Two in a Row is No Trend

What are we Steeler fans to make of this? Two road games in two weeks result in two sloppy losses. In Cincinnati as in Chicago, the Steelers dominate the first portion of the game only to see halftime leads fall to lackluster offensive play and a defensive effort that simply wasn’t good enough.

For the second week in a row the Steelers’ defense dominated a game only to yield the game winning score with only seconds remaining. And, for the second week in a row, the offense looked productive in the first half only to sputter in the second.

Was it a mistake to return 9 of 11 defensive starters? Are fourth quarter collapses revealing old legs? The head may be willing but it appears the body simply cannot deliver.

Of course, these late afternoon start times aren’t helping. The defensive line is likely considering a nice nap before a discount supper at the cafeteria.

What are we to think? In a game that appeared to be dominated by the Steelers from the start, the offense underwhelmed in the red zone. In a game that displayed a running game apparently back on track, the offense eventually couldn’t get out of it’s own way. The offensive line provided great protection but Big Ben tossed another horrific interception that was returned for 6 points. Limas Sweed’s demons returned in stunning fashion as a great catch in the back of the end zone became a gut-wrenching drop. Jeff Reed missed another field goal and a Hines Ward penalty canceled another first-down play.

The only positive to take back to Pittsburgh is the excellent play of rookie wide receiver Mike Wallace. Unfortunately, he plays for the offense and will be rendered ineffective over the long run by the schemes of Bruce Arians.

Just as there are team victories, this game must be categorized as a team defeat. Let’s hope that Coach Tomlin can right this train before it careens off the track.

4 comments for “Two in a Row is No Trend

  1. lon-ton
    September 28, 2009 at 11:41 am

    it definitely isn’t panic time yet, but they sure need to steer the ship now while they still can.

    i think that this whole “hines ward rule” business has actually affected more than just blind-side hits. it certainly seems like officials are watching ward much more than they watch other players and thus, he’s getting called for all kinds of stuff that no other WRs get called for.

  2. September 29, 2009 at 8:56 am

    The Ward calls are driving me crazy – whether the officials are being unfair or not, he’s gotta realize what he can legally do and stick to that.

    Plus blowing 4th quarter leads is so un-Steeler like, I’m stupefied.

    And I guess it’s tough to fire any coaches from a Super Bowl winning staff, but can anyone explain why Bruce Arians still has a job in the NFL? Does he have blackmail material?

  3. aj_law
    September 29, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    [[Limas Sweed’s demons returned in stunning fashion as a great catch in the back of the end zone became a gut-wrenching drop.]]

    Sweed makes that catch and this one’s a laugher.

    An interesting statistic…if there is such a thing…since 1990, the percentage of teams who start the season @ 1-2 or worse that make the playoffs is only about 20-25%. Gonna be an uphill battle.

    It’s quite the psychological carry-on when a team is thinkin’ every week is a “must win” and it’s only Week 4.

  4. September 30, 2009 at 10:54 am

    No doubt, the San Diego game is a must win. Otherwise, they’re counting on DET and CLE to get them back to .500 before hosting the Vikes.

    But, beat the Chargers and they’re likely 4-2 heading into the Vikes game with the potential for 5-2 heading into the bye. Then all this nonsense would be forgotten.

    It truly is a game of inches.

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