New Castle News

Sports

November 18, 2013

Steve Treu: The Bumblebees swarm after Lions fake away points

NEW CASTLE — A simple multiple-choice question to check your football IQ ...

You are Jim Schwartz, head coach of the Detroit Lions, and your team is clinging to a 27-23 lead early in the fourth quarter. It is fourth-and-5 from the Pittsburgh 10.

You should:

A. Kick the field goal, requiring the Steelers to get a touchdown and tie the game and, if they do so, still be in position to win the game with another field goal late in the game.

B. Go for it and throw a fade to all-universe receiver Calvin Johnson.

C. Fake it and let rookie punter/holder Sam Martin attempt to run the ball.

D. Let Martin attempt a 9-yard coffin-corner pooch to pin the Steelers back on their own 1.

If you chose A, you have agreed with 100 percent of all participants in this survey. (Thanks for contributing this week, Mom.)

If you chose B, who could blame you, Megatron is far more likely to catch a jump ball for a touchdown than Martin is to run for 5 yards.

If you chose C, congratulations, you are qualified to be head coach of the Detroit Lions.

If you chose D, congratulations, you are qualified to design the Obamacare website.

Schwartz, of course, went with the fake and watched in horror as Martin was stopped short and fumbled it away. Who could have possibly guessed that a rookie punter/fifth-round draft pick out of Appalachian State couldn’t plow his way for 5 yards into the defensive line without losing a handle on the ball in rainy weather?

C’mon, Schwartzie, at least try. Send Martin to the outside, have him get to the edge with the type of blazing 5.04 40-speed that made you think he was a good run option in the first place.

“Hey,” Schwartz didn’t say in his defense, “the kid was a pretty good fullback in junior high. We wanted him to feel like he was actually a part of the team.”

Alas, the football gods had their way with the Detroit braintrust, permitting Ben Roethlisberger to respond by engineering a game-winning touchdown drive in Pittsburgh’s season-saving 37-27 victory at Heinz Field.

That scoring march was a thing of beauty, covering 16 plays and 97 yards while burning 8:03 off a dying clock.

Roethlisberger was masterful on the drive, converting first-down passes on third-and-9 and fourth-and-2 before flipping the winning touchdown toss to Will Johnson.

That drive was made meaningful only because of a surprising shutout pitched by the defense in the second half. After giving up a nauseating 27 points in the second quarter, the Bumblebees managed to transform Megatron into a bust after halftime while hitting their Optimus Prime point of the season. (I have no idea what that means, but most toddlers probably would.)

Somehow the Steelers have fought their way back to a tie for second place in the AFC North. Sure, they are also tied for last place, but who can quibble with 4-6 after an 0-4 start to the season?

The division title is not out of reach, not with Cincinnati facing three losable games (at San Diego, home to Indy, at Pittsburgh) and with two of the Bengals’ losses coming inside the AFC North. Outside of that Cincinnati rematch, the Steelers do not play another team that currently has a winning record the rest of the way.

Steelers-Bengals on a Sunday evening in mid-December might actually turn out to be important.

But what is most interesting is how the Steelers have emerged in the hunt for the second wild card. They are currently only one game behind Miami and the New York Jets for that final postseason berth, host the warm-weather Dolphins in Heinz Field in early December and have already beaten the Jets.

True or False?

An 8-8 record will be good enough for the Steelers to be playing in January this season.

(Steve Treu covers the Steelers for The News.)

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • Magliocca.tiff 2014 Hall of Fame Inductees: Today, meet Linda Magliocca

    This is the first in a series of feature stories on the 2014 inductees into the Lawrence County Historical Society Sports Hall of Fame.
     

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • HOF.jpg Spring Sports: A roundup of action from April 14

    The Neshannock High baseball team passed a big test last night. The host Lancers answered a late Laurel surge with a single run in the sixth inning to escape with a 6-4 win in WPIAL Section 5-AA action.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • HOF.jpg Spring Sports: A roundup of action from April 12

    The Neshannock High softball team continued to roll Saturday. Madison Shaffer tossed a complete-game two-hit shutout to lift the Lady Lancers to a 6-0 WPIAL Section 4-A home win over Shenango.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • shen1.tiff Shenango baseball team knocks it out of the park with toy drive

    The Shenango High baseball team hit a home run with kids at Children’s Hospital. Led by Tyler Booher and Anthony Prestopine, the Wildcats spent the last two months conducting a toy drive to benefit the young patients of the Pittsburgh facility. They ended up with about 200 items.

    April 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • HOF.jpg Spring Sports: A roundup of action from April 11

    Neshannock High baseball pitcher Frank Fraschetti was dominant on the hill yesterday. Fraschetti limited Riverside to four hits in a complete-game 4-1 WPIAL Section 5-AA home win.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • HOF.jpg Spring Sports: A roundup of action from April 10

    The New Castle High baseball team found a way to pull out a win yesterday. The Red Hurricane scratched a run across in the bottom of the ninth to claim a 12-11 WPIAL Section 1-AAAA win over North Hills at Flaherty Field.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Serg.tiff Athlete of the Week: Meet Neshannock’s Rich Serignese

    Rich Serignese is no stranger to pressure on the baseball field. The Neshannock High sophomore twice defeated WPIAL Class AA champion and PIAA runner-up Beaver a year ago, so facing a team that put up eye-popping numbers the night before was a piece of cake.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • HOF.jpg Spring Sports: A roundup of action from April 9

    Ellwood City Lincoln’s Dillon Horgan tossed a complete-game gem yesterday. Horgan scattered nine hits to lift the visiting Wolverines to a WPIAL Section 5-AA victory over Laurel, 6-2. Horgan (2-3) allowed two earned runs with three walks and six strikeouts to pick up the victory.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cooper.tiff Laurel hires Cooper as new football coach

    Laurel High has found its man. Brian Cooper replaces Pat Cuba at the helm of the Spartans football program. Cuba resigned last month after leading the Spartans to a 7-3 record and the program’s first playoff appearance since 2009.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Spring Sports: A roundup of action from April 8

    Hitting was on display for the Neshannock High softball team yesterday. The Lady Lancers banged out 10 hits in a 14-8 WPIAL Section 4-A home win over South Side Beaver.

    April 9, 2014

AP BB Tourney Latest News2014
AP BB Tourney Poll 2014
House Ads
Shoot For 2
Photo of the Day