Steelers Today - A Pittsburgh Steelers blog


Steelers complete trifecta

December 11, 2009 By: Admin Category: Post-Game Reports

last night (on national TV, I might add) the Steelers lost to the Cleveland Browns by a score of 13-6.  That loss cemented an embarrassing trifecta.  The Steelers have now lost to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Oakland Raiders, and the Cleveland Brown in the same season.  I call that the “trifecta of shame”.

I’m really not even sure of what to think of the team anymore.  Are they a really good team that has suffered due to the loss of two of their best players (Aaron Smith and Troy Polamalu)?  Or are they a really bad team that has been exposed by some of the worst teams in the NFL?

I know that Troy’s absence is a tremendous blow to the team, but I don’t think it has any effect on their inability to protect their quarterback.  I’ve gotten used to seeing Ben Roethlisberger get sacked, but watching him get sacked 8 times by one of the worst defenses in the NFL was painful.

Feels like deja vu

Feels like deja vu

I know that Aaron Smith’s absence has been a loss, but I don’t think that has caused the Steelers cornerbacks to be unable to get any interceptions this season.  Can’t anybody back there catch the ball?

I know that Brett Keisel got hurt last night, and Hines Ward was playing with a leg injury, but did that cause the Steelers to use baffling play calling on offense?  Why did they consistently utilize spread formations with an empty backfield on 3rd down, despite the fact that Cleveland was running a sackathon on Big Ben?  Is Bruce Arians out of his mind?

This looks familiar.

This looks familiar.

Try as I might, I just can’t figure this team out.  Why are they playing so poorly.  These are the reigning Super Bowl champs, aren’t they?

While the team is not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs yet, their odds are exceedingly poor.  In fact, your odds of getting bit by a vampire are far greater than the Steelers odds of making the playoffs.  So we can all put the playoff dream to rest.

The rest of this season is now going to be about saving face.  The team is going to have to look in the mirror and decide what type of team they really are.  Do they have the ability to turn things around and end the season on a positive note, or are going to continue to look like one of the worst teams in the NFL?

Fans are already starting to talk about next year’s draft.  Some are even suggesting that the Steelers should lose the rest of their games so that we can improve our draft position.  I don’t agree with that suggestion.  Instead, I’d like to see the team turn this thing around.  I want them to beat Baltimore.  And Green Bay.  And Miami.  I want to believe that this losing streak has just been a slump, and that the Steelers are really a good team with great potential for next season.

So now that the Steelers have successfully completed the “trifecta of shame”, Steeler Nation is left wondering if the REAL Steelers are the team that beat Denver and Minnesota?  Or are the REAL Steelers the team that lost to Cleveland, Oakland, and Kansas City?

Will the real Steelers please stand up?


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18 Comments to “Steelers complete trifecta”

  1. Brady Quinn says:

    Hey Hines Ward, how was the bus ride home?

    And seriously, your coach, QB and HOF WR were crying after the game?

    Did Cowher take the team’s balls when he left?

  2. Joshua Cribbs says:

    BQ, I was thinking the same thing…

  3. Donald,

    I concur. Some of the plays were so baffling and painful to watch that I couldn’t watch the game after halftime - I had to monitor it online.

    Loosing to 3 bottom feeders like the Browns, Chiefs, and Raiders is inexcusable. Every team can have a bad day but losing to these 3 in the past month is more than just a slump.

    This team needs to do some soul searching and introspective analysis. Obviously Smith and Troy being out hurts…but they don’t play offense. I am not ready to start talking about the draft yet (and I never think you should lose to increase your slot) but I am definately ready to start talking about the offseason and what potential changes need to me made to fix things.

    This is a wasted year…a true WASTE considering the pathetically easy schedule. It Pittsburgh merely manages to beat the 3 pitiful teams mentioned above they would be 9-4 and still in the running for the #2 seed.

    IMHO, it appears they still have trouble with the o-line, the kick coverage is poor, and the secondary is weak without Troy…and the offensive playcalling is sometimes maddening.

  4. Well guys, I would comment right now but I think I will let everyone catch up to what I’ve been saying for a couple of months now (even when we were winning, if you remember).Still too furious to comment further right now.

  5. Okay, so i will say this:

    What about those changes Tomlin promised? LOL I told you guys he wouldn’t do anything! He doesn’t know how or what kind of change to make. And obviously a promise means nothing to him so never put much stock in what he will eventually say about the offseason when its time for him to address that. The let down will be more than any of us could bear.

  6. Well, if we did anything good last night it was to possibly help keep Mangini around for another year. The mistake by the lake organization blows compared to the Steelers, and we all know it. BUT, our team is terrible right now and having BA as the OC is not going to help us. He needs to go. Please fire him on January 4th, 2010.

  7. PS, Tony is right. Tomlin pulled a bad move when he said starters will lose their job and did not follow through with it. Terrible mistake.

  8. eric smith says:

    Right now looking like Arizona got the Steeler’s braintrust when Rooney decided to go with Tomlin. Well, at least this collapse will provide the ammo needed to ditch Ariens and install an offense that doesn’t resemble some Pop Warner game at its best.

  9. Right on Eric! There has to be consequences for this season. In the NFL, that means coaches’ heads roll. Please start with Arians! I hate to say it (because I believe that he is from Pgh) but our special teams coach has to be fired. If Tomlin can learn from this experience (though I’m not sure who his mentor is) he can recover and possibly become a better head coach. But you don’t learn by NOT making changes and just hoping things will get better. The Steelers (especially Tomlin) preaches accountability…time to practice what you preach.

  10. Donald,

    I propose that you dedicate the blog for the remainder of the season to mostly discuss what changes (either in players, coaches, or schemes) we need to make. Because I seriously can’t see myself talking much about this ridiculus season anymore. Maybe I speak for others who read this blog too, I don’t know. They can ring in on it for themselves.

    Again, I am not calling for Tomlin’s head just yet. For one, I throughly enjoy the fact unlike many teams we don’t change head coaches every time Mr. Rooney changes his socks.

    But I would like to pose this question and maybe you could write on it too. Can somebody make the case for Mike Tomlin as an elite head coach deserving of such a franchise? I will point to only one of many candid comments by him to show everyone what raises my question: When asked about the silly calls on the first 2 drives in the Cleveland game where Mendenhall was averaging over 4 yds/carry that we decide to pass on 3rd and 1 and pass on a 3rd and 3 when we were obviously imposing our will at the line of scrimage, Tomlin says, “Hindsight is 20/20″ My thought is, “really, no one is seeing any better from the previous 12 games.”

    I just watched a replay on nfl netwrk when pit played cle in wildcard game in 2002. For those unaware, our beloved Bruce Arians was the OC for the Browns that year. His play calling late in that game cost the Browns a win because he didn’t understand the importance of the run game. Obviously he still doesn’t. Cleveland passed for over 400yds and ran for under 30yds in that game. Looks good on offensive stat sheets but rarely puts up consistant wins unless everything is falling into place.

    I believe Cowher saw Arians worth in coaching WRs but obviously he wasn’t hired away from the Browns to call plays anymore.

    Again, my question: Can anyone make the case for Tomlin being an elite head coach considering his coaching hires and his comments and his empty promises?

  11. Tony,
    I can’t exclusively focus on changes that the Steelers need to make. There are still games to be played. I have to cover them. However, I will be spending some time talking more about the coaches and future implications for the team.

  12. Eric,
    I can’t say that I agree with you about Arizona getting the braintrust. However, I will be discussing the Steelers coaching quite a bit in the weeks to come.

  13. I don’t want to pile on to what has already been said about the losses or Arians but I absolutely want to comment on Tomlin and his “promises”. Now I don’t recommend cutting players or firing coaches in the middle of the season but if you say you’re going to do it then you have to follow through. I also don’t understand how doing the same thing week after week anyone can expect to see different results, and I’m referring to the running game or the lack thereof. Another thing that was promised by Tomlin when he got hired was a commitment to the running game which has virtually been non-existent considering what we have done throughout this teams history.

    Does anyone else agree that this season is more disappointing than the 2006 season because we started off well this season and ended up nothing to show for it?

  14. Benny,
    I don’t know if I feel MORE disappointed that I did with the 2006 season, but this one has definitely been disappointing.

  15. I would agree and say that this season is more disappointing only because we had the lessons of ’06 there to make us wiser. There is an article in the PG that talks about this being the end of an era because the Steelers have so many older playes on Defense; a questionable O-Line and a lot of contract decisions to make. We may be facing a (insert dreaded word…) re-building for a few years. IMO it is the challenge of a successful franchise - to stay strong through the draft and intelligent, timely personnel moves (i.e. NE Pats and Richard Seymour. Ever notice how NE has seemed to have multiple 1st rnd picks the last few years?)When you are picking low, you have to be a shrewd judge of talent and be willing to make moves. Both areas that we will have to get better at quickly so that we do not become stuck in mediocrity in the NFL. We all have faith but it’s time for us to see a real Steeler EFFORT throughout our proud organization! Starting now!

  16. eric smith says:

    I agree with Benny: this season is more disappointing than 2006, which began with Ben’s cycle crash, apendectomy, etc. We finished strong that year; we did not collapse!
    Re Tony’s questioning MT

    The hiring of Tomlinson is a kind of sensitive area. Last year’s SB victory was made largely with players selected and moulded by Cowher. This year’s collapse is really unprecedented in NFL history and is very disturbing to die hard Steeler fans.

  17. eric smith says:

    OOps. sent that last post without finishing. Anyway, re Tomlinson, to answer Tony’s question: no, I do not think he can be considered one of the top coaches at this point. The special teams breakdowns, and the inability to finish doomed the Steelers this year. I really think a more experienced coach would’ve spotted these deadly weaknesses sooner, and made corrections.He has a chance to rebound next year, but was unable to right the ship in time to save this year. I know he must really feel embarrassed. Whether or not he can rise to higher level we will find out. Though it may take 2 or three yrs. This was a major collapse on several fronts and will not easily be repaired, I fear.

  18. eric,

    I agree. I’m not for firing him so soon but he needsto be held accountable. For what it’s worth for those Bill Cowher haters:

    I could give cowher a few disappointing seasons because he proved over and over again his worth. Tomlin has yet to do that yet. Look at the Colts this season. Are we to say Dungy was replaced with someone just as good as he was? Not so quick, right?

    Tomlin is on the “warm” seat this offseason. Not quite the hot seat yet. But the temp is beginning to rise. Can he cool it down a bit? We’ll see.


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