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Monday, October 22, 2012

Lolley's post-Cincinnati thoughts

The Twittersphere was erupting when the Steelers got in a 14-3 hole to open this game following a Ben Roethlisberger sack and fumble - where the QB stepped right into the waiting arms of several Cincinnati pass rushers.

The season was over. It was time to start thinking about the draft, yada, yada, yada.

And just like that, the Steelers took back the momentum.

They also kept it, thanks to Keenan Lewis.

It was Lewis, on the opening possession of the second half, who peeled off his coverage after reading Andy Dalton's eyes and came back to help Ike Taylor in the end zone on A.J. Green.

If Lewis doesn't tip that ball away, it's a touchdown and a 21-14 Cincinnati lead.

Instead, the Bengals kicked a field goal and then gained a total of 28 yards on 17 plays the rest of the way.

@ I wrote on this blog last week that everything was still right there to accomplish for these Steelers.

It most certainly is now.

That was a signature defensive performance against what has been a pretty good offense.

Yes, the Steelers failed to record a sack, but they had consistent pressure throughout the evening to keep Dalton off balance.

And after the opening drive by the Bengals, the Steelers adjusted and kept Cincinnati from further gouging them on the ground.

It was also the first time this season that the running game looked competent.

I know, they ran the ball with some effectiveness against the Jets, but not as effectively as they did Sunday night against the Bengals.

@ Willie Colon showed some real nasty in this game. It's what everyone had been waiting for when the Steelers moved him inside to guard.

@ If not for some dropped passes, and some ill-timed penalties, this game would have been a 20-point blowout.

The biggest penalty to me was a holding call on DeMarcus Van Dyke - at least the third special teams penalty on him this season - that negated an Antonio Brown punt return to midfield.

That set up Roethlisberger stepping up into a fumble that handed the Bengals their second touchdown - on A.J. Green's only catch.

@ Taylor did a nice job on Green, following him around throughout the game.

I don't think that was originally the plan - or at least that's what Ryan Clark said.

Clark said he went to Mike Tomlin and asked that Taylor be put on Green one-on-one.

Taylor had help a lot of times with Green, and there's nothing wrong with that.

The way the current NFL rules are, it's damn near impossible to play defensive back in this league.


adamg said...

Thanks for the recap, Dale as I could only watch until halftime.

The few times I could isolate on Colon he looked good in the run game, but he got ragdolled at least once, too, in pass pro.

Ben still needs to learn to go down when he's wrapped up like he was before the fumble. Had he done so, it would have been the tuck rule, not a fumble. I sure hope BR sees how much Haley's offense helps him when he watches the film.

Kudos to Suisham for making those 45+ yd FGs esp after last week.

Too bad Batch puckered up on that wr option pass and dropped it.

John Kang said...

I was one of those people who declared the season over at 14-3. I stand corrected.

However, there are glaring problems of run defense (I can't believe we've deteriorated so much in one year-- do we miss Aaron and James that much?), poor discipline (horrible penalties!), and dropped balls (does Mike Wallace REALLY want to be paid?).

Hope we can turn it all around.

Anonymous said...

Mike Wallace just doesn't look like a guy who is giving it his all. The drops and dumb penalties just seem like the mark of a guy who doesn't care that much.

At what point does Ben decide to look somewhere else with the ball?

marc said...

the o-line blocking was somewhat better on the run plays, but i give most the credit to miller and dwyer. miller was making outstanding blocks and dwyer ran hard to break tackles and gain extra yards. many times bengal's defenders had a free shot on dywer and he brushed them off.

the penalties are an issue, but really, the bengals didn't have a penalty called on them until the 3rd quarter and some of the holding calls against the steelers were lame. i blasted the replacement refs, but in hindsight, these guys aren't much better.

i said before this season started that wallace and/or his agent were idiots for not taking the deal. unless he goes nuts the rest of the season, who's gonna give him that mega contract.

finally, nice job by the defense and CB's. they played well in the 4th quarter and that's why they won the game. d-line still struggling with the run, but we expected that i guess. i was surprised the bengals didn't go more to grisham over the middle. it seemed open with clark shading to green's side most the game.

Anonymous said...


Is McClendon in Tomlin's dog house, so to speak? Big Snack is a Big Silhouette these days, but his backup has gotten fewer than 5 snaps per game this year. What gives?

Steve-O said...

I seem to recall a few commenters on this blog looking to dump Legursky and labeled him as too small/ineffective. I think he proved his detractors wrong last night and was one of the unsung heroes.

Anonymous said...

yeah, why isn't McClendon and Heyward getting more playing time?

especially with how our D-line is getting pushed around. Those 2 guys are pretty stout afaik

Anonymous Brian said...

Wallace looks like he has trouble catching the ball cleanly -- not just talking about last night with the drops -- alot of the time when he does hang on. He did have eight catches and that third down catch (which I thought was going to be overturned). Anyway, stats all you want but the eye test says the contract went to the right receiver, long term, in August.

Nice of Ben to pick a critical moment in the season to start whining about his OC beforehand. In some ways, Ben is having his best season -- I don't get the timing.

And it's not like if Ben had made one or two more completions in the Oakland & Tennessee games they would have won those, right? (Collinsworth was saying how Ben was telling the offense in a meeting that they should close out the games, not the D. Well, yeah, go ahead and do it then.)

Haley handed the offense a 38-point game plan last night, to which they said no thanks.

Great to get a win. The team overall played really well in the second half. Who cares if it's the Bengals and whether or not the AFC is "mediocre," just get to ten wins and see what happens.

ibygeorge said...

It looked like Haley and LeBeau did their homework. I think they now know who this team is and are ready with any needed adjustments to their gameplans. This team when its healthy will be awesome.

Anonymous said...

hopefully Harrison gets healthier every game. he is a shell of his former self

i would also like to see McClendon and Hayward get more playing time. Hood was getting manhandled

Once Mendenhall and Redman are healthy, i hope they keep Dwyer dressed instead of Batch

Anonymous said...

I agree with Dwyer over Batch on gamedays

marc said...

harrison being out on that field says a lot about his backups. i would estimate he is playing at 60% and rather ineffective. yet, his backups can't do more than that?

bytor said...

The game ball should be shared between Dwyer and the offensive line. The line played well considering all the injuries. Heath had a big game not only receiving but blocking as well. Why does Ziggy Hood continue to get a pass from everybody? He is ineffective at best. It was disheartening to see him continually get pushed off the line even when being blocked by 1 guy. No wonder they kept running the ball right over him. He should be much more productive at this point in his career.

Anonymous said...

It seems like the only people Ziggy Hood is getting a pass from is the coaching staff, everyone else seems to see just how bad he has been. Obviously the Bengals saw it which is why they ran at him non-stop with huge success.

Anonymous said...

Game ball goes to Heath Miller no question. He was the 2nd reciever last night going 6 for 53 and 1 TD. Plus improved the ground game with his blocking, dude did it all and every year proves his value.

Willie Colon played maybe his best game of the season and I noticed Keisel steamrolling some guys for the first time since his groin injury. Also Ziggy Hood made the play of his career and batted down that pass.

marc said...

miller definitely gets game ball. he was mr. do-it-all in that game.

hood is definitely a disappointment. i don't know whether it's strength, technique or what, but a first round pick should be causing many more problems for the defense.

dale, what's your thought on ziggy. does he have the potential or was that just a miss by the front office?

Anonymous said...

I think ziggy is more of a miscast in the 3-4 than a miss. Everytime he's inside rushing you can clearly see his effectiveness. It just hasn't translated to LeBeau's system

Anonymous said...

Ziggy just sucks period. I don't know what inside moves your seeing. The guy can't defend the run or rush the passer.

kyle said...

I was one of the people talking about Legursky being too small. And I was talking about at Guard. I am fine with him playing Center but I do not want him trying to maul anyone at Guard.

Anonymous said...

Come on Dale, you're the pot calling the kettle black. You tweeted this early in the game:

"Dale Lolley ‏@dlolleyor
At least the #Steelers defense won't have a fourth quarter lead to blow"

Patrick said...

Dale in the previous thread you said Sanders cramped up. You meant he cramped up, ...wink, nod.....right?

Anonymous said...

Based on PFF grading from the game it looks like the Bengals running got going more because of the lack of play from Foote than Hood.

Dale Lolley said...

I can't Tweet in jest?
Jeez, if I can't do that, I've got no reason to Tweet any more.

Hood's play has been lackluster thus far. But he works too hard to not be successful in the long term.

Anonymous said...

Steelers DE Ziggy Hood did not pick up any pressures on his 26 pass rushes, but he did bat down two passes.

Good and bad on Ziggy, from PFF

joe said...

anyone else start laughing out loud when colon squished/humped burfict into the turf ??

i read that hood is not asked to do what he is good at. attacking ? but i have no idea what he did in college

always liked casey, but it is time for someone else to start. i would really like to see more of mclendon and heyward. maybe some hood at nt.

the penalties this team racks up are just stupid. miller had another all around outstanding game

marc said...

dale, if he's working that hard and this is the result, isn't that a sign he just doesn't have it to be a high quality starter at his position?

how is cortez allen doing? will he play sunday?

Dale Lolley said...

Cortez Allen has been playing, don't know that I understand that question.

marc said...

huh, i thought he got hurt on sunday?

marc said...

sorry, will allen.

Anonymous said...

"Once Mendenhall and Redman are healthy, i hope they keep Dwyer dressed instead of Batch"

Doubtful. Batch plays teams, IIRC. Dwyer doesn't.