Thursday, October 17, 2013

Steelers, Week 6 comments

Finally, some breath for a drowning team!  We win 16-9 over the Jets and save ourselves from being bagel'd.  

Here's Labriola on Steelers' win over Jets:
There was a dropped touchdown pass. A dropped interception. Seven penalties. The rushing total again was under 100 yards, and the three tailbacks averaged a meager 2.6 yards per carry. The offense was inefficient in the red zone (0-for-2), the defense allowed the Jets to drive 51 yards in 43 seconds at the end of the first half to answer a Steelers field goal with one of their own, and special teams didn’t have a single decent return and stuck the offense at its own 21-yard line once with an illegal block penalty.

I can't contradict his numbers, but I think this was a good win. What's the difference between this and a bad win?  Well (1) we were in the lead for almost all the game, (2) we never relinquished the lead, (3) we didn't turn the ball over. Those 3 alone make any win a good win.

Look, I know its the Jets, and they are a "bad team." Except, so are the Chiefs and the Titans and the Browns... and this year those teams are good. So far.  By December we'll know who's bad and who's not. But for now, the Jets were 3-2 heading in the game and they had the #2 defense in the NFL.  That's serious.

Watching the game, it felt like watching 2011 & 2012 - both years we had talent and luck to reach either 12-4 or 8-8 (and, duh, yeah that's what happened, but I think it sets the facts). We've got the talent, I think, to still win the division.  Seriously.  For most NFL fans who don't listen/read what I do, that sounds like pie in the sky, but I can tell you, we are actually a good team and our problems are normal.

Bottom line, is that as opposed to Baseball, Basketball and Hockey - who have so many games it feels like the volume knob is stuck on 11 - a single game matters in Football.  I've been watching baseball as much as I can since August and it's stunning how a team can be good one day and bad the next.  This is acceptable.  So when that happens in football, it's grevious, but happens it does, to even great teams.    
 Anyway, here are some other random reactions: 
  1. I wonder if they did the gadget play because Cowher was in the booth?
  2. Nantz mentioned that the Steelers are the least penalized team in the league. And considering some of the penalties were ridiculous (see tripping, week 1) that this is a good sign. 
  3. Since we're not really doing the outside running game, or I think the zone blocking scheme, and since Levi Brown seems to be out even before he was in, maybe that means... Max Starks will be back!
  4. A certain amount of the defensive success was probably because of the rookie QB. 
  5. We need 2 things now: (a) win all remaining division games, (b) hope Bengals lose more. 
  6. We have enough rookies to keep it going so we can get the big needs for next year (1) LT, (2) CB, (3) TE. 
  7. We really got lucky given the first 2 injuries. that's a hypothetical to recognize, in a pure snakebit scenario, we'd have had another injury in game and wouldn't have had any backup linemen.
  8. The Big Ben to AB tandem was rockin' the whole game. 
  9. This next game is a must win.  Home game; Divisional game. If they lose, then I don't think we have anything but a miraculous chance.  Both because of the odds, and because it'll show that we're not actually any good (again, barring injuries).  If we win then the Ravens have our # of losses, and we'll be 1-1 in the division... oh it could happen!  
  10. I've learned to covet a tablet given the way I watch the games now: (1) I mute the TV and listen to the audio from the Steelers broadcasters, (2) I read the twitter comments from the Steelers reporters.
 I feel that if we play as good as we did in NJ, we have a chance to win Sunday.

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