Recapping the Steelers defensive performance against the Oakland Raiders

I would write a bunch of words about it but I think Lawrence Timmons and Larry Foote just gave up another 10-yard pass to a tight end on third down.

The Steelers abandoned the run (which I liked) and threw all over the field against a depleted Raiders secondary, scoring 31 points and dominating time of possession (36 minutes to 23) but ended up losing on a Sebastian Janikowski field goal as time expired because the defense could not slow down a Carson Palmer-led offense.

It was ugly. Very ugly.

Share your thoughts here…

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  • David

    The D sucked, but the fumbles cost us the game. We had 4, lost two, and miraculously one bounced back to Brown.

    Speaking of Brown, two fumbles. Baaahhh-ach-ah. One goat of the game (others: Keisel’s offisides, Mundy’s whiff)

  • keeger

    Can we cut Mundy now? by my count he’s responsible for 1 TD given up per week, sucks at contain vs cutback runs, and he should have been flagged for 15 yards on that hit against DHB. I’ve never liked him, I’d rather put a green rookie there.

    I am curious how many holding calls were missed, i saw 2 at least on big runs, and where’s the pressure? Palmer had all day to throw in the 2nd half.

    Also: Deja Vu? Steelers fumbling on a pass play when needing a score reminded me of the GB Superbowl.

    I thought Ben played damn well, that last drive, I don’t understand why no RB was in the flat for a hot read. Everyone was downfield on a 3rd and 9. Get em in the flat, if he gets 5 yards, 4th and 4, go for it. as soon as we punted i knew we lost. Not that I think we shoulda gone for it on 4th and 9, but really bad time to have a weaker playcall.

  • David

    Is there any way we can rewind and take Donta Hightower in the draft?

  • David

    Geez, are the Patsies gonna blow it like we did today?

    • Rob D

      Yep. Cue the Joe Flacco theme music…he’s ELITE!!

      He almost blew it on the last drive but the CB fell on his ass…lol..what an entertaining and somewhat stupid/slapstick game that NE/Balt game was.

      At one point in the STeelers game, I thought they looked like those old San Diego Chargers of the 80`s..score a ton of points and lose cause your D can’t stop Carson Palmer no way how….Its not right but I actually had a good laugh at the general ineptness of the STeelers D..might as well laugh cause a grown man shouldn’t be crying over a football game, I guess. Right?

  • Daniel James Russell

    That was nothing short of a disaster to watch… Hope they get it together over the bye

  • djanyreason

    Meh – IMO the problem was the non-existent pass rush. The D looked like it was playing the traditional LeBeau scheme, in which you give up a bunch of short passes on the assumption that the offense will eventually screw up and/or the pass rush will eventually get home. We’ve seen the likes of Tim Couch light up the Steelers’ D when playing this scheme.

    I don’t necessarily know what the answer for that is – maybe have drafted better backup OLBs than Woirlds and Carter – but to me the complete lack of pressure on Palmer looked like the real problem.

    • djanyreason

      …and JJ agrees with me on the twitter.

  • JJ Cooper

    Ted hasn’t come on here to mention it yet. But his Jared Veldheer over Jason Worlids draft argument from a couple of years ago looks more and more prescient. As I see it, the real problem for the Steelers is the top draft picks for the front seven on defense in recent years, Ziggy Hood, Cameron Heyward, Jason Worldis are all below-average players at best right now. At least one or two of them has to turn into an average player at least or we’re going to be in trouble going forward.

    • TO

      Or Sean Lee of PSU for that matter.

    • bengt

      Looking at how the D seems to be missing Harrison, I think you rather have to call the drafting of Worilds prescient. Consider: Had the Steelers taken Ted’s advice and drafted Veldheer, they might have had a better O line, but Thaddeus Gibson would be the first backup OLB. I’m OK that they (mostly Tomlin according to reports) gave a higher priority to the latter. If Worilds turns out to be underperforming, I would blame scouting, not on making a ‘luxury pick’ (as was Ted’s main complaint AFAIR).

  • Cols714

    Hood, Keisel, and Hampton have not looked good at all. This has to be the low point of the Steelers defense. They blew two 10 point leads. And the Steelers have been dominating TOP for these first three games.

    Pretty damn awful. I don’t know what they can do to fix it. Maybe spending the top two draft choices on a now injured RG and a backup OT wasn’t all that smart. We could really use some better defensive players.

    • Rob D

      I don’t think we will regret drafting DD..but you may be right about the Adams pick. I thought we were getting a guy who could seriously challenge for the LT spot. Not even close. Our D-line needs help yesterday.

  • Cols714

    The other thing is that in 2009 and 2010 Timmons was pretty dominant. Especially in the 2010 playoff run. What happened to him this year?

    • Rob D

      Some commentators say he looks too bulked up/muscle bound. He doesn’t look as fluid out there as I remember him being. AS Randy notes above, a lot of Steelers look freaking fat this year. Watching Seattle last night and the quick athletes they field made that even more obvious to these eyes. Starks must be 400 lbs. for instance. FAt, dumb and happy and content with a couple of rings? I fail to see the fire burning in a lot of guys this year, especially on D and ST’s.

  • Cols714

    I see on most message boards that Mundy is taking tons of heat. I think it’s more of a front 7 problem than anything else. James Harrison cumming back and being James Harrison would do wonders here.

  • Jgretz

    also. when was the last time the steelers won in the Pacific or Mountain time zones. Denver has consistently been a problem (the superbowl XL playoff game being an unexpected blowout snoozer) and wasn’t a recent “embarassing” loss also in oakland against a shit raiders? history (and the way the steelers have played in, should win games) tells us maybe we shouldn’t worry too much?

  • David

    I’m not saying this season is lost, but I have to ask:

    SB in 2005, 2008, 2010 seasons. Did we peak and we’ve on the downward spiral now?

    I sure hope not, but it doesn’t help that our recent 1st Rd draft picks aren’t helping much (Hood, Heyward, de Castro).

    • Cols714

      Nope. Our offense is pretty good now even if the defense has fallen off a bit. It’s a long season, I bet we are right in it at the end. It looks bad now, but so did 2005 and 2008 (remember the Eagles game?) and 2010 at times.

      • Canadian Steeler

        This is definitely true after thinking more about it. Compare the two Colts games in 2005. The defense was torched in the regular season matchup, and the playoff game was a signature performance.

        The bigger distress yesterday was that 2012 Carson Palmer isn’t exactly 2005 Peyton Manning. I thought this bye was way too early, and maybe that will prove to be the case, but it’s needed right now.

  • David

    Dear Lord, the Pack, whom I have no love lost for, got screwed big time.

    But who would’ve thought us, the Pack, and the Patsies would be 1-2? Misery loves company.

  • David

    Alright, I’m about to call John Clayton a troll:

    Did Frenchy REALLY say this?

    • ROb D

      John Clayton…World’s most punchable face? Discuss.

      • David

        Wasn’t he the actor in the original Total Recall that advertised for Rekall and got shot in the head by Schwarchzenegger?

        • Rob D

          LOL…I think you are correct.

  • Randy Steele

    At the risk of sounding like the peevish boor that I am, a couple random musings:

    A lot of the Steelers simply look out-of-shape to me, especially some of the fatty-pants on defense. With a couple exceptions, the players seem poorly conditioned and sluggish. Did they abuse their time off-season? Might that may be a reason why we’ve seen so many injuries thus far? Don’t they realize the older they get, the harder they have to work out?

    The sideline shots of Dick LeBeau were not heartening. Watching his defense get gutted, he had the same dull, dazed, open-mouthed gaze as that old woman next door who can’t figure out how to operate her ‘new-fangled’ TV remote.

    After years of listening to and reading pleas from fans to move Willie Colon from tackle to guard, I can only say, be careful what you wish for. Thus far, he almost has me pining for the return of Chris Kemoeatu. (I said “almost.”)

    Also, after years of listening to and reading tirades from fans about the over-drafts of Lawrence Timmons and Jason Worilds, I have to admit, maybe they were right. Those two sure have looked like a huge waste of resources to date.

    The Steelers are looking more and more like the old Carson Palmer-Cincinnati Bengals: Lots of aerial offensive firepower combined with a crash-and-burn defense.

    Did you find yourself envious of Oakland’s ball-hawking defensive play? Most of those turn-overs that the Steelers suffered were forced. When was the last time you saw Pittsburgh’s defense force turnovers like that? (Yeah, I’m having a tough time remembering them, too.)

    And yes, he had a couple lapses, but still, who would ever have predicted that Larry Foote would be “The Man” on this defense?

    It the replacement refs had called every pass interference penalty committed by the Steelers in the second half, Oakland might have scored in the triple digits.

    Will things get better for the Steelers after the bye with the return of “Peg-Leg” Harrison and “Thunder-Thighs” Polumalu? It’s difficult to find a silver lining, but really, can this defense get worse? It has so many problems right now, it’s hard to point fingers.

    Speaking of silver linings, at least we can thank Todd Haley for re-introducing Heath Miller to the offense.

    From what you’ve seen so far, can this team expect to win seven games this year?

    • Cols714

      Seven games? Easily. I think they will still make the playoffs.
      On Colon, I was thinking the same thing. This is what message boarders have been pining for?
      On Timmons, I don’t think he was an overdraft. I doubt they win the Super Bowl in 2008 without him or get to the Super Bowl in 2010. He’s been pretty good, but this year he’s looked bad.
      On Worilds, yep I’m about done with him myself and I’ve been a defender of that pick.

      The weird thing about this is that the defense is unable to stop the run or the pass. It’s awful. They are missing two of their best players so hopefully when those guys come back things will be different. Of course expecting Harrison to be his old self is probably crazy.

      • David

        Sorry, I have to play this joke, can’t resist: Playoffs? PLAYOFFS!! Are you kidding me, playoffs???

    • Rob D

      Great and entertaining post,Randy.

      I found this on the TribLive :The (defensive) line for the year has one sack — by Cam Heyward — and zero tackles for losses.
      –Dejan Kovacevic
      Woo hoooo..that’ll get it done!Maybe we should reconsider not signing FA’s in the next few years. We should be loading up while we still have Ben since we aren’t finding impact players in the draft WHERE we draft.

  • Cols714

    One other thing. I know that Harrison and Troy can’t be counted on to be awesome anymore. But I think they can be counted on to be better than Mundy and Worilds. HOpefuly it makes just enough of a difference to win these close ones. ALso Keisel is sucking badly.

    • Randy Steele

      Agree with all your points. Keisel is sucking badly, as is the entire d-line, but he suffered a high-ankle sprain during pre-season, and that injury usually takes several weeks (if not a couple months) to heal.

      Maybe I’[m cutting him too much slack, but he looks as if he’s playing hurt, which might be admirable if the rest of the line could pick up some of the slack. But it can’t.

      • Cols714

        Keisel being injured would explain a lot. He was pretty good last year.

  • Cols714

    Not looking good for Harrison to be back. Worilds really has to become the player they thought he would be when they drafted him now.

    Go Cleveland tonight! I think they have a chance.