Steelers Steal Win at Indianapolis

When the schedule first came out this looked like it would be a really good, competitive game.  Then, when the news Manning was going to miss at least the first several weeks of 2011 if not the entire season it appeared this would be a cake walk. However thanks in large part to the porous offensive line play by the Steelers, it turned into a good, competitive game…for the objective fan. 

In the end the Steelers came out of Indianapolis with a win but they looked bad in the process. Offensively they have become one dimensional, largely because they have what might be one of the worst offensive lines in the league.  Ben Roethlisberger had to do everything up to and including engineering a drive in the final minutes to kick the game winning field goal. With an O line that only enabled the Steelers to run for 67 yards on 28 total carries, Big Ben had to throw 37 times for 364 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT.  Don’t let those stellar numbers fool you, Ben was under pressure all day, getting sacked 3 times, fumbling twic and being hurried many more times.  If it wasn’t a glaring problem before the game it sure is now. They need help on that line. They already lost Willie Colon for the year, then they decide to only dress 7 guys on the line and what happens, 3 get hurt in the game.  You play 5 at a time people!  7-3 = 4. 4 healthy O lineman. They had to bring back injured Marcus Gilbert to finish the game.  It’s pathetic that given the fact that the team has a terrible O line, were facing two great pass rushers and can use all the help on that unit  that they can get; they only dressed 7! That’s all on Tomlin.  Two of the guys that went down were getting burned all day long. Marcus Gilbert looked like the rookie that he is and the sack/fumble he gave up really turned the game around for the negative. The black and gold were up 10-0 moving the ball down the field and looking like they would score again and BOOM he gives up that play and the Colts took momentum the rest of the way.  Jonathan Scott was the other guy hurt and burned all day. He gave up a sack/fumble that was returned for a TD. It’s about time they sacrafice a wide receiver and bring in a full back more often because they need all the blocking help they can get and that appears to be the only way. Don’t think for a second they won’t be making some calls this week to see what they can pick up off the scrap heap. They are in trouble there. If the Steelers can’t run the ball, which right now with this line and Mendhall running the ball, it appears they can’t, we’re looking at a long season. 

Defensively they didn’t look all that good again. Granted, the defense made the play of the game on a Harrison sack that forced a fumble into the hands of Troy Polamalu who  promptly ran the ball into the end zone but, aside from Harrison and his team leading 7 tackles and Polamalu who had 3 tackles, that TD and seemed to be in on just about every play, the defense looked pretty average. They allowed Joseph Addai 86 yards on 17 carries, a 5.1 YPC average. The Colts are missing Manning, had to start Kerry Collins and then ended up finishing with Curtis Painter which means you know the team is going to run at you and you STILL give up that kind of yardage? That’s not good.  The secondary looks bad, aside from Taylor again, the corners were burned and even Taylor was burned on a play that should have been a TD but because Painter overthrew Garcon the Steelers escaped with no damage.  There are a lot of problems on both sides of the ball and they need to fix these issues immediately.

A couple of thoughts and notes from the game.  On the second fumble by Roethlisberger; the entire frikken O Line just stood there and let the play continue without attempting to pick up the ball. How many times are football players told to play to the whistle? Where were the fundamentals on that??

On the Big Ben interception, yes it was a bad throw but what the hell was Emmanuel Sanders doing on that play? Instead of tagging the defender down right there at the spot of the pick; he LEAPS over him trying to avoid contact? What the heck? How does that even make sense? It doesn’t and he needs a talking to.

Jonathan Scott sucks. He was burned all day, had numerous penalties against him and just looks bad.

Rashard Mendenhall is clearly not trusted by the coaches in crunch time. Don’t think it was a mistake that Mendenhall was not in there carrying the ball on that final drive as Mewelde Moore and Isaac Redman got the only carries on that drive. The coaches don’t trust Mendenhall won’t fumble. It’s hard to argue with them given his history.  It’s also hard to trust Mendenhall should even be the featured back at this point but when we thought Redman would get more carries they cut them down to 3 this week. That’s a poor decision on Bruce Arians part and someone needs to ask that clown what he was thinking?

It appears that Antonio Brown is a play maker both on punt returns and in the passing game. We’re not sure if we’d annoint him as the number 2 reciever just yet but he’s gaining ground and looks like he may be that guy soon.

Big Ben will not last the whole season at this pace. This is obvious, but it’s just so glaring.

Ok, so the team won and that’s the true thing that matters here. We’ll take it because it’s certainly better than a loss and the good news is it was on the road.  Now they must prepare for Houston who has a pretty good QB and if Arian Foster plays they have a damn good running back too. Next week is a true test for this team and what type of leadership they have and how they respond to falling short of overall expectations.

2-1, next week: at Houston (2-1)


2 Comments on "Steelers Steal Win at Indianapolis"

  1. longarm on Mon, 26th Sep 2011 9:45 am 

    I agree with everything you stated. They looked poorly coached, no O line, no running game and almost getting knocked of by a third string QB. It’s a win but they looked pathetic. I hope they can turn this around or it will be along and painful season.

  2. rob2240 on Wed, 28th Sep 2011 2:19 pm 

    It was frustrating to watch. We expect more from our Steelers.