Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

01 Feb 2011

ESPN AGS: Lessons from Pittsburgh's Losses

Here's the second part of our look at what cost Green Bay and Pittsburgh in their 2010 losses. Based on a cursory glance, it looks like Pittsburgh's weaknesses don't quite match up with Green Bay's strengths.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 01 Feb 2011

11 comments, Last at 07 Feb 2011, 3:53pm by morrongiello


by Vicious Chicken Of Bristol (not verified) :: Tue, 02/01/2011 - 5:10pm

Anyone who actually pays for ESPN Insider care to summarize?

by drobviousso :: Tue, 02/01/2011 - 5:27pm

Sure: I watched for Amazon to have a sale on ESPN: The Magazine for $5 a year, which comes with insider access. Once I got the first issue, there was a code on the shipping label of the mag that I entered on the webiste, and now I have ESPN Insider access.

by dmb :: Tue, 02/01/2011 - 5:53pm

I have a relative who actually likes to read the ESPN magazine, so we shared the cost of a subscription; he gets the hard copy, and I get to read FO, John Hollinger, and the occasional KC Joyner / Scouts, Inc. / Magazine piece that piques my interest.

by Dej (not verified) :: Tue, 02/01/2011 - 6:37pm

Yes: The Steelers haven't played a bad game all year, but when they lose they usually give up yards to tall receivers, and their running game disappears. Neither are areas the Packers are particularly able to exploit.

And on the Insider thing I recommend having slickdeals.net notify you when ESPN The Magazine deals become available. I got 3 years for $6. At 17 cents per month, I think Insider is worth it (I would question its value at 42 cents per month however).

by Vicious Chicken Of Bristol (not verified) :: Wed, 02/02/2011 - 10:45am

Thanks. I would argue that they play a bad game against the Patriots, but other than that the analysis is pretty accurate. I think this should be a good game. I dont think there are any significant mismatches, both the Steelers pass D and Packers run D have been performing better of late. Two great D's, two great QB's, should be one to remember.

I may look into the deal you mentioned...i can probably justify paying 17 cents a month for it.

by Jonah Jamison (not verified) :: Wed, 02/02/2011 - 2:00pm

One thing about the Patriots game. The Steelers were coming off three straight road games, with the final one being a Monday night affair against the Bengals. Given the age of the defense, I suspect they simply were not up for the test, mentally and physically, against the Patriots given the short week. The Patriots ran effectively on the defense and Brady was accurate and efficient. Having one less day to prepare and recover isn't a recipe for success against the Patriots, who possess perhaps the finest coach in the league.

It also didn't help that they decided to play a soft zone against Brady and rush only 3. Given his accuracy and vision, that's not an approach that is often successful (the Jets did something similar, but ran hybrid man/zone coverage schemes).

by t.d. :: Wed, 02/02/2011 - 4:15am

Looks like a toss-up, just like last year (and unlike most recent years)

by bengt (not verified) :: Wed, 02/02/2011 - 11:07am

I have put together a look at Pittsburgh's losses, to study how competitive they were in losing (this is of course not meant to be an argument that they could have gone undefeated, mind you):

Against Baltimore in week 4, the Steelers, leading 17 to 14, had a 1st and 10 on their own three with 2:40 to play in the fourth quarter and Baltimore down to one timeout.
Against New Orleans in week 8, Heath Miller lost a fumble at the New Orleans 34, having reached a first down, with 6:24 remaining in the fourth quarter and the Steelers trailing 13 to 10.
Against New England in week 10, Ben Roethlisberger threw a pick six at his 32, trailing 23-10 with 8:42 and three timeouts remaining.
Against the New York Jets in week 15, the Steelers had two potential TD throws into the end zone that were dropped, trailing 22-17 with ten seconds to play. They could have kicked a field goal to go to overtime if not for a safety by the Jets with 2:45 to go.

by Mark Pitcavage (not verified) :: Wed, 02/02/2011 - 2:05pm

I wish FO would not put links to pay sites. It just wastes my time to click on the link only to find out that they expect me to pay to read the article.

by dmb :: Wed, 02/02/2011 - 2:18pm

I wish people would stop complaining about this when it has been stated over and over and over again that anything with "ESPN" in the title is a pay site, because FO works for ESPN Insider.

by morrongiello :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 3:53pm

Ah, the old 'complain on the internet about something not being free'. Excellent choice.