Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Garbage Effort By Defense Plus Brady-Led Carving Sends Steelers to 2-6



I guess Tom Brady didn’t see any ghosts this afternoon. Am I right, Ryan Clark?

In what could very well go down as one of the most pathetic defensive games in franchise history, Pittsburgh fell to 2-6 this evening against the Patriots by a score of 55-31 in Foxborough.

While the 55 points they surrendered was bad enough, the fact that the Steelers’ defense allowed 610 yards to New England’s struggling offense was nothing short of a joke.

Of course, like he has so many times during his career, Tom Brady carved Dick LeBeau’s soft zone with success through the air (432 yards and four touchdowns). Three players, Rob Gronkowski, Danny Amendola, and Aaron Dobson, had 100 receiving yards, and Brady averaged 13.1 yards per completion.

Not to be outdone though, New England’s offensive line paved the way for Stevan Ridley, LaGarrette Blount, and Brandon Bolden to tally 198 yards on the ground and three touchdowns as well. Pittsburgh’s defense, which has struggled mightily against the run all year long, looked hapless at the point of attack for much of the game when the Patriots went to their ground game.

Whether it was the 9 play 77 yard touchdown drive which the Steelers allowed at the end of the first half, the fact that they surrendered 17 straight points after tying the game at 24-24 in the fourth quarter, the fact that Cortez Allen was not matched up on Gronkowski for the entirety of the game, or the fact that the unit essentially “gave up” on Blount’s final touchdown run of the game, the Steelers’ defense and LeBeau illustrated how pathetic they were.

The garbage effort by the defense put a damper on the fact that the offense finally appeared to look competent during extended stretches against New England’s hobbled defense. Ben Roethlisberger notched 400 yards passing and four touchdowns, Jerricho Cotchery caught three of those scoring throws, and the unit overcame a 14-point deficit in the second half with some solid play-calling and execution.

Of course, pass-protection problems plagued the Steelers once again (five sacks), Marcus Gilbert left the game with what looked like an ankle injury, and Le’Veon Bell illustrated his hands of stone and inability to break away from linebackers on passing plays.


Final Thoughts

Overall, I am not displeased with the fact that Pittsburgh lost this game. In fact, I figured that it would happen. I am however livid over the fact that this team played uninspired and unprepared football for the “umpteenth” time since Tomlin became the head coach. In addition, I am disgusted that Dick LeBeau failed to scheme against obvious matchup nightmares in the passing game. The most depressing thing to watch though was how the defense allowed the franchise record for points in a single game.

At 2-6, the postseason is not an option for the Steelers. After their most recent performance, the only option for this team is to play the back-end of their roster down the stretch and hope that their youngsters can show some signs of development.




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Tags: Dick Lebeau Mike Tomlin New England Patriots Pittsburgh Steelers

  • CT Steeler

    Like I predicted before the game on this blog, Steelers lose in a total blowout. Time for a massive overhaul. No more talking, Rooney’s need to clean house, PERIOD! Coaches have to go. The bloated salary cap players have to go. Start the next generation going forward and rebuild with high draft picks. Folks, I have been watching the Steelers since I was a kid in the 70′s. This was the worse beating I ever watched. This isn’t just bad football, they are an embarrassment to the franchise. It’s wake up time. We’ve hit bottom and it’s time to reload, rebuild….whatever it is we do and start fresh. Nothing less will do.

  • Niyi Delano

    everytime this team loses can we stop blaming the coaching staff. We have bad talent on the field. Lebeau is not to blame when Amendola is wide open numerous times. Lebeau is not to blame when Gronk is double teamed by our prized rookie and our future hall of famer. Lebeau is not to blame when Gay is schooled by rookie wide out.

    our players are average. Troy has lost his quickness and looks out of position. our CBs can’t cover to save their life, and i am not sure why Clark is still starting. preparedness is not the problem this team has, it is talent.

    The same team we couldn’t score on last week, gave up 7 tds today to a 2nd year QB coming off a concussion. This patriot team has been average all year until they play the steelers and we let them rack up 610 yards. This is not a coaching problem, it is a talent problem. This is what happens when you invest all your money in a select few and now you are up against the cap and you can’t keep or sign other good players. I hope in the offseason, we blow this team up and start over. Trading Ben, Woodley and Troy for draft picks is a start.

    • Dom DiTolla

      LeBeau’s antiquated defensive scheme was carved by Brady today. Simms alluded to it during the telecast, and Brady has been doing it for years now. The loss of talent has only exacerbated the poor coaching and leadership on this team. LeBeau went to the soft-zone and three-man rush towards the end of the first half and Brady picked him apart.

      This team is a disaster with Tomlin at the helm and Haley leading the offense, and I would hope that the future of those two are strongly assessed during the offseason as well.

      Also, trading Roethlisberger would be a death-knell for this offense and team in general. Who would take over in his place? Dude is only 31 and still has at least five solid years of football left in him. Moreover, they cannot trade Woodley and Troy due to their declining play and large contracts either, so you’d better think of some better options. :)