Scuffles were the only sign of life from the D

Steelers Look Awful in Week 1 Against Ravens.


Big Ben and the offense just made too many mistakes. Courtesy espn.com

The day was ripe with hopes and dreams of a great hard hitting game between these two historical rivals.  Instead, the Steelers looked about as poised to win the game as much as… well hell… they didn’t look poised for anything from the first snap.  In fact, they looked like the bottom feeders of the AFC North.  This was the first time the team has lost Week 1 since losing to the Patriots back in 2002.  Ouch baby.

Joe Flacco finally got that monkey off his back, but it was more about the Steelers’ mistakes that gave him the opportunities.  The first possession for the Ravens led to a TD with a nice catch by Anquan Boldin, who had one step on Bryant McFadden.  The Ravens didn’t look back and capitalized on 5 of 7 turnovers by the Steelers (hey wow, the Ravens got as many turnovers as the Steelers go points).  The single factor that seems to always be the difference maker between these two teams, and the Steelers handed them the game by practically handing them the football.

Some credit needs to be given to the Ravens.  They played mistake free football.  Their offensive line blocked incredibly well.  The defense disrupted things enough.  And, Joe Flacco made good throws and managed the game well enough to blow the Black & Gold out of Baltimore and limping back to the ‘Burgh.

But it was the Steelers lack of execution and poor decision making that lead to their greater demise this Sunday afternoon.  The offensive line didn’t perform terribly, but allowed big plays from the Ravens to cause turnovers.  Ben, after his TD pass to Sanders, quickly began to fall apart with his vision and throwing.  He threw for 3 interceptions – 2 of which were passes that should not have been thrown.  Rashard Mendenhall ran for 45 yards on 12 carries.  The running game was doing fairly well against a usually run stingee defense.  But, the Steelers fell behind so quickly and by so much, that the running game went away.  The Steelers needed big plays from Big Ben and got none.  The fact that he ended the game on his keester says it all.

The defense looked even worse.  They gave up just under 400 yards in offense and let Rice and Flacco look like Pro Bowlers.  The defense let the offensive line look great – it was a line playing together for the first time.  The Steelers allowed a 100 yard rusher since Ray Rice did it back in 2009.  They didn’t record a sack until the beginning of the 4th quarter.  In fact, that seemed like the first time they got pressure on Flacco as well.  All the big defensive names were held to almost no stats and certainly no big plays.  All that freshly inked money, and nothing to show for it – except for a hurt knee from Harrison.  The scuffles were the only time the Steelers seemed to have any life in them.  You can be sure fines will be dished out by Goodell for headbutts and punches thrown – Taylor and Polamalu for certain.

Tomlin has his hands full this upcoming week in preparation for Seattle.  Yeah I know, it’s Seattle but even that team looks like they could man handle the Steelers.  The press conference won’t be pretty.  You think the lockout had no negative effects on this season?  Think again.  At least it’s only week one with the team looking this bad.  There is plenty of time to adjust.  And, the Steelers will have plenty of time to look at this footage and see how they need to suck less against the Ravens in Week 9.  I hope they can return the favor and wipe that smug look off of prissy Harbaugh’s face.

 

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  • aceofclubs9

    I don’t know if “awful” can fully describe the performance of the Steelers in what can only be described as a critical week 1 game.

    I can think of any number of adjectives to describe the Steelers’ performance. How about outmatched? Uninspired? Lackadaisical? Sloppy? Poor? Dreadful?

    Indeed, any number of words could be used to describe this game, this performance, but the one I’m going to go with is unprepared. The Steelers simply looked unprepared and incapable of matching the clear intensity the Ravens brought to the game.

    From the outset, the Ravens looked motivated to avenge loses on their home field during the regular season, and the come-from-behind win in the playoffs to the Steelers.

    The Ravens were inspired. The Ravens looked faster and seemed to hit harder.

    And, their stars played like stars. Ray Lewis had a pick. Haloti Ngata had a fumble recovery. Ed Reed had two interceptions.

    Did Lawrence Timmons play? How about Lamarr Woodley? The only time I heard Troy Polamalu’s name was when he was involved in a scuffle after a play. This is the reigning defensive player of the year, and he had no impact on the game whatsoever!

    The Steelers’ offensive line looked like the one who had never played together before. The Ravens’ O-line looked like they had played together for years.

    You know what, I have just thought of another word to describe this game.

    Pitiful.

  • aceofclubs9

    I don’t know if “awful” can fully describe the performance of the Steelers in what can only be described as a critical week 1 game.

    I can think of any number of adjectives to describe the Steelers’ performance. How about outmatched? Uninspired? Lackadaisical? Sloppy? Poor? Dreadful?

    Indeed, any number of words could be used to describe this game, this performance, but the one I’m going to go with is unprepared. The Steelers simply looked unprepared and incapable of matching the clear intensity the Ravens brought to the game.

    From the outset, the Ravens looked motivated to avenge loses on their home field during the regular season, and the come-from-behind win in the playoffs to the Steelers.

    The Ravens were inspired. The Ravens looked faster and seemed to hit harder.

    And, their stars played like stars. Ray Lewis had a pick. Haloti Ngata had a fumble recovery. Ed Reed had two interceptions.

    Did Lawrence Timmons play? How about Lamarr Woodley? The only time I heard Troy Polamalu’s name was when he was involved in a scuffle after a play. This is the reigning defensive player of the year, and he had no impact on the game whatsoever!

    The Steelers’ offensive line looked like the one who had never played together before. The Ravens’ O-line looked like they had played together for years.

    You know what, I have just thought of another word to describe this game.

    Pitiful.

  • DomDiTolla

    My Wednesday article will illustrate my full disdain for this bed-crapping performance put on by the Steelers.

  • DomDiTolla

    My Wednesday article will illustrate my full disdain for this bed-crapping performance put on by the Steelers.

  • CaptainAge

    So, dating back to last year. The Steelers were unprepared for the Divisional Game against the Ravens (had to have a wicked second half to pull the win out), they almost blew the AFC championship game (became complacent) in the second half, and were unprepared for the Super Bowl. First game of the season, against the hated Ravens – again unprepared.

    I’m beginning to believe that Tomlin is all talk – no substance. He gave the same rhetoric in his post game interview that he always gives when he’s out coached.

    The offensive play calling – yet again was garbage (I swear to god that a team of monkeys sitting around a table playing madden 12 would do a better job than B.A). If I was that bad at my job (not working for a union) – I’d be fired. So we have another year of B.A’s wonderful play calling to look forward to. Too bad he didn’t retire.

    Defensively, I’ve said this last year (on this blog) that I think LeBeau’s time has come. His defense does very well against average QBs, but when good QBs come to town – his style gets exposed.

    I think the Steelers winning ways – have masked some serious limitations on the coaching staff.

    The ‘D’ looked old and outclassed. I think it’s great that Farrier is in excellent condition for his age – but there is a reason why 36 year old MLBs are hard to find.

    I’m not saying the year is lost – but what I do see – is a team that felt it didn’t need to make any adjustments over the off season (maybe a pipe dream that execution was the reason Green Bay walked all over them in the Super Bowl), didn’t address their horrible secondary, and didn’t do anything to make their offensive line better.

    One last thing, Johnathan Scott as the LT…….seriously……

  • CaptainAge

    So, dating back to last year. The Steelers were unprepared for the Divisional Game against the Ravens (had to have a wicked second half to pull the win out), they almost blew the AFC championship game (became complacent) in the second half, and were unprepared for the Super Bowl. First game of the season, against the hated Ravens – again unprepared.

    I’m beginning to believe that Tomlin is all talk – no substance. He gave the same rhetoric in his post game interview that he always gives when he’s out coached.

    The offensive play calling – yet again was garbage (I swear to god that a team of monkeys sitting around a table playing madden 12 would do a better job than B.A). If I was that bad at my job (not working for a union) – I’d be fired. So we have another year of B.A’s wonderful play calling to look forward to. Too bad he didn’t retire.

    Defensively, I’ve said this last year (on this blog) that I think LeBeau’s time has come. His defense does very well against average QBs, but when good QBs come to town – his style gets exposed.

    I think the Steelers winning ways – have masked some serious limitations on the coaching staff.

    The ‘D’ looked old and outclassed. I think it’s great that Farrier is in excellent condition for his age – but there is a reason why 36 year old MLBs are hard to find.

    I’m not saying the year is lost – but what I do see – is a team that felt it didn’t need to make any adjustments over the off season (maybe a pipe dream that execution was the reason Green Bay walked all over them in the Super Bowl), didn’t address their horrible secondary, and didn’t do anything to make their offensive line better.

    One last thing, Johnathan Scott as the LT…….seriously……

  • AdamMeckler

    @CaptainAge Not sure I agree with you about the play calling. Watched the game a second time tonight and it wasn’t the play calling that bothered me. In fact, I never thought about it once. What bothered me was the Oline, and the defense. If the Oline could hold a block or two, we likely don’t see four or five of those seven turnovers. I agree that they made little effort to fix the secondary through the draft, but moves were made to help rebuild the Oline.

    After all is said and done, I’m willing to bet the Steelers will be fine. Old or not, the Ravens are just as old defensively and looked ridiculous out there. It is not age so much as execution that was the problem in today’s game. The lack of preparation seems to be a trend around the NFL. The Ravens were ready for us, and were emotional and fired up to win, we weren’t. Take a look around the NFL this week and you will see a lot of messy play and lots of blow outs. That’s because of shortened off-season training and practice and nothing more. It will even out as the season moves on.

    I share your disgust for the loss, but I’m not ready to prescribe an overhanging reason to why one game out of 16 was lost, and that somehow because we lost one game, the sky is falling and the season is over and the team is in shambles. I vaguely remember the Pats scoring 39 pts on us (I was there…ouch) last year and the Steelers making it to the Super Bowl later in the season. It’s a long enough season that we can bounce back from this easily, and we will. No doubt a lot of adjustments need to be made moving forward, though.

  • AdamMeckler

    @CaptainAge Not sure I agree with you about the play calling. Watched the game a second time tonight and it wasn’t the play calling that bothered me. In fact, I never thought about it once. What bothered me was the Oline, and the defense. If the Oline could hold a block or two, we likely don’t see four or five of those seven turnovers. I agree that they made little effort to fix the secondary through the draft, but moves were made to help rebuild the Oline.

    After all is said and done, I’m willing to bet the Steelers will be fine. Old or not, the Ravens are just as old defensively and looked ridiculous out there. It is not age so much as execution that was the problem in today’s game. The lack of preparation seems to be a trend around the NFL. The Ravens were ready for us, and were emotional and fired up to win, we weren’t. Take a look around the NFL this week and you will see a lot of messy play and lots of blow outs. That’s because of shortened off-season training and practice and nothing more. It will even out as the season moves on.

    I share your disgust for the loss, but I’m not ready to prescribe an overhanging reason to why one game out of 16 was lost, and that somehow because we lost one game, the sky is falling and the season is over and the team is in shambles. I vaguely remember the Pats scoring 39 pts on us (I was there…ouch) last year and the Steelers making it to the Super Bowl later in the season. It’s a long enough season that we can bounce back from this easily, and we will. No doubt a lot of adjustments need to be made moving forward, though.

  • ltilley

    You deleted my comment proving your “The defense was even worse. They made Joe Flacco and Ray Rice look like Pro Bowlers” wrong since Ray Rice is, in fact, a Pro Bowl running back. Poor sport Steelers fan.

  • ltilley

    You deleted my comment proving your “The defense was even worse. They made Joe Flacco and Ray Rice look like Pro Bowlers” wrong since Ray Rice is, in fact, a Pro Bowl running back. Poor sport Steelers fan.

  • craig.gottschalk

    @ltilley I’m not sure what you are talking about. No comment was deleted on this page. There could have been an error in it’s posting. Know that it does not matter what opinions are expressed – as long as they are in good taste they stay. We value everyone’s take on things. You’re right, Ray Rice is a pro bowler. The Steelers have held Rice in check for the past three games and not so much a pro bowler. They let him look like the pro bowler that his is, and that is what I should have stressed.

  • craig.gottschalk

    @ltilley I’m not sure what you are talking about. No comment was deleted on this page. There could have been an error in it’s posting. Know that it does not matter what opinions are expressed – as long as they are in good taste they stay. We value everyone’s take on things. You’re right, Ray Rice is a pro bowler. The Steelers have held Rice in check for the past three games and not so much a pro bowler. They let him look like the pro bowler that his is, and that is what I should have stressed.

  • ltilley

    I gotcha now. I’m a writer for FanSided too and am getting used to the new commenting system. Anyways, I wrote a comment just pointing out that Ray Rice has in fact gone to a Pro Bowl just so my Ravens are represented correctly! My bad about the miscue though and we shall meet again in Week 9.

  • ltilley

    I gotcha now. I’m a writer for FanSided too and am getting used to the new commenting system. Anyways, I wrote a comment just pointing out that Ray Rice has in fact gone to a Pro Bowl just so my Ravens are represented correctly! My bad about the miscue though and we shall meet again in Week 9.

  • StevenJoseph

    I have just one bitch about the game yesterday. It was extremely irritating to me when the Ravens had the game well in hand in the 4th quarter and their coach just had to bitch about a personal foul call on the Ravens, as if that call was going to change the outcome of the game! Give me a damn break! Harbaugh, you are such a baby! Suck it up! Personal fouls are called bare minimum once in every NFL game. You mean to tell me your team hasn’t been called for one before this game? Yeah, right!

  • StevenJoseph

    I have just one bitch about the game yesterday. It was extremely irritating to me when the Ravens had the game well in hand in the 4th quarter and their coach just had to bitch about a personal foul call on the Ravens, as if that call was going to change the outcome of the game! Give me a damn break! Harbaugh, you are such a baby! Suck it up! Personal fouls are called bare minimum once in every NFL game. You mean to tell me your team hasn’t been called for one before this game? Yeah, right!

  • ltilley

    Steven, that play call was ridiculous! Roethlisberger had been sacked and the ball popped out and the Steelers recovered but no whistle was blown so Redding ran over and tackled whoever had the ball because he could have gained more yardage and even scored and then they called a personal foul on that. It was complete BS.

  • ltilley

    Steven, that play call was ridiculous! Roethlisberger had been sacked and the ball popped out and the Steelers recovered but no whistle was blown so Redding ran over and tackled whoever had the ball because he could have gained more yardage and even scored and then they called a personal foul on that. It was complete BS.

  • craig.gottschalk

    @ltilley Going back to the DVR – there is indeed a whistle. Probably couldn’t be heard well because the place was so loud from the sack. But in the referees mind, that doesn’t matter. Redding could have let up, but instead continued to drive Legursky to the turf. It could have gone either way, but it was far from complete BS.

  • craig.gottschalk

    @ltilley Going back to the DVR – there is indeed a whistle. Probably couldn’t be heard well because the place was so loud from the sack. But in the referees mind, that doesn’t matter. Redding could have let up, but instead continued to drive Legursky to the turf. It could have gone either way, but it was far from complete BS.

  • RickAucoin

    This game is going to give me nightmares for years, like the 89 playoff loss to Denver still does.

  • RickAucoin

    This game is going to give me nightmares for years, like the 89 playoff loss to Denver still does.