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coldrolled
12-08-2009, 02:22 PM
The Steelers Offense Needs To Pick Up The Slack by Joseph Sirimarco

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Contributor Written on December 08, 2009 From Josh Katzowitz, reporting on the Bengals game against Detroit this past weekend:

" ... With 136 yards, Cedric Benson became the third Bengals' player in three weeks to rush for 100 yards or more. But it will take more than that to impress coach Marvin Lewis. 'I wish we were more consistent on offense,' Lewis said. 'I'd like to run for 200 yards instead of 100.'"

That's an interesting statement coming from a coach with one of the better passing quarterbacks in the NFL. Here's a team with the second-best record in the AFC, and still their coach is unsatisfied with the offense.

And this from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, referring to Mike Tomlin's remarks in his Monday news conference:

"He all but promised major changes -- especially in the team's lame secondary -- and indicated he will look at rookie cornerbacks Joe Burnett and Keenan Lewis in place of injured William Gay (concussion) and Ike Taylor (burned almost beyond recognition)."

Well, all I can say is, in the words of former Pittsburgh Penguins player and current radio analyst Phil Bourque, "Are you kiddin' me?"

Does Tomlin truly believe that rookies Joe Burnett and Keenan Lewis will be able to play better than veterans Ike Taylor and William Gay (or Deshea Townshend) at this point in the season? If so, I have a few very rare and rather large items that I'd like to sell him.

Has Tomlin ever stopped to think that it would be good idea to inform his offense that it actually is permissible to score more than a field goal or two before the fourth quarter? Has Tomlin informed his offense that when they advance the ball into the red zone it is permissible to score touchdowns rather than score field goals, give up turnovers, or turn the ball over on downs?

Yes, the Steelers defense is giving up more points per game this season (19.2) than last season (14.9), but this may not be the reason for the Steelers' current woes.

Compare the Steelers to the Colts as an example. The Colts defense is allowing 16.8 points per game, which is 2.4 points per game lower than the Steelers defense is allowing. The Steelers have lost their six games by a combined total of 21 points, which is an average of 3.5 points per game.

So, from a statistical standpoint in relation to wins and losses, the difference in defensive performance between the Colts and the Steelers is not significant. In other words, if the Steelers defense allowed 2.4 points per game less, the Steelers would still have lost six games, but they would have lost by fewer points.

Now look at offensive performance. The Steelers offense averages 22.7 points per game. The Colts offense averages almost five points per game more, at 27.6 points per game.

Again from a statistical standpoint in relation to wins and losses, this IS significant. If the Steelers offense were to score five points more per game, the Steelers would have won five of the six games that they lost. The one game that they would have lost anyway is the second game against Cincinnati, since they lost that game by six points.

Scoring five points per game more is the difference between having six losses and being unlikely to make the playoffs, and being one of the best teams in the league.

Looking at this season's top teams, every team that is leading their division or tied for the lead has increased its scoring over last season, with the exception of Arizona. Thus far this season, however, the Steelers offense is scoring the same number of points per game as last season.

Based on yardage-related statistics and a number of other measures of offensive performance, the Steelers offense does indeed look better than last season, but it is not leading to more points.

The conclusion seems fairly obvious. As disappointing as the Steelers' defensive performance has been this season, especially their woeful 4th-quarter performance, it is the failure of the offense to compensate for the defensive slippage that is responsible for the Steelers' precarious position in the playoff race.

Does this surprise anyone? It should not.

Remember that last season's defensive performance was one of best in NFL history since the inception of the Super Bowl, being only a fraction of a rushing yard per game from being the best since 1992 and possibly the best ever.

Don't let yourself be spoiled by that kind of performance. It does not and cannot happen every season, so this season's defensive decline is not all that unusual and should not be unexpected.

And, by the way, the Steelers defense is ranked 9th in points per game allowed this season, and is ranked 5th in total yards per game allowed. That kind of performance is good enough for most other teams that are already in the playoffs or are in contention to be in the playoffs, and it should be good enough for the Steelers as well.

Everyone and his brother (including myself, by the way) is lamenting the fact that the Steelers haven't been able to hold fourth-quarter leads.

But ask yourself this question: If the Steelers offense scored five more points BEFORE the fourth quarter, would the defense need to perform any better than they have in the fourth quarter in order to hold the lead?

The answer is, obviously, no. If other teams' offenses can make up for shortcomings on defense, why cannot the same be true for the Steelers?

Everyone wants to blame the defensive lapses for the Steelers' predicament. Mike Tomlin, Ben Roethlisberger and everyone else on the Steelers says that they win as a team and they lose as a team. Well, if they win and lose as a team, then the offense needs to pick up their performance down the stretch, just like in the 2005 season.

That season had a happy ending for Steeler Nation, and this one can also. If the offense can pick up the slack, that is.

--- Added 12/8/2009 at 01:22 PM ---

Without having to bash Arians, this is how i see it also.

Good Read.

LatrobePA
12-08-2009, 02:29 PM
Do you mind if I bash him??

playboy pryor
12-08-2009, 02:42 PM
i really think the defense needs to step up! we have the right players, but they're not playing very well at all. Tomlin wants to make a change huh? lets see wht happens

LatrobePA
12-08-2009, 02:48 PM
The team knows the D sucks right now, so the O should use this as a challenge! Get in the mind set each time we touch the ball it has to end with 7 on the board!

Yes the D is bad, but all three phases of this team is in bad shape!

UKSTEELER
12-08-2009, 02:52 PM
I just rewatched our first drive after Logans big run back.

Talk about keep the oposition guessing . . . .

1st down - empty backfield (Obvious pass)

2nd down - Two tightend - I formation (Obvious run)

3rd down - Shotgun empty backfield (Obvious pass)

Result, the Obvious, . . . . another field goal!

Arians sucks monkeyballs!!:cursin:

LatrobePA
12-08-2009, 02:57 PM
I just rewatched our first drive after Logans big run back.

Talk about keep the oposition guessing . . . .

1st down - empty backfield (Obvious pass)

2nd down - Two tightend - I formation (Obvious run)

3rd down - Shotgun empty backfield (Obvious pass)

Result, the Obvious, . . . . another field goal!

Arians sucks monkeyballs!!:cursin:


LOL, again!!


Clash of the two bottom feeders in the AFCN, temps will be in the teens with high winds, what do you think BA will call for the first play??

UKSTEELER
12-08-2009, 03:06 PM
LOL, again!!


Clash of the two bottom feeders in the AFCN, temps will be in the teens with high winds, what do you think BA will call for the first play??

Fleeflicker, . . . Bat phones just lit up, it's Mike, he wants me to call the plays this week!

:banana:

BlitzburghRockCity
12-08-2009, 03:07 PM
The team knows the D sucks right now, so the O should use this as a challenge! Get in the mind set each time we touch the ball it has to end with 7 on the board!

Yes the D is bad, but all three phases of this team is in bad shape!

And if they dont' know they need their heads examined. The mindset of the offense should be to score TD's every chance they get, but instead they take it upon themselves to take sacks, commit penalties, over shoot receivers, get caught in the backfield, and just generally completely fail in the red zone. Until this offense can actually pick up the slack and score TD's rather than FG's we'll continue to struggle because the defense isn't going to fix itself overnight.

LatrobePA
12-08-2009, 03:11 PM
Fleeflicker, . . . Bat phones just lit up, it's Mike, he wants me to call the plays this week!

:banana:

I'm going with a QB sneak up the gut for +1...

UKSTEELER
12-08-2009, 03:23 PM
I'm going with a QB sneak up the gut for +1...

lol , . . . . are you subin for Ben this week then?

How's you peck pocket?

I'd go airborne if I were you, ala Walter Payton, Hartwig can't push a pram!!:yellowthumb:

LatrobePA
12-08-2009, 03:36 PM
lol , . . . . are you subin for Ben this week then?

How's you peck pocket?

I'd go airborne if I were you, ala Walter Payton, Hartwig can't push a pram!!:yellowthumb:

Nope good ole fashion fall forward and push like hell with my feet! Nothing fancy, this is the new BA Steelers "slap" mouth football baby!

UKSTEELER
12-08-2009, 03:52 PM
Nope good ole fashion fall forward and push like hell with my feet! Nothing fancy, this is the new BA Steelers "slap" mouth football baby!

Bob on, . . . I don't think I've ever felt so positive about a game all season!

I'm off down the bookies ta lay a tenner! :banana:

LatrobePA
12-08-2009, 04:09 PM
Bob on, . . . I don't think I've ever felt so positive about a game all season!

I'm off down the bookies ta lay a tenner! :banana:

Stay away this game! Could go either way!!

TampaSteelGirl
12-08-2009, 04:21 PM
IMO doesn't really matter if the Steelers score 100 points..if our defense doesn't stop other teams from scoring ,what's the use??? :dunno:

Goodfrom55
12-08-2009, 04:42 PM
The offense, dare I say, has been more consistent than the defense this season. Last week, they put up 24 points at home, which in most cases, buys a win. Yes, the offense sputtered a few times with the 4th and inches stop and settling for a FG coming off Logan's opening return. Sometimes you have to credit a defense for making a stand and sometimes you have to point a finger at the formations / play calling - which is the case this time around.

Does Ben have free-ability to change the play? I can't believe they would limit his ability to audible, but some of these play calls from the bench don't make sense. For example, when the Steelers line up double tight, 2 backs, when was the last time they attepmted a play action pass from this formation? If you go 5-wide, it's a pass - especially with Ben coming off a head unjury, there won't be a QB draw. However if you go 4 wide with a RB in the backfield, they can pass or run, which means the defense has to respect both threats and play more balanced.

Unless they shake things up, you're not going to trick anyone with these obvious formations - especially when you factor in down and distance.

I could go on, but why bother?

SteelCityKid5
12-08-2009, 04:44 PM
Would any one oppose lining up Casey Hampton as a fullback and giving it to him on 4 & 1? Just a thought. Also, in the beginning of the year Legursky went in at FB and plowed a hole for Mendenhall. I loved that formation. I havent seen it since. I wonder why?

Big T
12-08-2009, 05:16 PM
Also, in the beginning of the year Legursky went in at FB and plowed a hole for Mendenhall. I loved that formation. I havent seen it since. I wonder why?

Ive been wondering the same thing for weeks...But i guess its what to expect from BA, if it works, we will never see it again.

LatrobePA
12-08-2009, 05:38 PM
Would any one oppose lining up Casey Hampton as a fullback and giving it to him on 4 & 1? Just a thought. Also, in the beginning of the year Legursky went in at FB and plowed a hole for Mendenhall. I loved that formation. I havent seen it since. I wonder why?

Because man, teams already seen that, no way in hell can he trust it again! Same with the big TD run for Dixon that night, why not try it again in OT on 3rd down??? Because our OC is as dumb as a box of rocks!!:banana:

Goodfrom55
12-08-2009, 06:18 PM
Because man, teams already seen that, no way in hell can he trust it again! Same with the big TD run for Dixon that night, why not try it again in OT on 4th down??? Becasue our OC is as dumb as a box of rocks!!:banana:


OK, line up in it, run play action dive into the line and look for Miller, Spaeth or Johnson in the endzone (whichever of the 3 is out in a pattern). And if there ain't nothing there, throw it to the guy in the front row.

Mike Tomlin
12-08-2009, 06:50 PM
We have too many weapons to go up and down the field and not score. I mean mendenhall got 60 on 1 play and he can't get 5 in 3? We have ****** playcalling and the O just won't take the game. Again if our offense take advantage when we're in the redzone those plays in the fourth won't matter. Of course our D is worst than last year no Troy, Smith, Foote. This D still keeps the game in check until late, but without our closer you can't leave it in their hands week after week. Just like that 75 yard touchown late , had we gotten those points early it would never have happened. We all know Carter is a linebacker in a safeties body, he can hit hard and that's it. The game was so close there still was a threat of run and he bit hard and Murphy ran right where he was supposed to be. Had we scored on the chances we got the playcalling would be totally different and Carter wouldn't be in that position.Bens gotta step up and will these guys in the endzone knowing the D is hurt right now. It's time for this offense to pay the D back for riding their backs all last year.

LatrobePA
12-08-2009, 06:53 PM
Looking like Troy will be out for the year, (www.foxsports.com) so this team better find a way to win with out him....

coldrolled
12-08-2009, 09:42 PM
OK, line up in it, run play action dive into the line and look for Miller, Spaeth or Johnson in the endzone (whichever of the 3 is out in a pattern). And if there ain't nothing there, throw it to the guy in the front row.

you want play action, you need to watch the Colts and Pats..

steelfury455
12-08-2009, 10:39 PM
...in the day when the Steeler D would say, "just give us 13 points and we'll take care of the rest", or something along those lines. The current O is putting up points, the D now is losing the games late in the 4th when Ben gets warmed up late (another point). Out of 5 of 6 losses one play in our favor and and we win those. That's the difference between this year and last. Not to mention the special teams, fumbles, dropped INT, and pick six gaffs that lead to spotting our losses 7 points almost every game. We are literally one mistake away in each game from NOT being in the situation we're in. At this point it's all about the heart of the team and how bad they want it.