What Just Happened?

December 14, 2008 |

The Pittsbugh Steelers came into this football game ranked number one, defensively, in nearly every statistical catagory. The majority of us thought this would be a defensive battle. I didn’t think it would be as low scoring as it was, but both defenses came to play. It wasn’t that the offenses were subpar, but the defenses were absolutely great.

I listened to some post-game shows coming home, and I read the e-mails that I received when I got home. It seems that the majority of you blame the offense for this loss. I’ve heard, “Cam Cameron lost this game,” to “We need to see Troy Smith because Joe Flacco took a big step back tonight.”

The Steelers players get paid to play football. Tonight’s game wasn’t a scrimmage. Give credit to their defense for, regardless of bad field position, did not give up a touchdown and only gave up field goals.

I’ve heard how bad Cameron was for being so “conservative.” Many of you who criticized him for being “conservative” also criticized him for calling a pass with 4:28 left instead of running the football and trying to get the field goal. Which one is it? Should have been “conservative,” or should he have been aggressive? Whenever something goes wrong, it’s all about the defense.

The Steelers defense has held the San Diego Chargers to 11 points, the New England Patriots to 10 points and the Dallas Cowboys to 13 points in consecutive weeks. Those offenses are ranked 15th, 8th and 9th respectively. The Ravens’ offense is ranked 20th. We knew what to expect coming into this game. Cam Cameron, obviously, called a game that wouldn’t put his defense in a bad position, expecting a low scoring game. It was a low scoring game.

For some reason, as usual, the defense gets a “free pass.” The Steelers got the football with 3:36 left in the game, and the punt team had pinned the Steelers back on their own eight yard line. All the defense had to do was either stop Hines Ward and the Steelers’ offense, or hold them to a field goal, so this game could go into overtime. They did neither.

Shades of week five when the Tennessee Titans drove 80 yards in just over four minutes to clinch a victory at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Steelers made stops when they had to and we didn’t. Does this mean it’s the defense’s fault? I don’t believe it is, but it’s foolish to pin this game on the offense as well. The Pittsburgh Steelers did, Sunday, what they’ve been doing to everyone lately. Cam Cameron put together a game plan that he thought was good enough to beat the Steelers. Everything isn’t the offense’s fault.

As for the call at the end of the game. Initially, I thought it was not a touchdown. I know Holmes’ feet were in the endzone, but I didn’t think the ball broke the plane. As I watched the replay over and over, it looked as if it COULD have broken the plane.

Having said that, I thought the play was too close to reverse it. The call was made on the field, and it didn’t look as if the officials had conclusive evidence to overturn the call. With this being such a big game, nationally, I’m sure we’ll see the play a 1,000 times this week. Let’s get ready to beat Dallas.