Monday, September 10, 2012

GTOPG: "It's my fault, and it's on me:" Steelers Lose 31-19

By GTOG Staff

If you've ever doubted GTOG's prescience, then perhaps you may be swayed by Artistry's incredibly on-point post-game tweet regarding Ben Roethlisberger's woeful interception to cut short the potential game-winning drive.

Cut to this morning's Post-Gazette where Big Ben accepts 100% of the blame, immediately after taking a dump on the offense.
"I should have called time out," Roethlisberger said. "The play clock was running down, and I hate to burn time outs, but I should have because we were kind of all over the place. There's no one to blame but myself. I already told my teammates and coaches, it's my fault and it's on me. That loss is squarely on my shoulders."  
Or maybe you prefer this one?
“We were kind of in no-huddle,” Roethlisberger continued. “But Coach (offensive coordinator Todd Haley) called a play because he wanted a play. It was really loud out there, and I didn’t get (the play call) at first. Once I got it I relayed it, and we were just kind of late getting set up. “(Sanders) was the last guy (in the progression). I really thought he had a step on (Porter) and I could get it to him. The guy (Porter) made a good play.”
Oh, Ben.  You are so Ben.

Ben feels comfortable in yellow shirts.
Other than that indefensible pick-6, two other negatives stood out.  First, the backfield.  Ike "Second-and-9" Redman and Jonathan Dwyer You Getting So Much Playing Time? combined for 63 yards on 20 carries and neither ever really seemed a threat to break loose and, you know, get a first down.  Some of this is attributable to a poor offensive line and some of it is attributable to calling draws and delays with backs who don't appear to be talented.  But no matter who gets healthy on the O-line or what Todd Haley calls, it's a good bet that Ben will be throwing 40 times per game for the foreseeable future.

The second glaring negative was the defense.  It's not that it's a bad defense, it's that it is obvious that this defense isn't close to being as good as the defense from the past 8 years (at least not yet).  It's unclear whether Troy has been reading his own press-clippings about having divine instincts, or if his dozens of concussions have rendered him a shell of his former self, but he is now consistently "instincting" himself right out of position.  Timmons and Woodley were non-factors and while both are good players, they are not as consistently dominant as we thought they would be when they were drafted.  No one can remember whether Brett Keisel played last night or if he was still in Latrobe wearing trucker hats and signing autographs.  Cameron Heyward and Ziggy Hood better get a lot better quickly because Casey Hampton is going to die on the field if he ever gets stuck out there during a 2-minute drill.  And the secondary trying to cover big-play receivers?

Of course, it's only one game so it's no time to panic.  Some positives:

- Antonio Brown was targeted 8 times ... if he ever gets less than 10 targets for the rest of the season it's a crime.  Every time he touches the ball something good happens.  Mike Wallace was also surprisingly sharp for not having any training camp, although no one other than Wallace's agent would be disappointed if Haley dropped the end zone fade route to Wallace from the playbook.

- Drew Butler is the early frontrunner for team MVP.  Forget RG3's first TD pass -- Butler's first punt that was downed at the 1 yard line had Ray Guy unable to stand up for 5 minutes.

This is something you're born with.
- The short -- and QUICK -- passing game is a necessity this year.  It kept Ben clean for most of the game and ate up a ton of clock.  The temptation is to settle for field goals because it gives Drew Butler a chance to hold, but if Ben doesn't miss a wide open Heath Miller, it's a different game.

- Speaking of Big Money, over the past 8 years, you never heard him make a peep about the fact that the Steelers seemed to be unaware that the tight end is an eligible receiver.  What a professional.  He deserves every target he's going to get this season.

- It's easy to lose sight of the fact most teams struggle trying to defend against a dangerous quarterback running a no-huddle offense.  The Broncos defense struggled just as much as Pittsburgh's.  The difference may have been as simple as Ben putting two more feet of air on a pass to a wide open Miller in the end zone.

- We should see a progression in this Todd Haley offense from red zone field goals to red zone touchdowns.  Hard to imagine his offense will leave as many points on the field as B.A.'s, no matter how many delayed draws he calls.

- The Steelers can't lose two offensive lineman every game.  Right?  RIGHT?

1 comment:

  1. I think it is clear the hopeless romantic (aka Big Ben)is declining. The good news is that we will eventually be able to trade him to the Raiders for 2 first round picks when he is completely washed up.