Week 5 Prediction (and some venting): Steelers vs Broncos
mcmillenandwife
Administrator
*******

Posts: 18,938
Joined: Jan 1970
#1
10-07-2021, 11:02 AM

I acknowledge Ben isn't playing well. Matt Canada's play calling is obviously baffling and the receivers are tentative and out of sync with their QB.

But more than any of that, our biggest problem remains the O-line. Nothing is going to work until they get their $#!t together.

Kendrick Green has been terrible. He has Pouncey's number, but the similarities end there. He constantly misses basic down blocks (and gets caught holding as a result) and he lacks the athleticism to get downfield and block in space, even though he's supposed to be athletic.

Turner, Dotson, Moore and Okorafor have all been weak at best. As a unit, they suck. They're turnstiles. Swinging gates.

On seemingly every play, there's a breakdown somewhere on the line. It's not always the same guy, but it's always someone. Four out of five may successfully execute their blocks, but there's always that one whiff. Football is the ultimate team sport, and if one guy fails to execute, the play gets blown up.

Opposing defenses frequently rush only 3 and drop 8 into coverage, yet they still get to Ben, often right in the A-gap. There isn't a QB alive who can consistently perform with quick A-gap pressure.

I realize 2021 Ben isn't 2005 Ben or even 2018 Ben. But you could take Ben from any point in his career and he couldn't succeed the way the line has been playing. They have got to get this figured out and do their damn jobs if we're going to have a chance to win.

Despite our problems, I think we have a real chance to win this week. Denver is 3-1, but the teams they've beaten are a combined 2-10. The Steelers aren't as bad talent-wise as they've been playing. We're going to need turnovers and maybe a score from the defense. But whereas I never really believed we had a shot vs. Green Bay, I actually think we do against Denver.

Not saying I'm super confident, but I think we might eek this one out. Plus, my 5-year old grandson has guaranteed a Steeler win, so who am I to argue?
Steelers 17, Broncos 16

[Image: pax_muscle1.jpg]
Reply
dbsfgyd1
Hall of Famer
*****

Posts: 15,572
Joined: Apr 2017
#2
10-07-2021, 11:33 AM

Well…. I got nothing…
Reply
mcmillenandwife
Administrator
*******

Posts: 18,938
Joined: Jan 1970
#3
10-07-2021, 11:27 PM

(10-07-2021, 11:33 AM)dbsfgyd1 Wrote: Well…. I got nothing…

Yep. I'm pretty much the same way, Dave. Most of this post was originally a response in the Bengals postmortem thread, then I realized I didn't really have anything to say in terms of pregame thoughts, so I moved the post from there to here and added a score prediction.  Laugh

It's tough. There are many problems right now, but I think even our defensive struggles last week were in large part to the offensive line... even though the line probably had their best run-blocking performance so far this season in that game.

Nonetheless, time of possession was Green Bay 35 minutes, Pittsburgh 25 minutes. If you're an offensive powerhouse who scores early and often and/or you're playing a generally weak opponent, you can maybe get away with that. But it you're the 2021 Steelers playing the Packers...  Embarassed

I read this morning that Ben has a hip issue. But that interests me less than the other blurb I read, a statement by Charlie Batch: 

Ben isn't allowed to run no-huddle in Matt Canada's offense. He's limited to calling audibles at the line of scrimmage. 

And he can't always even do that... including those disastrous 4 and 4 calls. 

Say what???  Scared

Maybe this is Batch being a Ben fan. But I don't think so, because even Tomlin admitted there are times when Ben doesn't have the green light to make changes. The fact that the Steelers have so sparingly used no-huddle, despite being down significantly in the last two games, seems to back up Batch's claim. 

Also, Ben said when they've used no-huddle, it's been more two-minute than no huddle, meaning you have half the formations and half the plays available. To me, I suspect the limited plays are probably more due to inexperienced receivers who don't know what they're doing yet, but maybe not.

Regardless, it reinforces my belief that our offensive problems aren't the result of Ben Roethlisberger suddenly losing the ability to play QB. I fully believe that Ben is the most solid component of our offense. 
Reply
Garrett Garlits
All Pro Veteran
****

Posts: 532
Joined: May 2017
#4
10-08-2021, 09:39 AM

If what you posted is true, Tim (and since it comes from Charlie, who's about as much of an insider as anyone not actually on the payroll, there's an excellent chance that it is), there's really no fast way for things to get better with Ben at quarterback, is there?

If he disregards Canada's playbook in favor of things that he believes will work, we have another Todd Haley situation on our hands and Ben's already shaky reputation is pretty much ruined except among diehard fans like us. If he shuts up, runs the plays that are called and gets the living snot kicked out of him, he's an old man and should have hung it up. And if he walks away on his own before the season's over to save himself, the same people who are calling on him to do just that would reverse course and call him a quitter.

Worse yet, the Steelers still don't have a quarterback. If Rudolph or Haskins had shown enough talent to be full-time, non-emergency starters, either Ben would be somewhere else (with Rudlolph as the unquestioned starter) or Haskins would be his backup, ready to come in at a moment's notice and potentially take the job for good. But Ben's still here, and Haskins is such a clear number three that people are wondering some places if Josh Dobbs might still be a better option than him. Firing or marginalizing Canada doesn't help either at this point; even if Ben calls the plays himself, who's left to design them? Any offensive coordinator type who's unemployed at this time of year has a reason why he's unemployed.

One thing we can say for the rest of this Steeler season: Win or lose, it definitely won't be dull.
(This post was last modified: 10-08-2021, 09:41 AM by Garrett Garlits.)
Reply
mcmillenandwife
Administrator
*******

Posts: 18,938
Joined: Jan 1970
#5
10-08-2021, 10:19 AM

(10-08-2021, 09:39 AM)Garrett Garlits Wrote: If what you posted is true, Tim (and since it comes from Charlie, who's about as much of an insider as anyone not actually on the payroll, there's an excellent chance that it is), there's really no fast way for things to get better with Ben at quarterback, is there?


No, you're right... there's no fast, easy fix. The only remedy in my mind is time playing together to help the line gel and the young receivers learn. They've got to find ways to steal a few games over the next few weeks, and that means turnovers, defensive scores and TDs on blocked field goals like the one we wrongly didn't get last week (a 10-point swing, which was the margin of the game). 

Priority #1, we can't have turnovers vs. Denver. They are vulnerable IMO. If we don't give them anything cheap, we have a decent shot.  



(10-08-2021, 09:39 AM)Garrett Garlits Wrote: If he disregards Canada's playbook in favor of things that he believes will work, we have another Todd Haley situation on our hands and Ben's already shaky reputation is pretty much ruined except among diehard fans like us. If he shuts up, runs the plays that are called and gets the living snot kicked out of him, he's an old man and should have hung it up. And if he walks away on his own before the season's over to save himself, the same people who are calling on him to do just that would reverse course and call him a quitter.  


I don't think Ben gives two $#!ts about his reputation in the media. They've really never given him the respect he deserves. 

I think Ben will try to do all he can to try to help Canada's offense get established. And barring serious injury, Ben won't walk away. I believe he'll be our starting QB next year, too, if he can stay reasonably healthy this season. 

But his clock is ticking LOUDLY. It's 2 minutes to midnight, so there may come a point if we keep losing where Ben says f--- this and takes things into his own hands. But so far, he seems to be a good soldier. 



(10-08-2021, 09:39 AM)Garrett Garlits Wrote: Worse yet, the Steelers still don't have a quarterback. If Rudolph or Haskins had shown enough talent to be full-time, non-emergency starters, either Ben would be somewhere else (with Rudlolph as the unquestioned starter) or Haskins would be his backup, ready to come in at a moment's notice and potentially take the job for good. But Ben's still here, and Haskins is such a clear number three that people are wondering some places if Josh Dobbs might still be a better option than him. Firing or marginalizing Canada doesn't help either at this point; even if Ben calls the plays himself, who's left to design them? Any offensive coordinator type who's unemployed at this time of year has a reason why he's unemployed.

Those are all straight facts, Garret. 

Ben is by FAR the best option we've got. Rudolph and Haskins are marginal as backups, let alone starters. And the Steelers will never fire a coordinator mid-season. Canada has the rest of the season to prove himself. I hope he can turn things around. 

Lots of football left to play. Here's hoping better times are ahead.  Pi_clover
Reply
Gary Beach
Rookie
*

Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2018
#6
10-08-2021, 11:27 AM

The Steelers are playing so poorly on offence at the moment that their 'margin of error' is particularly small. If they had managed to go over from the 3 yard line last week, and not missed the 42 (I think it was) yard field goal - the end of the game could have played out much differently. Here's hoping.
Reply
Garrett Garlits
All Pro Veteran
****

Posts: 532
Joined: May 2017
#7
10-08-2021, 11:57 AM

One other thing I forgot to mention: When the offense was going downfield last week, it wasn't half bad. It was when they started running plays behind the line of scrimmage (or too short to make the sticks) that the trouble came.
(This post was last modified: 10-08-2021, 12:41 PM by Garrett Garlits.)
Reply
mcmillenandwife
Administrator
*******

Posts: 18,938
Joined: Jan 1970
#8
10-08-2021, 01:26 PM

(10-08-2021, 11:57 AM)Garrett Garlits Wrote: One other thing I forgot to mention: When the offense was going downfield last week, it wasn't half bad. It was when they started running plays behind the line of scrimmage (or too short to make the sticks) that the trouble came.

(10-08-2021, 11:27 AM)Gary Beach Wrote: The Steelers are playing so poorly on offence at the moment that their 'margin of error' is particularly small. If they had managed to go over from the 3 yard line last week, and not missed the 42 (I think it was) yard field goal - the end of the game could have played out much differently. Here's hoping.


Turnovers (2) and penalties (5) at the worst possible times just killed them vs Green Bay. The B.S. offsides call on the blocked FG was a killer, too. Against Cinci, they had 2 turnovers and 10 penalties. Against Vegas, they had 1 turnover (none by the Raiders) and 5 penalties. 

They are 0-5 on 4th down this season.

As Gary said, they have no margin for error, and when you're fighting the officials (overturned TD on the blocked FG) along with a quality opponent and your own demons, it's a tall order.

They need to play clean, mistake-free ball this week.
Reply
sandfan
Hall of Famer
*****

Posts: 2,473
Joined: Apr 2017
#9
10-09-2021, 04:33 AM

My view is I trust a future HOF QB with an offense more than someone hired out of the college game. Or a coach who was supposedly a defensive specialist. Ben knows what it takes to get things done. He's the one taking the pounding if they try to run plays he knows won't work. Let the man check out of the nonsense sent in and let's see if things improve.

Does anyone here think Ben no longer has the fire to win and really wants to run 4th down plays in the flat or punt when the game still has a chance to be won. He's never been one to surrender. Tomlin, on the other hand, seems to be all too willing to do so.

Without Ben, this team has only 4 championships. The man has earned and deserves respect.
Reply
mcmillenandwife
Administrator
*******

Posts: 18,938
Joined: Jan 1970
#10
10-09-2021, 07:17 AM

(10-09-2021, 04:33 AM)sandfan Wrote: My view is I trust a future HOF QB with an offense more than someone hired out of the college game.  Or a coach who was supposedly a defensive specialist. Ben knows what it takes to get things done.  He's the one taking the pounding if they try to run plays he knows won't work.  Let the man check out of the nonsense sent in and let's see if things improve.  

Does anyone here think Ben no longer has the fire to win and really wants to run 4th down plays in the flat or punt when the game still has a chance to be won.  He's never been one to surrender.  Tomlin, on the other hand, seems to be all too willing to do so.  

Without Ben, this team has only 4 championships.  The man has earned and deserves respect.


This.  Thumbsup
Reply
RaynorShyne
Hall of Famer
*****

Posts: 1,231
Joined: Sep 2017
#11
10-09-2021, 11:33 AM

Tim summed it up best  I've rewatched the last three (painful) games.   The opponents are rushing 3 or 4 - and getting to the QB.   Ben isn't mobile.  That's the knock against our 39-yo.   However, the defenders are getting into the backfield before the ball.  It's BECAUSE of Ben that the ball is getting out at all.   He's out of sync with the receivers.  They're obviously new to the offense also, and the 'hot reads' have been terrible.  I count at least 12 'spot' throws in 3 games to no one.   Either ben's gone crazy, or a receiver turned the wrong way.  

Claypool:  Stay on your damn feet.   The kid JUMPS at everything.  
Diontae Johnson - 1 step forward, 2 back.  The kid makes great catches because of his athleticism, but makes some boneheaded moves too.   

We're also projecting the hell out of running plays with the TE playing tight when we run, normally on the left side.  Harris doesn't have many yards running, but more than 50% of what he has is after first contact - the kid is TOUGH.   I'm worried about him making it through the season.   He's got better hands than Le'Veon.  

Our play calling is overly complex with shifts, movements, and pre-snap hijinks.   This ain't college ball.  

Melvin Ingram III and Joe Schobert.  The former drives me up the walls with his horrible angles and "me too" piling tackles of others.   The latter tries hard.  A+ for effort.  D for execution.  

For #90 - I don't want to see 'perfect' play, but I would like to see $10,089,000 worth.   5 sacks and 9 total tackles ain't cutting it, especially when running QB's feast on his rush.  His containment sucks.  Trivia point: He's currently 269th in the NFL in tackles.   11th on the team.

Ben isn't the Steelers problem.
(This post was last modified: 10-09-2021, 11:37 AM by RaynorShyne.)
Reply
mcmillenandwife
Administrator
*******

Posts: 18,938
Joined: Jan 1970
#12
10-10-2021, 02:17 AM

(10-09-2021, 11:33 AM)RaynorShyne Wrote: They (the receivers) are obviously new to the offense also, and the 'hot reads' have been terrible.  I count at least 12 'spot' throws in 3 games to no one.   Either ben's gone crazy, or a receiver turned the wrong way.  

Exactly. And I'd bet money Ben made the right read on 11 of those 12... if not all of them. 



(10-09-2021, 11:33 AM)RaynorShyne Wrote: Harris doesn't have many yards running, but more than 50% of what he has is after first contact - the kid is TOUGH.   I'm worried about him making it through the season.   He's got better hands than Le'Veon.  


Agreed, HARD runner. Looks like the real deal to me and likely our most talented player on offense right now. 



(10-09-2021, 11:33 AM)RaynorShyne Wrote: For #90 - I don't want to see 'perfect' play, but I would like to see $10,089,000 worth.   5 sacks and 9 total tackles ain't cutting it, especially when running QB's feast on his rush.  His containment sucks.  Trivia point: He's currently 269th in the NFL in tackles.   11th on the team.

I've got no problem with TJ. He's tied for 2nd in the league for sacks despite missing a game, and the tackles are not really off pace for TJ (he averages about 3-4 a game). Traditionally, it's the linebackers and safeties who tally most of the tackles for Pittsburgh.

Plus, TJ is a guy who consistently makes "splash" plays. He forces turnovers, blows up plays. By far, our most disruptive player on defense.
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)