Monday, November 15, 2010

GTOPG: D-Line counts to 7 Mississippi; Steelers Lose; Media Blackout Underway

By Finesse

There are two scenarios which will really drive me into (sports) media darkness - when the Caps beat the Pens and when the Patriots beat the Steelers.  It's not just the loss, or the decline in the standings, or the fact that this seems to prove that the Steelers may be among the most overrated teams in the league -- no, it's that this is going to lead to a slobber fest over Bill Belichick and how much of a genius he is.  I would rather watch Comcast intentionally bill me for channels I don't get than listen to people talk about how great of a coach Bill Belichick is.

Some thoughts...
  • Make no mistake about it -- this was a complete abomination.  There is no way to sugar coat it.  The first series of the game by the Steelers was one of the tightest, most timid 3-and-outs of all time.  The offensive line is a travesty.  The coaching was awful.  Troy Polamalu is guessing like he is on Deal or No Deal and isn't getting the million dollar case.  Mewelde Moore could be one of the worst players in the league.  Randle El makes Martin St. Louis look tall.  This game was more about exposing the Steelers' numerous flaws than anything about the Patriots.
  • At no point ever in this blog will Bill Belichick receive any credit, but that won't stop me from slamming the Steelers' coaching staff.  I know the offensive line is a joke and I know that Hines had to be kept out of the game after the head injury, but this game was a repeat of the last 6 times we have played New England.  Spread out the Steelers D and throw 8 yard passes, don't run, and keep Brady from getting hit.  This was pioneered by Rich Gannon earlier this decade when he completed 20+ straight passes against the Steelers' D.  As we've said all season, there is a formula to beating the Steelers -- have a good quarterback.  Did Tomlin and Lebeau not expect this?  Every single Steelers' fan knew what was going to happen, so why didn't the coaching staff?
  • That being said, there is only so much you can do when William Gay is on your team.  He makes me pine for Dwayne Washington.
    Laughing to Keep from Crying
  • As I tweeted last night, the Patriots' offensive line gave Brady enough time in the pocket to watch tape of the Steelers' defensive signals.  If he is going to just stand back there with 5+ seconds every time, then the Steelers have literally no chance.  I'm not sure if Harrison, Woodley etc. just had a bad game or if the Pats' O-Line is just that good, but you don't need to be an inarticulate ex-jock to get on TV and break the tape of this one down.
  • A few more goats from last night:
    • Ben Roethlisberger: I wish the national media would stop talking about his escapability because it encourages him to take 5 step drops, freeze, scramble around, and then get sacked for being in the grasp on half of his dropbacks.  Ben, throw the ball.  I'm not a QB, but I've never seen anyone hold the ball this long.  It can't just be the terrible secondary receivers or the terrible O-Line -- after all, the Steelers aren't the first team with a bad O-Line.
    • The Crowd: The only thing tighter than the Steelers at the beginning of the game was the crowd.  Dreadful performance.  As a fan base, Pittsburghers are great.  But, as in-game participants, we leave a lot on the table.  Consol has been a dead zone and the Heinz Field crowd is notoriously terrible when the Steelers get down
    • Stunned. And Silent.
    • Jeff Reed: Time to cut the cord.
    • James Harrison: Invisible.
    • NBC: The EKG thing was idiotic.
In the grand scheme of things, this is a turning point, not just because the Steelers lost, but the way they lost.  We're still tied for first, but the trending is downward.  The D is not as good as everyone says it is, Roethlisberger is as maddening as ever, and the coaching staff seemed to be outclassed (as has happened before).  Oh, and everyone is injured.  Is this the beginning of another second-half collapse, or a wake-up call that will spark the team for the rest of the season?  At this point, I'm leaning toward the former.

Go Pens.

1 comment:

  1. Regarding the fans' contributions - I haven't lived in Pgh since the early '80s so I might not have a clue - but ten years ago or so I would try to get to the odd Pens game while in town for the holidays. The crowds seemed disinterested. I wondered if it was one of those things where it comes across different on TV than being there. But I have a new idea (!) that maybe the holiday crowds are not the regulars and don't know how to behave like a hometown crowd. Also, I have a feeling the best fans (that would be Joe Fan) are priced-out of today's games. I wonder how helpful the crowds would be without the student rush program.

    None of this is meant to excuse yinzerness.