Wednesday, November 12, 2014

eVICKted: Steelers Lose


The Steelers have launched this new interactive fan thing called Steelers Nation Unite. I'm not quite sure of all the details of it yet, but I do know some people have gotten pregame field passes and things like that just for being members, which is pretty cool. This past week, their campaign to get Steelers fans to show up for the game was #BlackOutTheBigApple. Unfortunately, they didn't have a plan to get the Steelers to show up for the game.

From the very beginning, the Steelers looked totally unprepared to play a football game. They won the coin toss but deferred to the second half, an absolutely bizarre decision considering the Jets hadn't had a lead since the Wright Brothers invented them and Ben Roethlisberger had thrown 12 TOUCHDOWNS in the last two weeks. But apparently the logic was to put a defense that had allowed teams to score on the opening drive in pretty much every game on the field first, instead of your league MVP candidate.

As a random note here, the Steelers and Jets have played 8 times since 2001 when Terry McAuley became a referee. McAuley has been the referee in four of them.

So the Steelers gave the Jets the ball first and that worked out just swimmingly as the Jets looked like the first quarter Houston Texans and ran the ball right down the Steelers throat. The Steelers plan to not give Ben Roethlisberger the ball first completely backfired and the Jets took 8 minutes off the clock before the defense held them to a field goal at the goal line.


The Steelers got 1 first down but a 3rd down sack forced them to punt on an opening drive for the 6th time in 10 games, and sent the ball right back to the Jets who executed a beautiful play-action fake and Vick hit some receiver no one had ever heard of for a 67-yard touchdown.


I'm not sure what was worse on the play:

  • That the Jets ran a 2-man route and both guys were open (underneath TE wide open, deep WR has inside position on CB)
  • That there was no safety anywhere to be seen
  • That CB Brice McCain was the second guy deep on the play and he came all the way from the other side of the field.

The Jets perfectly executed the play and the receiver made a great catch with Gay all over him to haul in the pass. But that doesn't excuse the defense totally breaking down in the middle of the field with all the linebackers and safeties just standing there letting two receivers run open behind them.

The Steelers did what they always do when they want to get their offense rolling, they ran a WR screen. The Jets were all over it and knocked the ball out of AB's hands and recovered the fumble. The defense couldn't hold and the Jets found their way to the end zone again. Like the Cleveland game all over again, it was 17-0 before you knew what happened.


Second Quarter

The Steelers got a gift first down when Jason Babin was a douchebag and hit Ben after the whistle. Le'Veon Bell led us down the field and into the red zone. Ben tried to hit Bryant on a post pattern but the ball got deflected and the Jets picked it off.

The defense seemed to come up with an answer on the next drive when it appeared Vick fumbled on a scramble on 3rd down but even after a challenge the refs said he was down by contact. Antonio Brown muffed the punt and the Jets got the ball right back in Steelers territory. Luckily, Nick Folk did his best Doug Brien impression and missed a 45-yarder.

The Steelers got the ball with 51 seconds and were somehow able to get into long field goal range despite no one getting out of bounds. Suisham banged home a 53-yarder to lift our spirits temporarily before halftime.


Third Quarter

The Steelers started moving the ball down the field and got into Jets territory. The offensive line finally gave Ben time to throw and he made the dumbest throw of the season after looking left and seeing Bryant open for 8 and Brown open for 20, he tried to float a pass to Wheaton over the middle who was surrounded by 4 Jets.

Yeah, that got picked off.

The teams trade 3-and-outs.

Chris Rock's doppelganger continues to pick apart the Steelers defense and drives the Jets into the red zone where they add another field goal.


Ben finally takes a shot deep and is able to hook up with Bryant for 45 yards but then gets sacked. Heath gets his first few catches of the game and the offense rolls on down into the red zone. Rather than doing something smart after Le'Veon gets them to 3rd and 1 inside the 5, the Steelers rush to the line and hurry a snap before the end of the quarter. Le'Veon loses 2.

Fourth Quarter

Stop me if you've heard this story before. Offense driving when we need points but stopped in the red zone. Coaches opt for the field goal and it's missed.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, I'll refer you back to the 2010 game against the Patriots.

Another 3-and-out from the Jets and the Steelers get it back down 3 scores with 13 minutes to go. The offense shows no urgency and takes 9 plays and 4 minutes to drive 54 yards down to the 1 yard line. Once there, the offense takes a dump all over itself. After getting stuffed on first down, Blount tries to run outside on 2nd and gets turned back and loses 8 yards.

1st and goal at the 1 turns into 3rd and goal at the 9 without a penalty. Whatever. Suisham makes this one and we still need 2 touchdowns.


The Jets are more or less content to just run the ball and eat up clock. The Steelers don't do anything with the ball after getting across midfield and almost hilariously go from 2nd and 5 to 4th and 21. Tomlin decides to go for it on 4th and 21 with just over 2 minutes left rather than going for a touchdown on a 4th down inside the 10.

The Jets decide to do their best Annie Get Your Gun medley and tell the Steelers "anything you can do I can do better." and go from 1st and 10 to 3rd and 46 by taking 2 unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on the same play.

After a punt, Ben does his Ben thing and scampers away from pressure and hits Bryant streaking down the field who hauls it in and trots into the end zone for an 80-yard score.


Ultimately, it was too little too late as there was only 1:15 left and the Steelers only had 1 timeout. It came down to an onside kick that we didn't recover because we never do.

Mike Mitchell decides to be a douchebag and dive over the Jets line when they're kneeling down.

Mike Mitchell might be the hardest Steeler to cheer for since Anthony Smith.

Steelers are 6-4 and have lost to the Bucs and Jets who have 1 combined win against teams not from Pittsburgh.

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