Game Thoughts Pitt

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  • Our prevent defense was successful in that in prevented victory for us. The coaching staff would probably counter that they were getting “enough” of a rush, but I just don’t think so. A few blitzes and at the very least keeping Matthews in there to rush the pass every time would have been smart. Or Bishop – who would have had fresh legs. Yes, playing the regular defense we’d been playing all game may not have been the answer either considering it was so bad – but at least putting Roeth under more pressure might have prevented some of the easier completions they ended up getting.
  • Not sure why a guy like our CB Josh Bell was in there anyway on that last play.
  • AJ Hawk hurt this team today. He’s fine against the run – in fact, the last few games, I’d say he’s been very good. But he is an absolute liability in coverage. Heath Miller had 7 catches for 118 yards – several against Hawk.
  • Pitt clearly did their homework on us. They got more yards passing than any other team has against us this year and it didn’t seem too hard. They primarily went after Tramon and Jarrett Bush and Hawk – and that last pass came against recently acquired Josh Bell.
  • While Ben Roeth gets sacked a ton, when he does buy time and shakes free, he often causes huge damage because his WRs don’t stop running around. Hines Ward does that extremely well, despite the fact that he’s a jackass. It’s so frustrating because many times we had Roeth dead only to have a huge pass completed on us.
  • Rodgers was fantastic. Our offense came around in the second half, though we never did get the running game going.
  • We have to be excited about Finley. He’s getting the ball because he’s getting it done. Great job especially in the second half by all of our WRs and Finley. Great job.
  • It’s weird, whenever I watch the Packers, I get this feeling like we never really have control over games. I think that may be due in good part to not imposing our power on other teams with the run game and/or establishing legit rhythm on offense. We just seem out of sync – though the good thing is that we’re managing to score points in the face of that. (Better rhythm in the 2nd half though.)
  • Remember who missed a 34 yard FG. Mason Crosby. Kicking field goals isn’t easy – especially at Heinz Field. But I’m not kidding when I say that if there were such a thing as teleporting, I could have set down my beer (an Esser Pilsner – highly recommend it), walked on the field and probably made that one. Playoff teams need playoff kickers and we should be keeping close tabs on John Carney, Matt Stover (or maybe Adam Vinatieri) – and maybe even give Jason Elam a call despite him having a poor year in Atlanta.
  • Clay Matthews is a beast. Great game. Not sure why Brad Jones (who also had a nice game) lost so much playing time to Poppinga at the end of the game. Poppinga had one nice play, but was thrown about on the rest of the plays.
  • I’m pissed we lost that game. We came back and fought hard. But putting a prevent defense out there just plain didn’t work. Pitt marched down the field and scored a TD. Yes, it was a bit unlucky and if Cullen Jenkins makes that sack, which there was no excuse for missing, we likely would have won. Our defense definitely needs to go back to work and figure out why Pitt was able to use us like they did. And our offense needs to do a much better job of figuring out how we can get into a better rhythm.
  • But at the same time, I’m not suicidal here. This loss hurts but I hope it’s one the team can analyze and then forget quickly. We didn’t get crushed or anything, we lost to a wiley bunch of Super Bowl veterans/a quality coaching staff and we still have a very good shot at the playoffs – which I think continues to be a realistic basic goal for this regular season. For those dumb enough to take any comfort in my predictions, I’ll offer this prediction: Packers 45, Seahawks 13.
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13 Responses to “Game Thoughts Pitt”

  1. Keefer Says:

    Thanks for your excellent comments (as always). The loss was gut wrenching, but the offense showed true grit. The defense was uncharacteristically poor, so hopefully lessons will be learned. I was surprised that we got back and took the lead after the start we had and because for most of the game it “felt” like we’d never catch up. Once we did, the defensive scheme failed us…this game will end the talk of having the best defense in the league!

    Hopefully the Redskins will keep the Giants in check and we’ll go into Week 16 with a two game lead over them.

    Cheers,

    Keefer

  2. Ron La Canne Says:

    For the first time this year Capers failed the team. His change to a 3 man rush sealed the deal. The total lack of Safety/Corner depth was exposed big time. Bargin basement Db’s are no better than bargain basement O linemen.

    Crosby is a failure. He contimues to push the ball right on FG attempts and this has not been corrected. He either gets some tutoring or they better find someone who can at least make the < 40 yds kicks. He damn near mised 2 xp's too.

    Next week is now a must win. At least it wasn't a conference loss. They only have three in conference now. And the Cards are not looking all that impressive in their last two games. Let's hope that trend continues.

  3. Dave in Tucson Says:

    Defense on that last drive was the same crap-tastic pass defense the Packers played all game long.

    Steelers were getting huge pass plays all game long. Roethlisberger finished with 504 yards passing, and had five (5!) receivers with catches of at least 25 yards. That didn’t just happen on the last drive.

    D∈T

  4. Cindy V Says:

    How many field goals will Crosby need to miss before McCarthy does something about it?

    I think that the Packer WR need to stop complaining about Finley getting the ball so much and perhaps catch a few of the balls that some their way. Too many dropped balls. I know that Aaron overthrew a few times, but I also saw WR getting hit on the numbers and the ball falling to the ground.

    What happened to the run game? I thought December/cold weather games were ideal for the run?

    Aaaron took some big hits today. I’m so afraid that if he gets hurt, the team sinks. I don’t have confidence that Matt Flynn would be able to lead the team.

    Who is Joshua Bell and what was he doing covering Mike Wallace on that last play?

    If anyone can answer these questions, I’d appreciate it.

  5. Trav Says:

    Cindy: I read this in Bedard’s post game blog:

    “On the final Steelers touchdown from Ben Roethlisberger to Mike Wallace, CB Josh Bell was supposed to play underneath Wallace at all costs. Packers had three deep safeties on the play.”

    Obviously that didn’t happen. Bell also had the penalty when Jenkins came up with the sack. Between his 2 huge miscues, Bush’s general crappy play, and Mason’s miss, we watched a W float away.

  6. awhayes Says:

    It’s interesting Trav if that was the coverage design for that final play. Bell certainly wasn’t underneath, but in his defense, there wasn’t any help for him anywhere that I could see. He was totally on his own over there. I just don’t know why he was put into the game, late in the game. I wonder if it was a response to shoddy pass coverage by our LBs yesterday.

    In the end though, the more I reflect on it, the more resignation I have to the fact that we were beaten ultimately by a super clutch QB. That throw to Wallace was absolutely phenomenal. Only Wallace could have caught that ball and frankly, as questionable a decision as it was to have Bell in the game, his coverage on Wallace was pretty tight, he just didn’t make the play. Hard, hard loss to watch. I hope it ends up just firing up this team to win these last two and regain the momentum we’ll need for the playoffs.

  7. DaveK Says:

    Gut wrenching defeat. I don’t think I have the stomach right now to even talk much about the the x’s and o’s. Best for fans and the Packers to just move on and chalk that one up to a tough loss on the road against a motivated and talented team that had 10 days to prepare for the Packers. Still can’t believe that was the same Pitt offense that scored 6 against the Browns……

    Moving forward….The Redskins could make it easy on us tonight by beating the Giants. Best case scenario is that the Giants lose, Packers beat Seattle, and the Packers get a rest game against the Cardinals.

    Root for the Skins tonight.

    Root for the Eagles against Denver. They might catch MN for the #2 seed and its better if they win the division instead of Dallas.

    Root for the Bears next Monday against MN. We want the Vikings game against the Giants to actually mean something.

  8. Joe Says:

    “For the first time this year Capers failed the team.” I have to respectfully disagree. Capers failed the team in both Vikings games.

    The final drive by Pitt was frustrating to watch. On at least one play Ii watched the d-linemen get penetration and then pull back. The announcers said that it looked like the Packers were in a defense designed to keep the QB in the pocket (i.e. trying to prevent flushing him and letting him run for a first down). That (if correct) is incredibly stupid. Is Big Ben a running threat? Not really and as long as we kept him in bounds it would be great if he ran. Why would you intentionally give the QB 5 plus seconds to throw? Anyone can find someone with time.

  9. awhayes Says:

    Agreed Joe.

    DaveK, it’s complicated to think about who to root for. I think I generally agree with you, though one reason we may in fact root for the Vikes this coming week is that they win one more and AZ is elimintated from possible (though slim) chances of nabbing home field advantage – which may encourage them to go with back-ups in the final game against us. We really want AZ to have nothing to play for because I think at the moment, our best chance of getting in is to just win both games – because I’d say there is a pretty good chance the NYG and Dallas win their remaining games.

  10. 56Coop Says:

    Big Ben put that ball where it had to be. I think that one was better than his Super Bowl winning pass. Gotta give him credit.

    There were plenty of chances to put this one away. Rdogers was off during the 1st half and receviers dropped a lot of the balls that were on target. Spot on assesment of Hawk. He can play the run, not the pass. Can’t understand why Poppinga got so much playing time.

    And then, there’s Crosby. I hope soon it’ll be, there goes Crosby.

  11. TheChoj Says:

    While Crosby’s FG was the difference in the score, I think it was the defense that cost us the game. If we had even eliminated one or two of the penalties on the last drive, we wouldn’t won the game

  12. andrew Says:

    i think every time you watch a game and judge you are way to hard on aj hawk.. mind you he is not the best coverage lb no one has ever claimed him to be but against lesser tes he covers them perfectly fine heath miller is one of the best tes in the league obviously a run stopping lb like hawk is going to have a hard time covering him against a top tier te its a mistake to put a run stopping lb on coverage and i believe capers should know that nd not have hawk responsible for that coverage hawk missed a tackle.. but so does everyone else.. every single player misses tackles you just key on hawk missing them cause you for some reason dislike him.. on limited time he is almost leading the team in tackles nd is our best run stopping linebacker.. i dont see why you have a grudge against him if our team lets him go we will see a lot more rushing yards given up by our defense all your other commetns are on point though

  13. Bruce Johnson Says:

    They should have run more just to settle Rodgers down and to take time off the clock. Regardless of how tough the defense was.

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