Super Bowl XLV
We’re removed a few weeks from the devastating game that was Super Bowl 45. I’m on the road for about 15 days touring with Todd Clouser’s A Love Electric, and so I’ve got some significant time to write about my thoughts for the game.
Lets start with the positive. Doug Legursky stepped in for Maurkice Pouncey and played a hell of a game at center for his first ever NFL start. It was the biggest stage he had ever been on, and the only one as a starter, and Ben had great protection up the middle for the majority of the game, without any of the mishandled snaps we saw in the previous game when Pouncey came out midway through the first quarter.
Plain and simple, we just didn’t play well enough to win. There were a couple of things that happened offensively, that don’t happen if little things go the other way. For instance, on the first interception Ben threw they were backed up to the 5 yard line because of a bonehead penalty on the kickoff. After the protection broke down, had Ben either thrown a second sooner, or had Kemo held his block for a second longer, Ben makes that throw and that’s a touchdown. If you re-watch the play, Ben actually pump-fakes in order to mess with the Cornerback covering Mike Wallace, and that is the reason the safety came over to that side of the field and makes the interception. No pump fake = no interception.
I think this whole thing about “no one can overthrow Mike Wallace” has gotten in to Ben’s head a bit. It seems to me like when Ben throws to Mike it is widely inaccurate, and I believe that is because he is thinking way too hard about Mike’s speed. There may still be some miscommunication between them and the routs that they are supposed to be running. There have been plenty examples this season of Mike Wallace running the wrong routes. Hopefully that fixes itself as he becomes a veteran WR.
A great example is the second interception that was thrown in the game. It was a tight throw that Ben probably should not have made, but it looked to me like Mike was just overpowered in the fight for the ball. He gave up on it somehow and that is what caused the interception. In general this was a very frustrating game for the Steelers. To drive from their own 15 or 20 to the Packers’ 40 or 35 and come up with no points multiple times is just a killer.
Three turnovers is just too much to overcome, and we still almost overcame it. We had the ball with 2 mins left and a chance to win the game. I mean, I actually thought we were going to see Ben do his thing again. After all that. Unfortunately Wallace couldn’t hear the play calls, and another bonehead penalty set back another great return from Antonio Brown.
I have heard the phrase “its a game of inches” many times, but I never really believed it until I watched this game 3 times. Aaron Rodgers continually turned 8 or 9 yard losses in to 12 yard gains with James Harrison’s arms wrapped around his legs. A half a second from some sacks was enough time for Rodgers to complete huge pass plays up the middle of the field. You just have to give credit to the Packers for playing such a great game. It was truly a well deserved win, as hard as it is to say it.
My mom said something I found to be very interesting. She said, “Well honey, the Steelers pretty much limped in to the playoffs.” Literally, right? Big Ben still had that gigantic shoe on for his broken foot. The offensive line was all banged up and turned around, McFadden was hurt throughout the whole playoffs, Troy, A. Smith, Pouncey, Manny, and others. It really was miraculous that the Steelers were playing when 30 other teams in the NFL were at home watching. It shows the merit and heart of this Pittsburgh Steelers football team, and it makes me excited to see what comes of this team in the future.
For the offseason:
Ben, stay out of trouble. Please.
Lets get this bullshit with the player’s union and the owners worked out so we can be watching football by August. If this thing goes any longer, the NFL is going to be making a big mistake by losing fans for the most popular sport in the world.
Secondary: The Steelers need to draft high in the secondary, they need to sign Ike Taylor, and Butler/Lewis need to step up and get ready to play. Its been two years. Its time.
The Steelers franchise tagged Woodley this week, which I was hoping they would do with Ike. Lets just hope they sign our only competent corner before he leaves for Arizona like every other Steelers player and coach.
Bring back Flozell please. A washed up old offensive lineman to the Cowboys is a great addition to a terrible line in Pittsburgh. We loved having him this year, and sure hope he comes back to make one more run at it.
Dick Lebeau is back. Boom.
My guess is, based on the fact the Steelers went 12-4 and made it to the Super Bowl, that Bruce Arians will be back next year. You’d better learn to deal with it.
Here’s to hoping that we have a football season next year. I will try and think of things to write about in the offseason, but until then, I’ll definitely be active during the draft. See you then.