Originally written on Bleed Black & Gold  |  Last updated 11/18/14

CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 20: Max Starks #78 of the Pittsburgh Steelers hugs teammate Aaron Smith #91 before a game against the Chicago Bears on September 20, 2009 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Steelers 17-14. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Steelers came out and laid an egg last night.  They only put up 3 points on the board and gave up 20.  They looked flat from the first minute on.  The team tried to keep in the game but one big mistake on almost every drive on both offense and defense kept San Francisco ahead of the game.  The Steelers are now 10-4 and look to be headed for the number 5 seed in the playoffs. 

Observations:

  1. Max Starks was abused-  Starks was beaten over and over again by rookie Aldon Smith.  He could not handle him.  He was overmatched physically by strength and speed.  Starks looked bad, real bad.
  2. Ben Roethlisberger needed to play out a simulated quarter before the game started.  Roethlisberger got better as the game went on but every time there was a slow down he also slowed back down.  By the time he got in rhythm the game was out of hand and the pass rush was on him like nobody’s business.  He had no chance tonight.
  3. This will be two weeks in a row I talk about the officiating.  This crew was horrendous.  They could not do anything on their own.  They made bad calls all night long.  The NFL needs to make officials full time and not let them have other jobs.  If these guys can not do any better then they need to be replaced.  That was just pathetic.  Both ways.
  4. Dick Lebeau needs to adjust earlier in games.  Our guys were getting beat by 10 yard outs the entire first half.  It let San Francisco just march down the field.  They only got field goals but they had the ball so long that the defense wore down in the second half. 
  5. Pass Rush- We have none.  If Woodley or Harrison are not making a play then we do not even get a whiff of the quarterback.  We hit Smith 1 time.  1 damn time.  That was Woodley who did it.  Otherwise we did not touch Smith the entire night.  That is not acceptable.  Smith has been sacked 18 times in the last three games and we did not sack him once.
  6. Vernon Davis ate us alive.  He made all the big catches and scored the 49ers first touchdown.  We could not cover him.  He took advantage of both Timmons and Farrior all night long.  They were just there for him to mess with.  He got 6 catches for 72 yards. 
  7. Lets get some good in here.  Troy was like a missle last night.  He was on guys before they even had a chance to turn around and make a move.  He was hitting anything that moved.  It was the swiftest Troy has looked all season.  He has been making those plays in the run game but not the pass game.  That was good to see.
  8. Red Zone Defense-  The 49ers came in the bottom third of the NFL in Red Zone offense and scored every single time down there.  They got 2 touchdowns and then kicked a field goal the other trip in.  That should not happen.  They are at the bottom of the league for a reason.
  9. I am done with Shaun Suisham.  I can not take it anymore.  He is not even close.  He almost missed both kicks.  The second one I could have kicked as well.  He is terrible.  Next year we need a kicker.  We chose this guy over David Akers who is having a pro bowl year for the team that just beat us.
  10. Have to give props to former Pitt Punter Andy Lee.  The guy is just sick.  He boots the ball a mile in the air.  It stays up for over 5 seconds every time giving his coverage units time to get down the field.  He makes is spin so that it never goes in the end zone.  He put us inside the ten 3 times and still have a 47.5 yard average.  That is insane. 

The Steelers have 2 games left in the season before the playoffs.  They are likely out as far as the division goes but Baltimore could lose.  You never know.

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