If you hate the Pittsburgh Steelers, this is the post for you. Enemy Reaction is normally reserved exclusively for the Seattle Seahawks and the opponents they beat. It doesn't come out very often because Seattle doesn't win a lot of games. Today is an exception due to the extreme circumstances of yesterday's Pittsburgh @ Denver game. The formality of a Steelers win was probably a mirror image of the formality of a Saints win over the Seahawks, and yesterday was the 1 year anniversary of BeastQuake and one of the biggest upsets in playoff history. History repeated itself, and the heavy favorites were knocked out in dramatic overtime fashion.
The hatred for the Steelers for many Seahawks fans probably stems from Super Bowl XL, but it's hardly a unique situation, as Pittsburgh is easily one of the most hated franchises in North American sport. It's probably a bit classless to do this sort of thing because we're stuck at home with no postseason and we haven't even scored a point against them since the Super Bowl, but honestly.....who cares?
I’m not sure if it was a run of injuries that never seemed to stop, or a poor defensive game plan or the worst performance by a Steelers cornerback since Donnell Woolford wore the black and gold, but the Steelers gave up passing plays of 51, 30, 58, 40, 17 and 80 yards, almost all of them at the expense of Ike Taylor, who started to play like a cornerback on the wrong side of 30 over the second half of the season.
If the Steelers weren’t going to get a home playoff game (which I figured they would need if a return trip to the Super Bowl was going to happen) this was the matchup I wanted. I never imagined it playing out like that. If the Steelers were going to lose I figured it would be a blizzard by some absurd score of, I don’t know, 5-4.
When we look back on the 2011 season for the Steelers, we’ll look back at three things: 1) Injuries, 2) the defenses inability to force turnovers and the offenses ability to create them, and 3) A team that just couldn’t play quality football away from Heinz Field, finishing with a 5-4 road mark (including playoffs) and getting outscored by 176-148 margin, against some not-great teams.
I still think the window for this team is still open, mainly because they have the single most important position in the NFL (quarterback) secured, and have an impressive collection of young, talented skill players on offense. But there are areas that need addressed, and tough decisions that need to be made (Hines Ward, Aaron Smith, James Farrior, Casey Hampton … I think they would all do the Steelers a huge favor salary cap wise if they just simply retired, but that’s probably not going to happen).
And hey, at least we don’t have to watch the Steelers practice squad call-ups go into New England next Saturday night and get demolished. So there’s that. - Adam of Steelers Lounge breaks down Pittsburgh's disastrous pass D and his optimism for the future.
Failure from top to bottom.
The Steelers played a team Sunday in the postseason that they were four games better than in the win column, but in the end, they failed in just about every area, losing to the Denver Broncos 29-23 in OT to wrap up the 2011 season.
The year ends with a 12-5 record, and a rash of injuries that would have made it near impossible to make it far in the postseason. Despite all that, not many people gave Tim Tebow and the Broncos a shot to beat what was the NFL’s #1 ranked defense.
Instead, the #1 ranked D lost both Casey Hampton and Brett Keisel on the D-line early in the game, and while the Steelers held Denver to 8 yards in the first half, after losing the two linemen the Steelers defense was nowhere near as formidable as it was with them.
Tebow and Denver went on a scoring spree in the second quarter, scoring 20 points in the quarter, and 17 points in about 6 minutes. It’s a minor miracle the Steelers made it as much of a game as it was.
They were able to rally and tie it a one-yard TD run from Mike Wallace, and then a Shaun Suisham 37-yard field goal with 9:59 to play. After LaMarr Woodley recovered a fumble, the Steelers tied the game with 3:48 to play when Ben Roethlisberger hit Jerricho Cotchery with a 31-yard touchdown.
They had a chance to win it in regulation, but a couple sacks and a strip sack cost them that chance. Instead, they the last offensive play of the year was a sack, as they never got another offensive snap.
With the ball at the 20, Tebow connected with Demaryius Thomas for an 80-yard touchdown pass where Ryan Mundy came up for help against the run, and Tebow threw a perfect pass to Thomas, who torched Ike Taylor for 204 yards on four catches.
Thomas hauled in a high play-action pass at the Denver 38, stiff-armed Taylor and then outraced Mundy to the end zone. Tebow knelt in his own end zone, pounding a fist in triumph before taking a victory lap in jubilation, ending the season for the Steelers. - Matt Loede from Steelers Gab recaps the failure at Mile High Stadium.
No joke, I couldn't find a single decent Steelers fan post-game crow video, maybe because they're all in hiding, so instead of that, I present to you this Steelers fan owning up to his promise that if Pittsburgh lost to Denver, he'd burn one of his jerseys. In typical Pittsburgh fashion, he proceeds to give zero credit to Denver.
Steelers Lose To Broncos (via taylorpooter)
Hopefully yesterday's loss signifies the beginning of the old guard dying. The Steelers looked old and played old. Tebow totally owned Ike Taylor and Troy Polamalu, something I didn't think I'd ever see. Chances are they're one of the oldest teams in football and it definitely shows. May they suffer a long painstaking rebuilding process while teams like Green Bay, Baltimore, New Orleans, Detroit, Houston, and with the right management and luck Carolina and Seattle, take over this league and become perennial contenders to at least make the playoffs if not the Super Bowl...all while Pittsburgh experiences the decline of big Ben, the aging of that defense, and an infinite amount of top 10 draft picks that all bust.
This has been a very special edition of Enemy Reaction. Congratulations Pittsburgh Steelers, you are the only team in the NFL with a winning record to be Tebowed.