On to our weekly red zone update post. Many thanks to Comcast for sponsoring BTSC and the other SBNfootball blogs this season. Their Red Zone Channel continues to received rave reviews so if you find yourself frustrated watching out of market games and are missing more football than you should each week, check out the channel and consider at least catching each and every play league wide inside the 20 yard line.
Week 13 Red Zone Efficiency:
5 trips, 2 TDs, 1 FG, 2 turnovers (1 on downs)
2009 Cumulative Red Zone Efficiency:
41 Trips; 20 TDs; 15 FGs; 1 missed FG, 5 turnovers...48.8 % TD efficiency (-1.2%) 85.3 % scoring efficiency (-3.5%)
The Steelers red zone struggles against Oakland were just as responsible for the team dropping its fourth straight as was the porous pass defense down the stretch. The Steelers were better in the 2nd half converting their opportunities deep inside Oakland territory, but in the 1st half, Pittsburgh managed just 3 points on 3 RZ trips. Following a 80+ yard kickoff return by Stefan Logan on the game's first play, the Steelers ominously had to settle for just three points. Then on their next two trips inside the Raiders 20, Pittsburgh was stuffed on 4th and 1 from the 5 yard line, and then Big Ben threw a costly and sloppy interception in the back of the endzone that kept Oakland very much in the game heading into intermission.
There's been a legion of things one could point their finger to when trying to explain why the defending champions are just 6-6 this year, but without question, the team's inability to capitalize on scoring opportunities deep inside enemy territory has to be right up there near the top.