Now that you’ve wrapped your mind around that, let’s get down to it. Let’s get down to explaining Steelers 37, Lions 27.
This Steelers starting offensive line would be the fifth different combination to open a game in front of
So of course, Roethlisberger was sacked only once and generally had sufficient time to make enough plays to convert on third and fourth downs, to get the ball into the end zone four times, to operate in a no-huddle, modified hurry-up offense throughout the entire game. When it was over, Ndamukong Suh had no tackles, no sacks, no pressures, nothing even to put him on the radar of the NFL’s fine police.
Also because of Woodley and Keisel and their combined seven sacks and 37 pressures being inactive, and with the defense’s apparent aversion to taking the ball away, the manner in which the Steelers figured to deal with Calvin Johnson was by choking off the down-the-field splash plays and force Matthew Stafford to dink-and-dunk his way down the field.
There wasn’t much to go according to script last Sunday at Heinz Field, and so the plan now is to abandon any attempt at explaining things. Describing them might be more appropriate.
What the Steelers showed against the Lions was an offense capable of becoming the team’s dominant unit, and a defense that finally was more opportunistic than stingy.
This description is precisely what the Steelers need themselves to be through what’s left of this 2013 season if they are to avoid a TKO in their ongoing fight for relevancy.
Maybe letting Roethlisberger operate things exclusively from the no-huddle is the way to go, because there was a nice mix of instances where the ball was out of his hand quickly and plays that he extended before getting it to an open receiver. Maybe fast and loose is the best tempo for the defense because it provides more opportunities to make the kind of splash plays that have the best chance of actually impacting the outcome.
It’s not the optimum situation for the Steelers to be finished with their 10th game of the regular season and still be involved in the process of finding themselves.
What does offer them some hope though is that what they found in the victory over the Lions can be put to good use.
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