12.07.2008

The Defense, Again, Finds a Way to Win


In one of the more frustrating performances by an offense misled by Bruce Arians predictable run-pass-pass play sequence, the Steelers defense forced five turnovers for the second week in a row, including a clinching pick-six, to hand the Steelers a 20-13 win over a Cowboys team eventually overcome by a great defense that receives little help from its offensive counterpart.

On 4th down on the goal line with a chance to cut the lead to 13-10, Arians called up the same counter play that was ineffective against the Colts and Chargers. If it weren't for the four possessions that went for a two punts, a pick-six and a turnover on downs, the result of this game would have been significantly different.

Both quarterbacks played fairly sub-par, but Tony Romo was absolutely abhorrent. Romo was off-target dramatically on the majority of his passes and picked three times, one of which went for the deciding score. Only on one play in which he was fortunate to evade Aaron Smith did he hit T.O. for the prima donna receiver's only catch for a touchdown.

The Cowboys weren't prepared the play in cold weather, as demonstrated by the host of players who exited early with minor injuries. The turf held up well. It didn't appear as if anyone was slowed by the new sod put down. If Pittsburgh could have committed to the run earlier, they would have out-toughed this Cowboys team.

As shocking as it was to see Ike Taylor actually haul one in, the defense is playing better than any other in recent memory. The Steelers have gotten away with winning games on account of the defense, but Arians is going to have to get the offense to capitalize on turnovers. There's no excuse for an offense to not get points off an opponent turning the ball over twice on downs and throwing a pick in the first quarter. He needed to be gone before this season. Likely Arians will cost this team to exit before it should because of his nonsensical playcalling.

5 comments:

Spatula said...

To be honest, we didn't win this game -- the Cowboys lost it. Our offense is a disaster. We don't commit to the run and they don't roll out Ben (the formula for success in the past). Midway through the third quarter I was so pissed that I wasn't even cussing any more. If we don't have a serious change in offensive strategy and performance, the damned Ravens are going to kill us. Shit!

Anonymous said...

So is Arians gone after this season? The offense has to be frustrated with the play calling. And how can we pay Max "Turnstyle" Starks $7 million?

Vern said...

No more counters on 4th and goal please.

Cornbread said...

Yeah Vern, the "handoff-get stuffed" on 4th and goal is maddening.

Maddening, I say!

Great job by the defense though.

I feel that Ben should just ignore Arians from here on out.

All in all, an exciting - albeit ugly - win for Pit. 10-3!

j-daddy said...

The offense works a lot better when they go to the no-huddle and Ben calls the plays at the line. It was the only thing that worked against the Ravens last time, and it was a big factor in the game tieing drive against the Cowgirls.

I want to like Bruce Arians, but he's a horrid playcaller. If I know what's coming sitting on my couch, fingers sticky with nacho cheese sauce, then every defensive coordinator in the league knows what's coming. At least Ben seems to be over his three turnovers a game disease.