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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Post-Jets thoughts

A tough loss to a good team. I liken this loss like the first one to Baltimore when the Steelers gave up a touchdown late to lose without Ben Roethlisberger.

The Steelers pretty much handled everything the Jets gave them but came up short thanks to a kick return for a score and an inexplicable draw call from their own end zone.

Can't defend Bruce Arians on that one. In fact, I was calling the play in the press box. Seems that Jason Taylor knew that tendency as well.

But really, the Steelers handled the Jets up front with their offensive line pretty well. One sack was complete luck and another came when Roethlisberger dropped the football.

All in all, three sacks on nearly 50 pass attempts isn't bad. And Roethlisberger had a lot of time to throw the ball throughout the game.

The running game also clicked pretty well and the Jets' big-bad cornerbacks were non-factors – unless they were grabbing a handful of jersey of a receiver who had gotten behind them.

© If the Steelers have Troy Polamalu and Heath Miller - who they had made a big part of the game plan before he couldn't go - in this game, they win by 10 points.

Don't expect either one to play Thursday against Carolina, but they will be back for the regular season finale at Cleveland, which is now very meaningful.

© After watching Trai Essex at left tackle during the final drive, I wouldn't be surprised to see him move Jonathan Scott to the bench.

© The best thing to take out of this game is the development of Emmanuel Sanders as a complete weapon.

Sanders consistently got open in this game and really seems to be coming into his own in terms of being on the same page as Roethlisberger.

He's going to be a big factor for the Steelers the remainder of this season.

© Looking at what the Green Bay Packers did in New England Sunday night - albeit in a loss - with their backup QB, the Patriots don't look nearly as unbeatable as they did a week ago.

Did they peak too early?


The Colts taking charge of the AFC South is also an interesting development. If anybody can go into New England and pull out a win, Peyton Manning can.


Anonymous said...

I hope essex starts, I've been hoping for a while actually

Though, it's fair to mention that it was late in the game and he was just coming in, so he was definitely fresher than everyone else

just a thought

Dale Lolley said...

Still, they knew the Steelers were passing on every down. He can't be any worse than Scott has been.

Ron in Michigan said...

Although our special teams play has improved considerably this year, today our special teams play cost us the game.

My other source of contention for our gameplay today lies with the coaching. If we our going to win our 7th Lombardi trophy "this year", and I do believe we are, we really need to coach the offense to have more than one consecutive play ready for the no-huddle.

My God, the future looks bright with these receivers.

The SKinley said...

Dale, Any new injuries during the game?

marc said...

also, can we stop the empty backfield on 3rd and short. it's just to easy to defend. especially when they are running the ball well, at least give the defense something else to think about.

Anonymous said...

LMAO at Arians calling a shotgun draw so close to the goal line. That was the difference of the game. Arians is a total moron, the only bigger idiots are people who defend him

O-line played great otherwise and yes Essex should start at LT. LDO. our coaches suck

Anonymous said...

Dale - I understand we lost and there were reasons for that. But, I thought that was one of the best offensive efforts we had all year. We ran the ball, but it wasn't the normal #34 off-tackle. There were misdirections, sweeps, counters - we just looked different and more aggressive. Ben did have lots of time and threw with great confidence, it was just that play or two were we stalled.

Sanchez looked good, but what worked again was another QB making quick decisions to beat us. I know its different with Troy in there, but quick screens are our downfall. This makes Payton very scarey come playoff time. This is how Brady and Brees beat us. Hopefully Dick can draw up a special defense to counter this.

marc said...

btw, if miller and #43 are most likely out for thursday, how in the world were they even considered to play yesterday?

Anonymous said...

"btw, if miller and #43 are most likely out for thursday, how in the world were they even considered to play yesterday?"

They weren't considered, only in Dale's mind. All other media outlets said they weren't playing all along

Keep up the good work Dale!

Anonymous said...

Way to be lame, Anonymous. Way to be lame. Keep up wasting your time commenting on this board.


Was it me or did the Steelers not bring much pressure throughout the game? And where was Woodley?

John Kang said...

I was watching the GB/Pats game and was thinking the same thing. I think Indy, Baltimore and San Diego could all beat NE, though I'm not sure I'd want Baltimore to come back to play at Heinz Field for the Championship.

adamg said...

Thought this was one of the best games Arians has called ever with BR at qb. He helped the OL by max protecting against the overload blitz and the RBs and Spaeth, on one play, were excellent at picking up the extra rusher. BR stayed in the pocket and looked like a pro, not a sandlot qb. The running game was great taking advantage of when NY wasn't stacked at the line. If not for that awful call down on their own 2, it would have been almost a perfect day.

No real complaints about the defense either. The bootleg on 4th and 1 was perfectly executed. You just tip your hat to a great play call.
I think it says a lot about how good the D is that NY had to pull out so many trick plays on offense.

STs were the killer. Suisham is a pretty good FG kicker, but I can see kick offs are the reason he's had trouble keeping a job. I'm guessing the hang time isn't long enough because with Reed's kicks, Steeler STs were able to get down the field and make the tackle after minimal returns and not they don't seem able to do that.

Anonymous said...

I agree that for the most part Arians called a really good game. (I say this as someone who hates him more than anyone.) And the O-line looked as good as it has all year. Yet...the saftey was an absolutely moronic mistake...Ben completed barely 50% of his passes... and they put up only 17 points.

At some point, you can't expect the defense to dominate the scoreboard. The offense has to have some responsibility for winning games. Heck, this defense, with Troy, could play the game of their lives and still give up 27 points to, say, the Pats or the Chargers if Brady or Rivers is on top of his game. Please, please, please, football gods, get rid of Arians as our OC. Four years of mediocrity. Why do we always take off the first quarter on offense? It is SO frustrating. It's not ALL Arians' fault but my god it is frustrating...

Steve-O said...

Arians own the qb draw in the end zone, but all in all he called a great game. We lost this one for three reasons.

1. Poor 3rd down efficiency on defense
2. special teams breakdown to start the game
3. And most importantly dropped passes

As much as I enjoy picking on Arians, he isn't responsible for any of those 3 things.

adamg said...

You know, for a split second, it was wide open for BR to run it in from the 10. If he'd have taken off right away, I think he might have made it.

Vaflyer said...

Personally, I only have 1 worry about this team...the lack of consistent scoring by the offense. They scored a TD on their first possession and then...nothing.

Mike in DC said...

"Don't expect either one to play Thursday against Carolina, but they will be back for the regular season finale at Cleveland, which is now very meaningful."

Actually, Dale, now the Carolina game is equally as meaningful since we've now got the same record as the Ravens. We need to assume the Ravens will win out, so we must do the same.

Anonymous said...

"Us" and "We" got outplayed by the Jets. NO EXCUSES! The Steelers are NOT going the Super Bowl - period!
Big Ben's face is looking bloated - again. He better lay off the sauce, don't you think? Also, Hinzey ain't been doing a lot either.

Anonymous said...

Dale - at the next press conference can you remind the coaches that if they win the last 2 games they win the division and get a bye week please????

k thx

Anonymous said...

Agree w/Adam, Suisham has steadied the FG game but his kickoffs are clearly worse than Reeds. And Kapinos, peee eewwwww. Jets had 15-20 yards less per possesion to drive than us all night long.

I've wondered about Essex for a while now, Scott is bad. My 1st thought was that they wanted him at swing G/T on gameday, but Legursky gets a hat and can backup G, so that shouldn't be a big deal, eh?

The problem w/playground in the redzone exposed those last 2 plays, both times Spaeth and Sanders were in each others pockets. 2 guys in one spot means at least 2 defenders there as well.

As long as Baltimore keeps winning, the Steelers were going to have to beat Cleveland and one of Carolina/Jets to avoid this mythical "strenght of victory" tie break anyhow. If they can't beat the 2 sub-500 teams left on the schedule, particularly Carolina, they don't deserve the division/#2 seed.

Dale Lolley said...

Arnaz Battle dinged his shoulder, but outside of that, no injuries.

Anonymous, neither Polamalu or Miller were declared "out" so there was a chance they'd play unless the NFL has come up with some kind of new rule on those things.

Carolina is awful and Jimmy Clausen on a short week with little preparation for the Steelers defense will not be a pretty thing. Miller could come back this week, but I think after last week's back-and-forth with him, they'll hold him out to be safe.
Polamalu said he was feeling a lot better.

Anonymous said...

I thought we could beat the jets without heath and troy but it would be a hard task. Now the panthers, I'm sure they'll manage without them

let them rest and come back for part of the cleveland game, along with aaron

Would be a thing of beauty seeing the team become healthier for the playoffs

Anonymous said...

when is the last time someone has been listed as "Doubtful" and still played? answer = never

All other media outlets reported Polamalu as not playing. Maybe they saw through the Steelers BS disguise and you couldnt

joe said...

scott makes his block and there was a big gainer right there. still a very questionable call. otherwise it seems arians is finally, finally trying to call plays to the players capability, not forcing everything. redman or mendy should have been on the field for that safety play though.
heck of a call and execution on the qb td run by the jets

adamg said...

Baltimore has to go to Cleveland this Sunday. Personally, I think the Browns would like nothing better than to beat the Ravens and put a big dent in their division title hopes. The Browns nearly beat Balt at their house behind Hillis' 140 yards rushing. And McCoy is a better qb than either Delhomme or Wallace.

Dale Lolley said...

I never said that Polamalu was going to play. I said there was a chance he could still play.

Anonymous said...

technically there is a chance i can play Dale and im old and fat

Anonymous said...

Probable = will play
Questionable = could go either way
Doubtful = won't play

If there was any possibility of Troy playing, he would had to have been upgraded to Questionable.

Dale Lolley said...

Probable: Probably will play
Question: 50-50 chance to play
Doubtful: Probably won't play, but there's a chance or they would declare him out.
Out: Out

This is the last I'm going to address on this subject.
If you don't like the blog or think I'm full of it, you're welcome to go somewhere else.