Sunday, October 27, 2013

Steelers Game 7 Recap - Raiders 21, Steelers 18

This game was pretty much a dumpster fire. It started from the first play of the game where Terrelle Pryor went 93 yards on a read option where nobody seemed to give any thought that Pryor might keep the ball. I mean it's not like he's the team leader in rushing yards or a really good athlete. Oh, right.

It then went to Shaun Suisham who I have gushed about here all season who missed not only one but two field goals from inside 40 yards. It would be easy to blame Suisham for the loss because the six points would have been a win but it was much deeper than that. He was part of the problem but he wasn't the entire problem.

The Steelers will probably (or should probably I guess) be looking for a new punter. When they signed Zoltan Mesko I thought it was a pretty good signing but he was brutally bad today. He did have a couple of good punts late but for post of the season it has been shank after shank.

The Steelers were just overly awful in the first half. Like one of the worst halves of football this year and that is saying a lot. It went from the first play when Pryor went 93 yards and then went to having a punt blocked and then went to the offense not being able to convert a third down. Here is what the drive summery looked like of the first half:

Yikes. That is how you get behind 21-3 at the half.

The weird thing is that despite being down 21-3 for much of the game the Steelers had all the chances in the world. It was like the Raiders were begging them to make it a game and by the time the Steelers got around to it they had no time left. The Raiders had only 30 yards of total offense in the entire second half. Pryor was able to do nothing and the defense finally woke up and played some good football forcing three (!!!!) turnovers and things looked good.

The offensive line was bad. Ben Roethlisberger got sacked five times and that doesn't even factor in the number of times that Ben had to run for his life to get away. There were no running lanes and after a pretty successful week last week the Steelers ran for only 35 yards on 19 carries which is good for a 1.8 yard per carry average. Yikes. The line was banged up as David DeCastro was banged up and for a period of time the Steelers had Cody Wallace playing guard. I am not kidding you when I say this but I had no idea that Wallace was even on the team. Just bad.

Antonio Brown has been really good (like REALLY good) all season but today he was pretty bad. Going out of bounds to stop the clock on a third down where he was short of the first down before the half to give Oakland essentially a free timeout to dropping a couple of big passes (on in which that turned into an interception) and it just wasn't his day.

I don't normally get on the coaching staff but holy shit was it a terrible effort by those guys today. Clock/game management is never going to be a strength of the Steelers but today was about as bad as it can get. At the end of the game the Steelers were down 11 and had the ball. Now irregardless of what happens you need 11 points in the form of a field goal and a touchdown with a two point conversion. The Steelers got the ball into field goal range with the clocked stopped at 1:53 and all three timeouts. I get that you need to get both and obviously you want to score two touchdowns to win but with three timeouts and little time left you want to give yourself at least a chance to get it to overtime. Instead of getting the field goal and forcing the Raiders on offense again (remember they were awful in the second half) they wasted another 30+ seconds scoring a touchdown. In that touchdown process they had a 1st and 10 from the 19 yard line and they wasted some time getting the play in and Roethlisberger burned a timeout. So now they only have two timeouts. They score, get the two points, stop the Raiders and get the ball back with 18 seconds left. 18 seconds to now go the length of the field. Instead of giving yourself nearly a minute and a half to score a touchdown. Just brutal game management.

What Ben was doing calling that timeout was just inexcusable. He's not a rookie or a guy that hasn't done anything in the league like Pryor. You take the five yard penalty. The timeout is too important.

There were some good things. The defense played well in the second half and gave the team a chance. They forced three turnovers but it was too little to late after getting gashed in the first half. It is a four quarter game and when you only play half of that you aren't going to win too many games.

The Steelers are not a good football team. That much has been pretty true throughout the season. They are almost out of the running for anything already and it might start to get really ugly.

Patriots next week. Who knows.

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