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    Default Flags hindered Pittsburgh's offense

    Flags hindered Pittsburgh's offense
    December 13, 2010
    By: MIKE CIAROCHI
    Herald Standard

    PITTSBURGH - To say the Steelers beat the Bengals convincingly because of their defense would be accurate. To say they won convincingly despite their offense is overstating the case just a bit.

    While the Steelers didn't score an offensive touchdown in a 23-7 win, they dominated the statistics sheet basically from top to bottom. Of course, that includes penalties, which cost the Steelers on several possessions.

    Pittsburgh was flagged nine times for 89 yards. Included in that number were four holding penalties, all coming in the third quarter.

    "When you're looking at a first-and-30, it's tough," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "Somehow, we overcame that. For the most part, we have all year when you get behind the chains with penalties. We find ways to overcome them. There's no doubt you like to stay on schedule because that will make the job a lot easier."

    Tomloin said one of the reasons the Steelers have been able to overcome penalties is through the leadership provided by, among others, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

    "It's funny, but I had that same talk with Byron Leftwich and Charlie Batch," Roethlisberger said. "We possessed the ball and that was a good thing. But we need to clean up the penalties because field goals are not enough. We need to score touchdowns."

    "We moved the ball, we just didn't finish drives," wide receiver Hines Ward said. "There was a lot of hidden yards we left out there on the field."

    [HIGH-LIGHT]PLAYOFF IMPLICATIONS:[/HIGH-LIGHT] No, the Steelers did not clinch a playoff berth with Sunday's 23-7 win over Cincinnati. Beating the Jets next Sunday would do the trick, though.

    Besides beating the Bengals, the Steelers needed a variety of combinations to come true to qualify. Basically stated, wins by Indianapolis and Jacksonville put off any Steelers clinchings for at least a week.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]J-E-T-S, JETS, JETS, JETS:[/HIGH-LIGHT] Next Sunday's 4:15 p.m. kickoff against the New York Jets has more playoff implications than perhaps any other game on the schedule, but the Steelers didn't even want to think about next week until at least Monday.

    "Man, I haven't thought about the Jets until you just mentioned it," Tomlin said. "We'll see them on Sunday, I guess."

    Ward feels strongly that Sunday's match-up will be the first of two meetings between the Steelers and Jets.

    "We're going to enjoy this one tonight, then get ready for the Jets," Ward said. "We'll probably face each other in the playoffs, too, so that would make it even more exciting. They've got a great team and we've got a great team."

    "I think TO (Bengals receiver Terrell Owens) called it a five-star matchup," said Steelers safety Ryan Clark. "I think he's right because we're in it. We're excited about it, but we have to hold up our end of the bargain."

    Linebacker James Farrior, however, wanted to keep the perspective a bit narrower.

    "We're in control of the AFC North Division and that's the key," Farrior said. "Win your division and you punch your ticket."

    [HIGH-LIGHT]WHAT WENT RIGHT:[/HIGH-LIGHT] Troy Polamalu stepped in front of a Carson Palmer pass intended for Terrell Owens and returned the interception 45 yards for the Steelers first score of the game. The play sparked the lethargic Steelers defense and tied the score, 7-7. It also inspired the Steelers offense, which marched 75 yards to a Shaun Suisham 23-yard field goal and a 10-7 lead at the half. + On a second-and-30 play, Roethlisberger passed to Hines Ward for 29 yards. + The third quarter ended with an 18-yard Roethlisberger-to-Mike Wallace pass after another holding penalty.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]WHAT WENT WRONG:[/HIGH-LIGHT] Cincinnati's first-possession touchdown was aided by two penalties against the Steelers. LaMarr Woodley was offside on a third-and-2 incompletion and Ike Taylor was called for a 19-yard pass interference penalty. + Pittsburgh's offense generated only 74 yards of offense until getting 75 on its last possession of the first half. + The Steelers first possession of the second half seemed headed for the end zone until David Johnson was called for holding on first-and-goal from the 9-yard line. The drive ended on a 35-yard Suisham field goal. + Back-to-back holding penalties (Jonathan Scott and Matt Spaeth took the Steelers from a first-and-10 at the 45 to a first-and-30 at the 25-yard line. + Back-to-back sacks turned a first-and-10 at the 22-yard line into a punt.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]STAT OF THE WEEK:[/HIGH-LIGHT] The Steelers held the ball for 13:15 of the third quarter, ran 25 plays and gained 104 yards. Problem was, Pittsburgh managed only three points in that stretch. Included in that quarter was a 15-play, 50-yard drive that consumed 9:21, but resulted in a punt.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]STILL PERFECT:[/HIGH-LIGHT] Kicker Shaun Suisham made all three of his field goal attempts (23, 35 and 41 yards) and made both of his extra point kicks. Since replacing Jeff Reed four games ago, Suisham remains perfect. He has converted 9-of-9 extra points and 9-of-9 field goal attempts.

    INJURIES: Cincinnati safety Chinedum Ndukwe suffered a left knee injury in the second quarter and did not return. + Steelers safety Anthony Madison suffered a kneecap injury, but is expected to be able to play Sunday against the Jets. + Roethlisberger aggravated his ankle injury, but didn't miss a play.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]FIFTH QUARTER:[/HIGH-LIGHT] For more on Sunday's Steelers game against Cincinnati, please go to heraldstandard.com and view The Fifth Quarter. George Von Benko and yours truly take an in-depth look at some of the key components to Sunday's game. The video will be taped Monday afternoon and will be available online later Monday.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]WORTH REPEATING:[/HIGH-LIGHT] Tomlin was asked about Troy Polamalu's ill-advised lateral after Polamalu's second interception of the game. "Ask Troy. He'll be available after he washes his hair."

    http://www.heraldstandard.com/news_d...s-offense.html
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    Default Re: Flags hindered Pittsburgh's offense

    "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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    Default Re: Flags hindered Pittsburgh's offense

    Its as if, after any successful play you are almost expecting a holding call. I mean I know they stink, but how many holds go uncalled vs Harrison and Woodley?

    In the last 3 games the Steelers have average 9.3 penalties against them, next closest was 7.3.

    Mmmm yeah in those same three games, the Cheatriots have averaged 3.3.
    http://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/stat/penalties-per-game

    A holding call in my opinion can have nearly as big of an impact as a turnover. Don't have a stat on that just an observation
    Last edited by bdeff; Dec-14-2010 at 06:58 PM.
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    Default Re: Flags hindered Pittsburgh's offense

    Quote Originally Posted by bdeff View Post
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    Its as if, after any successful play you are almost expecting a holding call. I mean I know they stink, but how many holds go uncalled vs Harrison and Woodley?
    Yea... We had 9 for 89 yds this week against the lowly Bungles who gave-up... And yea, we get alot of "non calls", but I prefer to take the higher road and not complain about them... Whether fans on this board want to admit it or not, you could probably call a hold on every play from scrimage in this league... Man, I'm not saying you, definitely not... Just sorta venting at some recent complaining on here over recent weeks...

    FWIW, Hood demonstrated the perfect form while being held on Sunday...

    ... One of those nights, brother....
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    Default Re: Flags hindered Pittsburgh's offense

    LOL, I refuse to take the high road, and I am going to moan until I get my way!!
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    Default Re: Flags hindered Pittsburgh's offense

    A few thoughts on this -

    - The officiating is a complete joke.

    - Still, some of the holds have been blatant, Scott and Adams could be called for holding on virtually every play.

    - I liked the Kugler hiring, but I honestly do not know what I think of the job he's done this year. On one hand he doesn't have much to work with, but on the other hand Scott was "his guy" from Buffalo, which is pretty worrisome. And to add to that there have been a ton of injuries and penalties called on this O-line. Doesn't some of that have to be blamed on coaching and conditioning? I can't recall too many other O-lines that have had this many injuries.

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    Default Re: Flags hindered Pittsburgh's offense

    The holding call on Scott, on the 3rd quarter drive that went no where, was ticky tack, when compared to holds that weren't called on Harrison and Woodley.....I recall one hold where Woodley got tackled, and a NICE hands to the face of Harrison.....and no f****** flag....excuse me while I go stomp my feet.......
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