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Author Topic: My $0.02 and the State of the Onion  (Read 1503 times)
aj_law
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« on: Dec 08, 2009 at 12:50 »

Originally, I was gonna post this in the Oakland Gameday thread, but it ended up being more of a general, rambling rant mess so I thought it deserved its own post.

I wasn't able to watch this one live as we started the moving process this weekend.  One of life's great joys, hauling shit we don't really need from one fuckin' place to another.  All with the knowledge that we'll be doing it again in +/- 6 months.  Yeah, a great time.  Ranks right up there with having your wisdom teeth yanked.
 
Anyway, when I finally laid down to watch this clusterfuck, it was almost 9:30 PM.  I was dog tired.  Should be a snoozer, right?  I mean, I know Gradkowski has looked light years better than Russell, but...who wouldn't?  Seriously? 

Steelers elect to receive and I can feel my eyelids starting to get heavy already.  Logan makes the grab, hits the hole and bursts to the outside.  BAM!  I bolt upright like I just downed a 6 pack of 5 Hour Energy.  Go, GO FUCKER!  After he gets run OOB, the first thing I say is, "gotta get 6 outta this, fuck that chippie FG shit."  Sure enough, Reed eventually makes the trot.  OK, let's see if he can split 'em tonight.  It's good.  Yeah.  Alright, whatever.  At least we know he hit all the usual spots on the way to the game.  Don't have to worry about him being cold today.
 
That jolt of excitement followed by the anger of settling for 3 definitely woke me the fuck up and unfortunately, their play during the next few hours (DVR time) did plenty to keep me wide eyed for the duration.  The brutal EZ pick; poor tackling; drops; bad coaching decisions; a defense that looks more like they'd rather sit around in a circle jerk than a group that actualy wants to play.  Bad game.  Really bad.  On all fronts.  Like many on here (and other fan sites, I'm sure), I'm pissed; go home and kick the dogs kinda pissed.  We're all struggling to find answers and looking to place blame. 
 
Here's the thing, there aren't any.  Despite the 4th quarter collapses; despite the mistakes; despite their injuries; and yes, even despite their record, they are a good team.  I've mentioned on many occasions that the difference between winning and losing is so goddamned infinitesmally small, it's ridiculous.  This season is proof positive of that.  That's not something you want to hear when your team is sitting at .500, but it's the motherfucking truth.
 
Five of their six losses have been by three points.  Their biggest deficit in a loss was against the Bengals when they lost by a lousy six points.
 
They've been in...every...single.. .game.  They've been blown out by no one.  What they have been is unlucky.  Burnett's dropped INT that would've ended it is just a microcasm of their season; a missed FG; a dropped TD pass; a tipped ball that's pick 6'ed; it's all par for the course this year.  So close.  So motherfucking close.  It just gets lost in all the anger and disappointment.  Sure, they've had a few bounces go their way, but I'd say that they're way overdue for variance to swing in their favor.
 
Or, maybe this is just things evening out after last year's run.  You gotta admit that things went their way then, no?  How many close games went their way?  The San Diego nailbiter with Troy's INT for a TD that shoulda been.  That Balty game (which I was fortunate enough to attend) with the Holmes catch on the goalline after a sick drive from their 8 ?  Or what about the other Raven game @ Pittsburgh that ended with a Reed FG in OT?   XLIII?  How many comeback drives did #7 engineer that held?
 
Not counting any of the playoff games, that's three regular season games that easily could've gone against them.  Easily.  That 12-4 record was a shorthair away from being 9-7.  And, if I go back and actually dig a little, I bet I could find another game or two that was a coinflip as well.
 
So, this year they've been on the wrong end of those games.  Guys that maybe stepped up and made plays last year are coming up short in a critical time when it matters most this year.  All of those little things do add up though and they've got the record to prove it.
 
They're not fucking done though.  No way.  I don't give a fuck what anybody tells me.  Comparisons to '06?  Puh-leez.  That team isn't fit to park this team's cars.  That QB was a shell of the one we get to watch on Sunday now. 

Until they've been mathematically bounced, I'm going by the assumption they're gonna get in just like I assume they're gonna win this week.  Especially when their remaining schedule consists of two of the three teams they're tied with and the third still has to play Indy and Cincy and the lone team they're looking up at for that last spot has been doin' it with smoke and mirrors (IMO) and has to face Indy, New England and Miami.  Oh, and BTW, that Denver team (who they did beat) that's sitting two games ahead still has to play Indy and Philly too.  4 weeks is a looooooooooooooong motherfuckin' time.  Way too long to be writing this group off.
 
Remember, this isn't Cleveland or Detroit or Washington (who almost picked off the vaunted Saints at home this week, btw) or ...well, I think you get my point.  They're not a team that shows up and hangs one week and gets blown out the next.  They are the Champeeeeeen Pittsburgh Motherfuckin' Steelers.  Woot.
 
No fucking way, boys and girls.  It ain't over.
 
Up next, The Clowns and The Quinn.

Get.  It.  Done.
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #1 on: Dec 08, 2009 at 13:08 »

Yeah, moving (especially in extreme cold or heat) is a bitch.  Seems like most of my friends are done with that for a while, since I invariably get the call to help.  Sure, kill the old man, who cares, right?  But for you, just remember that it will all be worth it with the new house.

Can't disagree with anything in your post, and the close nature of this year's losses have to give hope that the bounce-back will be quick.  But I think you omit two things we've seen this year that are worrisome: the lack of scoring through the first three quarters, and the collapse of the D late.  We've gone on about the causes of each (idiot OC, aging D and injuries), but the fact that this pattern seems to repeat ad nauseam really scares me, even if we would go on something of a run.

Part of what makes this season one of the worst in memory is that we're a SB team in the final leg of an "easy" sched, after a 12-4 season against a damned hard sched, and so expectations are sky high, while performance has been fugly. 

One observation read on another board: success makes this team (under Cowher and Tomlin) stupid and lazy.  The fact that almost every player on both sides of the ball has succumbed to that idiocy indicates a lack of guiding strategy: soft camps, lack of urgency within games, etc.  I think that if we turn it around, we're turning it around for a better 2010.  But like you, I ain't completely writing them off.
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« Reply #2 on: Dec 08, 2009 at 13:55 »

They've kicked me in the nutz enough, I believe they're a .500 team.  I held out until the latest debacle.

Not to say I hope you're wrong, 'cause I don't hope it, I just think it.
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« Reply #3 on: Dec 08, 2009 at 14:28 »

Quote
Perhaps it is wise to remember this bit of Churchillian advice: "If you are going through hell, keep going."

BEAT.THE.BROWNS!!


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« Reply #4 on: Dec 08, 2009 at 15:45 »

Just win a damn game.  Thursday is as good a time as any to start rebounding.
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« Reply #5 on: Dec 08, 2009 at 17:36 »

I agree that it's not over.  While we don't exactly control our destiny, we can knock off a couple rivals in the next few weeks.  I think 10-6 will get us in - question is can we get to 10-6?

Yes, we've been in every game.  And I'd look at this more favorably if some of those close losses were ones in which we were down, but hung in there and made a game of it in the end.  Unfortunately I don't see it that way.  We have had the lead in the 4th quarter ELEVEN TIMES.  And in the 12th, we were tied in the 4th.  And yet we sit at 6-6 vs. teams that are mainly marginal to bad.  We lost 3 leads against Oakland alone.  Has any team this year lost 5 games where they had 4th quarter leads?  I'm guessing not.  That's not Steeler football.  This has gone from a fluke to a coincidence to an uncomfortable trend to expected.  It would be laughable if getting kicked in the nuts repeatedly was funny.

Can we sneak in?  Yes.  Win Thursday then have a long week to rest up and hopefully watch some playoff hopefulls gt knocked off.  Take care of business at home for 2 weeks, and suddenly we're in it.  Always have hope, but they've got to show something.  Fast.
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steelerfaninCO
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« Reply #6 on: Dec 08, 2009 at 23:19 »

Some say it's better to be lucky than good, and last years team might agree, but on a certain level you create your own luck. AJ mentioned some of the games last year that easily could have gone the other way ( the Dallas win is right there too), and it's very similar to this year minus the W's. Now the defense last year was top notch, and doesn't fairly compare to how this years version is playing, but the O last year showed the same signs of anemic play for 3 quarters only to turn it on when needed. Ben would go get the lead, and the D would hold. It's not happening this year for whatever reason (the team is 4-0 when Troy plays the entire game, just saying). The ball isn't bouncing the Steelers way ( so far), and they have to create some luck for themselves by preparing for the game, increasing mental awareness, and a return to solid fundamentals. Furthermore, the coaching staff has to put the players in a position to succeed. I guess we'll see what the '09 Steelers are made of.

It's not over till it's over. 10-6 may get them in. Balty and Miami would be out, and its Jax, NYJ, or Den that needs to stumble. If Den goes 2-2 they would be tied with Pit and would be out. They play at Indy this week. Mia plays at Jax this week, come on Fins! The Jets play at Tampa this week.


Looking at the remaining schedule, I feel better about the Steelers playoff chances IF they can win out. Here it is

Jets(6-6)- at TB, ATL, at IND, CIN ..... gotta think they lose one

Jags(7-5)- MIA, IND, at NE, at CLE ..... surely will lose one, but need to drop 2 to avoid tiebreakers

Denver (8-4)- at IND, OAK, at PHI, KC .... will lose to either Indy or Philly, but we need them to lose to both

Bottom line is none of this means fuck all unless the Steelers can take care of CLE, GB, BAL, and MIA. Let's go! Let's fucking go!
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msdmnr2002
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« Reply #7 on: Dec 08, 2009 at 23:28 »

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Jets(6-6)- at TB, ATL, at IND, CIN ..... gotta think they lose one

Jags(7-5)- MIA, IND, at NE, at CLE ..... surely will lose one, but need to drop 2 to avoid tiebreakers

Denver (8-4)- at IND, OAK, at PHI, KC .... will lose to either Indy or Philly, but we need them to lose to both

Looks like an undefeated Indy team helps us tremendously - if we win out.  Bastards better not mail it in once they clinch home field.
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steelerfaninCO
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« Reply #8 on: Dec 08, 2009 at 23:35 »

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Jets(6-6)- at TB, ATL, at IND, CIN ..... gotta think they lose one

Jags(7-5)- MIA, IND, at NE, at CLE ..... surely will lose one, but need to drop 2 to avoid tiebreakers

Denver (8-4)- at IND, OAK, at PHI, KC .... will lose to either Indy or Philly, but we need them to lose to both

Looks like an undefeated Indy team helps us tremendously - if we win out.  Bastards better not mail it in once they clinch home field.

I noticed that too. Indy is pretty integral to the Steelers making the playoffs. At least they are home for 2 of the games.
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Manimal
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« Reply #9 on: Dec 09, 2009 at 07:37 »

I'm pretty confident that 10-6 would get them in. The Jets are not doing any better than 9-7 because they're just not that good. The Jets could play the Browns four times and they'd drop one. So nix them.

If we go 10-6, that nixes the Dolphins and Ravens, obviously.

That leaves the Jags and Broncos and us (with a theoretical 10-6 record) in the hunt for two playoff spots. So we just need one of these teams to shit the bed. We'd win any tie-breaker that comes down to just us and Denver, of course, so if, say, the Jags win out and we're stuck with Denver at 10-6, we're in. If we all end up with the same record, I believe, we lose, because by rule the Steelers lose all tie-breakers involving multiple teams no matter what year it is.

The Jags or Broncos are bad enough to lose the number of games we'll need. The hard part, clearly, will be us getting to 10-6.
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