This was one of those Monday mornings when the desire to read about Sunday’s game was zero. Nada. Zip.
Nonetheless, the Pittsburgh dailies offered an interesting hodge-podge of interpretations of Sunday’s devastating defeat.
Over at the Tribune-Review, John Harris picked up on a theme echoed yesterday by Steel Curtain Rising, namely that the Steelers of ’09 bear a startling resemblance to the Steelers of ’06.
- Curtain’s Call: Obviously we have some sympathy for Harris’ position, but the reporting backing up his story did not cover much new ground.
Scott Brown weighed in later in the day with his View from the Press Box blog. Brown took Tomlin to task for his decision to go for it on 4th and 4 at the end of the first half.
- Curtain’s Call: We did not mention this, but Brown is right. Tomlin does not coach sacred, but Brown makes a good point about how Tomlin didn’t hesitate to kick on 4th-1 at other times. Great point, as this was the moment when Cincinnati got back in the game.
Over at the Post-Gazette, Ron Cook led off, squarely placing the blame on the Steelers defense, wondering aloud if the Steelers defense is perhaps aging before our eyes. Cook points to a number of cases where players like Aaron Smith, James Farrior, or Deshea Townshend were a moment late or a step short.
- Curtain’s Call: Cook is right, as the defense’s inability to protect a 14 point lead is inexcusable, for whatever the (very real) faults of the offense might be. His argument about aging is interesting, but it is too early for the conclusion.
Gene Collier took a completely different track. Collier argues that the Bengals won by “simply bungling” less. That might not be so clear to Steelers friends, but a buddy of mine from Cincinnati “Bob” made the same argument. Each phase of Cincinnati’s game looked awful at times.
- Curtain’s Call: Collier’s correct, but even the truth here is of little consolation. The Bengals did look atrocious at times. That makes the Steelers look the worse.
- Curtain’s Call: Steel Curtain Rising gives BTSC credit for innovative thinking. Seriously, who else thought of that? But at the end of the day, the Steelers lost because guys like James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley, Aaron Smith, couldn’t get to the QB, and because guys like Ike Taylor, Santonio Holmes and Limas Sweed couldn’t hold on to balls thrown right to them.
Undoubtedly, if the Steelers continue to lose, theories to explain their losing ways will multiple exponentially with each loss. Let's hope this never comes to pass.