Monday, October 17, 2011

What if ...and why?

Considering the Steelers nearly blew a 17-point lead against a mediocre (at best) Jacksonville Jaguars team yesterday at Heinz Field, it is fair to ask ...

What if ... longtime Steeler nemesis Rashean Mathis held onto the interception he dropped yesterday? That was a pick-six for the taking. The Steelers ended up winning the game by four points. You do the math.

What if ... Steeler guard Trai Essex had not fallen onto Ben Roethlisberger's fumble in the second half?

Why did coach Mike Tomlin call for an all-out attempt to block a Jacksonville punt in the third quarter, with the Jaguars facing a fourth-and-21 from deep inside their own territory? What was to be gained from putting on the block scheme instead of the return scheme? The Jaguars would have been kicking into the wind ... but the Steelers got penalized for roughing the kicker. The smart play -- the only play -- would have been to set up the return.The Jaguars retained possession and continued their nine-minute drive that produced a touchdown to close the score to 17-10. That penalty gave the Jaguars new life and kept them in the game.

Why did Roethlisberger continue to throw deep in windy conditions? ... with a  sizable lead?  Roethlisberger misfired repeatedly and over-threw open receivers several times in the second half. Roethlisberger completed just one pass in the second half. One.

What if ... Blaine Gabbert's final pass into the end zone had been completed? 

The Steelers would have lost the game and would be lugging a 3-3 record into their game next week in Arizona, that's what. Just because they won the game yesterday doesn't mean they should be free from scrutiny.

Just saying.