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Author Topic: Sept. 21 - Week 3 - Steelers @ Panthers, 8:30 p.m  (Read 4458 times)
Finnegans Wake
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« on: Sep 12, 2014 at 09:07 »

Coming off 6Q of impotent offense and sputtering defense.  Panthers D still has a lot of juice, Newton is always a threat, but the WR corps does not impress.  Of course, the same was true of the Browns, who dropped 27 in 2Q on us week 1. 

Can we fix what needs fixing in 10 days?
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« Reply #1 on: Sep 12, 2014 at 09:24 »

The only chance they have is for the offense to play penalty-free, turnover-free for 60 minutes.  So, no. 
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aj_law
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« Reply #2 on: Sep 12, 2014 at 11:15 »

The only way this team can be a consistent winner and threat is if #7 puts them on his shoulders similar to what Manning used do to for the Colts in the mid 2000s.  High flying offense; marginal defense.

That's it.

Basically, what we saw in the 1st half of the Browns game.

They used to lean heavily on the defense, now the roles are reversed.

Obviously, sputtering, mistakes and turnovers don't help matters at all.  Gotta be a clean and efficient effort.
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« Reply #3 on: Sep 12, 2014 at 12:38 »

Some differences, obviously.  Ben is not and never will be, apparently, the student of the game Manning is.  Though off-season beer bong sessions may still have their appeal to a 34 year old, I'd love to have Ben eat, sleep, and drink tape and playbook study; that it's not to be is apparent when the offense comes out looking like, well, this.  Still, we have the weapons for the offense to carry the defense, and Ben needs a little swagger of his youth, when he would stride onto the field confident of being able to hustle out a fourth quarter comeback... and actually do just that. 

But I also think this marginal defense will see the most change of any unit this season, and much of what is going on was inevitable.  I know other teams incorporate replacements more quickly than LeBeau's "complex" scheme, but the overall change has been enormous:  the 2010 squad that was our last to make the Super Bowl had all of 3 defensive starters in common with the 2014 group (Timmons, Troy and Ike); the argument could be made as well for the O-side where only 4 (Ben, Heath, Maurkice, and Ramon F.) remain, but I would argue that some of our offensive growing pains were mere foreshadowing of what has happened on D -- we cleaned that side out faster. 

Long way of saying that I think the offense has to become more reliable and explosive, and that if it does we'll see a maturation of the D that few seem to expect.  Even if Jones is a bust, we can carry a few JAGs so long as the rest of the talent emerges.  We know Worilds has flashed that, as has Heyward; Shazier has tons of potential, and we have speed in the secondary; Cortez had a nice showing before injuries last year; etc. 
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« Reply #4 on: Sep 12, 2014 at 14:52 »

Findude with the optimistic spin. 

Who are you and what have you done with the crusty bastard??!!

Yeah, didn't mean to say that Ben is, was or needs to be Manning.  He obviously ain't that kinda player.  That doesn't mean he can't be BMOC and carry the load.  He threw it like 27 or 28 times in the first half against Cleveland.  If he's gotta do that 40, 45 or even 50 times a game for them to win, so be it.  Let him do that.  There is no reason why this group can't be that explosive.  And, like I said, they're gonna need to be to win ball games. 

With the kind of defenses Pittsburgh's had, we've kinda been spoiled (not sure if that's the right word...) with the mindset of "get into the 20s and let the defense do their thing."  Well, that ain't gonna fly now.  This team needs to be dominant and effective...on offense.  That means putting up 30+...TDs, not FGs...no turnovers...score on every possession, etc.

If they can't do that...well, then get used to seeing a lot of 26-6 type scores.
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« Reply #5 on: Sep 14, 2014 at 16:39 »

Mood swing the other way.  Seeing how Carolina shut down Detroit, I no longer have this penciled as a win.  Same with Houston, TBH.  They were miserable last year, but both the Texans and Panthers have solid defenses, and if Ben can't get the offense in gear, we sure as shit know the defense won't be ready in the next few weeks.  I'm feeling very 4-3 or 3-4, depending on how we do in Cleveland.  Which, really, is congruent with us being an 8-8 team.

Course, second half of the season is what matters.  Hate rolling around in a dirty diaper tell then tho.
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« Reply #6 on: Sep 15, 2014 at 08:24 »

Carolina's defense is just nasty, with or without Hardy. I have no confidence in the ability of Gilbert to slow down anyone, much less guys with this kind of athletic ability. I also have no confidence in the coaches to prepare this group with a game plan.

That leaves Big Ben.

Agreed, he's not any kind of Manning or Beardy. But how often have we seen the offense sputter, until Ben takes the reigns in some form or fashion? Often that takes the form of no huddle, with BB calling the plays, in addition to making those circus-type plays we all love?

I'd love to see a good old fashioned run-the-ball type of offense, but those days may be gone. The best chance is to let Ben sling it around and keep up the pace to throw the defense off-balance. If we try to line up and go man-on-man with Carolina's front 7, this thing could get ugly in a hurry.
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« Reply #7 on: Yesterday at 10:37 »

Has anyone stopped Bell?  He got over 5 a clip against Balty, but when we got behind we went to our more inconsistent attack, the pass.  Well... isn't that what defenses expect when you get behind?  I think a steady dose of Bell every game is called for.  No fewer than 25 carries.  He makes lemonade outta chicken and chicken salad outta lemons.  Plus he never fumbles because his fingers are always coated in the stickiest of the icky.
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« Reply #8 on: Yesterday at 15:13 »

That Bell only had 11 carries against the Ratties is a huge reason why they lost.  So yes, run him, run him, run him.  Then run Leblunt.  Then run Dri. 
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