Monday, September 22, 2008

The Stache Report: Week 3

I’ll make this short and sweet since both you and I want to forget about this game as soon as fucking possible.

- The offensive line gets a big, fat, F. I don’t need to explain why, anyone who watched that game saw it.

- Play-calling was atrocious. Where was the run in the first half? What happened to the quick passing game? The very first play from scrimmage for the Steelers was a quick out to Heath, and we never really saw any of that the rest of the day. Rather, we saw slow-developing, five and seven-step dropbacks that had no chance in the face of a blitz like that. Why play right into the Eagles hands?

- Worst playcall of the day: a toss sweep to Carey fucking Davis from the shadow of our own end-zone. Seriously… a toss-sweep backed up AT YOUR OWN GOALLINE… TO YOUR FULLBACK! Think about how asinine that is.

- That Troy Polamalu guy is pretty good, huh? What a sweet, one-handed interception.

- This was one of Ben’s worst games. To be sure, this is largely due to the lack of protection he received. But when the opposing defense is sending seven or eight guys, there should be someone open. Ben has a tendency to hold onto the ball way too long, and yesterday it hurt us.

- Casey Hampton injured his groin yesterday and could miss some time. With Keisel already out, it only makes things worse. We can ill afford to lose anymore bodies along the defensive line.

- That’s two great games in a row for McFadden. Please pay the man, Dan Rooney! (which I know isn’t imminent since the Steelers refuse to negotiate in-season.)

- Sorry Mike Tomlin, but I can’t agree with you. When you’re down 15-6, with 40 seconds left and it’s 4th and 10 from the Eagles 22-yard line, you kick the field goal and try an onside kick. That was the obvious decision to me.

- Finally, as bad as this loss was, let’s keep it in perspective. Losing to one of the best teams in the NFC on the road by single-digits is nothing to be ashamed about. Obviously, the way we lost the game makes it worse, but in the end it’s a loss against an NFC team that will have absolutely no bearing on any tie-breaker scenarios when playoff time comes around. Let’s hope the Steelers can get their shit together and re-take the AFC North throne next week against Baltimore on Monday Night Football.


Chiefs-Falcons: Did I give the Chiefs too much credit when I said they’d finish 2-14 in my season preview? Oh, and Tyler Thigpen’s first half stat-line: 2/13, 13 yards, 0 TD’s, 2 INT’s. Maybe we should call him Tyler Leaf?

Raiders-Bills: Gotta give Oakland credit. Traveling all the way from the west-coast for their second road game in a row, I thought they would have no chance against a Buffalo team that plays tough at home. They must be playing hard for Lane Kiffin (who may or may not have been fired by the time you read this.)

Buccaneers-Bears: 67 pass attempts for Brian Griese. Unbelievable. If you told me that before the game I would have said there’s no way the Buccaneers would win.

Panthers-Vikings: The Tarvaris Jackson-free era is off to a 1-0 start.

Dolphins-Patriots: How many fantasy football owners want to stab themselves for having Ronnie Brown on the bench this week? And how fun was it to see the Patriots lose at home to a team that went 1-15 last year?

Getting the sense that this might be a long year for the Bengals? Yeah, me too.

Texans-Titans: It’s amazing how much more I like this Tennessee team with Kerry Collins at the helm rather than Vince Young. That Titans defense is scary good.

Cardinals-Redskins: How good is the NFC East? The Redskins are supposedly the weakest of the quartet, and they look pretty good and are sitting at 2-1. Overall, the NFC East is sporting a 10-2 record.

Saints-Broncos: Denver’s offense is on fire, and that’s all well and good. But they cannot and will not keep winning if their defense keeps playing like they have.

Lions-49ers: Matt Millen should be fired. It’s time. What a sad product the Lions are trotting out.

Rams-Seahawks: And yet, the Rams are trotting out an even worse product. They’ve been outscored 116-29 in their first three games. Are you kidding me?

Browns-Ravens: Wait, the Browns are still supposed to win the AFC North, right?

Jaguars-Colts: What a huge, come from behind win for a desperate Jacksonville team over their bitter rivals.

Cowboys-Packers: Dallas is the best team in football right now.

Jets-Chargers: Tony Kornheiser- “Brett Favre. Brett Favre. Brett Favre. Brett Favre."


Unknown said...


what is with Holmes dropping like 4 passes?

what is with Tomlin going Crennel on us?

what is with Max Starks not coming in for Colon?

what is with Nate Washington being a selfish prick and trying to score on a play that was obviously designed for him to go out of bounds on?

ugh. thank god this performance came in week 3.

Anonymous said...

Ben has got to learn to get rid of the football. I know he likes to wheel and deal, but you HAVE to adjust to a blitz. I honestly dont think it was the line's fault as much as Ben's. If they blitz, they blitz. Your QB has to step up and get rid of the ball

Anonymous said...

I can see how Ben should get some blame, but the one thing they never focused on was if the WRs got open. Ben double clutched too much, but on the one play he decided to just throw the ball he got picked. Hines and Santonio need to get some separation.

This is going to be a frustrating year.

Unknown said...

From the comments after week 1...

2) Nate Washington sucks. I KNOW that it was garbage time, and I KNOW that it was Leftwich. But he dropped two more balls that were tough but catchable. Does anyone feel comfortable with him as our third option? I sure as hell don't. Yeah it didn't matter this time, but man, I can just see him driving me nuts down the stretch.

staying in bounds on an out-pattern to the sidelines with a minute left = driving met nuts

Anonymous said...

Washington needs to be gone. If your 3rd string wideout isn't physically dominating he needs to be smart. Nate is neither of those two things.

Can we please get some Sweed?

Sam said...

I think the Tomlin and Colon mistakes were the most troubling, they seem to have the most potential to become trends.

'stache, do you still think Nate didn't screw up by not going out of bounds? I think it was just as inexplicable as not kicking the field goal.

Pat said...

To his credit, Nate did have two first half catches. And it wasnt his fault that he was double covered on a deep ball that stood almost no chance of being caught.

That have to get out of bounds. Only one timeout, a minute to play, down two scores, at the have to get out of bounds.

But let's face it, the game was not won or lost because of Nate Washington. The O-line and Ben are the main culprits, and though it is always impossible to tell from a fan's perspective, the coaching staff may be more responsible than either.

Miller Time said...

Wanntache, long time reader first time commenter.

I agree with you on the run. They completely gave up on Fast WP. Why not try some screens? They got too cute with the screens to Hines and Santonio.

Will Deshea still have a job when he comes back from injury?

Jay said...

To me, it would be pretty hard to sit McFadden at this point. I know he is a veterarn, but he isn't a veteran with Tomlin, if that makes sense. If Cowher was still coaching, for instance, maybe he would give Townsend a break cause he had more experience with him. With Tomlin, none of these guys really have that experience yet.

I Want To Fight Tom Brady said...

Wannstache, long time reader, many of time commentor...I like the point tomlini made in the post gazette about not kicking the field goal on 4th down. He said the offense was too inconsistent to settle for a field goal at that point in time. I agree with him and I'm glad he actually had a reason. I thought he was just being dumb.

Pat said...

I'm sure Tomlini was a typo, but I think we should start referring to him as it. The Great Tomlini.

As in, for his next act, The Great Tomlini will make Kendall Simmons disappear from the roster!

Pat said...

willie is hurt, rashard is in

Dave Wannstache said...

'stache, do you still think Nate didn't screw up by not going out of bounds? I think it was just as inexplicable as not kicking the field goal.

I can't blame Nate for trying to make a play when the offense hasn't even sniffed the endzone. It's easy to blame Nate, but he doesn't have eyes behind his head. For all he knew, he was going to make a spin move, make the guy miss, and run into the endzone for the Steelers first TD of the game. He's trying to make a play for an offense that had been stagnant all game, and for that I can't really fault him.

Will Deshea still have a job when he comes back from injury?

Probably. The coaching staff loves Townsend. I mean, all three CB's are going to get tons of playing time, that's just the way it is in the NFL. But yeah, I'd keep starting McFadden if it were me. The sad thing is, we're going to lose a quality young cornerback in McFadden. The Steelers don't negotiate in-season, and when February comes around what sense will it makes for McFadden to re-sign with the Steelers when he's a month away from free agency and 31 other teams knocking down the door for his services? Drew Rosenhaus is gonna get him to test the free agent waters, and by that point the Steelers won't be able to pony up the necessary cash to keep him.

Anonymous said...

Nate still had a guy in front of him. Doesn't matter if he couldn't see the other guy behind him, you get out of bounds in that situation.

You say that the FG would have been the right choice. Why? because the odds of you converting 4th and 10, scoring, getting the onside kick and kicking a field goal are lower than kicking the field goal, getting the onside kick and scoring. How is Nate's play any different? The odds of him getting in the end zone were low, but getting out of bounds gives you more options, probably with a better chance of scoring on the next play while using less time.

We should should have kicked the field goal as soon as we were in Reed's range, regardless of down. Nate and Tomlin should be given pink slips.

Unknown said...

Nothing like the comments section after a bad steelers loss. I normally miss working in Pittsburgh, but nothing was worse than work after a loss.

Thats some pretty decent reasoning 1:45 anon. If you arent going to criticize Nate for going for the score, then you cant really criticize Tomlin for going for the score, ideologically speaking. Now, both were bonehead plays, but you have to be consistent in the criticism of the offense at least. He should have gotten out of bounds, the field goal should have been kicked, end of story.

Dave Wannstache said...

I get what you are saying, but I'm isolating the two situations.

Nate's play happened with about 1:10 left and the Steelers still with a timeout. Even though Nate didn't get out of bounds, I would argue that the availability of a timeout and the ability to still be able to stop the clock allows you to be more aggressive... which is the decision Nate made.

Now, when you're facing 4th and 10 with 40 seconds left and no timeouts, it's a different story. Time constraints make your options so limited (either a throw to the sidelines or in the endzone) that the best option is to extend the game as long as possible and kick the field goal.

In short, what I'm saying is the situation facing Nate allowed for a more aggressive decision, whereas the situation involving the 4th and 10 play did not.

Anonymous said...

yes, but the first play force the second, which in some ways makes it more dumb. you yourself just emphasized the importance of extending the game, which washington did not.

whatever we lost. bring on the ravens.

Pat said...

bring on the ravens is probably the best thing I've heard all day. Nate Washington did not lose the Steelers the game, folks. Sure he made a bonehead play, but the Steelers probably made 50 of them throughout the game.

in rashard and hoke we trust

I Want To Fight Tom Brady said...

Remember when I almost got kicked out of that cab for saying the Steelers were going 3-13 this season?

Tough schedule this year...