The Minnesota Vikings, including their latest representative from Valhalla, quarterback Brett Favre, rowed into Pittsburgh with their “longships” and almost totally “looted” the Pittsburgh Steelers of their dignity.
See folks, it is easy for any professional football team to look crisp against wet noodles, like the Detroit Lions (who by the way were just a play or two away from beating Pittsburgh at Ford Field) and the hapless, almost hopeless Cleveland Browns who more often than not, beat up on themselves.
When the Steeler defense gave up game winning drives against the Chicago Bears and the Cincinnati Bengals almost everyone placed the albatross of blame on the shoulders of the Pittsburgh “D” and the absence of Troy Polamalu. The Steelers nation and the talking heads bellowed from all points on the earth, “If Troy were in there they wouldn’t have thrown the ball with as much success, especially on late game winning drives.”
Well, Troy was in there yesterday and was spotted trailing a play or two after a completion by Mr. Favre. Whose fault was it? I’ll tell you after I watch the films but it don’t look good for the Steelers resident heartthrob.
Polamalu cannot help the offense of the Black and Gold. That’s my story and I’m stickin to it. Prior to his anemic performance against the “Purple People Eaters” the crows on the fence were cackling about Big Ben leading the league in passing yardage, ignoring the obvious that his stats were sort of padded as a result of competing against suspect competition.
On the first three drives of the game, Pittsburgh started on their own 27, the Minnesota 49 and 39 yard line. The result was punt, punt, field goal. However, the Vikings never started a drive past their own 37 yard line during the entire game yet still managed to accumulate 386 yards of offense compared to the collegiate-like numbers that Big Ben and his offensive crew could muster.
The Pittsburgh defense was on the field almost 14 additional minutes more than the Minnesota defense. That number represents almost an entire quarter more that the “Purple People Eaters” were allotted to sip on mint juleps and go over their defensive strategy. The Steelers defense could not get off of the field because the Pittsburgh offense could not stay on the field. That being said, if the defense was not on the field to score twice, Minnesota may have left Pittsburgh still undefeated.
The achilles heel of the Steelers was their offense, plain and simple. The defense played as if they were paying rent at Heinz Field while the offense performed as if they were squatters. The “D” was on the field for so long, I thought that they were going to pitch a few tents, crank up the campfire and roast marshmallows, weenies and break out into a few scary stories. Big Ben and his cronies did not earn their keep against the “Vikes.” Good offenses perform well against good and bad opponents. Carson Palmer and the Bengals crushed the Bears 45-10 on Sunday. By the way, this was the same Chicago team that Pittsburgh could only muster up 14 points against losing in a last ditch effort by the score of 17-14, despite the Bears being without their leader and arguably best defensive player, linebacker. The blame for the loss to Chicago was put on Jeff Reed missing two field goals and the defense, but the reason that Reed missed the two 3-pointers was because the offense failed to score two touchdowns. See boys and girls, this is how it works. You attempt a field goal only after you fail to score a touchdown. A field goal is sort of an obtuse, perverted way to reward failure. Sort of like giving your son or daughter half of their allowance for washing half of the dishes, ya get my drift?
A few folks in the Black and Gold circles were dancing a jig when it was determined that starting corner Antoine Winfield would be inactive for the game against the Steelers. If Big Ben could only collect 153 net yards passing with Winfield on the bench, perish the thought of the dismal numbers they would have put up if Mr. Winfield would have played.
If the past is an accurate indicator, the Steelers will not snap out of their point scoring funk Nov. 9, at the oxygen deprived confines of Invesco Field in the mile high city of Denver. After facing the Broncos, the Steelers will return to the Steel City faced with having to set a few snares and traps for the big cat Bengals who have now turned into nasty and notorious man-eating tigers. Pittsburgh will not get a break when they visit the Kansas City Chiefs (remember the Steelers barely beat the Lions at Ford Field). If Pittsburgh isn’t careful, what was billed as a 2009 cakewalk sort of schedule might end up as a pie in the face because teams that appeared as jokes on paper currently don’t appear to be in a court jester sort of mood.