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Author Topic: The 2 Game-Changing Plays  (Read 971 times)
Winters in Holland
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« on: Dec 10, 2007 at 09:55 »

#1  The Steelers begin the 2nd half with an effortless 18-yard rumble by Willie Parker, yet then proceed to run one of their signature slowly-developing pass plays on the following 1st down.  Ben gets sacked, the Steelers face a 2nd and 18, forcing them to unsuccessfully pass the remainder of the series.  The Patriots stop them, get the ball back, and begin scoring at will.

The key here is the different offensive approaches by each team.  The Patriots saw that the pass beats the Steelers, so they made no qualms about even trying to mix in the run, passing 30-some straight times.  The Steelers saw that they were running more effectively against the Pats than arguably any other team this season, yet continued to have drives thwarted by big sacks when they mixed in the pass...until it got to the point where they had to pass.

Also, aside from the WR screens, I don't think I saw a single quick pass by the Steelers, even though they were effective in using slants last week.


#2  On 3rd and goal from the 1, with the potential to only be down by 11 with a TD, the Steelers randomly throw a fade/jump pass to Holmes in the endzone.  It's knocked down, the gimmick to Ward fails on the next play, and they no longer get close again.  

I HATE that pass pattern.  It's about the lowest % play there is, requires a perfect throw on the part of the QB, and is even less effective when you don't have a tall WR like Plaxico Burress.  

The Steelers had succeeded on multiple 3rd/4th and shorts, then suddenly decide to get cute at a very inopportune time.


.WiH.


PS  Doctor J, you may have to rescind all of your comments about Davenport being ineffective on 3rd and short situations.  They mentioned multiple times last night that he was the most effective RB in the NFL this season at it, and last night was no different.
« Last Edit: Dec 10, 2007 at 09:55 by Winters in Holland » Logged

I don't care if Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy are black. Good for them. But that doesn't change the way I feel about them. The longer we keep looking at guys like Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith as "BLACK HEAD COACHES" as opposed to just "coaches" the longer race will continue to be a problem. --DoctorJohnnyFever
aj_law
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« Reply #1 on: Dec 10, 2007 at 13:24 »

Without a question of a doubt, a "hell yes" to #2, but I disagree with #1.

I do not have a problem with them throwing the ball on 1st down.  I have a problem with the choice of pass play they decided to run, but throwing on 1st helps to keep the defense honest and it's something this team needs to do to have continued success on offense.

With that said, I can't really rip the decision to pass just because WP had a successful run the previous play.  I do have a major problem though with the mentality that you call such and such play and it means that you're going to chuck it deep, regardless of what the defense is doing.

New England and Brady are willing to take the short stuff, but Pittsburgh isn't?

If possible, I'd like to substitute my own play, well...series, actually as my #1.  Immediately following that series you describe in #1, Patriots march right down the MFing field and punch it in.  Fine, OK.  Down by 11, not panic mode yet, but there's a sense of urgency now.  New England kicks off and something that hasn't happened since around Week 1 happens.  Rossum has a nice return out to near the Pittsburgh 40...uh, hold up, wait a sec...FLAG, illegal block in the back, half the distance to the goal, 1st down Pittsburgh from their own 8 instead of near the 40.

Alright then, it's fucking gut check time.  Time to let Ben be Ben and make something happen; time for some move the chains kinda shit to get outta this hole. Quick stuff, maybe some no huddle or PAP rollouts (why don't we see more of those??).  No thanks.  Instead, run, run, pass, punt.  New England gets it back and proceeds to repeat steps 1-5 from their previous series and never looks back.  Throw in your #2 on Pittsburgh's very next series and you've got the ballgame.  

Plus, PLUS, the fact that this team sure as shit looked like they gave up after they turned the ball over on downs at the 1.  After the New England FG with 8:00 and change left, players were hangin' their heads across the board and couldn't get the game over with fast enough.  For some reason, that really, really irked me.  Essentially, they slinked away, licking their wounds with the cloud of just being dominated hanging over their heads.  If there was a "mercy rule," they looked like they would've taken it in a heartbeat.

Shit, Miami played with more heart down the stretch in a blowout against Buffalo yesterday. How sad is that?
« Last Edit: Dec 10, 2007 at 13:25 by aj_law » Logged

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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #2 on: Dec 10, 2007 at 13:57 »

Just to dovetail the heads hanging down, I think the Pats have gotten inside our heads for years.  And it's gotta stop.  This Pats team is beatable, despite their record.  There's no reason our O shouldn't have been able to torment and abuse that Pats' D.

But what pisses me off is that the most valuable commodity is time.  Play with urgency and move the ball consistency; that's one way to show a sense of time.  Also, don't piss away the clock at the end of quarters and halves.  We left how many plays in the trash can because we just don't feel like running a play with 30-odd seconds in the 3Q, or whatever it is at the half?  I'd like to see a bit more of an aggressive mindset in the coaches.
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Winters in Holland
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« Reply #3 on: Dec 10, 2007 at 14:12 »

Good points about the mental aspects of the game.

If anything, I was actually encouraged by the game yesterday, because the Patriots actually looked more mortal than I thought they would.  

IMO, it's going to be easier for us to adjust to them than them to us.


They'll have trouble doing more to stop our run game, because our offense is simply more physical, and they'll have to continue to respect our pass game.

However, I think we can adjust to their offense greatly- not only with the return of Polamalu/Clark, but with preventing letting their WR behind us (which the Steelers NEVER do against any other opponent), and finding a way to hinder their short passing game.


I definitely like our chances if we meet them again in the playoffs.


.WiH.
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I don't care if Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy are black. Good for them. But that doesn't change the way I feel about them. The longer we keep looking at guys like Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith as "BLACK HEAD COACHES" as opposed to just "coaches" the longer race will continue to be a problem. --DoctorJohnnyFever
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« Reply #4 on: Dec 10, 2007 at 14:16 »

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However, I think we can adjust to their offense greatly- not only with the return of Polamalu/Clark,

Clark is on IR, isn't he???
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #5 on: Dec 10, 2007 at 14:50 »

Last I heard, Clark might not play again.  Ever.  The spleen condition was that debilitating.  I seriously doubt he's back this year, and if he's back next year it's a bonus.
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« Reply #6 on: Dec 10, 2007 at 17:00 »

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Last I heard, Clark might not play again.  Ever.  The spleen condition was that debilitating.  I seriously doubt he's back this year, and if he's back next year it's a bonus.
Great, so now if we want to upgrade at safety (and let nobody here suggest that Carter should be that person) we're going to have to address the position via the draft or FA.

Don't we have o-linemen and receivers to draft?

Can discipline be taught? I mean, as mad as I am at Smith, he's a heavy hitter and from what I had heard was reasonably quick for a guy his size. I hope it's a salvageable situation because I would hate to have to address another position in the offseason.  
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Hercules50.
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« Reply #7 on: Dec 11, 2007 at 08:06 »

I don't think Smith is a lost cause. It's just his second year. Chris Hope was just as clueless in his first two years and became a pretty good FS in his third year.

It's very unfortunate what happened to Clark, but I still think A. Smith can be the FS of our future.  
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Winters in Holland
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« Reply #8 on: Dec 11, 2007 at 09:53 »

That's the first I've heard about Clark.  That's a shame.

Despite his foot in the mouth/poor performance, I'm still big on Anthony Smith, but my question is this:

For the remainder of the season once Troy comes back, could we shift Tyrone Carter to free safety, or does he not have the speed for it?

I've actually been very impressed by his fill-in stint at SS.


.WiH.
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I don't care if Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy are black. Good for them. But that doesn't change the way I feel about them. The longer we keep looking at guys like Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith as "BLACK HEAD COACHES" as opposed to just "coaches" the longer race will continue to be a problem. --DoctorJohnnyFever
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« Reply #9 on: Dec 11, 2007 at 11:04 »

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For the remainder of the season once Troy comes back, could we shift Tyrone Carter to free safety, or does he not have the speed for it?

I've actually been very impressed by his fill-in stint at SS.

 
Carter was a player I was really bummed to see re-singed. IMHO, he is not very good and no more than a backup dime guy.. So, me personally here WiH, would be bummed to see him on the field more. I think he is more of product of the system he is in, and he definately doesn't come close to being Troy out there, although I realize thats not quite a fair comparision. While he is a fairly decent tackler(although not on Sunday) and a decent dime package guy, he lacks the instinct to play the position full time. A good example of that would be on the Welker TD, when he dropped into zone, Welker ran right in front of him, and Carter just stood there and waved a hand at a pass that was 6 yards from him. If you look at the play, you see Carter just stand in his zone with no NE player within 7 yards of him, Welker runs his out right in front of him and Carter continues to stand there covering absolutely no one. Its Ike who see's the route and comes off Moss to try to make a play, while Tyrone literally waves his right arm without moving his legs at all. A starting safety, SS or FS,  in the NFL has to see that no one but Welker is coming into his zone, anticipate the play, and at least be in a position to make a play.

Now, with Troy out and Clark on IR, the Steelers don't have very many options but to play him and Smith right now. They could move Shea over to safety as he did practice there a lot in camp, but he is one of the better CB's right now. I guess I hope either I'm wrong about Carter, or Troy gets healthy and stays healthy real soon. But's its not like Troy was ripping it up either this season.


And I agree about all the plays. Terrible, terrible playcalling. 'effing BA says after the game "I probably should have put the goaline in on 3rd down. I would like to have that one back". Ya think?...idiot...
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