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The Return of Carson Choke

September 22, 2012 by Palmer Sucks

2.9 and 2.4. Those are the yards-per-carry averages put up by Stillers RBs after two games.


Why do I mention this? Well, read on:


On the Steelers: Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin unsatisfied, unhappy with RBs

September 19, 2012 12:14 am

By Ed Bouchette / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Mike Tomlin gushed about the running backs and the potential of the ground game Tuesday.


The Oakland Raiders backfield, that is.


"All of their backs are capable of making house calls," Tomlin said.


He's not so impressed with his own through the first two games, and he talked about cutting back the number of different plays in their repertoire because of it.


"We haven't run the ball as well as we have liked," Tomlin said.


The Steelers have 141 yards rushing in two games and a paltry 2.6 yards per carry, both ranked 30th in the NFL. Jonathan Dwyer leads them with 71 yards on 21 carries and Isaac Redman has 45 on 23 runs. Their other two backs, Chris Rainey and Baron Batch, have six carries between them for 8 yards combined.



Yes, apparently there lots of people in the Stillers camp getting all lathered up over the rather lame production put up by their ground-assault guys.


They’re wasting their time.


Here’s the thing: the YPC in the win over the Jets was actually lower than in the loss against Denver. But how can that be? Because as everyone in the front office knows, you win the game playing Stillers football, that blend of power-running and stifling defense that worked GREAT in 1972.


Yes, that’s right – the Stillers did a CRAPPIER job running the ball in their win than they did their loss. To put it another way, it doesn’t MATTER that they did, because they won regardless.


So what changed? How about these numbers: 6.13 and 8.87. Those would indicate the QB’s YPA for the first two games. Bigger YPA means bigger pass plays – bigger pass plays mean more TDs and fewer field goals – you do the math then tell me the real difference between weeks one and two.


The Stillers did a better job of passing in their win than their loss – because in today’s NFL, that’s the stat that matters.


Are we finally getting the picture? Rex Ryan did. Here’s how he summed up his team’s reason for losing in his post-game remarks: "When Ben Roethlisberger extends plays like he does that makes it tough. We couldn't bring him down. Every time you play Ben you appreciate him more and more."



Or as some guy named Palmer said last week: “That means they’re (the Stillers) set up to win with the pass – and the sooner they realize that it’s all about the run-around-and-extend Roethlisberger passing game, the sooner they’ll have a shot at a winning season, and a shot at a playoff run.”


Rex Ryan appreciates Ben Roethlisberger. Do you?


Now then – let me make one thing clear: in pointing out the obvious about the pass, I’m not being “anti-run” or anything. Far from it. In fact, I believe in balance, and I’ll even pitch in a way to make everybody happy.


You see, it’s not about whether you run the ball, but when: in the case of the Stillers, the formula is clear. Pass to get the lead, run to keep it. Too often in the past the Stillers have tried unsuccessfully to begin games establishing the run, fallen behind, then depended on Ben to bring them back (one of the reasons he has so many damn comeback wins). What the Stillers should be doing is letting Roethlisberger build the lead with his arm, then ground-pound them late to protect the lead.


Pass early run late – both being equally important. There, everybody happy now?


The Stillers lack both the offensive line and the defense to play that low-scoring game of ball control known supposedly as “Stillers football.” The sooner they learn this, the better chance of winning they’ll have.





A few years ago, the Stillers could just line up and beat about anybody in the league. That’s no longer the case. But don’t get all down, because the Stillers are still a pretty good team. And the Ravens loss to Philly shows there’s hope of taking back the North title this season.


The Ravens lost to a Philly team that should’ve lost to Cleveland. The Ravens defense, furthermore, is just as overrated a unit as the Stillers.


And then there’s Flacco.


Flacco made headlines this week ripping the replacement refs for ruining the “integrity of the game.” Funny, though, he had no such beef week one when those same refs oversaw his win over Cincinnati. Back then the game was fine, no integrity problems to see – why the game was just oozing with integrity. Integrity was everywhere – why guys were showering in the stuff. Right, Joe?


This is the same Flacco who was all giddy about how well he performed after the AFC Championship loss. And you wonder why I wouldn’t want him as my team’s QB. Now Flacco’s all over the refs for not measuring up – as if that counted more than his 5-for-28 second-half fade.


Of course, given that Flacco’s favorite play is the “chuck it deep and wait for the pass interference call” bomb, no wonder he’s outraged when the P.I. goes the other way. But he’ll learn – live by the blind chuck, die by the blind chuck. Yep, with Joe Flacco at QB, the Stillers will always have a shot to win the division.





While we’re at it, a word about those replacement refs. For anyone who doesn’t like what they see, here’s a simple question: what do you expect? You know how they’re always talking about how college players coming into the NFL have to adjust for the speed of the game? Well same thing goes for these refs, who come from places like college-football conferences. They SHOULD be having trouble adjusting, and it’s ridiculous to think guys like these could just walk in and be competent. How did YOU do adjusting to the NFL your first year, Flacco? Remember that?


You have a problem? Blame the league. It’s their job to get the best product out there to the public.




Cough, Cough, it’s Carson Palmer!


You didn’t think I’d miss this one, did you -- the Stillers meeting up with their old pal, the SoCal Choker, Carson Palmer.


Some players see knee specialists when they get injured – Carson Palmer goes to a throat doctor. By now you’ve heard all the Palmer jokes – probably because I started them.


Did you hear about Palmer’s new guaranteed contract? Yeah, they guaranteed he’d have a Heimlich Maneuverist accompany him to every game.


How many Palmers does it take to screw in a light bulb? Trick question – they can never pry their hands from their throats long enough to pick up the bulbs.”


Once anointed the golden boy of the league by the blind dumb sports media, Palmer has hit rough times with the Raiders. This SHOULD be a laugher win for the Stillers – but remember, this is the same Oakland team that not so long ago beat the “number-one-ranked Stiller defense” with the great Bruce Gradkowski at QB.


Of course, the question isn’t if Palmer will make that big-choke turnover, the question is simply when? I’ll go on record predicting the mid 4th quarter.


Anyway, enjoy the game, and if you’re dining during, be careful to chew your food carefully before swallowing. You wouldn’t want to pull a Palmer now.

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