Send your postgame critiques, analysis, ranting and raving about the last game as well as your predictions, smak, & insults about our upcoming opponent. Whether your message is a simple, "These guys SUCK," or a detailed, in-depth analysis, tell us what you think.
Key Stats & Facts|
Kneel O'Dummell 13 of 27, 48% comp, 237 yds, 0 TD, 3 Int: Kneel finally got the beating he deserved at the hands of the Steelers. Yeah, we lost the game, but Kneel got is ass thoroughly kicked, exorcising at least one demon for our beloved Steelers.
Steve McNair 3 of 3, 100% comp, 55 yds, 1 TD: Well, if there was a QB controversy brewing in Nashville, it ended in one fell swoop when McNair replaced the bungling O'Dollar and engineered the Titan's final game-winning drive.
Jerome Bettis 19 att, 77 yards, 4.1 avg, 1 TD: I couldn't be more proud of the Bus, who bounced back from a 19-yd first half to dominate the Titans in the 2nd half. Jerome is a class act... he always gives a 100% and never complains, in spite of running behind a very suspect line. Man, I hope we find a way to keep him.
Kent Graham 19 of 33, 58% comp, 254 yds, 0 TD, 0 Int: Graham showed a lot of resillience after what happened last week in Cleveland, and played a very solid game against a top-notch opponent. Let's hope his hip injury isn't too serious.
Chad Scott 2 Ints, DeWayne Washington 1 Int: Our DBs finally came up with some big plays, but continued to give up big plays, especially early. There were far too many breakdowns on 3rd & long, and the lack of awareness displayed by this unit on that fateful final drive by McNair was deplorable. Still, I can't help but be encouraged by what I saw from Scott, Washington, & Flowers today.
Loveable Losers Again, but with Dignity|
Article by McMillen & Wife
Who'da thunk it? Jason Gildon knocks Kneel O'Dollar (who with 3 INTs and a 48% completion rate played like he thought he was in the Super Bowl) into the middle of next week, and we end up regretting it. Ah, such is life with our beloved Steelers.
That's the kinda of year we're faced with, my friends... fleeting bright spots amidst a sea of darkness. But hey, it was an exciting, competitive game against a QUALITY opponent, and under the circumstances, that's about as much as we can ask. Honestly, I enjoyed the game in spite of the loss. And if you look closely, there's even a bit of satisfaction we Steeler fans can take out of what happened on the tartan polyturf (or whatever the announcers always like to call it) at the Confluence on Sunday.
This team is NOT quitting. Yes, they're losing... yes, they're making critical mistakes... but these Steelers are fighting tooth and nail for the full 60 minutes. They are showing HEART, an ingredient that was conspicuously absent during the previous two seasons. It's nice to see some of that old-fashioned Pittsburgh-esque grittiness back in the mix, regardless of the final score.
I realize we're 0-3 with all of the losses coming in our division (and likely a 4th coming next week at the hands of the Jagwads). But were the playoffs ever a viable option for this team? No way. I think Bill Cowher's primary goal coming into this season was obvious: develop the young, talented players we have, and teach them to play HARD for the duration... 100% no matter what. Jerome Bettis & Levon Kirkland are providing incredible examples for their teammates, and that kind of dedication can't help but rub off. We're not THAT far away from contending again, and with the high draft picks we're likely to "earn" this year, I think we're closer than most fans think.
Take heart in this loss, folks. Our time is coming sooner than you think. The Steelers are NOT the Bengals... this malaise will be gone and forgotten in a couple of years. And I, for one, can't wait!
Having said all this, I do want to analyze/criticize a few aspects of the game.
The sleepwalking early in the game on defense has GOT to stop. This is the second straight week where the opposing offense came out & scored on its first two possessions. I'm glad to see the team adjusting and subsequently slowing our opponents down, but until we quit digging these deep holes for ourselves, we're not gonna win any games.
If I see another unimaginative draw play in the red zone, especially on 3rd down or when time is a factor, I'm going to EXPLODE. How many times must Cowher & Gilbride watch their RBs be swarmed under for sizable losses before they figure this out?
Jerome Bettis. Jerome, I am so proud of you, I could... well, on second thought, I think I'll leave the kissing to Cowher. The Bus is a true team leader who is playing with as much heart and intensity under adverse conditions as any player I've ever seen. Bettis had only 19 yards at halftime, but finished with 77 yards, much of it all on his own. And the guy NEVER whines or complains, NEVER lashes out at his misguided critics, and NEVER, EVER quits. For the 2nd straight week, you get my game ball, Jerome. You are a class act.
Chad Scott, you are my hero! Any player who intercepts Kneel O'Dummell twice oughta at least be worthy of Super MVP honors... just ask Larry Brown.
Did anyone else notice that good things started happening for Bettis once Shar Pourdanesh replaced the injured Marvel Smith at OT? Coincidence? I suspect the coaches will be taking a good, hard look at it on film this week. I also liked the way Shar was in Jevon Kearse's face (among others) after every play.
Hines Ward deserves to remain the starter opposite Burress. He has clearly outperformed 1999 #1 draft choice Troy Edwards (not to mention Burress), who continues to disappoint. Why is it that prima donna players like Burress & Edwards always whine and complain when faced with adversity, and guys like Ward don't?
Kent Graham -- gritty performance, finally won me over. DeWayne Washington -- nice pick, dude. Josh Miller -- solidified his position on the Pro Bowl squad. Bobby Shaw -- nice fumble inside the Titan 15, dude... are you sure the "S" on your chest stands for "Super"?
As I've said before, there's dignity in losing with class. That's what the Steelers did Sunday, and I applaud them for their effort. Plus, it did my heart good to see O'Donnell spitting blood on the sideline. On that note, I'm outta here. Next up: the Jagwads and 0-4. As long as we play hard for 60 minutes, I can deal with it.
Webmaster McMillen and Wife
Fan Smak & Analysis|
The following articles are listed in the order they were received (with the most recent entries at the top). This isn't a "guestbook" format... I read and manually insert every message, so you may not see your submission show up immediately. Thanks a million for your comments, people!
Submitted by Tommy "Fleetwood 'N' Julio" Coleman
Oh, My, My,
Mommie sez Yes,
Kneel, put on that PARTY DRESS!
At least we got the kick off this week!
Submitted by MANDINGO128
THERE IS NO PRIDE IN LOSING, BUT IT FELT GOOD NOT TO BE ASHAMED OF THE
STEELERS PERFORMANCE. SURE THEY CONTINUE TO MAKE CRITICAL MISTAKES ON BOTH
SIDES OF THE BALL, BUT THE PLAYED WITH HEART AND EMOTION.
THEY WERE UP AGAINST THE DEFENDING A.F.C. CHAMPS, AND THEY TOOK
IT TO THEM! HINES WARD, THE BUS, FU, WHITMAN, GILDON, FLOWERS AND SCOTT WERE
ALL GREAT, ESPECIALLY WARD!
WE'VE GOT TO STOP GIVING UP THE BIG PLAYS AND
START SHUTTING OFFENSES DOWN ON THIRD AND LONG. I'M WAITING FOR PORTER TO
TURN IT UP. I CANT FIGURE OUT SCOTT SHIELDS. HE HAS THE SIZE, SPEED, AND
RANGE BUT ALWAYS SEEMS TO BE OUT OF PLACE WHEN A BIG PLAY OCCURS AND DOESNT
HIT AS HARD AS YOU WOULD THINK FOR HIS SIZE. WE ARE NOT SUPER BOWL BOUND,
BUT WE ARE NOT AS BAD AS WE SOMETIMES APPEAR. I WOULD LOVE TO SEE KORDELL
RETURN TO HIS SLASH ROLE. I AGREE WITH MANY THAT HE DOESNT HAVE A FUTURE IN
PITTSBURGH AS A QB BUT HE STILL IS ONE OF THE BEST TALENTS ON THE TEAM. WE
NEED BIG PLAY PEOPLE.
Submitted by Tallahassee Joe
The steelers looked good. kent is getting a handle on the offense and we justbeat ourselves. take away half of the mistakes and we win this game. it did my heart good to see kordell getting cheered. i think if the steelers put him in a run and gun syle offense with him back in the shotgun it would help him with his field vision . HERE WE GO STEELERS HERE WE GO !!!!!!!!!!!!! WHERE COMING BACK!!!!!!!!!!! LOOKOUT FAGUARS
Submitted by Bob
Well, at least they got the field goal squad on the field. I think Plaxico and Edwards should take a lesson off of Hines Ward. Keep your mouth shut and play the game. Plaxico has been mouthing off almost as much as Keyshawn all week, and dropped quite a few catchable balls. I was nice to see the Bus put a couple good games in a row together.
Submitted by Paul Schellhammer
I am very proud of our team. They played very hard against a superior opponent but came up just a bit short. The biggest difference I see regarding where the Titans are going and where the Steelers are going is in potential...most of the Steelers played up to theirs while the Titans did not. Can the Steelers be better? Yes. Are they a playoff caliber team? No. We just do not have the talent and developed potential that the rest of the division has (except the Bengals!).
This is, in my mind, easily attributed to poor drafting. We just haven't
had the same success as we did before in replacing the personnel lost to
free agency. Stop me when you hear someone going to the Pro Bowl...Shields,
Zereoue, Edwards, Dingle, Wiggins, George Jones, Rod Manuel, Blackwell,
Staat, Conrad, Simmons, Jahine Arnold, and Spence Fischer. That doesn't
even include the biggest bust of all, Jamain Stephens. The 96 draft yielded
4 excellent players (Holmes, Witman, Roye, and Emmons), 2 of which are
starters for other teams, while the 97 draft was a bust with only Chad Scott
and Mike Vrabel to show for it (one could argue that only Scott is worthy of
recognition there). The 98 draft seems to have turned out only average with
Faneca, Hines Ward and Fu being the only quality picks. It's probably
unfair to judge the class of 99 but Kris Brown appears to be the best pick
followed by Joey Porter. I'm still waiting for Troy Edwards to do something
worthy of a first round pick. Taking a look at this year's draft, 2 of the
9 didn't make the roster, they don't throw the ball to Plaxico, and Marvel
and Clancy are hurt. Tee Martin is a wasted pick because the Steelers
likely will get a high draft choice next year and will (hopefully) use it on
a QB. Of the 4 drafts 96-99, only 19 of 35 are still on the Steelers and if
you remove the class of 99, only 11 of 26 remain on the roster.
Let's say a prayer that some of these players will start overachieving.
Otherwise we may be first in the Drew Brees/Michael Vick sweepstakes...wait,
maybe that's not such a bad thing.
Watchin on the satellite and bleedin black and gold,
Submitted by Steve Massey
Well, I really had my hopes up in this one, but we couldn't quite pull it off.
Man, parts of that game were like old times. Chad Scott intercepting that
pass at the goal and getting all those blocks, then getting mugged with high
fives and hugs on the sideline. Players knocking Titans O U T. They must have
put 5 or 6 out....and that was when we had the ball. Bettis cutting through
holes, Lethon knocking over guys like Bowling pins.
You can feel it. Things are happening. Wins are going to come. I haven't seen
them play like that in two years....
- Steve Massey
Submitted by Oz in Chargerland
It's my fault the Steelers lost again this week. I stopped wearing my lucky Steeler underwear.
Oz in Chargerland
Submitted by Keith Thomas
If last week's loss was a dumb loss, this weeks can be called a
Let's face it, they could have won, just as they could have won last
We could be 2-1 and mathematically tied for the division lead.
Instead, we're 0-3 and in the basement.
A lot can be taken from these last two games, some of it bad, some of it
good, there are many more things that will become what the Steelers make
On the negative front you first have to look at the way the Titans
marched down the field and scored in essentially the two plays on their
first possession. This is what Cleveland did last week. Clearly,
you're never going to get ANYWHERE in the NFL if you spot the opposing
team a TD on their first possession. The defense did clamp down after
the Titans got up 10-0, but it is imperative that the Defense start
setting the tone early in the game.
I don't know the numbers, but I thought the run containment was pretty
good. (With the exception of George's Waltz into the endzone.)
However, our pass rush is next to non-existent. (And when we finally
did get to that chump, Kneel O'Dummel it ended up hurting us.) The
defensive staff must find a way to generate more of a pass rush.
Our secondary is still giving up too many big plays. Scott Shields,
like fellow second round pick Jeremy Saat is starting to look like
another Donahoe bust.
For first time in recent memory, Josh Miller was not the offensive MVP
for a two consecutive week. And that is good.
It is good that Graham started to throw at Plaxico. It is bad that
Plaxico dropped most of those balls. Hines Ward continues to impress.
Troy Edwards also looked good, both in pass catching and in returning
kicks. Bobby Shaw looked OK, but he should know enough at this point to
PROTECT THE BALL.
I liked the way the run blocking continues to improve. It wasn't
consistent, but Bettis did have daylight to run in. While I thought
that while Graham is still taking far too much pressure, we did a decent
job of naturalizing Kearse.
Jason Gildon's been a streaky player for us. Today he looked like he
was getting on to one of his "on" streaks. He was on the ball and had
several tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
Chad Scott continues to impress the hell out of me.
I don't know what his numbers were, but Jerome Bettis continues to
silence those who say he's lost a step. Bettis brings so much to this
team with his work ethnic and his bruising style of play. Moreover,
Bettis has a lot of heart, and a lot of desire. Quite simply, he is a
winner. The Steelers need winners on this team, and they will let
Bettis leave as a free agent at their peril.
All of the positives not withstanding, this is another winnable game
that was lost. A win would have given this young team some confidence.
These types of frustrating losses can cut one of two ways. They can
collectively snowball down on-top of each other, to a point where a team
will collectively, and inevitably find ways to lose. The alternative is
that they can serve as opportunities for growth, motivation and
ultimately serve to focus a team toward winning.
Again, it is on Bill Cowher's shoulders to see that this team chooses
Submitted by Joe Roberts
This game was the perfect illustration of the difference between a good team (the Titans) and a bad team (the Steelers). A good team, even if they're not playing well, will usually find a way to win a close ball game. A bad team, even if they're playing over their heads, will usually find a way to lose the game. Such was the case in today's game. Despite giving it a game effort the Steelers came up short once again in the fourth quarter. They found a way to lose or the Titans found a way to win depending on how one looks at things.
Today's game showed that while the Steelers have improved somewhat from their first two outings they still have a long way to go. There's no rest for the weary and this game effort won't mean squat next week against the Jagwads if the Steelers regress. Moral victories are for the birds along with Saints and Bungles fans. It's time to get some wins on the board. The clock is ticking on the Cowher Era in Pittsburgh. Next week it could strike midnight. Let's all hope the Steelers are ready.
Submitted by Michael DeLancey
Wow. What a game. Today I was damn proud of this team. We beat the hell out of the Titans only to lose a heart-breaker. The defense made its usual mistakes of giving up those 2 big plays but other than that they STUFFED the Titans. The offensive line really played well, and the Bus aint dead yet. I think this team is getting better each week although the standings don't show it. We may not have as much talent as we would like but we do have all the HEART any team could have. We wont make the playoffs but we Will surprise some of the playoff bound teams....watch out Jacksonville Oh well, back to crying in my beer.
Visit my web page at http://www.steelergridiron.com
Back to McMillen & Wife's
Weekly Picks by
'Da Lovely Wife
Week 4 Picks