View Full Version : What should have been a sweet year; crumbles in Oakland

10-30-2006, 12:20 AM

Monday, October 30, 2006

By Bob Smizik, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

OAKLAND, Calif. -- This intensely anticipated season of sweet promise -- the defense of the Super Bowl, the start of another dynasty -- is all but over.

On a near-perfect October afternoon, the Steelers, who in the first six games had shown themselves to be incapable of defeating a championship-caliber team, lost to not just a bad team but to one of the worst in the National Football League, too.

If you can't beat the Oakland Raiders, whom can you beat?

But even the Raiders -- winners of only four games last season and, until yesterday, one game this season -- were too much for the Steelers. The team that couldn't beat NFL weaklings like the Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers humbled the Steelers.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who had been superb in his two previous starts, threw four interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns, and the Steelers fell to 2-5 with a 20-13 loss at McAfee Coliseum.

Super Bowl talk is no longer on the table. The playoffs remain a mathematical possibility, nothing more.

"Every game is a must win," said guard Alan Faneca, speaking the language of hope more than experience . "All that matters is the game that's next. It doesn't matter five or six games from now. All that matters is next week."

The Steelers are three games behind the Baltimore Ravens and two behind the Cincinnati Bengals. Perhaps the most ignominious aspect of their plight is that they are tied for last place in the AFC North Division with the hapless Browns. Not only does it not get easier for the Steelers, it becomes considerably more difficult. Their next two opponents are the Denver Broncos and the New Orleans Saints, both 5-2.

To a man the Steelers cited turnovers as their undoing, not only yesterday but all season, and there is much truth to that theory. But despite the turnovers, victory was within their reach yesterday. That they could not take advantage of their situation was the most disheartening aspect of the day and speaks greatly to what kind of team they really are.

10-30-2006, 12:24 AM
Not much more to add to that article... If they can win out the rest of the season they might have a shot, but the way they have been playing it's going to take a miracle!

10-30-2006, 12:43 AM
Well your probably right they do need to win out to have any shot of making the playoffs. But right now I know things look doom and gloom but the only good news there might be is the Steelers still have 5 games left with division opponents 2 with Balt,2 with Browns, and 1 with Cincy. If we can win the next 3 against the Broncos,Saints,and Browns and go into Baltimore on November 26th 5-5 with 2 games to play against them we might have a shot but that is realistically now the only way. I know Baltimore and Cincy play each other next week so one of them right there will have 1 more loss Baltimore will either have 3 losses or Bengals will be at 4 losses. I still do think both will lose enough games to keep the Steelers hanging around. The only problem is the Steelers arent doing there part and winning any games at all to help out there own cause. But as I said if we win the next 3 and get to 5-5 going into Baltimore that weekend we have a shot if we lose anyone of the next 3 season will officially be over. But after this loss today the way I still look at it if you lose to Oakland you probably arent a playoff team and dont deserve to be in the playoffs anyway. I still wont give up hope yet but right now to have any shot we gotta be 5-5 going into Baltimore in 3 weeks.

10-30-2006, 12:54 AM
This team just doesnt have the killer instinct right now to beat anybody. That's the whole problem, the AFCN opponents have given us windows on multiple occasions to close the gap but we aren't taking advantage of it, as you already mentioned. This team doesnt know to win anymore, they don't know how to get up on an opponent and stomp on their throats and rip their hearts out like we've always done in the past.

We have no identity, and we have no idea what we will do on any given sunday except for the looking at the previous track record of this season which suggests that we will continue turn the ball over, play bad special teams, drop passes, not run the ball, not block, take sacks and negative yardage plays, get stupid penalities and generally do everything in our power to give the game away.

The entire mindset of the team has to change and its starts with BC.

10-30-2006, 01:25 AM
The Special Teams play has just been horrific this year. I mean your seeing it continually every week the Steelers special teams just giving up ridiculous return yards on kickoffs especially where guys are taking the ball out constantly to either the 40 or 50 yard line. The lack of discipline and these personal fouls week after week are a bad bad reflection on Bill Cowher here especially since he has come out the last few weeks and said these things wont happen again. You are constantly seeing guys get in opposing players faces and talk **** after the play is over, and guys getting up after interceptions or TDS and dancing for no reason at all. Joey Porter when he got that INT today had no business doing his dirt kick and his stupid little dance today when you were losing to a horrible Oakland team by a TD with less then 5 minutes to go in the game. That is the problem with this team there is a lack of focus and just a careless attitude it seems across the board. But getting back to the special teams here I wont be surprised if at seasons end the special teams coach is fired or some kind of drastic changes are made because this special teams for the Steelers this season has just been putrid.

Forged in Steel
09-23-2012, 08:54 PM
Same ****, different day.

09-23-2012, 08:57 PM
Well written article that about sums it up for this season too.

09-23-2012, 09:52 PM
Holy crap, I was like..I didn't write this article today :bonk:

Right on though, what an epic meltdown that is all too familiar.

09-23-2012, 10:00 PM
Haha...deja vu' somewhat huh? Ben had stellar day today though and it was the D that **** the bed mostly.

09-23-2012, 10:06 PM
We're only in our third game. Yes not looking good. Hopefully they can get some guys back.