Steeler formula

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on October 18, 2010 – 7:30 am

Big Ben is back, but don’t let his return obscure what it really means.

Run the ball, play defense, and you can do anything you want in the NFL. Forget Carson Palmer. They are the only reasons the 4-1 Steelers are looking like they’re going to run away and hide in the AFC North.

How was the Steelers’ 28-10 win over the Browns on Sunday different than the Bengals’ 23-20 loss in Cleveland two weeks ago? Other than the Browns were on the road and the Steelers faced a better but more inexperienced quarterback?

Roethlisberger threw for three touchdowns and 257 yards. Palmer threw for two touchdowns and 371 yards. Roethlisberger threw a 50-yarder to Mike Wallace and a 36-yarder to tight end Heath Miller. Palmer threw a 78-yarder Terrell Owens and a 42-yarder to wide receiver Chad Ochocinco. Roethlisberger completed 59.3 percent of his passes. Palmer completed 69.4 percent of his passes.

But in between, Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall smashed it 27 times while the Bengals’ Cedric Benson got 15 shots. Mendenhall only got 84 yards while Benson had 60 in his, which proves the theorem even if you can’t run it, keep running it.

Plus, the Steelers allowed Browns running back Peyton Hillis just 3.4 yards per carry on 12 carries. The Bengals had the same kind of numbers and gave him just 3.7. But he had those 27 carries against them and was able to deliver the coup de grace with a 24-yard run that took the clock for good. The biggest run Hills could manage against Pittsburgh was 14 yards.

The Steelers keep coming up with stops. The Bengals play good but inconsistent defense and are struggling with breakdowns at key moments.  At the end of the half in Cleveland for a late field goal, for one, along with Hills’ big run. The same thing happened the next week against Tampa Bay at the end of the game after they played so well much of the afternoon.

Palmer’s numbers have sparked the wrong debate. There are those that want to argue that his skills have diminished even though just two weeks ago they were clearly on display and last week things collapsed around him just 2:28 away from another one of his fourth-quarter comebacks.  The real debate seems to be their move away from the Steelers formula that worked for them so well last year and has brought Pittsburgh through the Big Ben crisis into first place.

Posted in Hobson's Choice | 10 Comments »

10 Responses to “Steeler formula”

  1. By 2ndboot on Oct 18, 2010 | Reply

    Well I can’t argue with it, but it’s nice to know you stocked up on cans of worms during this bye week anyway.
    We have beaten Pittsburgh many times and can beat them again. We’ve beaten Baltimore and can beat them again. If we sweep them both again then we’ll win this so don’t go selling out to the squeelers quite yet folks. Anyone who thinks Pittsburgh is better might as well hand their stripes in now and not return.
    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
    I’m sure the Bengals fear nobody, but can’t say the same of fans. Some of you fans are afraid of your own shadows.
    BOO! The Boogieman is back.

  2. By bengalpirate on Oct 18, 2010 | Reply

    I thought the whole concept behind last year’s sweep of the AFC North was to play AFC North smashmouth football like the Steelers and Ravens have against us for years. It worked for us last year and would have in Cleveland and against Tampa Bay this year, but we got away from it in both games. In my opinion, Coach Bratkowski always tries to gets too “cute” with the offense, instead of pounding the ball and Coach Lewis still does not manage the clock well. We have the hammer in Benson, so pound the other team with him and use our weapons like T.Ocho,Shipley and Gresham like a rapier through the heart with play action passes, screens and fly patterns. Then we can let the defense gamble some and cut loose against the other team’s offense. BOO DEY, at least until we start playing smashmouth football again.

  3. By hobsonschoice1 on Oct 18, 2010 | Reply

    TOBOOT: Worms?

  4. By kaptkurt on Oct 18, 2010 | Reply

    I had a friend of mine (who is a Steeler fan) ask me if Palmer is a bust. I looked at him like he had a hole in his head and then I thought about it. I came to the conclusion that Palmer isn’t a bust, Bratkowski is. I have heard the comment so many times that when Benson runs 25 times, we win. When he doesn’t, we lose. Last year we ran the ball and we won. This year we don’t and we’re losing. It’s not rocket science.
    I’ve also read a slew of postings here about how fans who rip the Bengals should pack up and leave just cause we’re losing should just go away. Read the history books guys. This has not been the most storied franchise in the NFL. It takes a commitment to be a Bengals fan. The frustration is the expectations that every one of us had coming into this season. This was the year we compete for a championship. Hell, we even had T.O. talking about the team instead of himself. The frustration is playing to the level of the competition week in and week out. The frustration is an NFL coach of the year that regularly gets outcoached. The frustration is a team that’s only identity is the T Ocho show, not winning football.

  5. By overthroensamoan on Oct 18, 2010 | Reply

    Come on lets be real here. We’re grasping at straws when we try to pull positives from loses to 2 straight subpar teams that the Bengals should have handled quite easily. Look at what the Saints did to the mighty Bucs and the beating that Pitt gave the so called up and coming Browns. You can compare stats all day to try to brighten up a loss but if you watched that game Pitt just flat beat up Clev. Just call this team what it really is. A talented team that has lost its edge and has forgotten how to win.

  6. By mwindle1973 on Oct 18, 2010 | Reply

    TO the comment above that this has never been a storied franchise. Actually we were the fastest new franchise to make a playoff game. And we still would be had the league not handed Jacksonville and Carolina a playoff roster their first year. Back in ’68 you didn’t get to rob everyone else’s players like they did in the 90’s. And there were several years during the 70s that we were a top 5 team in the league. But unfortunately the Steelers were always better.

    We were well respected and a win didn’t come easy against us. It takes committment to be a fan of any small market team. Take the Bills, Browns & Lions for example. But all the same I agree with the comment in the sense that all these so called fans that are ready to jump ship can just go ahead and do so. 14 straight non-winning seasons and we have 2 division championships in 5 years now. Yet people still want someone fired. Go figure.

    The morale of the story is if we didn’t want to be a smashmouth team then we shouldn’t have chosen a roster full of that style players. If we want to be a finese team then we should be going for undersized speedsters in the draft. Not athletic, physical specimens like we have been picking for 6-8 years.

    But with that said, I feel like I’m going to stay on the Marvin train and see where he is taking this one. At first I thought he was opening things up for Brat to try and find that ’05 magic. But would take control back over if it didn’t work. But I think it’s obvious that he is committted to being balanced this year. He must feel there is a reason why we can’t go back to last years’ style of play. I’m just not sure why that is.

  7. By daytonmike on Oct 18, 2010 | Reply

    Only two problems with this team
    1. Marvin Lewis-no discipline
    2. Bratkowski-terrible scheme

  8. By hobsonschoice1 on Oct 19, 2010 | Reply

    OVER: Yes, you made the only point I was trying to make. Pittsburgh flat out pounded Cleveland by running the ball.

  9. By kschoenfel01 on Oct 19, 2010 | Reply

    2ndboot you need to stop posting about the Bengals fans whining and crying or go to another blog. People are allowed to express what they feel and right now its frustration with this team. If people are posting on the Bengals website obviously they care about this team. The thing that scares me the most about losing these past 2 games is that the rest of the season just gets tougher. I hope the Defense can pick up there intensity and get more pressure on the QB, and I hope the offense can begin better play-calling catching the defense off-guard and CP picks up his game and learn to go for the throat when were up.

  10. By lonestripe88 on Oct 21, 2010 | Reply

    Bengalpirate is spot on once again. AFC North football is won on the ground and with killer D. It’s time to use the “KISS” method with our game plans. Keep It Simple Stupid works well. As for discipline, I agree, teams around the league suffer from this issue and the Bengals are no different. When Head Coaches and Owners finally decide to set stronger practice goals and report dates that carry contract penalties, then our great talents will start working as a team. Players can be great as one team only through practice as a team, period. If we catch TO back when we had the first shot at him, he would have caught fire in game one. As much as I like the Ocho’s extra activities, he should have been more focused to the root cause as well and maybe we would have as many miscommunications out on the field. Carson reacts to the situation and has made his share of mistakes but i see more drops then missed passes on Sundays right now. Timing? Or practice time pre season? You do the math.

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