Visit NFL from the sidelines on the new Observer-Reporter site:

Friday, September 09, 2011

The NFL as it is now

Thursday night, we saw what happens to a pass defense when a good quarterback is on the field.

Only we got to see it the entire game, as both Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers and New Orleans' Drew Brees threw for more than 300 yards and three touchdowns.

The way the NFL's rules are now, the game heavily – and that doesn't begin to describe it – favors the offense.

People in Pittsburgh tend to look at the Steelers pass defense and say, "They get exposed every time they play an elite quarterback."

That's a silly statement. Everybody's defense gets exposed when playing an elite quarterback. That's what makes those quarterbacks elite!

The trick is to outscore the opposing offense.

New Orleans put 30-plus points on the board Thursday night. It wasn't enough because the Packers were in the 40s and the Saints made a couple of mistakes inside Green Bay's red zone.

But with the offense the Steelers now have, they have the weapons to get into a shootout such as Thursday night's game and come out on the winning side.

The days of three yards and a cloud of dust and defenses dominating games are over. The NFL in its current state is all about putting points on the board and doing so quickly.


Anonymous said...

when the other team scores in the 30s just make sure the Steelers score in the 40s! brilliant!

Anonymous said...

The steelers offense under Ben R. have not been high scoring . . . as a general rule. Steelers Defense has won them their championships. Last year, with Troy and Harrison playing hurt, the D could not perform at that high level and the result was a L.
Let's see how it goes this year with the offense. I'll believe it when I see them consistently put 30+ up.
I hope you are right Dale.

marc said...

the jets defense in the playoffs against the pats was a perfect example of how you need to alter your scheme to limit the best player on the field.

they made big time adjustments and brady and co. were held in check.

however, the steelers don't make those adjustments against elite QB's and get burned for it.

if the steelers had faced the pats in the playoffs last year they would have been bounced. no doubt about it.

Anonymous said...

Steelers would have beaten the Pats by 50 points in the playoffs. No doubt about it

adamg said...

Personally, I found last night's game pretty boring. It was like watching Arena League football - that doesn't do all that well with its "all offense" strategy.

Patrick said...


Do you think Isaac Redman is gaining the trust of Coach Tomlin? Any chance he could be used the change-of-pace back instead of Mewelde Moore?


George said...

I could swear I saw a two back set once in preseason. Any chance of it against the ravens?
I think BA likes passing for the lead and rushing to kill clock. Any chance BA has changed?

Dale Lolley said...

The Jets are built specifically to beat the Patriots, much like the Steelers and Ravens design their teams to beat each other.
Division teams also spend way more time breaking down film of each other than they do for any other teams. That's just the nature of the beast. The surest way into the playoffs is to win the division. You do that by beating your division opponents.

datruth4life said...


To beat a team like New Orleans or Green Bay, your CB's have to be able to press coverage and you have to get heat with your front four. Your safeties have to be able to cover as well as lay some wood when they are in Cover 2. What ultimately cost New Orleans is that they didn't have any pass rushers that could win their one on one matchups.

I could have sworn I saw Willie Gay wearing Saints CB Patrick Robinson's jersey last night, lol. I said to myself that at least the Steelers aren't the only team with one of those (Has to hurt a lot more for Saints fans since he was a first round pick).

It's great to put a lot of points on the board, but there is also something said for keeping the other team's offense off the field. Gotta possess the ball and keep the hot QB on the sidelines. New Orleans started playing Cover 2AFTER they gave up 3 TD's in the first quarter.

I hope that rookie CB's C. Brown and C. Allen will progress enough during the season that they'll be useful against the good teams that try to spread us out near the end of the season. I still don't know what to make of Keenan Lewis yet. He's never done anything when the lights have been on during the regular season besides getting flagged as a gunner for always running out of bounds.

Anonymous said...

It also makes Troy such a difference maker because if teams put it in the air 40 times against the steelers, eventually his abilities make them pay with turnovers.

Anonymous said...

The Steelers offense under Ben & Bruce has not shown the style of offense you are talking about, which is a disciplined, timing, pass-first offense. This is why the Pats / Saints / Colts / Packers have scored points so highly and consistently in recent years (as consistently as LeBeau's defense has held points scored to a low number).

When the Steelers are explosive, it is usually because of improvised plays by Ben & the receivers. They are not a consistent Pats dink-and-dunk style offense. Which is not Ben's style of play, he's a bit of a throwback (refreshing!). Or Bruce's, if you can call what he does a "style."

I see no reason that changes this year. Which is fine. We've got a top 5 QB & top 5 roster & top 5 defense, we'll be fine. But I expect a similar average scoring offense this season. Sure, Ben can win a shootout any day of the week, he's got the talent around him, but as far as making a system out of it -- the way the Steelers D is consistent with theirs, sometimes to a fault, but overall it's almost always been top rate lately -- I would be shocked if we turned into a high-scoring offense.

Giants - 17 Pats- 14 -- PASS RUSH!

steagle34 said...

last 3 Super Bowl winners stats:

2008 PIT offense:
4.9 yds/play (below avg)
2008 PIT defense:
3.9 yds/play (rather dominant)
PIT's M.O. - Defense

2009 NO offense:
6.3 yds/play (rather dominant)
2009 NO defense:
5.5 yds/play (below avg, but forced a lot of TOs for great O)
NO's M.O. - outscore everybody

2010 GB offense:
5.7 yds/play (6th best)
2010 GB defense:
5.1 yds/play (above avg)
GB's M.O. - utilize your 3rd-best (yds/play) pass offense & 3rd-best (yds/play) pass defense

Btw, 2010 PIT O was above avg at 5.6 yds/play, while D was #1 at 4.5 yds/play.

The last two champs were excellent offenses that passed a lot. Two other very good pass-happy offenses made the previous two finals, but the '07 Giants and '08 Steelers had enough to slow them down and get by.

The game is getting more pass-friendly and higher scoring. You'd better bring firepower of your own. But I don't think that old standbys of possessing the ball and having a good D (measured by points, yards, and TOs) have gone by the wayside.

I second the idea that C.Brown and C.Allen need to make progress and impact THIS season.

roberet k said...

Every time the NFL makes the game more offense friendly they cheapen it. I get tired if seeing teams chuck the ball every down. Someday soon Touchdowns will be so cheap they won't even be exciting anymore...

Anonymous said...

just heard the Ravens O-line coach is suspended for 2 games following his 3rd DWI conviction

any tweets from Ray Rice? That idiot needs to stfu

Anonymous said...

NFL channel reporting Troy signed a 4 year extension. Back to our regularly scheduled programming

Jonathan said...