Watch: Steelers Vs Patriots Initial Analysis

Back at it to break down the Pittsburgh Steelers disappointing 27-24 loss Sunday to the New England Patriots. We discuss how the offense stayed afloat without Antonio Brown, where the defense went wrong, and a reminder the season is not over nor is the sky falling.

As always, let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

About the Author

Alex Kozora
Full-time blogger from mom's basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.
  • L Garou

    Bottom line. That horrible pass by Ben lost the game, not James’ inability to control the ball.
    Yes the incomplete call was right because it was clear the ball was on the ground.
    Stupid rule which has already changed the outcome of more than a couple playoff games.
    The NFL is a bureaucrat plague just like the government and everything else.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Disagree. On just about each of your points.

  • CP72

    Was it a terrible decision by Ben…absolutely. We also have no chance of even having an opportunity to win the game without his excellent play to that point.

    If the James touchdown counts we might be talking about Ben for MVP.

  • Phil Brenneman II

    The call wasn’t right based on how the rule is written and what it is supposed to take to overturn a call. They got it wrong, point blank.

    With that being said, other things cost us the game just as much as that did.

    If Davis catches that INT the game is over. If Davis wasn’t bad and Butler adjusted his coverages maybe the Pats don’t score a TD. Get rid of those 2 things and that decision is never in the refs hands to get wrong in the first place.

  • L Garou

    Did Ben throw a bonehead game losing interception in the end zone or was I dreaming? Did the ball hit the ground or was I dreaming?0.
    Didn’t anyone ever teach you how to lose like a man, not a whiner,
    or am I dreaming?

  • L Garou

    Riiiiight Phil. Everyone is wrong except you
    If, if, if, if, if, and if Ben had thrown the ball away instead of pulling a Brian Sipe, who knows? ..

  • L Garou

    49-0 or 27-24. Same difference. Loss.

  • CP72

    I know you’re trolling or angry or maybe both. Let’s just agree to disagree.

  • Phil Brenneman II

    How would everyone be wrong when a lot of people agree with me? All of those people are right as well. But since you disagree maybe you can answer these questions I have been asking. Here is the relevant part of the rule:

    “If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball until after his initial contact with the ground”

    Key word here is “initial”. Where in the rule is ‘initial’ explained or defined because I can’t find it so I just revert back to the actual definition of the word which is “of or relating to the beginning”.

    If we go back and watch the clip I think we can both agree that Jesse James demonstrates control as his shin/knee are on the ground. He even pulls the ball into his chest. He then reaches forward to try and cross the goal line. Can we agree that was the sequence of events?

    Lets say for now that you do agree on the sequence, at what point is the NFL defining initial in this case because if it isn’t his knee or shin that counts why isn’t it made clear in the rules that initial contact with the ground only counts if a certain percentage of your body is touching? And given that it isn’t clear in the rules that means they made a subjective decision that doesn’t follow the rule as it is literally and specifically written. He had control during and after “intitial” contact and only lost control after he mad the move to reach over the goal line.

    So is there a set amount of seconds he has to hold it after intitial contact because I didn’t see that in the rule either? Is it 3 seconds?

  • L Garou

    I saw it immediately, before any replay. The ball touching the ground with his hand beside it, not under. I knew it was incomplete when it happened and after the first replay it was confirmed.
    So did the reviewers see it..

  • Phil Brenneman II

    So what you are saying is you can’t answer the questions.

    Got it.

  • The Tony

    Immediately? Didn’t they take about three minutes reviewing the play?

  • L Garou

    Yeah, you got everything but the win..
    Because Ben pulled a Brian Sipe. Get over it.

  • Phil Brenneman II

    It is a legit question if you can’t answer it just admit you are wrong. I’m not judging you for it.

    Like I said, I know other plays cost us the game but that doesn’t make you any less wrong on this point.

  • The Tony

    Good way to defend Gronk. The NFL having the balls to suspend him for his hit on White and not let him play vs the Steelers. A one game suspension was ridiculous. But no, the NFL wants to market their stars and make their money.

  • L Garou

    “I saw it immediately, before any replay” As in, when it happened.
    My first sentence.
    Reading comprehension, Tony..

  • kdubs412

    At this point saying “it’s tough” in regards to doubling gronk is not a satisfactory excuse. It’s the NFL. Lots of things are tough. And lots of teams have managed to double gronk effectively in spite of the patriots’ scheming. Their failure to adapt yet again is a major reason why they lost.

  • L Garou

    Not other plays. The LAST PLAY cost the game..
    The Brian Sipe play.

  • The Tony

    I’d say throwing short to DHB four yards from the end zone was a pretty bone headed play too.

  • Phil Brenneman II

    Nah, it was multiple things. We never even get to that if Davis doesn’t drop that INT so you can start the blame there. Next step is Butler not adjusting and let Davis get cashed for close to 70 yards in 3 plays. Then of course you move onto the refs getting the call wrong.

    Point is, that ball shouldn’t have been in Bens hands to begin with. So yes he is definitely part of the loss but only a fraction of it.

  • Phil Brenneman II

    I disagree. The hope is DHB can win the edge with his speed there or at least get out of bounds. DB made a nice play.

  • The Tony

    I was hoping for a fade (which I normally hate) to MB since he was on fire. Or just get the ball to either JuJu or Bell. Use your best players in that instance.

  • Daniel Graziano

    Alex – you mentioned a bad scheme on defense: Steelers are in a bind without Shazier. Covering Gronk with Sean Davis is plan B. Having Shazier allows you to cover Gronk with 2 high safeties, and in turn would have allowed us to double Gronk on occasion. Covering Gronk with a safety leaves 1 high to defend the whole field.

    Defensively, I have the biggest problem with the play of Mike Mitchell. When you play man with 1 high safety the idea is to play slot receivers/in line tight ends outside in to funnel them to the 1 high free safety, expecting help at the top of the route. I thought Sean Davis did a half decent job of that yesterday, Mitchell was often out of the camera shot at the point of the catch. (There were several instances where he is at least 10 yards away from Gronk at the catch.) The 2nd and 10 play in the 4th quarter with 2:01 left is actually the best example of this. The Steelers are in a dime look with both Mitchell and Gay showing a man under 2 deep shell presnap. At the snap, it looks like they under over it, with Gay robbing anything intermediate and Mitchell robbing anything deep. At the snap of the ball Mitchell is centered up between 25/30 yards off the ball and getting in to a backpedal. Gay watches Brady’s eyes and reacts to an out route at about 10 yards. As the rush develops, Brady has a lane to step up and does, finding Gronk about 25 yards from the line of scrimmage, Mitchell isn’t pictured in the shot until Davis drags Gronk down by his ankles. If Mike Mitchell flat foot reads from his 25/30 yard depth, he is there to break up that pass if Brady decides to throw in to bracketed coverage. But Mitchell in a full speed pedal doesn’t help anyone. Be deeper than the deepest is the general rule of thumb, but being 10-15 yards deeper than the deepest Patriot isn’t helping anyone. He’s covering grass on most of his center field snaps.

    Gronk didn’t run a single out breaking route yesterday. Gronk either ran a fade, or a route that broke across the ball. The Pats knew that there would be a void in coverage if Gronk could get across Davis’s face, with Mitchell defending the turf most of the night.

  • Intense Camel

    It was not clear at all, sorry.

  • The Tony

    This is the arm chair head coach you’re talking to. He clearly has super vision that he was able to notice the small shift in the ball as the play was happening instead of celebrating. Typical yinzer for ya

  • L Garou

    That’s called a hallucination..

  • Ross McCorkle

    Stop being so aggressive. No room for that.

  • L Garou

    It’s the truth that’s aggressive.
    Oh, and you too. Shooting the messenger and all..

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    LG –

    1) When Ben threw that pass the Steelers were down 3. We were already losing. Are you saying we lost it “worse” than we were gonna lose? The reason we were losing is because we were ahead 30-27 until James catch was overturned.

    2) Are you dreaming? I don’t know. Maybe you’re drunk? It’s kind of the same thing.

    3) The incomplete call was NOT right. The ruling on the field was a completed catch and TD. There must be conclusive evidence to overturn that. The ball probably touched the ground but it was absolutely not clear (as his right hand was underneath). But that’s not even the biggest inconclusive part. The rue states a receiver must survive INITIAL contact with the ground. The initial contact with the ground was when his left elbow hit. The second or third or fourth contact was when he rolled on top of the ball.

    4) Stupid rule?,,, yes… changed more than a couple playoff games?… I only remember Dallas last year. This was a regular season game.

    5) Is “everything” bureaucrat plagued? … I don’t think this website is.

  • L Garou

    lol

  • BurghBoy412

    The seeds of doubt have been planted in the Patriots minds. It only a matter of time now.

  • Steeler B

    completely devastated by this one. havent felt this utterly lost since 911, or Trump winning the presidency.