Monday, October 15, 2012

Steelers Game 5 Recap - Titans 26, Steelers 23

There are no two ways to go about this. The Steelers got absolutely worked by a bad football team and with a chance to get over .500 for the first time this year all the Steelers did was let a pretty terrible team hang around and it took a missed field goal and a busted coverage for the Titans to break the tie and really put the Steelers in a bind in the AFC North.

To be truthful for much of the last couple of weeks I haven't been able to watch the Steelers too much as I could only watch parts of the Eagles game on my phone and I was in the car for all of the first half and a decent chunk of the third quarter driving in the car. I was able to radio it up but turns out that in rural Wisconsin you don't necessarily get the best reception in the car. That being said I will be mostly going off what I saw and I won't be talking about it too much because, well, it sucked.

-The Steelers can blame this one on a number of things. The defense was pretty bad but the offense wasn't very good either. The Steelers only cashed in one of their three trips to the red zone and had to settle for three field goes and scored only a pair of touchdowns. Ben Roethlisberger was good but he wasn't able to overcome some really questionable play calls and just general ineptitude play. The Steelers got some things going in the second half but they just couldn't make that one play. The play on the radio didn't sound great and that included what might have been the biggest play of the game when Roethlisberger threw the interception just before the half when the Steelers were driving. All of this happened to the worst defensive scoring unit in the game and one of the worst against the pass. Ugh.

-The running game was bad. Again. Rashard Mendenhall only carried the ball six times for six yards and the leading rusher was Barron Batch who had 22 yards on ten carries. It wasn't pretty. Mendenhall left the game with so few carries due to an injury to his leg which has been deemed minor but still, there wasn't anything going rushing wise.

-The defense coughed up another lead late and it cost the Steelers the game unlike in the last game against Philadelphia. The Steelers pushed their lead to seven with a Shaun Suisham 52 yard field goal (!) but the Steelers proceeded to give up an 11 play, 80 yard drive that took up almost four minutes of play to tie the game. They gave the Steelers the ball back but Suisham came up a yard short of the go head field goal and then the Seahawks went 33 yards and banged home the game winning field goal as time expired. The big play was a Jared Cook 25 yard catch to set it up. James Harrison was on coverage and just got flat beat. The defense wasn't given any favors early by a punt getting blocked and setting up the Titans on the one yard line but when the Steelers needed a huge play they weren't there again.

-I know one guy that has been getting crushed is Ike Taylor and as much as I love Ike and the way he has played while he's been with the Steelers but teams are starting to go after him and win like they haven't been able to do in some time. I was talking with a buddy of mine about the game and he made a pretty nice point about Taylor. He said that it isn't as much the talent, because Ike has that, but it is more the stubbornness to be overly physical and too hard headed just to know when is when. What he meant by all that was that Ike is getting almost too physical with receivers down the field. He is getting called for some penalties and it is killing the team and he seems to be getting a little too over aggressive and getting beat. Ike is lucky that Kenny Britt can't catch or it might have been worse. Now, that being said I am not really worried about Ike. He has the talent and always has. He will be fine going forward.

-Injuries suck. The Steelers are continuing this trend as they lost a couple of offensive linemen. Maurkice Pouncey left the game early with a knee injury and likely won't play in Cincinnati on Sunday nor will right tackle Marcus Gilbert who went out of the game with a bad ankle. Add that on to a missing Troy Polamalu and LaMarr Woodley and you are looking at a team with some huge injury problems. Oy vey.

-The Steelers now can't win on the road. I have no idea.

-When the Steelers lost it didn't look good in terms of getting to the playoffs. After Sunday things actually went pretty well as the AFC kind of came back to the Steelers. The Bengals got worked by the Browns and the entire AFC East is 3-3. The Steelers are 2-3. Granted there is much more wrong than worrying about other teams but the Steelers are far from out of it. A win against the Bengals would really get the Steelers right on track and with the Ravens playing the Texans this week the Steelers could really do a lot of good. Maybe I am just overly optimistic but there is a lot of ball left to be played.

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