Big Lead Sports Bar

9/21/2009

THE LONESOME KICKER

BEARS (1-1) 17
STEELERS (1-1) 14

ROETHLISBERGER 23-35, 221 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT
PARKER 14-47
HOLMES 5-83

You can't win 'em all, unless you're the '72 Dolphins. That doesn't mean we don't want to try. Some thoughts:

1. Losing in Chicago is not a new problem for the Steelers. In franchise history, the Steelers have made 13 trips to the Windy City and lost 12 of them, the only win coming in 1995 in overtime against a head coach named Dave Wannstedt. Coincidentally, that game was replayed on the NFL Network last week. Nothing like a well-aged NBC broadcast featuring Wanny and Cowher going head-to-head to send chills up the spine.

2. Quite simply, this game meant much more to the Bears than to the Steelers. I'm not saying the Steelers didn't want to win, but 0-2 is 0-2, especially in a football-crazed town like Chicago that had Super Bowl aspirations. Panic sets in. Which reminds me, the Steelers are a few Rob Bironas missed three-pointers away from being 0-2 themselves. Live by the sword, die by the sword, I suppose. Either of these first two games could've gone either way. And I don't want to imagine a Pittsburgh where the Steelers are 0-2. It might be uglier than the ugliest G-20 protest.

3. Watching the first quarter, I would've predicted the final score to be in the ballpark of 49-0. The Steelers were unstoppable. The Bears were stoppable. Big Ben was nearly perfect, making the game look easy. Unfortunately, that only lasted 15 minutes, and the NFL usually schedules games to go 60.

4. Bill Simmons said this last week in an article about Jake Delhomme:
Only seven sports jobs open themselves up to ongoing ridicule, and -- in a worst-case scenario -- genuine venom. The first two? Coach and general manager. The third? Baseball closer. The fourth? Hockey goalie. The fifth? Kicker. The sixth? Jay Mariotti. The seventh? Quarterback. You cannot afford to lose the confidence of your fans with any of these jobs. The sequence of emotions is the same every time: disappointment, uneasiness, a loss of trust, bitter disappointment, constant fear, a shattering of trust and then, finally, venom.
That being said, be fully prepared for the loss to be pinned on our fun-loving, two field goal-missing kicker, who happens to be in a contract year and just turned down an extension. But I will stand up for Reed here. This is a team game. He did not drop passes. He did not struggle to run the ball. A team puts themselves in positions to win or lose, and if they would've finished more drives, Reed becomes less and less of a factor.

5. Speaking of people who were under fire, Jay Cutler rebounded nicely from nearly single-handedly pulling down the franchise in Week One. No interceptions, 236 yards, 2 TDs, and several drops. Which leads me to....

6. Even playing fantasy football since roughly 1987 (seriously), I was familiar with one wide receiver on the Bears' roster: Devin Hester, and he used to play defense. Johnny Knox? Should I make a predictable "I thought he was in Jackass" joke? Earl Bennett? Devin Aromashodu? Wha?

7. On the flip side, a look at the Steelers' WR stat sheet shows something very interesting: Big Ben had 12 incomplete passes. Of those 12, nine were intended for Santonio Holmes, who had a whopping 14 balls thrown his way on Sunday.

8. Thank you to Vince Vaughn for attending the game and letting us talk about a celebrity not named Snoop Dogg for a change. Unfortunately, he was wearing a Bears hat. Which means you'll see some copies of Old School tossed among the garbage destined for Skippy's yard by some attention-seeking Steeler fan.

9. This guy Manning for the Bears...if it's pronounced "Danielle", wouldn't he rather just go by "Dan"? Or even better, in honor of the former Kansas basketball great, how about Danny Manning?

10. The good news is that the national media won't be focusing on the champs' dramatic loss as much as they'll be penning their valentines to Mark Sanchez and Rex Ryan this week. And well deserved, I must say. Former Pitt Panther Darrelle Revis was insanely good in his coverage of Randy Moss. How does "four catches, 24 yards" sound to you? And in true Randy Moss fashion, he was a jerk about the whole thing.

11. Speaking of other teams, the Steelers are already trailing Baltimore by a game in the AFC North after the Ravens handled Phil Rivers' 436 yards passing and the Chargers yesterday. And would you believe next week's Steeler-Bengal game will break a tie between those teams currently deadlocked at the division's #2 spot?

By the way, Peter King has declared the Ravens the top team in all of the land.

12. Sunday Twitter quotes of the day:

Beaten-down Pirate writer John Perrotto: "I love the game of baseball with all my heart but I've come to the conclusion that the NFL is infinitely more entertaining than MLB."

Sports Pickle & ESPN's DJ Gallo: "
Wow. Nice run by Rashard Mendenhall. Perhaps he's only productive in the state of Illinois." and "A Jeff Reed. Recipe: 1 shot vodka. Pour it out. Now drink what's left in the bottle"

13. Anyone watch the CBS pregame show when they asked Boomer Esiason who the best team in the NFL was and he said, "Gotta go with New England, as long as you have Tom Brady on the roster" or something along those lines. What a tired sentiment and a blatant disrespect to the rest of the league. Not only are the Patriots turning over their roster, they're dealing with injuries to boot. And the media is treating Brady's time off and injury like it never happened. It's time for a reality check, guys.

14. The Chin was very defensive of the Steelers on the show, calling Big Ben the best clutch QB in the NFL today. Of course, Esiason said he'd rather have Brady. He's gotta remain consistent.

15. I was dealing with a local power-outage that stretched into the AM, hence the late posting and somewhat abbreviated recap. As always, your comments are appreciated, especially today.

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17 comments:

BurressWithButterflyWings said...

I cant put this one on any singular moment or person. There were drops by Tone, some good acting by Cutler to draw a roughing penalty ( the same courtesy was not given to Ben for getting clubbed in the head on his INT, which would have been negated and probably changed the entire game), Reed's 2 missed kicks, Mike Wallace inexplicably going out of bounds and not getting the 1st down either ( 2 for 1 there), TYRONE CARTER existing, and the topper on cake was Harrison's amazing strip which actually hurt us by giving the Bears a few precious extra yards late despite an awesome play by DPOTY.

Simply put, it wasn't our day. Move on and fix the holes. Reed has dug us out of some holes in the past, his teammates need to pick him up in Cinco-natti (not a typ0 and crack some skulls.

mike said...

Is anyone else concerned with the lack of sacks? Even when we generated pressure it didn't seem to affect Cutler.

BurressWithButterflyWings said...

one word answer for that one: HOLDING

okel dokel said...

The pressure all came from the sides and not up the middle...not concerned just need a better scheme. Not sure this will happen soon as it appears they are going to need to support Tyrone all they can, perhaps Mundy should get a shot.

I was not thrilled with the two calls to go long on short yardage situations. One resulted in the INT and the other in the drop by TONE in the end zone. Given the field conditions it may have been wiser to go with the short passing game which seemed to be working when passes were not being dropped.

Corey said...

not enough pressure on cutler!

D. C. said...

I think they got quite a bit of pressure on Cutler, but he was getting rid of the ball too quick.

Josh said...

Cutler was surprisingly good at moving in the pocket to avoid the pressure. The roughing penalty was a tackle blocking harrison into cutler... the secondary seemed flat. Tyrone Carter made too many tackles right after the pass was complete, so I can't help but think that Troy would have batted down or picked those throws. William Gay has an issue with slipping, and his man kept getting free...

And Tone's hands are in need of stickem...

Granted, it's always good to get an early 'shock' to get the players to work extra hard. Glad it wasn't a division loss, and I feel sorry for the Bengals who are probably drinking with underage girls (Chris Henry is a starter, now!) because of their win in Green Bay... and not only do they face the Steelers... they face an ANGRY Steelers team.

BTW - Is Trai Essex doing his impression of an unlocked door not getting noticed? All these sacks and pressures on Ben seem to come from the middle right side, and he's always letting people through...

nipsy3215 said...

I thought this would finally be Reed's pro bowl year. Was yesterday enough to knock him out of contention?

Louis Lipps Sinks Ships said...

BWBW -- I'm glad someone else noticed Wallace jogging out of bounds when he could have easily reached/dove for the first down. That was ridiculous and really came back to hurt us.

Someone Somewhere said...

The interception was the turning point in that game. Pittsburgh was basically unstoppable up until that point, and it certainly gave the Bears life when they were on the ropes.

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
theWellHungarian said...

i wonder if his 2 misses had anything to do with him pokin the special teams coach's wife?

BURGH08 said...

Sounds like a whole new meaning to "Wide Left" if that's the case...

Chip said...

"Ineffective running game?" We had 22 carries for 105 yards. That's a 4.8 average. How is that ineffective? Try paying attention.

Mendenhall had that great 39 yard run. Know how many carries he had after that? ZERO. Bruce Arians is the dumbest O-coordinator in the league.

This is exactly what happens when you get away from Steeler Football and try to be the 1998 Indianapolis Colts. Throwing the ball a billion times leads to no clock control, too many mistakes, and terrible red zone offense. If the Arians continues to dial up 35+ passes for Ben every week, we're going to finish 9-7.

Scott said...

You're right Chip. No teams have had success recently unless they played "smashmouth" football. Unless of course you count the Steelers, Colts, Patriots, and Rams who have combined to win 7 of the last 10 Super Bowls as primarily passing teams.

Tall, Dutch and Bored said...

Harrison's second quarter late hit on a flailing Cutler was a game breaker. Steelers had them pinned deep (great 59 yarder by Sepulveda) and had an outstanding chance of great field position.

Defensive POY can't give up cheapies like that. He did hit him a bit late and definitely low which is going to get the flag every time.

Don't give up that first half score, possibly get 3 or 7 and take a two score lead to the half.

Bengals are busy celebrating winning a game that had more yellow laundry than the Steelers trainer faces each week. Keep the penalties low, tee off on Palmer and bring home a division win.

HotDog_Zanzabar said...

I wish Big Ben would take a page out of Manning's playbook and call Reed our "Idiot Kicker". Probably wouldn't be a stretch to assume he was liquored up the night before too.