Saturday, November 12, 2011

Very Late Recap/Review

Almost a week since that defensive breakdown against the Ravens.  Offense had chances too, some weird play-calling, but Ben did things he was supposed to do and gave the Steelers a chance to win.  It was the defense, especially on that last drive.  James Harrison blew up in a big way, but the defensive backfield fell apart.  I honestly don't know what it'll take for Tomlin to get rid of guys who are liabilities in pass coverage, cause it looked like things got better with the defensive backfield this season for the most part, but it went south that night.  I just hope the Steelers can bounce back tomorrow against the Bengals and Tomlin needs to get his coaching staff to get the players to play their best.

The Cincinnati Bengals have definitely improved this season.  Their rookies have done well, especially their quarterback Andy Dalton.  AJ Greene has shown his big play abilities as a receiver and the defense is decent, if not better, than the Steelers.  I hate to say it, but regardless of being the best passing defense statistically, it means nothing if you can't stop the teams when needed, and the Bengals, at least in highlights I've seen, have done what the Steelers haven't.  The Steelers won't have Lamarr Woodley again and the Steelers defense needs to generate pressure and actually force punts and/or turnovers to give themselves a chance.  Speaking of turnovers, the Steelers had chances against the Ravens, but didn't get any except for one fumble.  The Steelers need to do something about that, otherwise they'll still be facing long drives from opposing teams.  The Ravens got 14 third down conversions, which is unacceptable.  The defense needs to force the Bengals to not even have chances at 3rd down conversions, but right now, it's more important that the defense actually makes stops against the Bengals.  In addition, they need to stop the Bengals' run game cause the Ravens gashed them with the run game last week.

Offensively, the Steelers have been fine but they still need to put points on the board.  Ben had a bad pick against the Ravens that killed a strong drive at the start of the second half against the Ravens, and the Steelers can't afford that at all.  Perhaps the run game will come up, but I don't know.  The Steelers have been effective in the passing game, but the Steelers still need to protect Ben and give the rest of their playmakers chances to come up big.  Special teams also needs to have better punt/kickoff coverage, and make the field goals when given the chance.

Overall, I look for a bounce back for the Steelers early tomorrow afternoon.  The Steelers most likely aren't going to win the AFC North title, but they can still make the playoffs.  They just need to do that by beating the Bengals tomorrow.  It'll again be close, but hopefully it's a Steelers 28-20 victory.

Here We Go Steelers, Here We Go!

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