November 18, 2007

Mike Tomlin Is Not Pleased With Your Incompetency...

No. 1 across the board won’t get you a cup of coffee.
- Dick LeBeau

"Stats are for after the season to enjoy. We’re not into stats right now; we’re into winning games...You know, there’s a fine line between 1-8 and 8-1. In this league, there’s really not much difference. We’ve already lost two games on the road, so we’ve got to be wary of these guys."
- Aaron Smith

"When you do those things -- you don't stop the run, you can't run the ball effectively, you can't protect your quarterback -- you have a high probability of losing."
- Mike Tomlin
Yet again I find myself disappointed and confused. A third loss for the Steelers predicated on the same shit as our other two losses, and what's most frustrating is that we could've (might have even) seen this coming. A special feature starring Big Ben on Sunday Morning Countdown, an 8.5 point favor from Vegas, and more hype than Peyton Manning and Tony Romo combined (ok maybe that's an exaggeration...)? Nothing like the kiss of death. It's like I told a boisterous, misguided Jet fan at the game this afternoon - "there is no such thing as an easy win." (Though one could be led to believe otherwise...1). And this just proves it.

So why did we lose this game?

1. Defensive Inadequacy In Crunch Time ~ As I talked about on Friday, just like against Denver and Cleveland, when we were given the chance to close out the game, our defense completely shit the bed. The last Jets drive before OT began at their 14 yard line with 2 minutes and 23 seconds left in what was at that point a 16-13 Steelers win. And yet 14 plays and 76 yards later, the Jets capped off a nice little drive with three points to send the game into OT. Hey guys, here's a tip from Boiler Room - "Always be closing." Always, not just 58 out of 60 minutes...

2. Inability To Establish The Run ~ Does anyone know why Willie Parker was on the sidelines for like half the game? As far as I could tell he wasn't injured. Plus, we were up against the WORST rush defense in the entire NFL. So all we could muster was 112 yards and 3.3 per carry (33 attempts)? Willie himself had 21 carries and only gained 52 yards. Those are numbers to forget. If you can't run on a team that hasn't been able to stop the run all year long, what does that say about you? Nothing good, I know that much...

3. Costly Turnovers ~ Ah yes, the old turnover routine. Big Ben was quite a success this afternoon, fumbling one ball away and throwing another to a guy with the wrong color jersey. Every turnover is costly, but ones that turn into points are especially costly in a game where points are at a premium. You just can't give teams the opportunity to beat you like that...

Of course, this is all not to mention the stupid penalties3, an embarrassing and untimely Leon Washington punt return4 and ZERO protection for Big Ben5. But who's counting.

All in all, this was a very discouraging loss. And not just because I was sandwiched among some of the most obnoxious sports fans on the face of the earth, screaming about how the Jets just pulled off an impossible feat6. But mostly because the Steelers failed to show any progress towards remedying the problems we've had all season. At least those which are capable of remedy. One of these days I'd just like to see us win one relatively flawlessly. Is that too much to ask?

What say you all? What were the biggest disappointments? Silverback only registering 10 tackles instead of like 25? Losing two coin tosses in one game? Curtis Martin's choice of attire? Let's have 'em...

1 - See here
2 - See Box Score - Disclaimer: if you choose to review this, please be sure to eliminate all sharp objects from your immediate surroundings. It may cause you to exhibit uncontrollable aggression and anger...
3 - 8 for 100 yards (including one pass interference call for 41 yards, courtesy of "Face Me" Ike Taylor...)
4 - When you kick away from a guy all game, why would you then all of a sudden decide overtime is a good time to kick it to him? Someone help me understand this...
5 - 7 sacks? You assholes let Ben get sacked 7 times by the league's worst defense? Miserable...
6 - It would appear some NY Jet fans believe that the Lombardi trophy is handed when a team wins 2 out of 10 other explanation for the display of bravado I was forced to bear witness to after today's game...

[Behind the Steel Curtain]
[DC Steeler Nation]
[Die Hard Steel]
[Doubt About It]
[Joey Porter's Pit Bulls]
[NonStop Steelers]
[Pittsburgh Sports and Mini Ponies]

[Associated Press]
[Fox Sports]

Ballhype: hype it up!


Black&Gold Girl said...

That's a good point. In all three loses and even the 2nd Browns game, our weaknesses remained the same. We suck at all the same things. I think it's time for that new coach of ours to step it up a little bit. It will be easy for other teams to study those game tapes and learn how to beat us.

Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls said...

Eight penalties: Inexcusable.

Black&Gold Girl said...

And for how many yards? 100. That's the worst part. That last one by Haggans was killer.

domski43 said...

The Steelers have been terrible on the road this year. Three losses on the road combined with losing two of the games to teams just coming off their bye week. Should this be blamed on Tomlin or lack of focus/execution by the players? Or both?

As for the Jets' final drive to tie the game and put the game in overtime.....this is a continuing problem. The steelers allow short passes, qb sneaks, all in the mindset of not allowing any plays to beat them deep when they play the prevent or what ever you want to call it defense. I'm not saying send all out blitzes, just dont get away from bringing some different looks/blitzes to continue to pressure the qb.

Poor tackling was key to the game as well. There were multiple times when the Steelers defenders tried to arm tackle Thomas Jones. I tie this to a lack of respect and overconfidence by the steelers d.

How many quick outs to the right did the Jets successfully run? Somebody needs to look that up because it was happening all day. Whether it was a tight end or a receiver that spot in the defense was an open wound that the jets continued to salt.

Offensively, I agree wholeheartedly with cotter...where is the run blocking and pass blocking?? If you allow the Jets' d (minus Vilma) to dominate you, its going to be tough sledding against any afc team we might meet in the playoffs. (if we can beat the rams/cincy/miami...not easy w's to chalk up after yesterday)

Better luck next week steelers (actually..get your shit together!!) how many wake up calls does this team need?

Christmas Ape said...

There's no way you can lay the loss at the defense's feet. They forced the Jets twice to turn the ball over on downs and forced a Kellens pick. How did the offense respond? A series of three-and-outs. Yes, the Steelers defense buckled on the Jets tying drive, but they had spent quite a stretch of time on the field making big stops and were given almost no relief by an offense that had several chances to run the clock out or extend the lead.

Cotter said...

Ape, I'm not sure if your comment is directed towards me or one of the other comments listed above, but if you're referring to my thoughts, I was not trying to place the burden completely on the defense.

In fact, I did call out the offensive ineptitude, specifically Big Ben's two turnovers and our lack of any kind of running game (which was particularly perplexing).

I lay blame equally, I don't discriminate.

Tobiathan said...

I'm disgusted by a lot of things. I hate to even say what the main point of my disgust is, but i'm gonna do it anyway since this is a forum for opinion:

I've said it before and i'll keep saying it until i either get proved right or i lose the ability to type- the referees were far too interested in penalizing the Steelers(and ONLY them) for us to ever have had a chance to win this game. Period.

I know, i know: it's taboo to blame bad calls for losses. It's not cool. Nobody likes excuses. I know all the cliches. But it was the same in effing Denver and Arizona. From the first devastating, unbelievably-timed pass interference to the last ridiculous defensive holding call it was all total, utter BS.

If you think i'm crazy watch the other fourteen games this week. See if every other team in every other game didn't do exactlly the same things we did. They just didn't get called for it continuously at only the most critical points of the game. It makes me sick to my stomach. The NFL hates the Steelers. They always have. If referees called Pittsburgh the way the called anybody else we'd have ten SBs by now.

To top it all off Randy Moss pushed off of every d-back he ran against in the Patrc*nts game aND NEVER ONCE GOT CALLED FOR IT. If anybody can watch just those two games and tell me, honestly, that i'm wrong i'll shut up about referees forever. I mean that.

I knew as soon as the first 15-yarder went against us that we'd lose. It has become that blatant. I have always thought Cowher saw it too, and that's part of the reason he quit the game.

Sure, Troy missed a few tackles. Sure, the defense looked loose. Sure, there were problems. But there IS NO EFFING WAY the Jets d-backs "just played so great" that our recievers couldn't get open. No. They held, interfered, and made illegal contact all night but the officials ignored it to engineer the "upset".

My rosy red ass.

I love the Steelers. Domski(and maybe Cotter too) were right: it ain't all on the D. Or the O. Or even STs this time.

We all know i'm right: that ONLY Pittsburgh gets regurlarly called for massively demoralizing and debilitating penalties at key points in otherwise unspectacular games. Take away any of those crap-assed calls and we win those games. Any one call from each loss.

A strange coincidence? Hmm. I think not.

We might as well phone it in this year because the NFL has already crowned NE the GREATEST EVER EVER EVER.

Thank you, and good night Denny Green...wherever you are.

Tobiathan said...

I remind everyone that Micheal Peraira(sp?), head of NFL officiating, admitted openly and happily to Rich Eisen on NFL Network that:

"Yes, the referrees DO officiate the game in order to keep it competitive"

Seriously. He's said it more than once. And they do, unless you happen to be the NE Cheatritw*ts.

Our guys didn't play well, but they did show up. Without the unbelievable amount and severity of calls the Jets wouldn't have had a chance. We all know it's true. Whatever the case, it's just sad.

PS- So much for my wishful thinking on Buffulo "beating" NE. No more predictions for me this year.

PSS- I really don't care if anybody doesn't like my opinions on officiating. That's why they call it "opiion".

PSSs- I threw up after the game. And i don't drink.

Cotter said...

I mean it's not like the Jets were covering Hines Ward with Hank Poteat or anything...

Cotter said...

PS - Tobiathan, dude, I thought we lost you after that debacle on Sunday. Glad to see you're Ok!

I cried a little bit, vomit though.

Tobiathan said...

Lol....i think i actually had the flu. Still have it in fact. Can't tell if the flu has me more discombobulated than the loss or what.i'm fo'-sho outta sorts.

Naw, you guys haven't lost me. I'm angry that i feel the need to even bitch about the officials. i know i hate it when other people do. but i gotta call 'em like i see 'em(pun totally intended).

Yeah, i'm still upset. and i still think the refs did us a disservice in all three losses. i truly don't see the kind of devastatingly-timed calls in any other games. it really disgusts me.

However, i'm still a Steeler fan. and, i think these kinds of losses are going to end up as a help rather than a hindrance come the post-season. i do believe that too much success in the regular season is bad for any team. and the '72 Dolphins were an aberration.

I was kinda afraid somebody was gonna get on here and goad me about my opinions on the officials. maybe somebody should. but i stil think we woulda won that game(all our losses, really) without so many unbelievably painful penalties at such key points. of course, it really helps that i keep harping on it i'm sure..

As always: keep up the great work Cotter! glad you're finally getting some running commentary on here. you deserve it..

Go Stillers. dammit.

Cotter said...

I will say man, it may or may not have been referee bias, but those penalties were definitely untimely. Either way, I think we'd be apt to not come anywhere close to committing those penalties in close games. Especially not 41 yard pass interference penalties...

Also, if anyone did get on and goad you I'd let 'em know that here on One For The Other Thumb we respect everyone's opinions. After all, if you can't see the other side of the coin you're not seeing the whole picture.

Oh, and thanks for the kind words! I'm pretty psyched people are getting into the mix too. Another thing One For The Other Thumb stands for is reader participation. I ain't just writing this shit for myself. I love to hear from other people.

You hear that Steeler nation? Give me all your comments...