I'm on the panel of ClearChannel’s local version of "The Sports Reporters" and, on this week's episode, I clashed with DVE's Mike Prisuta over the Steelers' style moving forward. Prisuta maintains that the Steelers have to run, and stop the run, that all successful NFL teams do that and the Steelers must do so again.
Prisuta knows more about football than I do, but perhaps can't see the forest for the trees in this instance. I'm not disputing the importance of the run, or stopping the run. But I'm definitely saying that the run no longer comes first.
Consider New England's demolition of the Steelers. The Patriots used the pass to set up the run. QB Tom Brady was their primary threat, throwing for 432 yards. But RB Stevan Ridley rode Brady's coattails and rushed for 132 yards.
Eight of the Patriots' first 13 plays were passes. New England didn't ignore the run, but it was obviously secondary. Play No. 13 was a 37-yard touchdown pass from Brady to Danny Amendola. Patriots 7, Steelers 0.
The Patriots came out using no-huddle and consistently mixed it in. The Steelers didn't use no-huddle until they trailed, and not with any regularity until they were down 14-0. QB Ben Roethlisberger’s strengths aren't often exploited before the situation is desperate. The Steelers don't appear to like what works best.
Balance isn't possible when you always trail, and the Steelers have been outscored 61-19 in the first quarter. Why not come out no-huddle?
I'm no football analyst. But when I watch random NFL games, it doesn't even seem like the Steelers play the same sport. They seem deliberate and Neanderthal.
Maybe I’m overanalyzing. Maybe the Steelers just stink. 2-6 doesn't lie. Maybe the Steelers don't have enough quality personnel to exploit any strategy.
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