Monday, October 17, 2011

GTOPG: Blame it on the wind, but no excuses; Steelers barely hang on to win, 17-13

By Artistry

If there is one thing that's almost sure to be more entertaining than an October football game between the Steelers and Jacksonville Jaguars, it's the Steelers trying to explain why they didn't win said football game by three touchdowns.

"I never make excuses," said quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, prompting everyone at GTOG headquarters to take out our notepads and prepare to take copious notes. "When [the wind] is blowing, you have to put a lot of spin on the ball. I just wasn't doing that."

"The wind most definitely was a factor, but we won't use that as an excuse at all," added receiver Mike Wallace.

"It was gusting pretty good," continued Roethlisberger, and I swear to you, I'm not making this up. "Dan [Sepulveda] said on the last punt he wanted to take off and run. He didn't even want to punt it. It was what it was. It was kind of Heinz Field. One series it blows one way, then it swirls on you. Like I said, no excuses."

"I blacked out this morning when I was getting dressed, but no excuses."
- Rashard Mendenhall's 146-yard game came against a very solid Jacksonville run defense. No other running back has mustered more than 75 yards against the Jags. As Ron Cook put it this morning: "The team's best back, by far." We've been telling you the same thing for weeks, and we've been using complete sentences.

- The run defense, on the other hand, is the Steelers single biggest concern. Playing at home, against a rookie quarterback, they should be giving up next to nothing on the ground. As recently as last season, we took that for granted. Now, they can't stop anybody. Maurice Jones Drew was 4 yards shy of being the third back to top 100 yards against the Steelers in 6 games. Pittsburgh is now 15th in the league in rushing yards allowed. Do one thing exceptionally well, and you can cover up for a lot of deficiencies. But considering that the Steelers' other big weakness on defense is that they're susceptible to getting carved up through the air by accurate passers, that adds up to a bad defense.

- To this point, we've been telling you nothing you see on a given Sunday matters. September and October football is not November and Dee-cember football. Now, that changes. The Cardinals are coming off a bye week, and you never want to give Kevin Kolb extra preparation time. Follow that with consecutive home games against New England and Baltimore. In a few weeks, the Steelers really will have no excuses.

- Coming soon to GTOG: Finesse will have 360 degree, top to bottom, from all angles, every inch covered, coverage of the NFL. If we aren't writing about it, that means it doesn't matter.

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