have strengths and weaknesses. Love some of Arian's individual play designs (some of his route combos are genius), the way he teased that Antwan pass for three weeks, but hate the predictability of some of his play sequences (especially run plays based on down and distance). If I can tell you with 85% accuracy before the snap the exact next play the Stillers are running, than even the worst NFL defense can stop that play (this ain't the 70s when you could just enforce your will upon the weaker team).

Anyway, have loved this blog for about a year Dale and second the motion that you also provide links to your articles.


deljzc said...

This season is shaping up eerily similar to 2008 in my opinion.

I remember when we lost to the Giants and thought to myself.. "if that's the best out there, we can win the whole thing".

I think the same thing now.

We know this team isn't great. But no other team is either.

The funny thing will be what the legacy of the Steelers as a great dynasty would be if we win the big one again for 3 in 6 years.

By definition that's great, but I can't look at any one of those teams and convince myself they are great teams. Just too many inconsistencies and weaknesses.

This "run" we are on has been odd to say the least.

Greg Mercer said...

how many times does Arians follow up two good runs by Mendenhall with a third rush for no gain or a loss of yards?

Ben excels in the play action passing game. yet, we don't do it often enough.

if you're going to keep Mendenhall in to block, why not fake the handoff to freeze the LBs and safeties?

Anonymous said...

Thats the issue I have with overly critical Steelers fans. They discredit the team they like so much that they themselves are unconvinced of how good they really are. Even after two superbowl wins. Maybe its because we scrutinize every play of a Steeler game but only see highlights of other teams games. I will take the 2005 and 2008 Steelers over every other SB winner this decade besides, maybe the 2004 and 2005 Pats.

Anonymous said...

"Was it Arians' fault Jeff Reed can no longer make a 45-yard field goal that would have iced the game?"

Of course not, obviously. However, it bothers me how Arians/Tomlin are calling games as if Reed is still automatic.

It usually seems like once the offense reaches the 35-yard line, the attitude seems to be "OK, we have three points in the bank, now let's take some shots into the end zone to see if we can get seven."

That's how Reed has been stuck attempting all these 40+ yard FGs, most of which he's missed. They need to start treating anything between the 35 and 20 as possible four-down territory, depending on game situation and the distance of the 4th down.

Dale Lolley said...

I agree that many of the problems with the offense attributed to Arians are, in fact, on Roethlisberger's shoulders.
He likes to hold the ball until the last possible moment in order to attempt to get a big play. That's part of the reason why his career yard per attempt is the highest in the NFL in 50 years.
That's also why he takes more hits/sacks than many other QBs.

And if I'm the OC, that's always in the back of my mind. Is this guy going to take a sack in this situation.

You live with Ben because he can be so great. But sometimes, he's going to burn you. How many times have we seen him take a sack that knocks them out of field goal range?

Josh said...

I can't agree more with marc and others. I've seen too few plays that build off of each other, the randomness of playcalling in general... You watch NE, IND or even BAL and you can see what well-planned playcalling looks like.

Patrick said...

all these concerns about Ben, don't you think a Coach should try and reign him in and make him more of a complete player?

I really think Ben hasn't reached his ceiling yet. And his reluctance to drop back and read a defense effectively is the only thing holding him back. Maybe he doesn't have the greatest deep ball, but he can make almost any other throw.

Anonymous said...

How many times have we seen him shake a sack and make a play? Isn't it at least noteworthy that sacks per attempts are dramatically down since Roethlisberger's return?

If Ben holding the ball too long is the root of so many of the offenses shortcomings, then why doesn't Arians install 3 and 5 step drops in the playbook, forcing/training Ben to get the ball out quicker? Arians himself has said there are no such plays in the book, and when you do see a short drop it's Ben himself audibling or going hot.

If a short/quick passing offense could mitigate the PSOs problems as well as Ben's failings, then why is it entirely/conspicuously absent from the playbook/gameplan?