DaTruth's views will be short and to the point, just like Bengals coach Marvin Lewis' trust in his explosive offense to get a yard in a game that they were supposedly so desperate to win. Let's get to it.
- So, Steelers Nation, do you think this team has "Da Goods" to be a world champion? At this time, DaTruth doesn't. Yeah, the Bengals game was a must win if this team wants to wear that AFC North division crown again. But teams that got "Da Goods" don't average giving up 28 yards per kickoff return after the kicker only gets the ball to the other team's ten yard line. Teams that got "DG" don't go soft and almost give up a cheap 100 yards to backup running backs. Teams that got "DG" have QBs that throw the ball away in the red zone and kick a field goal when they have another team on life support. He doesn't do something stupid and give the other team life.
- Many people will congratulate Dick LeBeau's D for holding the explosive Bengals offense to 13 points. DaTruth will look a little bit deeper than that. LeBeau decided to exchange rushing yards for time on the clock by playing nickle on first downs and throughout much of the second half. Also, where was the Steelers pressure and sacks? This team really only has one dynamic pass rusher, and he (Woodley) can't even get on the field. I know the bottom line is points allowed, but giving up so many rushing yards to a scrub backup and allowing the QB all day to throw doesn't sit well with DaTruth. Never has, never will.
- Throw to score, run to win. I agree with that philosophy in today's NFL. However, if the other team has trouble stopping the run, there had better be many more runs than passes. It has more to do with schemes. Teams that are bad against the run are bad for a reason. They don't have the will to stop the other team nor do they want to put forth the physical effort to do so. In other words, they really don't want you to test their manhood, mano o mano. The Bengals are one of those type of teams. They want a track meet, on both sides of the ball. The D wants you to throw the ball around so that they can try to get turnovers. That secondary doesn't want to come up and hit anybody. They sure showed a lot of `turn-down' late in the game when the Steelers were running out the clock. That starts with the coach.
- DaTruth has no love for the Bungals, but Marvin Lewis did his team a disservice by not going for it on 4th and 1. Besides trying to force a scheme on a team that doesn't have the talent to play it, the worst thing a coach can do is show his team that he doesn't believe in it. He did the Steelers a favor by letting it off the field with 3.
- I hope the Steelers can still come up with something better against spread offenses. I don't like it when the team goes to nickle and automatically just decides to let the other team run the ball to try and prevent big pass plays. LeBeau is the man in DaTruth's eyes, by why not put more players on the field that can play the run and the pass, like Timmons and Woodley, instead of just conceding anything? Why not insert Timmons some and let he and Farrior be coverage linebackers in your nickle, and Woodley come off the edge some series for Haggans? I'd rather see Timmons trying to take on a guard up the middle in my nickle defense rather than Palomula. Man, DaTruth does NOT like being soft against the run.
- Ben played a good game until that pick. It just makes you think if he just has a brain lock during certain parts of the game. The Bungles were about to wave the white flag until he threw that interception. Ben, Ben, Ben. Championship teams and championship QBs don't make mistakes like that in the red zone. They make teams earn their way back into the game. Not give them that chance on a silver platter. He's a talent, but he can't keeping making that mistake.
- I didn't hear William Gay's name that much, and that is a good thing. I heard Leon Hall's name a lot, and that was a good thing, for us. Hines beat him bad on that out route. Many people wanted the Steelers to draft him instead of Timmons. During the Michigan games I saw last year, Hall got beat like that a lot against good receivers, too. No big surprise there.
- I thought the Steelers would have activated another lineman for the game. I guess they still could either add McBean or Nua to the roster this week if A. Smith isn't ready (and he won't be). I think I'd rather see that than continuing to play that soft nickle run defense against the Ravens. They have to stop the run this week and get after McNair. And most of all, redeem themselves from curling up in the fetal position and letting the Ravens dog-kick the iisshhhtt out of them like they did this past year. More on that later in the week.
- This next game is more important than the New England game. This game will show you how far the team has come from last year's team. Speaking of a team with "DG", I liked the way that the Pats went for it on 4th and 1 against the Skins when the score was 38-0 late in the fourth quarter. I also liked it when, after they made it and the OL false started on the next play, Tom Brady went ape and cussed about 4 successive times before telling the team to huddle up again. No offensive lineman looked him in the eyes going back to the huddle. Now THAT's a team that got "Da Goods."
- To beat the Pats, you better be able to stop the run and cover and put heat on Brady with a 4-man front, even blitzing a 5th guy on occasion. Your offense better be able to put 30 to 35 on the board too. It won't take that much against the Ravens. I think 17 to 21 points can do that. Ben can do that. But can he do that without the turnovers?
- This was the OL's best game of the year by far. DaTruth won't measure them against the Bungles. He wants to see how they play against a pressure team that can stop the run and get to the QB. Our D matches up well with the Ravens. Our OL and Fast Willie against a real stout run D still gives DaTruth concern.
- If you're Woodley, what do you have to do to get on the field? Steal that Rolex that the team gave LeBeau as a birthday gift during training camp? That dude is going to be a stud in Haggan's spot whenever he gets some consistent burn.
- Forgive the DaTruth for not sounding like a homer this week, but teams that got "Da Goods" don't go to Denver and lay an egg, and then do some of the things it did today. You can get away with it against bad teams, but not against good teams if you plan on going places.
Steelers Nation, I'm out like the Bengals hopes for the rest of the season. Take care and be blessed.