Blog Entry

Missed Opportunities Make More of a Statement

Posted on: November 30, 2008 9:39 pm
 
It was a statement game for both teams.  The Patriots, who had the Steelers number since 2001, needed the win to stay in the hunt for the playoffs, the Steelers needed this win to, not only get the monkey off their back, but to also quiet some critics. 

So it would occur, on a rainy Sunday afternoon in Foxboro where a first year backup quarterback would face his first major challenge after two back to back 400 games, and a veteran quarterback with an offense that was questionable. 

It was a statement game, but started off as anything but that.  A muffed kick off, a penalty and then an interception gave the Patriots good field position, which they were able to run in for a touchdown.  Then, as if the Steelers had made us think they wanted the Patriots to win, the Patriots seemed to want to give the game right back to them. 

Dropped passes and missed opportunities would seem to send the first half would leave fans of both teams scratching their heads and somehow, it was no surprise that the game was tied by half time.  The positive is that the Steelers offense was able to come back from a deficit, even if it was one score, which occurred in a beautiful catch by Santonio Holmes

It didn’t turn out to be the shootout that was expected by many.  The deep balls to Moss never came about.  Instead, the Steelers defense would basically make Moss a non-factor (or can we say that Moss had something to do with being a non-factor also) with only four receptions for a total of 45 yards.  It would be Kevin Faulk who would burn the Steelers, both in rushing and passing.  But it wasn’t enough to counter the mistakes made by the Patriots, combined with an offensive play of the Steelers, who began to control the ball and get down the field. 

Having protected well in the first half, somehow the Steelers front line became sack hungry and was able to get five sacks on Matt Cassel, forcing two fumbles.  James Harrison would be the defensive stud of the game.  Add two interceptions, one by Troy Polamalu, another by Lawrence Timmons and it was apparent that the Steelers defensive line began to rattle and unnerve Matt Cassel. 

The Steelers offense not only was able to eat the field, but also took advantage of the turnovers and turned them into points.  Tight end Heath Miller would lead the team in receptions.  Although no one receiver would reach the 100 yd mark in this game, both teams were able to rush for an accumulative total of 100 plus yards, something surprising given both defenses were strong against the rush. 

Can't say the monkey's off their back, but 30 unanswered points by the Steelers is a good way to start shaking him loose. 
Comments

Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: December 2, 2008 6:59 am
 

Missed Opportunities Make More of a Statement

It's the formula for winning from the Steel Curtain Days.  Tons of defense and enough offense.  The defense kept the Patriot denfense on the field too much until they wore down and the skilled players like Holmes, Ward, and of course Ben came through with enough points. 

The Ravens are trying to use that same formula, only with a rookie QB one wonders how far they will go.  The head-to-head Steeler / Raven match-up is the game I am looking forward to. 

Do you have a James Harrison jersey mom?  Might be a good one to get.  No question he was a difference maker on Sunday.




Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: December 1, 2008 10:13 pm
 

Missed Opportunities Make More of a Statement

wsmjeep...thank you, actually I can honestly say that I am far from a professional...but thank you for the compliment.

Yeah, this defense just gets better every week and is just incredible.  I've seen them strong in depth, but they're amazing even me...and I became a fan of big defensive teams because of the Steel Curtain. 

No doubt the Titans is going to be a hard hitting game.  Looking over the Cowboys, they may not show it, but if Ware is healthy, this can turn into a very defensive, old style Steeler/Cowboys game too, which was in themselves hard hitting and fun to watch. 



Since: Oct 8, 2007
Posted on: December 1, 2008 10:03 pm
 

Missed Opportunities Make More of a Statement

     I've been a Steeler  fan all of my life, but I missed the Steel Curtain days of the 70's. The Steelers always seem to field a solid and tough defense as that seems to just be the traditon of the team. However, I have never witnessed the defense be this dominant and impressive in all of the years that I've been a fan. They've been strong against the run in the past, but I can't recall them being this strong against the pass. I can't wait to see how things turn out when the Steelers and Titans meet. That's going to be one of those throwback games with hard hits and steller defense. I hope Ben makes it out alive.

     By the way Mom, I look forward to reading your weekly blogs. I wish I could write half as well as you. It looks like you do it professionally.     




Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: December 1, 2008 12:12 pm
 

Missed Opportunities Make More of a Statement

Blu,

I think the Dolphins fans are even more appreciative.  This defense continues to excite me to know end when I watch them play.  LeBeau has them fined tuned and has the depth. 

 




Since: Jan 18, 2008
Posted on: December 1, 2008 11:21 am
 

Missed Opportunities Make More of a Statement

What a defense, mom -

Watching the highlights last night, I was amazed at the playmaking of Polamalu and Timmons. They were bouncing around the field like a high-flying circus act; having seen first hand how aggressive this defense can be I still couldn't get over the amount of pressure they got on Matt Cassel. A truly dominating performance. I'm envious of the ferocity of that group, and coming from a guy who's team is 11-1 and has a very tough defense of it's own, that's saying something. Nice win for the Steelers - I'm sure Jets fans are appreciative...



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