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23-6. Thank God for BYE weeks

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The headline says it all.


(Image from here.)

That was an absolutely terrible game. I'm not going to even talk about how many Steelers fans were there. Shame on everyone who sold tickets. I take back every kind thing I said about Carlos Rogers in my mid-season report card. His missed INT was the turning point in the game, as it went from being 13-3 Skins to being 10-6 Steelers. The rest of the defense played well (4 sacks, 1 INT), but they could not get off the field on 3rd down to save their lives. Allowing the other team to go 7 for 16 on 3rd down will not cut it. Not all of that is on Rogers. As contributer hibachi put it in the open thread about Rogers:

He’s been awful tonight. He gave up the 43 yard penalty, the 50 yard pass to nate washington, the td to santonio holmes and the missed pick six.

Now all that said, give the Steelers credit. DC Dick LeBeau is the best in my opinion. His 3-4 blitz scheme has been light years ahead of everyone else... and still is. Who knew the player of the game would be the Steelers's QB... and it wouldn't be Big Ben. Leftwich made plays, moved the ball, scored points. That's what you want your backup to do (isn't that right, Dallas?) and he did it well.

QB Jason Campbell threw an INT to end his streak of "271 attempts—249 this season—before cornerback Deshea Townsend grabbed a pass tipped by Portis late in the third quarter." He had a bad game. He was throwing the ball high on almost every play, and when he didn't, he was on his back. Seven (7) sacks. Bad. Very bad. His 43 attempts is about 20 too many for this offense to have success. Yes, PIT is a good defense. One of the best. But the offense led by JC did not play well at all tonight.

Now, you're gonna hear about how Clinton Portis was "shut down" but 13 rushes for 51 yards is not shut down. That's getting down and having to throw the ball too much. A lot of that has to do with getting down and having to throw. Portis had another 73 yards receiving, giving him 124 total yards. Is that getting "shut down" by the Steelers? I'd say no.

But that's over now. This team has a BYE week coming up and they'd better get ready for the Cowboys, who are desperate for a win.If they play like they did tonight, there are very few teams they can beat, including a reeling Cowboys team. They have some winable games left (SEA, SF, CIN) but they need to win more than 9 to even have a shot at the wild card, which the loss tonight pretty much sealed as the best they can do.

Going 6-3 into the BYE week is still a good start. They need to use tonight's game as a wakeup call and get better.

Keepin' it medium works both ways.