Ben immediately injured his shoulder after raising his finger to the sky.
Seriously, what was that? We started that game on a tear, and proceeded to stink away the win. My words can't adequately summarize the suck, so we'll have to turn to the ratings.
Bruce Arians. I really want to give a higher number today. The game started off awesome, and it looked like Ben and Bruce put their dunce caps together to make a legit game plan. Ben was throwing in a quick rhythm, Arians committed to the run and there was some QB movement (play action, pump fakes, flea flicker, etc.). But just when it looked like Bruce was turning the corner, he decided to stay with the exact same plays. Look, we understand the quick throws were working early, because we've been trying to get that into the playbook for weeks now! But you can't run the same "Ben-takes-the-snap-and-immediately-pump-fakes-then-does-a-delayed-handoff-to-Mewelde-Moore-up-the-middle" play 65 more times. Indy's defense isn't as stout as Pittsburgh's but they'll recognize that shit eventually. First half, 3.75 of 5 helmets, Second half, 2 of 5. We'll give Bruce 2.99 of 5 motorcycle helmets.
Ben. You can't promise to play better, then come out and throw 3 picks. Simple as that. I know you think this is the time of year that you "thrive," but injuries and stupid decisions don't take a back seat to history. The receivers are to blame for several of the drops and INTs, but you shouldn't have even been in the game. We have a strong-armed QB on the sideline, and a guy with no shoulder completing 3 yard passes on a potential game winning drive. The time management was atrocious on those last 4-5 plays, and Ben barely had the arm strength to throw the final Hail Mary. I'm surprised the snap even beat the clock. I said I wanted you to sit this week. I said that, because even if we lost with Byron, that means you weren't getting hit or throwing confidence-crushing picks. Now you have to live with all of that...and still accept the loss. Like it or not, this changes the rest of the season. 2.5 of 5 motorcycle helmets.
Mewelde. Started off great, with the 2 touchdowns and 30 quick yards. But finished with only 57 yards and couldn't reach the endzone for that 3rd touchdown that would've put the Steelers up 7 rather than 3. We took the 4 point loss rather than an overtime chance at a win. That's one of the toughest things to swallow about the game. 3.5 of 5 motorcycle helmets. I'm all about fractions of a helmet after the losses.
D. I think they need to sit down with Ben and Bruce. Soon. They gave up the most yards to any opponent this year and still put the O in a position to win the game. Repeatedly. We can force the opposition to punt series after series, but all that hard work goes for nothing if Ben comes back with a critical pick. Ike played out of his skull aside from those two tips to Wayne, but I can't overlook the tips. Deshea showed him how it was done later in the game...tip the ball away from the receiver or down to the ground. 4 of 5 helmets despite the tips. If those don't fall into Wayne's hands, we've got a different ballgame.
Chargers next week. They're a team that seems to win and lose really close games, so it's tough to determine if they're a good team that can't close or a bad team that won a few lucky games.
That doesn't bode well for this Steelers team.
Monday, November 10, 2008
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