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Sunday, December 09, 2012

Post San Diego thoughts

I saw a Steelers team Sunday that seemed relieved that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was back.

So relieved, in fact, that it came into a game against the San Diego Chargers thinking it could just rely on Roethlisberger to get the job done.

The Steelers talked about being backup quarterback friendly in the games in which Byron Leftwich and Charlie Batch started when Roethlisberger was out.

But they did very little to help Roethlisberger out in the first 40 minutes Sunday, dropping passes, failing to open holes in the running game, and doing little with the running lanes that were there.

The defense didn't help much either, seemingly allowing the Chargers to drive to at least midfield even when they didn't score, to pin the offense deep in their own territory.

The Steelers' starting position in the first half was their own 20, 8, 21, 9, 7, 11, 38 and 10.

 Now, certainly, the Steelers could have helped themselves with a couple of first downs, but offensive coordinators tend to get a little conservative with their play calling in when starting inside their own 11 five times.

We saw why in the third quarter, when Roethlisberger threw a WR screen at his own 8 that bounced off of David Paulsen's behind and into the end zone, where it was recovered by Quinton Jammer for a touchdown.

@ Lost in the win last week at Baltimore was the fact the Steelers running game wasn't over productive.

It was even less so on Sunday, as Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman combined for 10 carries for 32 yards.

Both were stuffed on short-yardage plays from the Pittsburgh 47 when they appeared to line up somewhere between the jumbotron and bank of the Allegheny River in an attempt to pick up the yardage.

It begs the question, is Rashard Mendenhall so far in the doghouse that he can't get a shot at playing ahead of one of these two guys?

I know Mendenhall isn't the most popular guy with some Steelers fans, but he's still their most talented running back right now.

And who cares if he's not on the roster next year. This team is built to win now.

@ I'm not even going to get into playoff scenarios at this point any more. All you need to know is that the Jets at 6-7 are now back in the conversation.

@ The Chargers played with three backup linemen and the Steelers managed one sack, that being a play where Ziggy Hood ran Philip Rivers out of bounds at the line of scrimmage.

Then again, you have to credit Rivers there. He threw away more balls on Sunday than Steve Sax in his prime.


Anonymous said...

I was stunned by the lack of pressure from the Steelers given the scrubs the Chargers had playing on their oline today.

And yeah, get Mendenhall back on the field.

Anonymous said...

Playoff scenario: Steelers get in if they beat CIN and either DAL or CLE.

Anonymous said...

How hard is it to figure out the offense was going to be conservative and run the ball while trying to protect its qb? How hard is it to defense when Dwyer/Redman line up 9 yds behind the line of scrimmage on 3rd or 4th and 1 that whoever it is, is going to be running into the middle of the line?

Anonymous said...

totally agree with you, Dale... makes no sense to let Mendenhall ride the bench.

It seems like Redman hasn't gained a yard in over 2 games.

Plus, I'll never understand why BA or Haley won't use Mendenhall around the corners (just to change things up a bit) or quick passes out of the backfield to use his speed.

And oh, Mendenhall averaged close to 10 TDs the last 3 seasons... Redman/Dwyer have a total of what 2 or 3 this entire year?

joe said...

before the game we were discussing how ridiculous it is to have mendy on the pine.

@ tenn and today it isn't just the loss. it's the lack of discipline, poor coaching and overall atititude. do these guys think other teams are going to roll over because they are the steelers ?

two performances this year that flat out stunk. and that's being nice

Viktor said...

The Steelers made the Chargers look like the Patriots and too many dropped passes by the WRs.

Wallace again with dropping passes in key moments. Brown did drop a pass but i thought it was pass interference.

I think it goes to show how important chemistry is by way of the Charger o-line; they were all thrown in there and in turn were united by their situation. Idk I may be reaching there.

Any idea if Plex will be getting more snaps?

Dale Lolley said...

I thought Rivers made the line look better than it played by throwing the ball away about 10 times.

As for Burress, he's getting some snaps, but the package is still small for him. His timing with Roethlisberger was horrible in practice.

Anonymous said...

Tired of losing to bad teams, we didn't play down to the Chargers level we played lower than it. Ike is more important than I thought, Curtis Brown and Josh V. covering D. Alexander... really? Would rather have DeCastro in the lineup over Legursky, hope that comes to fruition.

Anonymous said...

everyone remember Mendenhall's first game back this year? He was a beast. He has great speed and quickness. He is a game-changer. He is a guy that in a game like yesterday can make plays on ability alone and move the chains

good call benching him Tomlin lol

marc said...

i was traveling and didn't get to see the game. but, not really surprised they lost. the chargers haved showed than can play well and simply gave away some games this year. it appears rivers finally stopped throwing the ball up for grabs and just threw it out of bounds instead.

if the steelers came out flat, then shame on them. and that's not a coaching problem. if, as a player, you can't get up for a game with the playoffs on the line, then you are mentally weak.

i hope taylor is back against the cowboys. not sure how the steelers will defend bryant and austin without him.

joe said...

for some reason i watched it again. i can't believe how bad the offense was. points and yards in garbage time just made the score look closer to anyone who didn't watch it.
it was a butt kicking and the steelers didn't seem to mind taking it.

tomlin= terrible day coaching. are you going to put yourself in the doghouse with mendy ?

i'm guessing the owners booth noticed the boos and the empty stadium before the game was over. btw...the team played like garbage....but what's up with leaving early ?

foote pointing fingers in the press ??

Anonymous said...

"but what's up with leaving early ?"

you must be a new fan. this has gone on for 10+ years

i was at the wildcard game against Cleveland when half the stadium left and the Steelers erased a 17 point deficit to win in the 4th quarter

Anonymous Brian said...

Some pretty bad football the last couple of years.

I mean sloppy, inconsistent, sometimes plain old dumb. I think at the end of last year Dale said something rhetorical like, Was it possible to stumble to a 12-4 record? Same kind of play this year. (Partly due to injuries, but only partly.)

I think head coaches should be judged on big picture wins & losses, and Tomlin obviously has gotten it done in that regard.

But it's almost like this team plays as if it thinks style points don't matter.

Antonio Brown's lack of effort on the "fumble" was almost as bad as Tomlin's "I-give-up-I'm-not-going-to-go-for-two" decisions.

Mike Wallace made an over the shoulder TD catch while pretty tightly covered -- when the game was already over. Pad those stats.

Re Kiesel & Clark saying they weren't up for the game -- well, either that, or they're not that good. Maybe they just played up at the Giants and Ravens and were being themselves vs. the Titans, etc.

As far as "deserving" to get into the playoffs, who cares? The Giants had 3-4 losses last year which should have kept them out. (Not that I think the Steelers are winning the Super Bowl, just that, if you win enough to get in, you're in, and you deserve it.)

I almost don't want to watch vs. Dallas. Predictions: I think they'll lose, then beat Cincy & Cleveland & squeak in. If they play at Balt in the WC they win and lose in the divisional. If they play at NE or Den in the WC they lose.

joe said...

i'm not a new fan lol i just don't remember noticing a stadium so empty near the end of the game. but then i haven't saw too many steeler games where they looked so horrible.

ot...why are so many media trumpeting shanahan's offense for rg ? it's going to get him broke in two !

DD said...

I haven't seen a steelers team that unprepared in a loooong time. Gotta question the coach on that one. Of course, he doesn't play but he deserves some of the blame in this case. It is one thing to lose, but quite another to get smoked like that.

Dale Lolley said...

Don't see coaching being the issue. At what point are the players to blame for not showing up?
Ben was a little off early, which gave the Chargers field position. The defense held early, but then Wallace and Brown dropped catchable passes at midfield and Dwyer and Redman both failed to gain a yard at midfield.
The Chargers worked over Curtis Brown and Cortez Allen when he moved into the slot.

DAVE said...

It was a bad day. There will be better days.

marc said...

i agree with dale. when the players don't show up, it doesn't really matter how good the gameplan may be. if they don't execute, it won't work.

now, that doesn't mean the coaches are absolved of any wrongdoing. i've never been a fan of screen passes by your own goaline...too much bad can happen.

i also agree with patrick...tomlin should've gone for two. at that point in the game, with your # of possession limited, you need to get as many points as possible as often as possible.

Dale Lolley said...

I don't disagree that they should have gone for two. But I said they should go for 2 when they cut the score to 27-9 as well, late in the third quarter. Could have cut it to two scores there as well.
They got a stop after that - following the fake - but then turned it over again.

joe said...

wallace and brown drop too many passes, nobody is claiming otherwise.

mendy not getting a hat, going for it on 4th, the play call on fourth, no two pt conversion. poor coaching

fumbles, penalties, dropped passes. something just isn't right with this team.