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Thread: Two-Minute Drill: Game 5 vs. Detroit Lions

      
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    Default Two-Minute Drill: Game 5 vs. Detroit Lions

    Gerry Dulac's Two-Minute Drill: Game 5 vs. Detroit Lions
    Game ball goes to OLB James Harrison
    Monday, October 12, 2009
    By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    Peter Diana/Post-GazetteJames Harrison sacks Lions quarterback Daunte Culpepper.Game ball goes to: OLB James Harrison
    After getting just one sack in his first three games, the NFL's defensive player of the year has five in the past two games, including three yesterday against Daunte Culpepper-- his most since he had three in the 2008 season opener. And that does not include a forced fumble and intentional grounding penalty he caused on first-and-goal at the Steelers' 7 that forced the Lions to settle for a field goal. The Steelers had a season-high seven sacks, their most since they had seven Nov. 3 against the Redskins in Washington, and it was Harrison's pressure that set the tone.

    The countdown
    A quick look at the top performances from the yesterday's game:

    1
    OH, NO, NOT AGAIN: After allowing 45 points in the fourth quarter of the past three games, the Lions made it a one-score game when Daunte Culpepper completed six consecutive passes for 65 yards, culminating with a 25-yard TD pass to Dennis Northcutt that made it 28-20 with 4:57 remaining. What's more, after allowing just seven passes of 20 yards or longer in the first four games, the Steelers allowed Culpepper to complete four passes of 20 yards or longer, including two on the Lions' final scoring drive.

    2
    BIG PLAY GAY: The Steelers nearly equaled their 2009 sack total (8) against the Lions, but none of the seven were as significant -- or as rare -- as the 1 1/2 registered on successive plays by CB William Gay, who had never had a sack in 36 previous NFL games.

    3
    MIKE WALLACE'S DROPPED TD: Stealing a page from Limas Sweed, the rookie receiver dropped what would have been a 71-yard TD pass for a 21-6 lead. Two plays later, Ben Roethlisbeger's pass for Wallace was intercepted for a touchdown.

    4
    WARD'S FIRST TD: It took Roethlisberger just six plays to shake off his pick-six, completing all four passes for 39 yards on the ensuing drive, ending with a 17-yard touchdown to Hines Ward, who dived through the air for his first of the season.

    5
    WILLIAM JAMES' INTERCEPTION RETURN: It was significant not only because it was the only touchdown the Lions managed until the fourth quarter, but it also was the second pick in a row Roethlisberger has had returned for a touchdown.

    Inside the numbers
    27: That's how many offensive plays the Lions ran in the third quarter, compared to just five for the Steelers. But Detroit was outscored in that quarter, 7-0, thanks to Roethlisberger's 47-yard touchdown to Mike Wallace on the fourth play of their first possession.


    What was he thinking?
    With a 15-point lead in the third quarter, offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said he got too greedy and kept throwing the ball, trying to hit too many home-run plays. The approach almost cost the Steelers. Rashard Mendenhall, who had 65 yards rushing in the first half and should have ben a workhorse in the second half, had just six carries after halftime. At one point, Ben Roethlisberger attempted five consecutive passes, getting sacked three times. The result: The Lions ran more plays (43-8), had more yards (205-77) and more first downs (14-4) in the second half.

    Overheard
    "It's still not up to the level we need it to be. We let them go down the field again and make it close."

    -- Outside linebacker James Harrison, who had three sacks, on the performance of the defense

    Up next
    vs. CLEVELAND, 1 P.M. SUNDAY: The Browns, coming off a 6-3 victory in Buffalo, haven't scored an offensive touchdown in nine of their past 11 games. They have also lost their past 11 meetings with the Steelers.

    X's and O's
    Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said sometimes he likes to call the same blitz on back-to-back plays because the opponent isn't always suspecting the same call. And that's what he did in the final two minutes with cornerback William Gay, blitzing him off the left corner on back-to-back plays after the Lions moved to the Steelers' 21 that resulted in 1 1/2 sacks by Gay and a shared sack with linebacker LaMarr Woodley. "We got the right call and they ran it perfectly," LeBeau said. For good measure, Lawrence Timmons added a third consecutive sack to push the Lions back to the 45.



    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09285...#ixzz0Tir7NfG5

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    Quote Originally Posted by buccoray61 View Post
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    Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said sometimes he likes to call the same blitz on back-to-back plays because the opponent isn't always suspecting the same call. And that's what he did in the final two minutes with cornerback William Gay, blitzing him off the left corner on back-to-back plays after the Lions moved to the Steelers' 21 that resulted in 1 1/2 sacks by Gay and a shared sack with linebacker LaMarr Woodley. "We got the right call and they ran it perfectly," LeBeau said. For good measure, Lawrence Timmons added a third consecutive sack to push the Lions back to the 45.
    Well, if it hadn't been for that stellar series of downs, I fully expected another disappointment yesterday...

    ... And while it was awesome to watch (that series of downs), the general overall defensive production has left me baffled. Sure, we should (key word) have an easy go against Cleveland... But I am not confident whatsoever at this point in what I've seen.
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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    It seems that 3rd and long is really plageing this "D" this season. It was a problem (I thought) in seasons past,that they seemed to correct last season.

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    Is it just a 4th quarter issue? We've been coughing it up in the 4th quarter on D since the Superbowl. On the Cincy trip, Les mentioned this up as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by buccoray61 View Post
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    It seems that 3rd and long is really plageing this "D" this season. It was a problem (I thought) in seasons past,that they seemed to correct last season.
    Yeah, I haven't been paying close attention to the schemes they're running in 3rd downs, but they're giving up a lot of 3rd down conversions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sjdrewk View Post
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    Is it just a 4th quarter issue? We've been coughing it up in the 4th quarter on D since the Superbowl. On the Cincy trip, Les mentioned this up as well.
    It was the entire game yesterday for a change. In the previous games we had dominated defensively up until the 4th or real close to it, yesterday, the Lions had successful drives throughout the game. Hell, Dante ****ing Culpepper had 288 passing yards yesterday. that can't be allowed to happen, not to mention that Calvin Johnson went down with some sort of injury during the game and was less than 100% after that. Another thing that caught my attention yesterday and this HAS to be Troy related cause I remember it happening against the Patriots in 07... We suck at covering the middle of the field. Whoever that fb/TE was for Detroit, he was killing us in the inside. The 3/4 has been notorious for giving up the underneath but with Troy in there, dick can have him cover the middle and other areas, without Troy, dick seems to go much more conservative in approach to his safeties most likely due to a drop off in talent

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    Yesterday just felt... wrong. You may have noticed that you can pick up a vibe from a game? I couldn't yesterday. It seemed as though the atmosphere had been drained.

    Maybe, due to the seemingly less demanding nature of this year's schedule, each game is being viewed somewhat leerily as a potential trap game. Unfortunately, if this is the case, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    There's also the view that we're running sub-par against what are considered to be sub-par teams, hoping to bluff and come up in a big way against the harder teams on the schedule. This is quite possibly wishful thinking but if it helps you sleep at night...

    Still, one more in the win column is just that. I wish it was more convincing, though.

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