Halfway home: How do you feel about our season at the halfway point?
So let's chat. We have officially reached the halfway point of the season. We are 5-3. We are two 3 point losses from being 7-1, but on the other end of the spectrum, we are 2 close wins from being 3-5. We definitely should not have lost to the Raiders or the Titans. We have had some very good wins including tough ones against the Eagles, Giants, and Bengals. I am pretty pleased to be 5-3, although I wish we hadn't ****ed up two games we should have won.
Pros and Cons:
Ben Roethlisberger is somewhat quietly putting up some of the best numbers he has ever had. 67% completions, 16 TDs to only 4 ints, 101.1 Passer rating. He is just having a great year so far.
Heath Miller is having one of the best seasons of any tight end out there. 6 TDs in 8 games (7 TDs is his career high btw). He is catching anything Ben throws at him. Showing why he should be considered a top tight end in the NFL.
Shaun Suisham, despite everyone in this forum wanting him cut, has made 17-18 FGs this season. While he has had some very close calls, he has been pretty much spot on. His only miss was a 50+ yarder that everyone and their mother knew should not have been attempted in the first place. Gotta hand it to him, he is doing good things.
Chris Rainey as a kick returner. He has had some really bad returns, but for every bad return, he seems to be breaking out 40 yard returns a lot as well. While he has been nearly irrelevant so far in the backfield, he has been extremely impressive at times in the return game.
Ryan Clark has been amazing. Don't care what anyone says. With all the hype behind Troy, Harrison, Woodley, Ike, and whoever, Ryan Clark is truly our defensive leader, and our most important defensive player. All he does is make huge tackles and huge hits, and we truly missed him in that Denver game week 1.
Larry Foote and Lawrence Timmons have been pretty outstanding in the middle of the field on defense. Foote has come in and replaced Farrior extremely well, and Timmons has been having another fine year so far. Very proud of these guys.
Injuries have been awful. Missing Troy most of the year, plus the early offensive line injuries and the injuries early on to Woodley and Harrison. Also the running back situation with injuries has not been fun. It has certainly effected us at times, but we have overcome it pretty well.
Running game inconsistency. Hear me out! Our run game has been amazing the last 3 weeks. Whatever Todd Haley is doing, needs to continue. However, the first 5 weeks were virtually miserable. Again, it could partially be injuries, but now I hope we keep up what has happened the past 3 weeks.
Defensive line has been pretty average. We aren't stopping the run game like we were 5 years ago with Smith and Hampton. Something is off there and needs to be fixed. I will say I like McLendon a lot and he needs more playing time.
Pass rushing all starts with the line, but our linebackers need to step up. Harrison and Woodley, despite the injuries have also had a lot of playing time, and have combined for a whopping 4 sacks...Not good.
Turnovers have never really been our strong suit, but we only have 4 interceptions so far, and not many fumble recoveries either. We really need to find ways to get the ball when we are on defense. Again, it has never been our strong suit, but it isn't really helping our cause either.
Feel free to add any input, or argue with anything I said.
I think I would have to add Penalties to the con section. The Steelers have shot themselves in the foot so many times with stupid penalties especially on special teams.
Another pro/con would have to be the defense. First 5 games they would have been on the con side, but over the past three games they are on the pro side. It seems that some of the young guys are playing much better (Hood, Lewis, Allen, etc). Will Allen is showing that he should have always been the back-up safety over Mundy.
Also, on the con side would have to be playing to the opposition. How do you lose to the Titans and Raiders and then dominate the Giants? I'm worried about our game with the Chiefs because everyone will overlook that game and start talking about week 11 against the Ravens and that's when the Steelers lose to bad teams. The Chiefs also always seem to prove to be a tough match-up for the Steelers for whatever reason. It should be an easy 24-6 win, but will probably end up being another 3 point game for some reason.
I would also have to say that Todd Haley is still learning this offense. He said to give him time and the offense time to get going and now they are really rolling. The run game is going strong and Ben looks very good. Haley has implemented a short passing game which is keeping Ben clean and he is good enough to keep plays alive when the first read isn't there. If the defense can continue to get better this team is a serious contender. They just have to play the same way week in and week out and not overlook teams like the Chiefs coming up on Monday night.
Funny you started this thread, I was going to start one about how you feel about Haley as the OC?
You can see the offense starting to gel, and they have been controlling the time of possession. The running game is taking off, and other than Adams weakness in pass protection, the o-line is dominating lately.
Now you look at how Andrew Luck is thriving under Arians wide open attack, and it makes you wonder.....
I have long said, that under Arians style, Big Ben was his own worst enemy. In the Haley run offense, Ben's mistakes have been limited this year, and the running game is starting to thrive.
Questions I have for the next 8 games:
1) Who should get the bulk of the RB carries?
2) When (if) will Harrison get back to his all-pro form?
3) When will McClendon get more snaps than Hampton?
4) Should Worilds get more snaps a LB if Harrison doesn't show his trademark explosion?
1) Who should get the bulk of the RB carries? Dwyer he earned it, but what you said is key. Someone has to get the bulk of the carries. The RB by committee doesn't work because no one gets into a rhythm.
2) When (if) will Harrison get back to his all-pro form? Harrison isn't what he once was and is probably still battling his back and knee issues, but he isn't bad either. I doubt we'll see him return to form as he is 34 at this point.
3) When will McClendon get more snaps than Hampton? 2013
4) Should Worilds get more snaps a LB if Harrison doesn't show his trademark explosion? No, Worilds struggled against the pass and run when in place of Harrison. When Worilds replaced Woodley he actually played pretty well. If Harrison is a cap casualty after the season they should look at moving Woodley to the other side and starting Worilds. Woodley is good enough to play either side, but Worilds isn't so start him where he can play well.
5) Can we sweep the Ravens? Yes, the Ravens look really bad. If you haven't seen them play and just look at their record you'd think they are playing well, but they are lucky to have only 2 losses. Where the Steelers failed to win two games late the Ravens have been handed one game by the Refs (the one vs. the Chiefs) and won another due to incompetent coaching (Cowboys game). They shouldn't be 6-2, but they are. The Steelers should probably be 7-1, but they aren't. These two games will potentially decide the division and with both teams playing the way they are at this point the Steelers very well could sweep.
I don't post on here normally because I'm from Canada, but I have been a Steelers fan for a while now. So I enjoyed this particular thread.
I agree with most of what you said but I also agree that flags have been a big concern. Not as much in the recent weeks, but they were bad at one point early on. Yesterday's game featured some brutal calls against the Steelers, like the hit to the head when it was clearly a shoulder to shoulder, and they totally missed a call when Miller was clipped on the fumble return.
Anyways, the running game has been great. 3 weeks in a row we have had a 100 yard rusher, once in Redman, twice in Dwyer, That certainly helps.
I think the pass game has been very good. Ben is having a great year, Brown is too I hope his injury isn't serious. I want to give a huge shout out to Haley. Most insiders predicted a fall out to happen with Ben and Haley and so far he has been extremely reserved and quiet, contrary to his reputation. I hope they get a win for his sake next week against the Chiefs.
All in all they have rebounded mightily from early struggles, and I hope that Troy gets healthy soon although I am not optimistic on that front. I love the play of Keenan Lewis, Ryan Clark, Larry Foote, and Lawrence Timmons. All look great.
Also, quickly, Suisham looks good too. I'll admit I too didn't like him going into this year but he's been consistent.
I firmly believe we should be 7-1. The only reason we aren't is defense. I thought with our defense we wouldn't even make the playoffs, but the last 3 games they have stepped up.
QB: Ben is playing lights out and have a career year. He has carried us all year, and with the run game staring to gel we are looking like one of the top 2 offenses in the league.
RB: not good to start the year but since mendys first game has Been good which is mostly from the oline stepping up. Mendy returns and gets 86 Dwyer gets 100 two straight games, Redman gets 100 something. I think it doesn't really matter who gets the bulk of carries because all 3 can sucedd behind this line. I would like to see it mendy Redman Dwyer if all are healthy.
FB: Will Johnson is having a great year blocking and has made a few plays with the ball
WR: Minis Wallace's drops he is having a good year. Brown is to, though I hope his ankle is ok. Sanders and JC are good. I honestly believe we have the best WR crop in the NFL (name a better one)
TE: Heath is Heath we know how good he is and others are taking notice.
Oline: I've been happy with Starks as always quietly gets the Job done week in and week out. Pouncey and Legursky are making center a great spot for us. Gilbert going down sucked but Adams seems to be getting the hang of things. Foster and colon are doing ok colon is playing amazing. If decastro is healthy I still say plug him in for foster but with the way foster is playing no need to do so unless decastro is 100%.
Dline: They have been pretty sucky Hampton needs to spilt moe time with McClendon kiesel is improving the last few weeks. Hood idk I'm disappointed in him.
Lb: Harrison is progressing each week, Woodley has been up and down, Foote has been playing lights out and is the defensive MVP behin Clark, Timmons has been amazing.
CB: Ike and Lewis were awful to start the year. The last few games they have been more then serviceable and our success this year will depend on there play.
FS: Clark is hands down the defensive MVP
SS: plug and play here not pleased with anyone here. I'm really pissed with Troy. Missing the whole year for a calf. Get your *** on the field. If Troy can come back healthy and stay that way it makes our defense that much better.
K: my god I can't believe I'm saying this but Suisham has been awesome
P: Butler playing great I still miss Sepulveda though.
Returns: Rainey Brown and Sanders have been excellent having many TDs called back because of awful penalties.
Overall we are in a great spot at. 5-3 all things considered. With the ravens banged up we have a chance to sweep them if we play like we have been. We can win the division and make a good run.
We need to fix the penalties and keep getting better on D and we will be a contender.
As for the back going forward I really don't know. Mendenhall is a free agent right? So do they bring him back? I would say no. I love Dwyer... I don't know if he can be a sure fire, go to starter week in week out, but time will tell.
Redman has looked impressive too. It's a good problem to have. One RB I wanted to Steelers to take a run at is Jones-Drew... but I don't know if that's going to happen because of the emergence of Dwyer and Redman.
Mike Adams was a beast in run blocking in the preseason. No coincidence that now that he's starting, the rushing offense has produced three straight, and two different which I think is amazing, hundred yard rushers.
The defense is the reason why we were 2-3 the first 5 games, and the reason why we're 3-0 the last three. Andy Dalton, RG3 and Eli Manning are a combined 40 of 86 for 407 yards, 2 TDs and 2 INTs for a passer rating of 58.6. Dalton had the highest completion percentage at 50%, RG3 and Eli tied for the highest yards per attempt with 5.2. RG3 had the most yards with 177. RG3 had the highest passer rating of 74.2. Our defense has been insane. And given what they did to Eli, it's not just beating up on poorer QBs.
I would argue we have been the most complete team in the league the past 3 games. We've only won by 7, 15 and 4 and not more because of our own penalties. We've been playing like the 49ers of last year, great running game and defense, but with a QB who can make plays. If we can keep this up, through a potential trap game against the Chiefs, a test against the Ravens, another potential trap game against the Browns and then another test against the Ravens, sitting pretty at 9-3, that would be a great run.
I love the way we've played the past few weeks. Not relying on Roethlisberger, even though he can most certainly be relied on. That's just not how a football team wins championships. The Steelers have been playing championship football for the past three weeks.
Last edited by ring91013144043; 11-05-2012 at 06:05 PM.
I think the biggest "pro" right now is that our O-line seems to be getting its act together. That's HUGE and is the main reason why our running attack has been so much better in recent weeks. A lot of teams talk about the trenches, but that's where Pittsburgh has played the majority of its football over the last 40+ years. It's nice to see that crew starting to gel a little bit.