Steelers Fall To Pats

15 11 2010

By Justin Cupler

In a game that looked like a great match-up, the Steelers offense and defense came in as flat as fans have seen all year.

When the Patriots were exposed by the Browns last week, it looked as if the Steelers would roll relatively easily. Well, the “on any given Sunday” rule must have applied last Sunday, because the Patriots were back to normal, jumping out to a quick 10 – 0 lead and they never looked back.

The Defense appeared tired with two of their three big men — Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel — out of the game. The linebackers were easily held in check by New England’s linemen as Ziggy Hood and Nick Eason proved again that they are not high-quality players. Luckily, Hood is young and may still improve, but Eason  just looks old and tired. A possible solution may be Chris Hoke at defensive end, but given the steady hand of Mike Tomlin that probably will not happen.

William Gay was by far the weakest link of the defense, personally allowing all 3 of New England’s passing touchdowns.

Teams are beginning to catch on to Troy Polamalu’s antics and good quarterbacks are learning to look him off. Not that there is anything wrong with Troy, he just needs to learn to not always bite on the first look and against higher-caliber QBs he needs to stay in his zone longer before breaking on the ball. Easy for me to say from my living room….

The offense was atrocious until the 4th quarter. Ben was rushed on nearly every play and did whatever he could to stay upright. The offensive line looked terrible, as the Patriots were overloading the right side, knowing that the left side could still get pressure without blitzing.

I question the depth chart today, I do not understand why Ramon Foster and Jonathan Scott were the starters over Doug Legursky. Legursky has played in every game and has played pretty well, this could have taken some of the pressure off of the right side of the line.

Fans also got to see what happens when Hines Ward is not in the lineup, we saw Randle El drop 2 sure touchdowns, but we did get to see the two speedsters –Mike Wallace and Emmanual Sanders– on the field together, that looks to be a deadly combination in the future. I will again repeat, I love Randle El, in his role, he is not and never will be a #1 or #2 wide-out, he is a slot receiver and a gadget guy only.

Overall, the offense showed that they can move the ball with ease, in the 4th quarter, and they did their best week 9 Bengals impression. Just as the Bengals did against the Steelers, we came up short.

My 10 Thoughts:

1 ) The Defense needs Smith and Keisel back, as I said Hoke at DE might not be a bad idea.

2 ) Ben did his best to come back, this loss should not be placed on his shoulders.

3 ) Mendenhall needs more carries, I see Moore a lot more than I like to. More Moore is not a good thing.

4 ) Mike Wallace shined again and is now being guarded like a premier receiver and with Ward out, that left him triple covered. He still went over 100 yards.

5 ) Heath Miller had two drops, and one in the end zone. I hope your DVR was set, because you won’t see that happen again.

6 ) Timmons, once again, played his heart out and looked great.

7 ) William Gay is terrible, I think it is time to experiment with Crezdon Butler or find someone in free agency.

8 ) Wes Welker looked scared of Ryan Clark, didn’t he?

9 ) Jeff Reed has officially lost the confidence of Tomlin, the Rooneys and the Team. I think he has worn out his welcome, unfortunately.

10 ) Daniel Sepulveda has blossomed into a good punter, despite an off-game today.

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10 responses

15 11 2010
Pat Fan

Y’all got schooled!

15 11 2010
cup1981

I will be the first to admit that the Patriots came to play and won this game easily. I hope to see a rematch in the Playoffs.

15 11 2010
rafterman1957

When is Dick LeBeau going to follow the Tom Coughlin blue print for stuffing Tom Brady? He had all week to throw.

No Dick, your schemes don’t cut it! PRESSURE WORKS!

15 11 2010
cup1981

Rafterman–

I think when you take Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel off of the D-line, it really impacts what LeBeau can call. You no longer have the two big men eating up several blockers. This means that the linebackers can no longer run free and LeBeau noticed this so called very few Blitzes. I cant think of more than five defensive plays were more than 4 guys blitzed. Hopefully Keisel gets back soon and Aaron Smith hopefully will make it back before the end of the regular season.

If not, like I said, why not try Hoke on one of the ends, he is plenty athletic enough.

15 11 2010
CT Pats Fan

A lot of “Steelers looked great” and “patriots looked scared” comments for a team that got spanked at home. Don’t you think?

15 11 2010
cup1981

Two references: “Timmons, once again, played his heart out and looked great.” which he did. “Mike Wallace shined again” which he did.

One reference: “Wes Welker looked scared of Ryan Clark” which he did, unless you missed it, he alligator-armed a pass over the middle and it was pretty damn funny.

Most of my report is how poor the Steelers’ defense was, if you bothered to even read it lol 🙂

And, yes the Pats spanked my Steelers today.

15 11 2010
CT Pats Fan

I’ll admit, I skipped to your “10 thoughts” section – sounded a lot more rosy that the result 🙂

I’m not sure I’d say the Steelers D played “poorly” – seems they were out-schemed, as much as anything else. The formations – and Patriots 1-on-1 play, to be fair – had the outside LB’s moving backwards, not forwards. Polamalu is still the best player in the NFL, IMHO, but even he can’t dominate when there’s no pressure on the QB.

15 11 2010
cup1981

I will 1,000% say that I believe Polamalu is still one of the best, he just needs to tune his game a little now that teams are using his strength against him. It happens with all great players, the extraordinary player are able to make small changes and continue greatness. I too think that Troy will continue to dominate.

Yeah, the 10 thoughts are not meant for direct tie-in to the game, just small snip-it that crossed my mind during the game.

A lot of that backward motion by the backers was somewhat due to the not-so-hot play by our two reserve ends on top of the very good play by the Pats O-line.

One thing that many NFL teams can learn from this game. When you think you have a team down, hit them even harder and score even more points, not this “mercy” crap. If the Pats would have let up –Like the Todd Haley’s of the NFL want– it could have easily been tied. I credit the Pats coaching staff and the players for jamming the ball down my teams throat, THAT is how pro football is meant to be played — my Patriots friend/foe…

Even in defeat, you must recognize good football…

On to next week…

15 11 2010
CT Pats Fan

Commentators said last night that Troy (easier to type!) wasn’t the “roam around” guy any more – he’s on a leash now. Why? He’d wreak havoc when he was unpredictable. Fast, athletic, smart.

I just heard about Todd Haley – save it for the locker room!

16 11 2010
cup1981

I think the commentators are making an assumption, Troy has said many times, that he is not leashed. He has said that Timmons has taking on more of the “Wild Card” role in the defense in the last few games. His movements are just more structured and timed than they were before. In his rookie and second year, he would blow some plays because of his lack of structure, of course he made more than he missed, but he tightened up and became more structured –That structure increased when Timmons began shining.

I think it will honestly go back and forth between the two, depending on the flow of the game. Timmons plays like a larger Troy –Which is scarrrrry lol. This defense is one great cover man away from being –possibly– the best, Ike can’t cover the entire team lol, which is why T.O. crushed us last week and Ochocinco was shut down (Ike is a Ocho-Johnson specialist for some reason, Ocho-Johnson has said that himself lol).

Yeah Todd Haley needs to pick his times to whine a little better next time.

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