The Game Ball Thread: AFCCG vs Steelers

Mugsy's Jock

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Well done. Very well done.

Harmon for not quitting on the almost Steelers TD and meeting James at the line.
Also really liked this one, for what in retrospect was arguably the biggest play of the game.

There have been a few general mentions of "Coaching" above, and specific shout-outs to Patricia and Scar -- I'd also like to put McD up on the pedestal. Not often you see the cranky SoSH game-threaders applaud the playcalling, but the first series really set the tone throwing the Steelers on their heels, and the drive that ended in the flea flicker had 3-4 really creative plays mixed in. [Including a double fake handoff that resulted in an incomplete pass when Brady missed Hogan, but it was otherwise beautiful in design and execution.] I'm so glad McDaniels didn't have any worthwhile jobs to take.

And a third game ball to Chip Kelly. Just because.
 

Hoodie Sleeves

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and the drive that ended in the flea flicker had 3-4 really creative plays mixed in. [Including a double fake handoff that resulted in an incomplete pass when Brady missed Hogan, but it was otherwise beautiful in design and execution.] I'm so glad McDaniels didn't have any worthwhile jobs to take..
That drive was fantastically called - although I'm sure we'd be screaming about McDaniels being too cute if it hadn't worked out. That throw to Hogan was terrible though.


Game ball to whoever the hell the Pittsburgh DBs were covering when they weren't covering Hogan.

Game Ball to Nink for the most delicate fumble recovery I've ever seen. He looked like he was trying to help a toddler ride a tricycle.

Game ball to Jonathon Jones for a monstrous ST day.
 

Adrian's Dome

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Haven't read any of this topic. Will catch up in a bit, but just need to get this out of my system:

HOGAN BRADY HOGAN BRADY HOGAN BRADY HOGAN BRADY GOAT

Also, special teams were great. Plus the coaching staff for a clean game and lack of penalties. But seriously, Hogan.
 

Kliq

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Better question is who was bad? Malcolm Mitchell could have hauled in that 3rd down pass? Thuney could have blocked a little better? They could have gotten more heat on Ben? Really as flawless of a game as you could possibly imagine.
 

Kevin Youkulele

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Better question is who was bad? Malcolm Mitchell could have hauled in that 3rd down pass? Thuney could have blocked a little better? They could have gotten more heat on Ben? Really as flawless of a game as you could possibly imagine.
This. In the game thread someone called it a methodical ass-kicking which seems exactly right. Everyone did their job and the lead grew to a very comfortable margin by the end.
 

Ed Hillel

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Better question is who was bad? Malcolm Mitchell could have hauled in that 3rd down pass? Thuney could have blocked a little better? They could have gotten more heat on Ben? Really as flawless of a game as you could possibly imagine.
Announce crew praised him, but I thought Ryan had a rough game. Made a few plays, as well, but maybe even those are penalties with a different crew.

Other than that, not really anybody except I guess Mitchell.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Better question is who was bad? Malcolm Mitchell could have hauled in that 3rd down pass? Thuney could have blocked a little better? They could have gotten more heat on Ben? Really as flawless of a game as you could possibly imagine.
Honestly, I thought the Pats pass rush was all but worthless today. Ended up not mattering but Rothlisberger had all day on just about every drop back.
 

Bowhemian

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Honestly, I thought the Pats pass rush was all but worthless today. Ended up not mattering but Rothlisberger had all day on just about every drop back.
I think that was sort of by design. They didn't want the D-line to commit, to penetrate too far upfield. From what I could tell, at least in the first half it seemed to be that their job was just to maintain position, clog up the holes. They knew Roth was not a threat to run. The D ends stayed in position for contain, to keep Roth from sliding side to side.
 

Phil Plantier

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Announce crew praised him, but I thought Ryan had a rough game. Made a few plays, as well, but maybe even those are penalties with a different crew.
But couldn't you turn that around and say that Ryan was smart enough to realize that the refs were allowing tough defense so he altered his game accordingly?
 

Tony C

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It's funny to me in how a lot of the commentary I'm reading today there are words like surgical and precise to describe the Pats domination. Nothing about passion, hard-hitting, Jones knocking a guy flying onto his ass, Blount leading a rugby scrum to the 1 yard line. Of course they're more disciplined (watching 4 members of the Steelers secondary cover no one while Hogan is standing wide open in the end zone was comical). But the Pats were also tougher. It's as if sports commentators can't move beyond their own cliches: Steelers=tough; Pats=surgical. Analysis=cliche.
 

DJnVa

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I think that was sort of by design. They didn't want the D-line to commit, to penetrate too far upfield. From what I could tell, at least in the first half it seemed to be that their job was just to maintain position, clog up the holes. They knew Roth was not a threat to run. The D ends stayed in position for contain, to keep Roth from sliding side to side.
Also, with the way Bell runs, if you push too far too fast and don't just clog the lanes, Bell (had he not LaDainian Tomlinson'd) would have danced into the holes and taken off.
 

Ed Hillel

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But couldn't you turn that around and say that Ryan was smart enough to realize that the refs were allowing tough defense so he altered his game accordingly?
I guess, but he was toasted on one of the plays and was scrambling to get back. I don't think there was much thought process into it, he was just reacting to catch up to his receiver. He got there early with his back turned. PI by definition, though it wasn't some blatant must call.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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Two small observations I thought were interesting.

First, although Bell was only in the game briefly I think you could see how they were going to try to defend him at the line and it was an interesting wrinkle. It almost seemed like they were battling Bell's trademark patience by having the d-line be exceedingly patient themselves. Rather than having Hightower or Roberts crash the line, I recall the defensive line almost passively engaging with the Steelers o-line because they they knew Bell likes to hesitate behind the line until a hole (or sliver of a hole) opens up for him. Chung was almost in a linebacker type role filling in the gap where they wanted to run. I think they would have done a good job on him over the course of the game had he not gotten injured.

Second, after last year's Stork head bobbing debacle, I thought their use of snap count cadence was interesting. For the entire game they used a slightly delayed snap cadence where Brady would give a hard GO and the snap would come about a half second later. Against a young, inexperienced, and poorly coached defense it seemed to keep them off balance and unable to time the snap.
 

Captaincoop

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Two small observations I thought were interesting.

First, although Bell was only in the game briefly I think you could see how they were going to try to defend him at the line and it was an interesting wrinkle. It almost seemed like they were battling Bell's trademark patience by having the d-line be exceedingly patient themselves. Rather than having Hightower or Roberts crash the line, I recall the defensive line almost passively engaging with the Steelers o-line because they they knew Bell likes to hesitate behind the line until a hole (or sliver of a hole) opens up for him. Chung was almost in a linebacker type role filling in the gap where they wanted to run. I think they would have done a good job on him over the course of the game had he not gotten injured.

Second, after last year's Stork head bobbing debacle, I thought their use of snap count cadence was interesting. For the entire game they used a slightly delayed snap cadence where Brady would give a hard GO and the snap would come about a half second later. Against a young, inexperienced, and poorly coached defense it seemed to keep them off balance and unable to time the snap.
It might have been a shutout if Bell had played the whole game. They looked incredibly well-prepared for him. The change to Williams was the only spark they got on offense, however brief.
 

PaulinMyrBch

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Special shoutout to the Pittsburgh defensive coaching staff, who put a game plan together to defend the Pats/Brady the exact same way they've been burned every other time we've played them. So for all the defensive minds in the room who gave the thumbs up on zone coverage the entire game, you are yes men of the highest order. Afraid to carve out your own path in life, and willing to be part of the mass staff firing that is likely to come when the Rooney's realize not one person spoke up when Keith Butler looked around and said "Anyone here think of any reason why we shouldn't just roll zone coverage the entire game?" Game balls all around.
 

Super Nomario

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I think that was sort of by design. They didn't want the D-line to commit, to penetrate too far upfield. From what I could tell, at least in the first half it seemed to be that their job was just to maintain position, clog up the holes. They knew Roth was not a threat to run. The D ends stayed in position for contain, to keep Roth from sliding side to side.
I've heard of playing contain on guys who can run; I've never heard of playing it on guys who can't. And Roethlisberger had plenty of room to move in the pocket, and did at times. And I don't care what the approach is, zero sacks on 47 dropbacks is terrible. But the DL did a great job against the run. Bell being out helped, sure, but Williams is a pretty good RB and they held him to 14 carries for 34 yards.

Sort of similar on the other side of the ball - the pass protection was pretty good most of the day, excepting the play where Hargrave ate Thuney's lunch, but they could not get the Steelers blocked up in the run game at all. Someone was in the backfield hitting the RB behind the LOS almost every play. It was ugly.

Brady's numbers were great, but he was even better than the numbers. There were 3-4 drops, a spike, a couple throwaways, the play where Mitchell should have but couldn't tap his feet in bounds - he only made a couple off throws all night. The closest he came to throwing a pick was the ball that went through Mitchell's hands. Steelers defenders were credited with zero pass breakups as a team.
 

dcmissle

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It's funny to me in how a lot of the commentary I'm reading today there are words like surgical and precise to describe the Pats domination. Nothing about passion, hard-hitting, Jones knocking a guy flying onto his ass, Blount leading a rugby scrum to the 1 yard line. Of course they're more disciplined (watching 4 members of the Steelers secondary cover no one while Hogan is standing wide open in the end zone was comical). But the Pats were also tougher. It's as if sports commentators can't move beyond their own cliches: Steelers=tough; Pats=surgical. Analysis=cliche.
Must not have appreciated post-game panel on CBS -- with Cowher (of all people) saying Pats dominated line play on offense and defense.
 

weeba

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This. In the game thread someone called it a methodical ass-kicking which seems exactly right. Everyone did their job and the lead grew to a very comfortable margin by the end.
That was me. There was a little bit of flash during that game (not as much as in ATL/GB), but generally it was a 60 minute, end to end ass kicking.
 

Jettisoned

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Brady's numbers were great, but he was even better than the numbers. There were 3-4 drops, a spike, a couple throwaways, the play where Mitchell should have but couldn't tap his feet in bounds - he only made a couple off throws all night. The closest he came to throwing a pick was the ball that went through Mitchell's hands. Steelers defenders were credited with zero pass breakups as a team.
Brady made one really bad throw on the fake end around, where he threw it behind a wide open Amendola. Would have gone for 20+. Other than that he was pretty much perfect.
 

Byrdbrain

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Yeah it was Hogan he threw behind. I think Tom threw it exactly where he wanted to on that one, he just thought Hogan was going to sit in the zone and instead he kept moving.
 

Stitch01

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I've heard of playing contain on guys who can run; I've never heard of playing it on guys who can't. And Roethlisberger had plenty of room to move in the pocket, and did at times. And I don't care what the approach is, zero sacks on 47 dropbacks is terrible. But the DL did a great job against the run. Bell being out helped, sure, but Williams is a pretty good RB and they held him to 14 carries for 34 yards.

Sort of similar on the other side of the ball - the pass protection was pretty good most of the day, excepting the play where Hargrave ate Thuney's lunch, but they could not get the Steelers blocked up in the run game at all. Someone was in the backfield hitting the RB behind the LOS almost every play. It was ugly.

Brady's numbers were great, but he was even better than the numbers. There were 3-4 drops, a spike, a couple throwaways, the play where Mitchell should have but couldn't tap his feet in bounds - he only made a couple off throws all night. The closest he came to throwing a pick was the ball that went through Mitchell's hands. Steelers defenders were credited with zero pass breakups as a team.
Agree with all of this. On the bolded, it seemed more often to be guys missing assignments than getting physically blown up as there were just guys straight up unblocked in the backfield. Curious what the Steelers were doing up front.

Steelers were often playing way off the outside WR's, particularly Hogan, which was curious. On the first down play where Brady just threw it to Hogan at the snap the DB was lined up 15 yards off.
 

Hoodie Sleeves

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I've heard of playing contain on guys who can run; I've never heard of playing it on guys who can't. And Roethlisberger had plenty of room to move in the pocket, and did at times. And I don't care what the approach is, zero sacks on 47 dropbacks is terrible. But the DL did a great job against the run. Bell being out helped, sure, but Williams is a pretty good RB and they held him to 14 carries for 34 yards..
I just don't understand this perspective. Sacks are a means to an end - screwing up the passing game.

They took a top 10 NFL offense and held them to 9 points during the meaningful part of the game. They did that by dropping lots of guys back into coverage, doubling some of the better options, blanketing the receivers, and occasionally blitzing. They forced Ben to decide between non-productive checkdowns, and risky throws downfield into double coverage.

Sometimes he took the checkdowns, and the offense moved a bit until a play got blown up. Sometimes he took the shots downfield (and got picked on one, and had a couple other picks dropped).

He ended up 16/22 for 136 yards in the first half. That's 8.5 yards per completion and 6 yards per attempt. (Ben:11.5 ypc, 7.5 ypa on the season).

6.2 YPA is Blake-fucking-bortles - only Bortles put up 10.5 Ypc. They turned Roethlisberger into a more checkdown-y version of Blake Bortles and people are upset they didn't sack him more?
 

Toe Nash

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Must not have appreciated post-game panel on CBS -- with Cowher (of all people) saying Pats dominated line play on offense and defense.
Nantz or Simms mentioned the physicality too towards the end of the game (as terrible as they are).
 

joe dokes

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It was a bad throw, but I doubt that play is designed so that if Hogan is wide open in a zone, he should keep running straight into coverage.
My first thought was bad throw, but on replay I wondered if Brady threw it back shoulder/behind him, so that Hogan wouldn't get blown up by the lurking DB.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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I just don't understand this perspective. Sacks are a means to an end - screwing up the passing game.

They took a top 10 NFL offense and held them to 9 points during the meaningful part of the game. They did that by dropping lots of guys back into coverage, doubling some of the better options, blanketing the receivers, and occasionally blitzing. They forced Ben to decide between non-productive checkdowns, and risky throws downfield into double coverage.

Sometimes he took the checkdowns, and the offense moved a bit until a play got blown up. Sometimes he took the shots downfield (and got picked on one, and had a couple other picks dropped).

He ended up 16/22 for 136 yards in the first half. That's 8.5 yards per completion and 6 yards per attempt. (Ben:11.5 ypc, 7.5 ypa on the season).

6.2 YPA is Blake-fucking-bortles - only Bortles put up 10.5 Ypc. They turned Roethlisberger into a more checkdown-y version of Blake Bortles and people are upset they didn't sack him more?
The defense playing well overall and the pass rush being fairly poor are not mutually exclusive.
 

Stitch01

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I just don't understand this perspective. Sacks are a means to an end - screwing up the passing game.

They took a top 10 NFL offense and held them to 9 points during the meaningful part of the game. They did that by dropping lots of guys back into coverage, doubling some of the better options, blanketing the receivers, and occasionally blitzing. They forced Ben to decide between non-productive checkdowns, and risky throws downfield into double coverage.

Sometimes he took the checkdowns, and the offense moved a bit until a play got blown up. Sometimes he took the shots downfield (and got picked on one, and had a couple other picks dropped).

He ended up 16/22 for 136 yards in the first half. That's 8.5 yards per completion and 6 yards per attempt. (Ben:11.5 ypc, 7.5 ypa on the season).

6.2 YPA is Blake-fucking-bortles - only Bortles put up 10.5 Ypc. They turned Roethlisberger into a more checkdown-y version of Blake Bortles and people are upset they didn't sack him more?
He had deep shots against single coverage, they just didnt hit them. That's fine, the Pats neutralized Brown and the running backs and that's the right approach to beating the Steelers, the secondary options were pretty bad. I dont really understand the confusion though, I dont think 2 hurries on 47 passes or whatever was the production the coaching staff was looking for. It was a good defensive effort overall though.
 

dcmissle

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Nantz or Simms mentioned the physicality too towards the end of the game (as terrible as they are).
I missed that. One reaches the point where the mute button must be activated.

That happens with me when the announcers' disappointment with Pats' foes' screw ups is palpable -- so obvious that it's indicative of bias. And that happened with Simms and the Ben INT.

If they want to be cheerleaders for good plays - great. And I'll endure it even if it's obviously unbalanced. But when expressed disappointment = "dammit, you just M-F'ed a chance to beat the team I'm rooting against", the tv is muted or I walk away.
 

InstaFace

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Josh and Matty P coming back next year. LOL NFL. This is like the 03-04 Pats. Let's win 3 outta 4 again. Then Josh and Matty P can leave and TB12 and BB can retire

"It would be hard for me to express to you exactly how un-fucking-likely that is."

BB maybe, but TB is a long way from the end of his road. Which is incredible and ridiculous, but also fact.

Not enough has been said here about Blount, who avoided negative plays and made me scream like an 8-year-old at the play where he drove a ruck of like 6 defenders about 8 yards to the 1 yard line.

I have nothing else to add except to amplify the praise for KFP. He was the ManilaSoxFan of recent Pats playoff gamethreads, which in light of recent events is about as high a compliment as can be had around here. Except maybe a little drunker.