NFL  > Pittsburgh Steelers  > STEELERS PEAKING AT RIGHT TIME?
January 3, 2011, 10:11 PM
For all the trials and tribulations this season has brought; from "THE SUSPENSION," the early losses of Aaron Smith, Dennis Dixon, Charlie Batch, Max Starks, etc.. and the injury to Byron Leftwich early in the season, to the close Raven's loss, when all Steelers fans realized the cold, hard truth that the team wasn't going ANYWHERE without Roethlisberger, then a few losses, some close (NO, NYJ), some not so close (NE), and the "evolution" of the way defenses ( esp and critically the Steelers" ) were "officiated" for hard hitting, er "blatantly illegal" conduct, to the virtual assault and battery that Roethlisberger has endured ( and how funny, not a single roughing-the-passer penalty called ?), this team has been through a meat grinder. How can it be then, that they go into the playoffs the #2 seed in the AFC?

Despite all the negatives, the Defense has been quietly putting up all-time record numbers in yds per game rushing and points allowed, despite all the negative yardage due to some very subjective penalties called against James Harrison & Co. Despite a broken foot and a broken nose, Roethlisberger is having a very statistically efficient season ( around 160 passes without an INT now ), and Mike Wallace has stepped up his game to make just about everyone say "Santonio Who?"

This past weeks game against a supposedly fired-up Browns team eager to play spoiler and some pay back for the Harrison hits against Cribbs and Massaquoi, was not even as close as the final 41-9 score, as Ben and most of the starters were on the sidelines for virtually the entire 2nd half. With the good possibility of Aaron Smith returning for some portion of the playoffs and extra time for Troy Polamalu and several others to nurse some injuries, this banged-up, no-chance-to-make-the-playoffs-at-the-start-of-the-year, bunch of overachievers suddenly looks to be a contender again. Only time will tell if recent performance is a sign of bigger things to come..................
January 3, 2011  10:34 PM ET

The Steelers can't beat the Patriots even on one of their better days.

January 3, 2011  10:58 PM ET

I love the Steelers, but they can't stop a good QB. Brees and Brady lit them up. Manning would do the same. In the playoffs against any of these QB's, the Steelers offense is going to have to be a pass first offense and throw the long ball to keep up with those teams...something that they only like to do against teams like the Browns.

We can't play good man to man defense downfield. This year, Steeler backs played well off their man for the most part and better QBs eat that up. Additionally, the Steelers defense relies on QB pressure to create turnovers or quick possessions and they did not get that job done against Brees or Brady. They better have an ace up their sleeve that they haven't played this year...a new wrinkle they have not shown, especially against Brady and his good offensive line, or it will be 39- 7 Patriots in the 4th quarter with a couple of garbage time TDs for the Steelers, figuring out once again that controlling the clock with the run game (without scoring) won't get the job done while playing zone defense against these guys.

January 4, 2011  12:09 AM ET

Oooohhh...OUCH!

January 4, 2011  01:51 AM ET

"I love the Steelers, but they can't stop a good QB. Brees and Brady lit them up. Manning would do the same. In the playoffs against any of these QB's, the Steelers offense is going to have to be a pass first offense and throw the long ball to keep up with those teams...something that they only like to do against teams like the Browns.

We can't play good man to man defense downfield. This year, Steeler backs played well off their man for the most part and better QBs eat that up. Additionally, the Steelers defense relies on QB pressure to create turnovers or quick possessions and they did not get that job done against Brees or Brady. They better have an ace up their sleeve that they haven't played this year...a new wrinkle they have not shown, especially against Brady and his good offensive line, or it will be 39- 7 Patriots in the 4th quarter with a couple of garbage time TDs for the Steelers, figuring out once again that controlling the clock with the run game (without scoring) won't get the job done while playing zone defense against these guys."


Driver: Did you actually WATCH the Saints game? Brees was sacked and hurried the majority of the game, except there at the end, where he had a short field after the Heath Miller fumble. Check the stats for the game and you'll find that Brees did NOT have a monster game. Take away that fumble and the Steelers probably win that game, as they were marching downfield pretty much at will. The ensuing Saints drive after that fumble ate up pretty much what was left of the 4th qtr, leaving Roethlisberger<2min to drive for a winning TD.....

The NE game I STILL can't figure out. I've NEVER seen LeBeau call more of a cover2 type of defense??? There was absolutely no pass rush against Brady and he sat back and dinked and dunked the Steelers to death. I TOTALLY AGREE that LeBeau needs to dial up the blitzes and even when they don't, they need to act like they are. The corners will need to play up on the WRs to take away those 1-3 yd quick throws that comprise 98% of Brady's pass attempts. One thing I DID see against the Browns this week that I haven't before, is Roethlisberger looking quite "Brady-ish," effectively throwing quick slants and TE seam routes to perfection. Could it be that Bruce Arians has been looking at some Patriots game film?

The Pats statistically had one of the WORST pass defenses in the league and there's no reason to believe that the Steelers offense can't take advantage of that. NE doesn't play nearly as well when it hasn't got the lead and has to play catch up and can't dictate to the other team. I GUARANTEE you that it won't be 39-7 in GARBAGE TIME if they meet again this season.........

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January 4, 2011  10:01 PM ET

QUOTE (#10): "It means, that I was talking to Ironman..and not you.. "

***Are you talkin' to me?... Are YOU talkin' to ME?... ARE YOU TALKIN TO ME!!!!!!!?...... Yeah, I thought you were talkin' to me.................**** (Robert DeNiro/Taxi Driver)

DEUCE: LOL! I was waiting to see how long it would take you to come on here and try busting my b@lls.......actually, I've never tried crack myself.......

But you know, now that I reflect on it, I did have a good friend of mine from HS and college who tried it one time, his first and last time; the night he was drafted #1 by the Boston Celtics, and died from a fatal heart irregularity. He was a good guy... a straight arrow, and a helluva basketball player....

Thanks for jarring my memory with your witty comment. It's been quite awhile since I've thought of my good friend Len Bias....too long. I think the "crack pipe" jokes will be deleted from my repertoire from now on.

Comment #15 has been removed
January 5, 2011  03:29 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

The Steelers can't beat the Patriots even on one of their better days.

Fact.

January 5, 2011  03:49 AM ET

The Bears have a pretty good defense and Brady just tore them apart. The Pats defense is better than a lot of people give them credit for, and Belichek can outcoach anybody.

January 5, 2011  06:32 AM ET

QUOTE (#17): "The Bears have a pretty good defense and Brady just tore them apart. The Pats defense is better than a lot of people give them credit for, and Belichek can outcoach anybody."


IRISH: The Bears defense isn't on the SAME PLANET as the Steelers when they play to their strengths (FACT). I don't know what LeBeau was thinking during the regular season game, but it was the most un-Steeler-like gameplan I have ever seen. I mean, a 3-man rush practically the entire game? Sure, if you sit back and give Brady ALL DAY to throw the short dink and dunk stuff he loves, any defense is going to have a LONG day......

I remember a game a few years ago...the one that ended NE's then-NFL record win streak, where LeBeau dialed up the blitz pressure, sending just about everybody at some point or the other. It was one of the few times I've seen Brady looking uncomfortable and unsure and the Steelers were up by 3 TDs in "garbage time" before NE scored a TD......THAT defense wasn't any more talented than this years ( Willie Williams and Deshea Townsend were the CBs ). If LeBeau breaks open the "vault" for the Pats game ( assuming both the Pats and Steelers make the AFCC game ), we might see Brady having another one of those rare "bad days..."

January 5, 2011  06:34 AM ET

DEUCE: Really? man, it IS a small world........appreciate the thought. We ALL give each other a hard time, no malice intended.

Peace

Comment #22 has been removed
January 5, 2011  02:29 PM ET
QUOTE(#1):

The Steelers can't beat the Patriots even on one of their better days.

Why don't we just hand the Lombardi over to the Patriots like in 2007 cause no one could beat them then. Oops.

January 5, 2011  02:32 PM ET

While the Patriots are one damn good team and will be a formidable foe, to say the Steelers can't beat them is asinine. The Steelers are playing very good football themselves right now and will have time to get Troy Polamalu healthy...and possibly Aaron Smith. We'll see what happens in the upcoming weeks. Go Stillers!!

January 5, 2011  03:11 PM ET
QUOTE(#17):

The Bears have a pretty good defense and Brady just tore them apart. The Pats defense is better than a lot of people give them credit for, and Belichek can outcoach anybody.

Fact.

January 5, 2011  03:12 PM ET
QUOTE(#23):

Why don't we just hand the Lombardi over to the Patriots like in 2007 cause no one could beat them then. Oops.

The Giants got lucky!

January 5, 2011  03:41 PM ET
QUOTE(#26):

The Giants got lucky!

Lucky? If that delusion lets you sleep at night, fine. The Giants held the Pats to a whopping 45 yards rushing, sacked Brady 5 times and forced a fumble. They outgained the Pats in rushing yards, passing yards and total yards. What part of that is luck?

 
January 5, 2011  03:44 PM ET
QUOTE(#27):

Lucky? If that delusion lets you sleep at night, fine. The Giants held the Pats to a whopping 45 yards rushing, sacked Brady 5 times and forced a fumble. They outgained the Pats in rushing yards, passing yards and total yards. What part of that is luck?

The Giants made it to the Super Bowl as a wild card team and had a miracle finish to win that game. I still say they were lucky!

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