Big Lead Sports Bar


The Lost Art of Defense Part III: Cowher Playing Video Games?

I watched three football games this weekend: Pitt at UConn, San Diego at Cincy, and the Steelers-Saints game. If I ever saw a frightening display of the state of defense at the two highest levels of football, it was this trifecta. I'll recap in a convenient, three-part series.

Bill Cowher must have really enjoyed the experience being on the cover of NFL Head Coach this season. So much that he decided to coach like he was playing a video game in 2006. Counting today's 38, the Steelers have averaged 30.8 points in their last five games, going back to the Kansas City "Passion Party" game.

With that in mind, the concept of defense appears to have been totally abandoned by our favorite Craftonite. This team is turning into the reincarnation of the 1999 Rams: we won't stop you, but you can't stop us.

Think about some of the things that happened in today's game; if you didn't know the final score, and I'd drop these nuggets of information on you, do you really think the Steelers would've been victorious?

--The Steelers allow 517 yards of total offense to the Saints, including 398 yards passing by Drew Brees

--The Steelers lose Troy Polamalu, Deshea Townsend, AND Tyrone Carter to concussions, which apparently are now contagious among members of the secondary.

--An official calls a 15-yard penalty on Aaron Smith for touching Drew Brees' sock.

--Reggie Bush scores his first-ever NFL rushing touchdown.

--Larry Foote drops a probable interception for a touchdown in the first quarter.

--Jeff Reed misses a 35-yard field goal, with his season percentage quietly dropping to 69%, or 11% below his career average.

--Santonio Holmes still being sent back to field punts (proving Cowher Statue still has a sense of humor)

--7th-round draft pick Marques Colston has 10 catches for 169 yards

The real reason the Steelers won was because the Saints played more like the 2006 Steelers than the Steelers did (if that makes any sense). The Saints turned the ball over three times (including on their final drive), the Steelers, zero.

I guess this week we can say again that Ben Roethlisberger has recovered from all of his calamaties, as he threw for 264 yards and 3 TDs. Willie Parker was bottled up for 26 yards in the first half, but that 187 in the second half was a nice touch. I still say the Steelers need to get more creative getting the ball in his hands: he needs more screen passes. Today, the Steelers finally throw him a screen that goes for 13, then they do it again...on the next play! And Hines Ward continued his strong month, adding five catches for 86 yards and a TD. Yes, the offense was clickin', they held onto the ball, and surprise, surprise, they beat a 6-2 team.

The defense? That's another story. Pass coverage is virtually nonexistent. Colston and a guy I can honestly say I never heard of (Terrence Copper) torched the secondary for a total of 16 catches and 261 yards. The defense could not wrap up Drew Brees, who was made to look like Michael Vick, Vince Young, and Randall Cunningham rolled into one with his escapability. And this group simply cannot get off the field on third downs. It could be 3rd-and-50 and I'd bet on any offense to convert against this defense.

Bill Cowher Statue was again on display today, showing zero emotion on good plays or bad. Terry Bradshaw was also on display today with his Fox cronies, and he was letting the Pittsburgh love fly throughout the afternoon. The Steelers kept that tiny, miniscule, microscopic window open of a playoff chance, but the odds are still incredibly stacked against them. After watching the Steelers surrender 500 yards to the Saints, "playoff team" was NOT the first thing that crossed my mind.

More offensive stats to make your head spin:

Saints: 517 yards of offense, 31 points

Steelers: 467 yards of offense, 38 points

Drew "Son of Mina" Brees: 398 yards passing, 1 TD

Ben Roethlisberger: 264 yards passing, 3 TD, 0 concussions, motorcycle wrecks or appendectomies

Willie Parker: 213 yards rushing, 2 TD, 0 teammates called out during the game

Deuce "Don't Call Me Staley" McAllister: 60 yards rushing, 2 TD

Mapquest Colston: 10 catches, 169 yards

Hines Ward: 5 catches, 86 yards, 1 TD, 1 ball given to a Hines Ward fan

Larry Foote: 1 dropped INT for a TD, 0 "Footestomps"

After watching these three games, I hereby declare defense to be dead in American football.

This is our country. This is our country.


Anonymous said...

This country is what we thought it was. It is what we thought it was.

Anonymous said...

Ike Taylor couldn't even defend Aaron Stecker.

Anonymous said...

does it concern anyone else that Sean Morey had two kickoff returns?

I know this guy is supposed to be the next best thing to happen to special teams since Steve Tasker, but I just don't see it. I would have much rather seen them hang onto Quincy Morgan or Chidi Iwuoma.

than again... I'm just happy that they won for a change.

Anonymous said...

Copy editor's pet peeve:

Is "517 yards of total offense" somehow different from "517 yards of offense"?

Sorry, can't help myself. We're just wired that way.

BTW, the word verification for this post is "jgyyv" which looks pretty close to jagoff to me :-)

Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls said...

Whose country?

Well, at least, Sean Morey didn't fumble a kickoff. What? He did? Oh.

Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls said...

Speaking of no defense ...

Did anyone else get the feeling that, if the Saints had scored at the end of the game, they would have gone for a two-point conversion, because the Steelers couldn't stop them. Now, THAT would have been shi .. crappy.

Anonymous said...

Despite the horrendous defense, It was still a fun game to watch. I enjoyed it so much, I actually was excited to see the highlights of the game on ESPN.

O how big a fool I was. I actually forgot how much I hate ESPN for a moment. I really thought theyd show highlights of the whole game. What Did I see? 4 highlights.

First up, Reggie Bush Touchdown.

I wanna let the record show, I think Reggie Bush Is vastly Overrated. The kid puts the ball on the ground more then he actually runs it. And yet, he breathes and ESPN shows a highlight of it.

Second, the broken snap touchdown.

Understandable, it was a really weird play.

Third, Willie parker 4 yard touchdown run.

Hmmm. The only Steeler highlight is the last touchdown scored in the game. How about the 70 yard runs? mention the fact hes the first player since barry sanders to do it? NO no, cant do that, cause bush is supposed to do that. Damn you ESPN

And the final Highlight was the Copper Fumble.

And I couldnt help but think that a HELL of a lot more happened in this game. Sigh, I have no idea why I had hope. I hate ESPN and I Hate Reggie Bush

Anonymous said...

I now turn the sound to mute when the Chevy Silverado commerical appears so as not to be exposed to John Melloncamp and his leftist propaganda.

Anonymous said...

I've been muting the Mellencamp commercial since about the LCS. It was the only commercial played during the baseball playoffs.

Anonymous said...

Defense doesn't sell tickets. So you can forget about seeing any defense in the mold of the Steel Curtain. The idea in pro football is to out-score the other guy not out-defense them. I mean every rule instituted in last 30 years has been to increase offense. Removing the bump and run, the protection afforded quarterbacks, moving the kickoff back from first the 40, then the 35 yard line are all designed to increase scoring. So if a team puts up over 500 yards and the Steelers still win, who cares?

Steeltown Mike said...

The All-Wise Cowher (the guy on the EA game couldn't look any less like Cowher, by the way, I hope you agree) said something to the effect of "I'd rather give up 500 yards of offense and win than give up only 98 and lose." I think this game was kind of a make up for either the Faders or Bungles game that the Steelers should have won.

--An official calls a 15-yard penalty on Aaron Smith for touching Drew Brees' sock.

I think this is the new "Paul Maguire Rule". Many people remember his foot fetish while watching more than one running back break one with a slick cut-back on ESPN's Sunday Night Football in years past - "Look at those feet!"

Cecil, I actually thought it was odd that Mellencamp was doing a rightist song. You know "USA! USA!" FoxNews style. Interesting thing, perception.