View Full Version : Steelers sinking as turnovers pile up

10-24-2006, 12:14 AM

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

ATLANTA -- Judging a football team by the company it keeps would have the Steelers sleeping with the fishes these days.

What do the defending Super Bowl champs have in common with the Raiders, Bills, Browns, Lions and Cardinals, besides poor records? They are the six bottom feeders of the NFL when it comes to turnovers, and the link between turnovers and losing long has been established.

The Steelers lost three fumbles Sunday, all of which led to Atlanta touchdowns in the Falcons' 41-38 overtime victory. That gives them 14 turnovers in six games. Only the Raiders (1-5) with 20 and the Browns (1-5) with 17 have lost the football more often after six games. The other three swimming at the bottom of the NFL are the Cardinals (1-6) with 16, the Lions (1-6) with 15 and the Bills (2-5) with 14.

The Steelers' total does not count the onside kick the Falcons recovered Sunday after it touched Tyrone Carter's hands. The fumbles were lost by Santonio Holmes on a punt return, Willie Parker on a run and a center snap that went awry between Jeff Hartings and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, one of two fumbled snaps.

All but the onside kick, which the Falcons recovered at their 49, occurred deep in Steelers territory.

"We left the defense in some bad situations out there," guard Alan Faneca said. "You're already going against a high-powered offense. With Michael Vick and all the things he brings to their offense, now you give them the ball a couple of times in the red zone! It's not as tough to score when you get the ball starting off right there."

Turnovers cost the Steelers at least two of their four losses -- to Cincinnati and Atlanta.

"We shouldn't have been in that situation," Parker said of the overtime loss. "I'm part of the cause, I fumbled. I have to get better at what I do."

The Steelers are on pace to lose 37 turnovers this season. They lost just 23 last season, 21 in 2004. Their seven lost fumbles in six games are two fewer than their total in 2005, one fewer than in 2004.

Bill Cowher long ago linked turnovers to the success of a team, emphasizing the point as soon as he became the Steelers' coach in 1992. He put it near the top of the list, right after scoring points.

The Steelers are 2-0 this season when their opponent turns the ball over more often than they do, 0-4 vice versa.

Into Cowher's 15th season as their coach, the Steelers are 98-11 when their opponent loses the ball more often in a game than they do, 22-57-1 vice versa.

It's one of the most telling statistics for any football team. It's why the Steelers lost two games in which they outgained their opponents. That includes the game Sunday when they piled up 473 yards to Atlanta's 399.

This is exactly what we are talking about here on the forums. It's no secret. We can out gain a team, out play a team, beat them down and by all rights should win the game..but when you turn the ball over continously you're defeating everything you've worked for.

House of Steel
10-24-2006, 12:21 AM
You guessed it right, no surprise here. I am sure everyone in Pittsburgh has to be fuming over this crap.

10-24-2006, 12:38 AM
Not just in Pittsburgh HoS! I'm fuming up here and it's like 40 out....lol

10-24-2006, 12:43 AM
Hell yeah, 3.5 away from the burgh and Im as pissed off as everyone else..and its 38 here ;)

10-24-2006, 01:04 AM
You know what TG, we seem to have these games every year. The only problem is that it has happen 2 out of the first 6 games! If we start taking care of the ball I think our O can keep up with anyone. Our D on the other hand needs to prove to all of us that It can keep up its end of the Eq.

10-24-2006, 02:00 AM
What sucks is, at first it was INT's and fumbles. The INT's have been resolved but the fumbles are still happening on a regular basis. Maybe it had something to do with facing Culpepper in the first game of the season, that dude is known to have fumbleitis... maybe it's contagious? :dunno:

10-24-2006, 02:02 AM
We need some old school nuns in here to smack these guys on the hands everytime they fumble!.....lol I would bet they stop it!

House of Steel
10-24-2006, 09:54 AM
No, dock their paychecks for every fumble they create and we'll see how fast them guys stop that ****. :greengrin:

10-24-2006, 10:12 AM
maybe cowher should take a page from bill parcells book. he made julius jones carry a football with him everywhere he went because he had problems funbling the ball. have parker and holmes take the ball everywhere they go, dinner, night out, the movies, etc.

10-24-2006, 10:52 AM
Turnovers have been a problem in every single game we've played other than the Miami game. They have either cost us the game or potentially cost us the game. Our season hinges, just like everyone elses, on our ability to protect the football on offense. It affects every single part of the team every week.