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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Random thoughts

I keep on seeing people rip the Pittsburgh offense because it has broken 30 points just once this season.

But that's a lazy thought, in my opinion.

In fact, I've seen people using the Seattle Seahawks' recent points explosion as a way to rip the Pittsburgh offense. Look at how many of those Seattle points came off of turnovers.

Opponents have scored 101 points off of 27 Pittsburgh turnovers this season. The Steelers have scored 41 points off of their 13 forced turnovers.

Turnovers matter.

Add in the fact the Steelers have played three games with backup quarterbacks, and you have an offense that isn't being helped by its defense.

That has been my point with the Steelers the past two seasons. In their past 30 regular season games, the Steelers have forced 28 turnovers, less than one per game.

Yet when I've ripped this defense, which has played well in terms of yards allowed, some on this blog have ripped me. A big part of playing defense, however, is forcing an opponent into mistakes and taking advantage of them. And it never hurts to give your offense a short field or two per game.

The Steelers defense hasn't done that the past two seasons.

@ Shaun Suisham won't make the Pro Bowl because he's not a glamour name at kicker and he's not leading the league in points.

But Suisham should get consideration.

Suisham has made 15 consecutive field goals - tying his career high - and his only miss was an ill-advised 54-yard attempt in Tennessee.

When you consider Suisham does half of his work at Heinz Field, one of the toughest venues in the league for kickers, you realize what a good season he's had.

@ I've seen a number of stats bandied about by people looking for reasons why the Bengals will beat the Steelers Sunday.

One of the (many) laughable ones is this: The Bengals are 10-5 in road games started in the past two seasons by Andy Dalton.

That's all well and good, but three of those losses have come at Baltimore (2) and Pittsburgh (1).

The more important stat is that Dalton has thrown for just over 400 yards in three starts against the Steelers - or fewer yards than the 431 the Steelers rolled up in their 24-17 win at Cincinnati earlier this season when Dalton was 14 of  28 for 105 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Does that mean the Bengals can't win? No.

But I have to see it before I believe it.

@ Was talking with somebody tonight at my son's championship game in the indoor 18-under baseball league - shameless plug - and they brought up that the Steelers miss Hines Ward.

I started to go into an explanation about how Ward couldn't play anymore, but then said, "You're right."

This team misses Ward's leadership in the wide receiver room. It was thought that Jerricho Cotchery could help replace that, but even though Cotchery is a quality vet and good leader, it's hard to follow someone who's No. 4 or 5 on the depth chart - especially when he's a guy who hasn't put up big seasons in the NFL.

That's no knock on Cotchery. But I think that's part of the reason the Steelers finally decided to sign Plaxico Burress.

Burress has put up 1,000-yard seasons and performed well on the game's biggest stage. You could see that there was an immediate respect with Burress among Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders.


Anonymous said...

Remember some of the Steelers losses to, Tennessee, Oakland, Cleveland and San Diego.. Th

Easley said...

I've never heard of indoor baseball, but wish they had it where we live in the DC area, my baseball-crazy son would love that. How big a facility do you need to play it, must be huge?

Anonymous Brian said...

That's definitely true about the defense and lack of turnovers, but generally speaking the defense has carried the offense for years. Even with an elite QB -- and Ben is -- the offense has been consistently average, dependent on having an elite defense to be a top-tier team.

Which is fine, it's a team sport. But even conceding that the 30-point / Seahawks comparison arguments don't have much merit, overall the offense has not come close to being as good as the defense in the Ben-Bruce (now Haley) era despite seeming to have a ton of skill position talent and always seeming like they're about to start putting up points.

(As far as the Super Bowl heroics of Ben & Santonio, Harrison put up six by himself in that game, and the '08 offense doesn't go near the playoffs without having the best defense of the no-defense era carrying it through the tough regular season schedule.)

So I think it's just overall frustration at the offense's average-ness as a body of work that gets that kind of thinking going, rather than actually thinking the Seahawks have a better offense.

Dale Lolley said...

Your statements ring true, but I keep seeing the comparisons to what Seattle is doing, without anyone adding the the defense usually plays a part in those kind of games. Heck, New England's defense is much more opportunistic than Pittsburgh's, which plays a big part in their offensive output as well.

As for the indoor baseball, at the 18-under level, you basically have enough room for about 15 to 20 feet beyond the infield - no outfielders - and netting. Anything hit off the ceiling is an out - if the carom doesn't hit the back wall first.
Teaches kids to hit line drives.
Overall facility is about half a football field

Henry said...

What a completely moronic decision by Tomlin. We are going to miss the playoffs on a mistake He already made earlier in the yr against Tenn.


Henry said...

Wow. Ben Bed Pooping Roethlisberger.

This should put an end to the discussion of whether or not Ben is an elite QB. Elite QBs dont throw game losing INTs in back to back weeks when you're in a playoff hunt.

Anonymous said...

I am so tired of seeing the idiotic sandlot plays backfire from the dumbest qb in the NFL. I'm sure I'm not the only one who noticed when BR was executing Haley's offense, checking down and taking what was given, the offense moved and the team won. When BR reverted to his sandlot ways, no surprise the offense bogged down, the sacks increased and the turnovers started to happen in bunches.

As far as I'm concerned, BR can join his buddy Wallace playing for another team next year.

Anonymous said...

How about those Steelers?
Who will Big Ben blame this week?

Anonymous Brian said...

The defense had produced three turnovers and held Cincy to three points up until Ben's latest game-loser.

The offense, nothing. In fact, worse than nothing, since Ben gave the game away early with the pick six.

Utterly pathetic. Can't wait for it to be passive aggressively Haley's fault.

Anonymous said...

Haley and Ben both deserve some blame for the failure of the offense. The running game has failed again this year.