New Castle News

Steelers

November 25, 2013

Steve Treu: Steelers turn it around with turnovers

NEW CASTLE — Troy Polamalu attempted his patented psycho blitz into the line of scrimmage, only to be stopped cold in his tracks.

He bounced off right guard Shawn Lauvao and swiftly doubled back to his original position near midfield, five yards off the line.

Polamalu reset his feet, squared up and wrapped up fullback Chris Ogbonnaya. Then, like a blue-collar father arm-wrestling his preteen son, he dominated Ogbonnaya’s right arm with his own, muscling the ball free.

As both players fell to the ground the football pinballed between them, with Polamalu snatching it out of the air with cat-like quickness.

Tackle, strip, recovery … it was really a beautiful play, one of the finest of the veteran safety’s brilliant 11-year career.

It also was the turning point of the game, flipping a potential scoring opportunity for the Browns into a field goal for the Steelers that gave them a 13-3 halftime lead. Cleveland never reclaimed any momentum.

Sure, it was only the Browns, which the Steelers have defeated with the ease of a blue-collar father arm-wrestling his preteen son over the past 12 seasons. Pittsburgh has now won 22 of the past 25 meetings between these teams.

But no matter the opponent, this was a fairly complete football game played by the Steelers, a thorough 27-11 victory that was their fifth in the last seven contests.

Ben Roethlisberger was poised and efficient, completing 65 percent of his 34 attempts for two touchdowns and a 102.2 rating. Most importantly, he was turnover-free.

Antonio Brown continued his All-Pro caliber season, adding six more receptions onto his league lead in that category and scored his sixth touchdown.

Le’Veon Bell was workmanlike with 80 yards on 23 carries, several of which were hard, grinding runs for first downs. Since the rookie’s season began in Week 4, the Steelers are 5-3.

The rush defense, which had been yielding nearly 120 yards per game, gave up only 55. Josh Gordon shredded the secondary for 237 yards, but he has done that to several opponents this season and much of the damage he did was in garbage time after the outcome was no longer in doubt.

Shaun Suisham was perfect on all of his kicks and even the punting was competent, though Roethlisberger’s pooch was certainly more notable than anything Mat McBriar did.

It is nearing the home stretch and the Steelers are actually playing pretty good football. Certainly good enough to compete in the ridiculously mediocre AFC.

“It is not anything mystical or anything of that nature,” coach Mike Tomlin said of his team’s improved play.

Nope. They just turned the turnover game around. While starting 0-4, the Steelers were -11 in that category (11 committed, zero forced). Over the past seven games they are +7 (seven committed, 14 forced).

It’s a pretty easy game when you take care of the ball and the other team cannot.

It’s even easier when playmakers like Polamalu are demonstrating the execution and energy of an actual playoff contender.

(Steve Treu covers the Steelers for The News.)

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Steelers
  • SteelersSpence.jpg Steelers LB Spence caps lengthy comeback

    The whistle blew and Sean Spence sprinted forward, each cathartic step distancing the linebacker from the horrific knee injury that threatened to end his NFL career before it even really began.

     

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wheaton.jpg Steelers' Wheaton eyeing chance after tough rookie year

    Markus Wheaton realizes the pressure is there, but he doesn’t mind.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 628x471.jpg Legendary Steelers coach Chuck Noll dies at 82

    Chuck Noll, the Hall of Fame coach who won a record four Super Bowl titles with the Pittsburgh Steelers, died last night at his home. He was 82. The Allegheny County Medical Examiner said Noll died of natural causes.

    June 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • demedal.tiff Pro Football: After taking part in minicamp, DeMedal playing 'waiting game' with Steelers

    Jake DeMedal’s football career is in limbo. After competing in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ rookie minicamp May 15-18, the Wilmington High and St. Francis University (Loretto, Pa.) product is waiting to hear back from the team if he should report to Latrobe in July for training camp.

    June 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pro Football: Munchak to join Steelers’ staff

    Mike Munchak is going back to his roots, and heading closer to home in the process. A person familiar with the decision said Wednesday night the former Tennessee Titans head coach will join the Pittsburgh Steelers as offensive line coach.

    January 23, 2014

  • steelerswrapup.jpg Steelers humbled but optimistic after 8-8 finish

     The Pittsburgh Steelers have seven long months to think about what exactly happened in 2013. Are they closer to the team that looked lost and overmatched at times during a 2-6 start? Or are they closer to the one that went 6-2 over the final eight weeks and came within a shanked field goal and a botched penalty call in San Diego from making the playoffs?

    December 31, 2013 1 Photo

  • Treu.jpg Steve Treu: Chiefs’ missed field goal left Steelers where they belonged

    A successful boot by the Kansas City placekicker was all that separated Pittsburgh from a wildly improbable postseason berth.

    December 30, 2013 1 Photo

  • steelersousted.jpg Steelers win, but fail to reach playoffs

    Pittsburgh played like it didn’t want its season to end. Cleveland looked as though it couldn’t wait to pack things up and go home.

    December 29, 2013 1 Photo

  • steelersalive.jpg Steelers somehow still alive for playoffs

    The math remains tricky. The circumstances remain less than ideal. And yet, the Pittsburgh Steelers are still alive for the playoffs entering the final week of the season. 

    December 24, 2013 1 Photo

  • Treu.jpg Steve Treu: Steelers up the ante at the end of lackluster season

    That was worth it. No matter what happens next weekend, that was worth it. Yesterday’s high-fiving, head-scratching, jaw-dropping, curse-inducing, postseason death-defying 38-31 victory by the Pittsburgh Steelers over the Green Bay Packers made this otherwise forgettable 2013 season at least somewhat memorable.

    December 23, 2013 1 Photo

House Ads
Poll

Do you talk to yourself when you're alone?

Yes, but I’m basically just thinking out loud.
No, that would be weird.
I don’t know. Next time I’m alone, I’ll ask.
     View Results