Steelers Lounge Podcast #58: Jaguars Recap – Jack Lambert

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

And so begins “A Tale of Two Halves.” Feel free to boo — both me for that, as well as the Steelers’ second-half performance Sunday against the Jaguars.

And when I say “Steelers” I really mean Ben Roethlisberger, who looked pretty awful for the final 20 minutes or so. He did say the winds caused him some problems, but whatever the reason, he looked off for most of the afternoon.

On the upside, Rashard Mendenhall ran all over the Jags’ D, and LaMarr Woodley is finally playing like a rush linebacker making $60-something million.  Oh, and the offensive line was serviceable for another week, even if Dougie Legursky had to leave with a toe injury.

As always, we talk about it on the podcast. So let’s get to it…

Steelers Lounge Podcast #58: Jacksonville Recap

Steelers Lounge Podcast

As always, thanks to everybody for subscribing to the podcast (do it now if you haven’t) and if you want to send questions, comments, complaints or whatever about the show, email us here.

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  • Rob D

    I heard the baby!

  • Randy Steele

    1. Every team has games such as this, and I’m thankful that Pittsburgh won, but have we seen 60 minutes of continual Steeler football this year? Don’t plan for anything to go smoothly for this team this season.

    2. Yes, Rothlisberger had an amazingly lousy game–and a lucky one. He could easily have been picked off three times in the first half. We were fortunate in so many ways yesterday.

    3. Two sacks = no shirt. I canceled my order for a Max Starks’ jersey. That said, I’m still glad we got him back.

    4. Timmons is not an outside linebacker. Case closed.

    5. The fade that Rothlisberger threw in the first half to Antonio Brown in the corner of the end zone should have been caught by Brown. He was either knocked off his route or out of position, but that ball was his to catch. It would have given the Steelers four more points, making the second half of the game much easier for us to endure.

    6. Still, the Steelers were sitting inside the four-yard line, first and goal, and should have “Red-rammed” the ball down the Jaguars’ throats a couple times. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

    7. “Squeeze ‘em” missed that field goal from 46 or 47 yards, not 41. I couldn’t understand why Tomlin elected to try it, except it was toward the closed end of the field. Still, none of us will be breathing easily during any field goal attempts this year. I’m already dreading them.

    8. I don’t see how you can start Kemo over Legursky, unless part of your offensive game plan is to have more penalties and confusion.

    9. I agree with whomever said that Keisel makes Woodley possible. Big fall-off in the performance of the defense when The Beard is out.

    10. Arizona a “Get Well Game”? Dream on. The Cardinals had a bye this week, and you know they will be up up up for this contest. Again, plan on nothing going smoothly for the Steelers this year.

    • EasyLikeSundayMorning

      I’d like to think of Redman as being a good goal-line back, as he’s been a good short-yardage back.  But he has one career rushing TD, so at this point the evidence is inconclusive.

      • Canadian Steeler

        I’ll agree with this. People seem to forget that Mendy had a good amount of success as a goal line back last year. Some runs he scored entirely on second and third effort, like against the Ravens in the playoffs last year.

  • Jfishel

    I cringe every time we kick a field goal, and every time we get inside the 3 yard line.

    • Cols714

      Yep. We could use a new FG kicker.

  • Mike L

    No mention of Bruce Arians, last week he had a masterful game plan this week he missed the weather report, again. I have to say this is why fans have called for his head.  The game plan does not seem to change based on  the defense or weather conditions.  There are many OCs that fall in love with their gameplan and fail to change it.  If the Steelers lose games for this reason I am afraid the call for the ax will begin again and be merited.

    • Cols714

      In the 2nd half they threw the ball only 3 times. They ran for the majority of the half. I wonder if this had something to do with the weather?

      • Mike L

        Ben was 1 for 5 in the second half with 3 sacks.  There were two short passes, one resulting in the only completion of 19 yards to Ward.  There were 3 deep passes that were incomplete and I would say the 3 sack were the result of long developing plays.  The Steelers ran on 7 of their 8 first downs often passing on 3rd.  That is very predictable playcalling except going deep but those passes were off target because of the weather.  Then you have the playcalling 6 of the 8 pass formations were shotgun (I cannot say for certain they were empty backfield) if they were the then the defense had a great idea of the playcalling.

        • Cols714

          The 3 deep passes Ben just missed. That’s not bad playcalling, that’s bad execution. If Ben hits those you say they were great play calls.

          • GlennW

            Agreed Cols.  Ben has had great passing days in a lot worse weather than in this game.  The weather thing is a poor excuse; it was a minor factor at most.  Moreover it’s beyond tiring to hear Arians blamed every time Ben or the O-line have a subpar game.  Plays were there to be made, and they weren’t.

          • Mike L

            After the Titans game I think many coachs around the NFL were concerned about the Steelers offense.  They all breathed a sign of relief after the 2nd half of the Jaguars game.  If Ben is not hitting the deep passes why keep calling them, counting the sacks the pass selection was 6 long developing vs 2 short.  How about moving the chains?  Running on first down 7 of 8 times, how do you justify such basic playcalling?  If the defensive coordinator knows the run/pass choice he is halfway towards stopping it.  I cannot help but think of Bull Durham when Kevin Costner tells the batter what the next pitch is. 

            Please believe, I praised Arians first, last week then Ben, and if you ran out to get a Starks jersey or thought he was a savior then you were drinking the coolaid.  The play calling put the O-line in position to look good if for at least one week vs the Titans. 

            Keep in mind run blitzes are meant to fill the hole the oline is attempting to open, with mike wallace on the field I would imagine safeties are not being used in this regard (at least not regularly) so you have LBs filling the holes to stop the Steelers from running out the clock leaving voids in the areas they vacate.  It does not take long for the LB pressure can get to Ben.  There should have been plenty of room to move the chains.     

          • Cols714

            It seems that according the Gary Dulac and confirmed over at
            Steelers Depot, the Jaguars worked really hard to take away the short
            passing game from Ben and really tried to take away the deep pass from
            Wallace. What would a sensible OC do in that situation? Oh yeah, call
            some deeper routes to Sanders and Brown.

            Which is exactly what
            Arians did. Ben missed them and now we get all this stupidity from
            Steelers fans about how Arians sucks.

          • Mike L

            Only 1 of the 3 deep routes were  to Saunders or Brown.  One was to Wallace and the other to Miller.  I cannot tell you who was the primary target on the 3 sacks.  So the report seems erroneous.  Please come up with facts to include in your defense or your derogatory adjective should apply to yourself.  As to the Steelers Depot report which I will post a link to, is it a shock that a team being run successfully on would put 10 in the box?  Really that is what 10 players within 8 yds of the line of scrimmage means, who besides B-Mac plays corner 8 yds off.  In what way does playing close to the line stop the short passing game?  None!  Allow me to explain, when the Steelers were in passing situations the Jags only had 9 in the box.  Please compare the play calling with the Steelers Depot report.  You will notice 10 in the box against the run.


            The Steelers faced 10+ in the box 36 or 63 (57%) plays for the game  In the second half it was 15 of 22 (68%) but this was greatly altered by the Jags selling out on the last 6 plays with 10 or 11.  Discounting those 6 it was 9 of 16 (56%) in the second half.

            Onlong developing passes the results were; Saunders deep 1st and 10 (10 Box), Miller deep 3rd and 10 (9 box) sack #1 3rd and 7 (9 box) Wallace deep 2nd and 10 (9 box) sack #2 3rd and 10 (9 box) sack #3 3rd and 4 (10 box).  So on passing plays there were( 3) 9 box and (3) 10 box.  On third and long the Steelers face 10 in the box one time out of 3.  These results counter the idea that 10 close to the line stops passing.  On 1st down when the Steelers ran 7 of 8 times (predictable much) the Jags had 10 close 6 of 8 times, so the Steelers ran into the loaded box, I do not consider this good play calling. 


          • Anonymous

            Just to clarify, you’re talking about Emmanuel Sanders and not Weslye Sauders above, right?

          • Mike L

            Yes sorry it was late, Emmanuel Sanders.

          • Anonymous

            Emmanuel Sanders has had a disappointing season. The last half of 2010 he came on strong, and I was hoping to see growth. It’s not that he’s playing bad, exactly, but he’s not playing like he was. I’m hopeful that it’s some combination of the foot injury and the “softmore slump” and that he’ll get back on track.

            Weslye Saunders hasn’t been involved much yet. He looks big, strong, and fast, but he’s also been dropping the ball. I’m not really concerned there since he’s a rookie who’s hardly played and has shown excellent athleticism.

  • Cols714

    They looked better, that’s for sure. It’s been a weird season. On one hand, the OL has been worse than we expected. But the secondary has been way way better than we expected.

    The ability of teams to run the ball on us scares me a little bit.

  • Anonymous

    Chris Hoke got a stinger? That sucks. So is it McLendon until Hampton gets back? Lots of nickle? How about rotations when Hampton does come back? 

    Agree with the Keisel selection. He was pretty impressive.

    Any word on Worilds? It would be nice to see Timmons back inside. Heck, it might be better putting Chris Carter or Larry Foote out there so you’re not wasting one of your best players in a role he doesn’t fill well.