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Author Topic: Week 17 - Jan 2 @ Cleveland  (Read 2823 times)
Robotman
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« on: Aug 03, 2010 at 15:18 »

One more bonus game before the playoffs!
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« Reply #1 on: Dec 27, 2010 at 22:17 »

Okay, the Steelers are in the playoffs.  They really don't "have" to win this game. 

But it would be a serious blow to lose the division and the #2 seed by losing to the Cleveland Browns.  This is their Super Bowl, so the black n gold had better come ready to play.
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #2 on: Dec 28, 2010 at 08:14 »

Okay, the Steelers are in the playoffs.  They really don't "have" to win this game. 

But it would be a serious blow to lose the division and the #2 seed by losing to the Cleveland Browns.  This is their Super Bowl, so the black n gold had better come ready to play.

I think the Browns really wanted to knock off the Ravens, too.  What I saw of that game, the Browns played hard but were just too damned sloppy.  They'll come loaded for bear with us too, but we need to force that same kind of game from them.

IMHO, the difference between the 2 seed and the 5/6 is huge, it's about getting the two key defensive players healthy, and we all know what that can mean.

Another point I'd make is that this offense has been all over the map this year.  Game to game, drive to drive, the inconsistency is maddening.  At times, it looked like we couldn't move the ball on a squad of determined Girl Scouts.  At other times, it looked like the OL "got it" and we could drive on any defense any time.  So much of that comes down to my favorite goats, the OL and OC, but there are other factors. 

First of all, the receiving corps has undergone a huge change, with Tone gone, Hines older, Wallace expanding his role, and trying to get Manny Sanders and Tonio Brown acclimated to life in the bigs.  It was nice to see BA remember Heath Miller can catch the ball last week, but there was one play that just stunned me: the slant and go to Wallace, jets on, TD scored.  That ball was no sooner in Ben's hands than it was out, no chance for a blitz to work, defenders blinking and 17 is gone.  The great thing is, we have three guys who can all run that sluggo, Wallace and the rooks.  In fact, it looks like a Manny Sanders signature play.

Teams defend the run because we are predictable in playcalling, and because our passing game is inconsistent.  Up the ante with more quick-hitters to the sneaky squeaks zipping the under routes and let them kill teams with YAC.  I'm not saying we should become the NE Patriots offense, but we can certainly utilize some faster-devloping pass plays.  I'd like to see us trot a few more out versus the Browns to neutralize what they undoubtedly want to do (blitz Ben), and to go into the playoffs with some stuff teams haven't seen much of.
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« Reply #3 on: Jan 02, 2011 at 14:14 »

Wow, it was such a blowout that CBS switched to OAK @ KC after the El TD pass to Ward.
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« Reply #4 on: Jan 02, 2011 at 15:53 »

That's the way to end the season against the Browns!
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« Reply #5 on: Jan 02, 2011 at 15:59 »

Great to see the team perform so well on all fronts today (except, maybe, the running game), especially in a game they might have otherwise overlooked. This team has played down to the level of competition so often, I expected some of the same today, but they came out focused and put an end to this one early. Great building block for the playoffs.

Here's hoping we draw KC for our first game.
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« Reply #6 on: Jan 02, 2011 at 18:30 »

A satisfying win in almost every regard.  Wanted to see the backups in sooner, cringing as 7 was taking off running in the 2H, but he's a man playing a man's game.  Felt some measure of pity for Cribbs, talented guy on a bad team, and McCoy, young guy who showed some good stuff but looked like an embarrassment today.  But fuck the Browns, and Shaun Rogers and Matt Roth in particular, guys who wanted to get in cheap shit on the Steelers because they're fucking bitches.  Fucking Rogers especially, I hope you die tonight.

Arians used those quick-hitter sluggo routes to 17, and 88, and 84.  I'm telling you, Ben's getting a nice rhythm going with those guys and it's a dangerous combo to defend.  Has he been reading MGS?!

Listening to pre-game on the radio and the locals were predicting 24-10 kinda scores.  Said to the Missus, Hell, I hope we win 38-3 and pull our starters by halftime.  Game set up beautifully, and we were at 38-3 for a while, making me feel prescient.  Good to see some work from Dwyer and Sylvester.

Will be interesting to see how the D plays, if 43 feels even better and A. Smith is back.  Not that 43 played badly or that Hood was in any way lacking.

« Last Edit: Jan 03, 2011 at 08:29 by Finnegans Wake » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: Jan 02, 2011 at 19:36 »

Wow, dominating performance and just what the Dr. ordered before the playoffs.  Thought we looked a little sluggish at times on D--I've never liked the incessant blitzing vs. young qbs.  Just drop and confuse the hell out of them!  Testament to how bad the Browns are that we weren't great on defense and still held them to 200 yards. 

Not only is the receiving corps developing a nice rapport with Ben, they are becoming a force in this league.  As much as I've hated on Colbert for his late-round moves, Brown/Sanders/Wallace are looking like unbelievable selections.  These guys have a chance to become one of the most formidable groups of receivers in the entire league.

For all that hating on Ben, he has very quietly come along to have a fantastic season.  3000+ yards, 17 tds and 5 ints is not too shabby.  Passer rating has steadily increased and he should be in prime position to give us a great chance in the playoffs.

I have to say that the offensive line is surprisingly improved over the course of the season, in spite of Scott's struggles.  Pouncey is a beast and Kemo, Foster, Adams look like they are finally starting to gel.  Another matchup with the Ravens could change this perspective, but there is a lot more reason to be confident than in Sept.


As for playoff matchups, I feel like the Steelers can beat the Ravens or the Colts; or the Chiefs or Jets for that matter.  If we can fight our way through round 1, then the real challenge comes in Foxboro. 
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« Reply #8 on: Jan 02, 2011 at 20:00 »

Gotta say, part of me would dread playing Indy  Given the NFL's hard-on for Indy vs. NE and Manning vs. Brady, you gotta believe the refs will do anything to achieve that end.

So I think Ill be rooting for KC and the NYJets.
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Big Virgil
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« Reply #9 on: Jan 02, 2011 at 20:01 »

Here's a pretty good synopsis of the game.



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« Reply #10 on: Jan 02, 2011 at 22:47 »

Quote
Gotta say, part of me would dread playing Indy  Given the NFL's hard-on for Indy vs. NE and Manning vs. Brady, you gotta believe the refs will do anything to achieve that end.

Hmmmm...never considered that angle.  We need to start an over/under pool on fines for James Harrison if the Steelers get either (or both) of the matchups vs. the Golden Boys in the playoffs.
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« Reply #11 on: Jan 03, 2011 at 09:41 »

A few other thoughts:

First play, Willie Gay isn't defending the pass, he's going for a pick 6.  He misses, and McCoy hits Massaquoi for 14 yards.  Normally, a CB missing his assignment and allowing 14 yards would start my eye twitching and get a bit of froth going at the corner of my mouth, but I was actually happy to see it because it signaled to me that the PSD was coming out of the gate hungry to punish the CBO.  They were going after McCoy, and the very next play, giftie to Troy.  Next play after that, 56 yard TD to Mike Wallace.  Perfect.  The right call at the right time.  Only issue I had was that in replay, you could see that Wallace had to slow down once again to let the pass catch up to him.  Bennie, let that fucker go like you've been hiked a fucking hornet's nest, baby.  You cannot overthrow
Mike Wallace.  NASA scientists have studied Wallace's acceleration and come to this very conclusion.

14:15 in the 3Q, Ben throws a short pass to Heath Miller.  It's maybe 5, 6 yards.  Covering Heath is DB Abram Elam.  Abram Elam suddenly transforms into a blocking sled.  Heath Miller doesn't just truck him for 3 or 4 yards.  Heath Miller pushes him 10 yards downfield.  It looked like Heath was out doing drills at Latrobe.  I guess this is why they do those drills, so when some guy named Abram Elam pretends to try to tackle your TE, he can make the guy look like he's wearing roller skates.

ARE TD pass to Hines.  Yawn.  That's like so 2005 season, you know what I mean?  Bo-ring.  Actually, it was quite funny, because the Browns didn't expect it.  And ARE slipped.  And still threw a perfect arc to Hines.  Who was ALL BY HIMSELF in the EZ.  What the what?  Who leaves Hines Ward unattended in the EZ?  I wouldn't mind seeing this play a few more times in the playoffs, if it worked.  Unfortunately, teams like Baltimore and NE won't get caught like Ben in Bama (pants down), but we were just taunting the Browns.  

Too bad we didn't shut them out, too.  But there were overtones of the 41-0 shutout from the week 16 win versus the Browns from 2005.  You'll recall the shutout game by its most memorable feature if I refer to it as the James Harrison Bodyslams a Drunken Brownie Fan Game.  Effen hilarity, my friends.  How can you not love James Harrison?  OK, score by quarter, 2010 v. 2005 (2010 in red):  14-0, 14-0; 31-3, 20-0; 38-3, 34-0; 41-9, 41-0.  I'm not sayin' it's 2005 all over again, I'm just sayin'.  The more things change, ya know?  Browns suck, we rule, ever shall it be.

Other stats:

2010:  Steelers outgain Brownies 418-225.  PSD had 4 sacks, 3 INTs.  BBR 15-22-280-2-0 .  Leading rusher, Mendenhall 14-36-2.  Leading receiver Mike Wallace, 3-105-1.
2005:  Steelers outgain Brownies 457-178.  PSD had 8 sacks, 0 INTs.  BBR 13-20-226-1-0.  Leading rusher, Willie Parker 17-130-1.  Leading receiver Hines Ward 7-105-1.
« Last Edit: Jan 03, 2011 at 10:11 by Finnegans Wake » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: Jan 03, 2011 at 10:00 »

Not to be critical, but you got Ben's stats backwards.  But since it was a repeat of the same, it really doesn't matter.

Actually felt a little bad for McCoy.  Not real bad, just a little.  He's got a chance to be a pretty good player IMO.  Hillis being hurt certainly made his life more difficult.

Give the guy credit, he stayed in there against the best D in the league and took his lumps.  It'll either make him better, or scar his career forever.
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« Reply #13 on: Jan 03, 2011 at 10:13 »

Not to be critical, but you got Ben's stats backwards.  But since it was a repeat of the same, it really doesn't matter.

Thanks, fixed.  Working too quickly.

Quote
Actually felt a little bad for McCoy.  Not real bad, just a little.  He's got a chance to be a pretty good player IMO.  Hillis being hurt certainly made his life more difficult.

Give the guy credit, he stayed in there against the best D in the league and took his lumps.  It'll either make him better, or scar his career forever.

Yeah, he stood tall in a bad situation.  If things don't pan out, maybe the Browns can get Charlie Frye back.
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« Reply #14 on: Jan 03, 2011 at 10:55 »

Quote
ARE TD pass to Hines.  Yawn.  That's like so 2005 season, you know what I mean?  Bo-ring.  Actually, it was quite funny, because the Browns didn't expect it.  And ARE slipped.  And still threw a perfect arc to Hines.  Who was ALL BY HIMSELF in the EZ.

My favorite part of that play was Ben pointing out Hines wide open about 3 sec before ARE threw it.  Ben's like, "dude, he's all alone - what are you waiting for?"

Absolutely perfect way to end it.  Complete domination, don't let them breathe.  Scored every time Ben touched the ball - awesome.

Love that little slant to Wallace.  You don't have to wait until he's 50 yards downfield to take advantage of his speed.
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« Reply #15 on: Jan 03, 2011 at 11:05 »

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ARE TD pass to Hines.  Yawn.  That's like so 2005 season, you know what I mean?  Bo-ring.  Actually, it was quite funny, because the Browns didn't expect it.  And ARE slipped.  And still threw a perfect arc to Hines.  Who was ALL BY HIMSELF in the EZ.

My favorite part of that play was Ben pointing out Hines wide open about 3 sec before ARE threw it.  Ben's like, "dude, he's all alone - what are you waiting for?"

Absolutely perfect way to end it.  Complete domination, don't let them breathe.  Scored every time Ben touched the ball - awesome.

Love that little slant to Wallace.  You don't have to wait until he's 50 yards downfield to take advantage of his speed.

Yeah, Ben directing was almost cartoonish. 

Those slants are getting some traction with 17, and 84 and 88 as well.  I think we'll see more of that this postseason.  All those guys have speed: Wallace is a laser, and Sanders and Brown have that nice shifty speed.  I think it was Brown who had one down the sideline, and tacked on about 8 YAC more than he should have with that speed -- it was like, "Oh, he's down, NO HE'S NOT...!"

Our passing game was missing a dimension, and it seems BA finally tapped it.  Wow. 
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« Reply #16 on: Jan 03, 2011 at 11:09 »

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ARE TD pass to Hines.  Yawn.  That's like so 2005 season, you know what I mean?  Bo-ring.  Actually, it was quite funny, because the Browns didn't expect it.  And ARE slipped.  And still threw a perfect arc to Hines.  Who was ALL BY HIMSELF in the EZ.

The 8 year old & I have been watching some of the old NFLN Games Of The Week. On Friday we watched the highlight reel from the 2005 SB run. They showed the ARE reg. season TD toss against the Browns. Was saying they should break that out again, so he's not rusty when he throws it in the 2010 SB.
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« Reply #17 on: Jan 03, 2011 at 11:10 »

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ARE TD pass to Hines.  Yawn.  That's like so 2005 season, you know what I mean?  Bo-ring.

Come on, we are talkin about BA here.  That is a mind fuk for him.  Maybe since it was the Browns, he was more comfortable calling plays, or something, and not trying to out smart himself which usually leads to him calling horrific games.  So, in two weeks he will be back to outsmarting himself and calling a horrible game.

They did play the browns, so expectations from O-line, BA, or any other group shoud not be inflated based on yesterday's game.
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« Reply #18 on: Jan 03, 2011 at 11:14 »

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Those slants are getting some traction with 17, and 84 and 88 as well.  I think we'll see more of that this postseason.  All those guys have speed: Wallace is a laser, and Sanders and Brown have that nice shifty speed.  I think it was Brown who had one down the sideline, and tacked on about 8 YAC more than he should have with that speed -- it was like, "Oh, he's down, NO HE'S NOT...!"

Our passing game was missing a dimension, and it seems BA finally tapped it.  Wow.

Yep, perfect way to slow down pass rush.  Let those guys loose in the secondary a few times to get the LBs to stay home.  Then the meduim to deep routes have time to develop, plus draws more effective, etc.
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« Reply #19 on: Jan 03, 2011 at 11:27 »

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ARE TD pass to Hines.  Yawn.  That's like so 2005 season, you know what I mean?  Bo-ring.

Come on, we are talkin about BA here.  That is a mind fuk for him.  Maybe since it was the Browns, he was more comfortable calling plays, or something, and not trying to out smart himself which usually leads to him calling horrific games.  So, in two weeks he will be back to outsmarting himself and calling a horrible game.

They did play the browns, so expectations from O-line, BA, or any other group shoud not be inflated based on yesterday's game.

Browns had 2 chances to play the spoiler, back-to-back games against the Ravens and Steelers.

Browns led 7-0 over the Ravens after 1Q, trailed only 13-10 at the half, and went down 20-10 in the 3Q (also final).  Short version: Browns looked bad then too, but the Ravens didn't look particularly dominant.  FWIW.
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« Reply #20 on: Jan 03, 2011 at 11:58 »

Negatives, briefly:

*Defense was aggressive, and sometimes that didn't work.  Timmons and Woodley got penetration into the backfield but whiffed on tackles, allowing McCoy completions.  Gotta take your man down.  Pola gets excused for getting a hand on McCoy but missing the tackle on that gonzo hurdle at the GL.  Fucking insane timing, that.
*Seriously, Mendy, you're taking it out of bounds?  How about lowering the boom and punishing a defender instead?  Or fake like you're heading out, then zag it back at a 45 degree angle?  I like Mendy but that was a puss move, dude.
*I try to ignore the idiot announcers as much as possible, but they're talking about how Ben grew up in Findlay, OH but was a Niners fan (Montana), not a Browns or Bengals fan.  Next breath, announcer gushes that it's amazing how many great QBs hail from Western PA.  True, but: have we annexed Ohio?  I mean, does this beatdown mean Ohio has relinquished its sovereignty and is now part of the Commonwealth?  Dumbfuckery.  Reminds me of when the Pats played the Jets on MNF, and pregame you have the dildo Steve Young giving his opinion of what the Jets' liabilities would be.  So dumbass says he thinks the safeties for the Jets are, specifically Jim Leonard.  This is a Monday broadcast, and Leonard broke his fucking leg in Friday practice, so yes, Jim Leonard would be a liability... if he were playing.  Oddly, Rex Ryan chose not to play him.  Perhaps he senses that a guy with a broken fucking leg can't run effectively.  What insight!
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« Reply #21 on: Jan 04, 2011 at 14:47 »

A lot of you have already mentioned it, but if Bruce Arians calls games like that in the post-season, the sky is the limit for this offense.  Those quick strike passes have been missing all season.  Everyone here including myself has been clamoring for him to call more plays like those all season long.  Knowing what I know about BA, I'm going to temper my optimism about his play calling, but like I said... that is how are offense should be run.  Picture perfect, with the exception of the ground game...
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« Reply #22 on: Jan 05, 2011 at 10:01 »

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I try to ignore the idiot announcers as much as possible, but they're talking about how Ben grew up in Findlay, OH but was a Niners fan (Montana), not a Browns or Bengals fan.  Next breath, announcer gushes that it's amazing how many great QBs hail from Western PA.  True, but: have we annexed Ohio?  I mean, does this beatdown mean Ohio has relinquished its sovereignty and is now part of the Commonwealth?  Dumbfuckery.

I've decided that this is the problem:  They think they HAVE to talk.  Take a lesson from Pat Summerall, it's okay just to let the play happen and save your verbage for after the fact.  If they would just realize, "Hey, it's okay to have brief silence while you think about what you say or read your prompter," they might be okay.

BTW, Tory Holt is the absolute worst.  I have never heard anyone that bad on color commentary.


Quote
Picture perfect, with the exception of the ground game...

Yet, we still managed to rush for 100+.  Again, people keep talking about the deficiencies of the offense and they are plentiful.  But if
you reconfigurethe stats for what Big Ben might have done as opposed to CB, this may well be a top 10 offense.  We've won Super Bowls with worse.
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« Reply #23 on: Jan 05, 2011 at 11:22 »

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Take a lesson from Pat Summerall, it's okay just to let the play happen and save your verbage for after the fact.

Pat was either drinking or pissing during those breaks.
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« Reply #24 on: Jan 05, 2011 at 20:49 »

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Pat was either drinking or pissing during those breaks.

Better to piss quietly than to piss from the mouth.
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« Reply #25 on: Jan 06, 2011 at 11:40 »

At the time, I said that if they push the lead to 20+ to nothing, Cleveland will just give up.  Sure enough.  Might've even happened before that time, but I won't go there.

Another point I'd make is that this offense has been all over the map this year.  Game to game, drive to drive, the inconsistency is maddening.  At times, it looked like we couldn't move the ball on a squad of determined Girl Scouts.  At other times, it looked like the OL "got it" and we could drive on any defense any time.  So much of that comes down to my favorite goats, the OL and OC, but there are other factors. 

I know it was the Clowns, but it was nice to see a full, complete game from this squad.  Start to finish.  60 minutes.  Couldn't come at a better time.  Nice playoff primer.


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« Reply #26 on: Jan 06, 2011 at 20:25 »

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BTW, Tory Holt is the absolute worst.  I have never heard anyone that bad on color commentary.


I haven't heard him, or at least didn't know it if I did.  But no one on the planet can be worse than Theismann.
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