RUN GAME LACKING
The Pittsburgh Steelers managed just 32-yards rushing on 10 combined carries between Jonathan Dwyer (8-32yds) and Issac Redman (2-0yds) in their loss to San Diego.
Included in that were failed conversion on two 3rd-and-1s and one 4th-and-1.
After the game, Redman said he won't know what went wrong in the run game until they watch film, but he did see a drop in emotion.
"We lacked enthusiasm," Redman said. "Didn't come to play. It showed on the field. One of our worst games on the year. We can't keep doing this. We can't play our hearts out one week and come out and have a performance like this, it's not Steelers football. It starts on Wednesday at practice."
"I don't think we took them lightly at all, we prepare the same every week," Redman continued. "Guys are focused every week. We know this was a big game, each game for the rest of the year is big so there's no type of excuse to say we took them lightly because in this league you can't take anybody lightly. We've proven that in our past couple of losses when we're losing to teams with losing records. We know any given any team can be beaten in the NFL. We've got to clam down, not get too overwhelmed when things aren't going our way. Have somebody step up and calm the team down, which Ben [Roethlisberger] tried to do. It just wasn't our day."
THE WALLACE COASTER
A contract-year season that began with a holdout from training camp has proven to be a roller-coaster one for Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Mike Wallace in 2012.
Sunday's game was the same, as Wallace had two second half TD grabs against the San Diego Chargers but also a dropped deep-ball in the first half as the Steelers fell behind 13-0.
"All I know is at the back end at the receiver spot we have to catch the ball," said Wallace. "And get open on third-down. In some instances we did that, but not enough. Not enough early in the game. It really cost us. We got in a hole, and the hole we got in we just couldn't seem to climb out of."
The offense was battling poor field position for the first two quarters, beginning drives on their own 8, 16, 9, 7, and 11-yard lines before finally putting together a field goal drive late in the first half.
Wallace didn't use the excuse, though.
"It doesn't matter where we start from, the two, the twenty, or forty, it doesn't matter," Wallace said. "We have to make plays on offense when we're given the opportunity. We just haven't been doing that."
Nor would Wallace blame the gameplan. Urgency, however, was a place Wallace agreed the finger needed to be pointed.
"Coaches had us ready, we just didn't perform up to par," Wallace said. "We're not making plays on offense. We don't have hardly any explosive plays. That's what gets our defense going, that's what gets everybody on our team hyped. Especially when a team goes up 20-3 [on you]. We obviously don't have enough urgency, enough consistency. We have to pick it up. We have to. We have to come to play every single game, no matter who we're playing. I think sometimes we don't play up to our skill set. We have a great team, and we know it. We have to get out of our own way. That's the problem, we're in our own way. Stuff we know we shouldn't do, mistakes we know we shouldn't make, we make 'em. We've got to get that going yesterday. We have to take care of that if we're going to make this run that I know we're capable of making. We have a great team. We have the players to make the run, we just have to do it."
WALLACE GETS BOOED, ROETHLISBERGER SOUNDS OFF
Although he finished the game with 7 catches for 112 yards and 2 TD, Pittsburgh Steelers WR Mike Wallace had a 40-yard pass from QB Ben Roethlisberger go off of his hands around midfield after Wallace had gained separation on CB Quentin Jammer.
There were scattered boos heard from the crowd as the offense would eventually punt for the 5th straight time to being the game.
Roethlisberger admitted to feeling bad for Wallace upon hearing the negative crowd reaction.
"Nobody should ever get booed," Roethlisberger said. "We are out their busting our butt. Nobody intentionally does anything to hurt the team. I don't intentionally throw interceptions and guys don't intentionally miss blocks or fumble. We don't intentionally do it. I just told him that I was going to come back to him, and keep his head up and he made plays for us late."
Wallace took the blame for the drop afterwards.
"I gotta catch that," said Wallace. "That's all [there is] to it. Playmakers make plays. Ben gave me a shot, I've got to come up with it."
WHY TOMLIN DIDN'T PULL BEN
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin on why he left QB Ben Roethlisberger in the game:
"I didn't say the game was out of hand," Tomlin said when asked why he didn't pull his starting quarterback despite not attempting two-point conversions in the second half. "I said that I was going to hold [our two-point plays] until I saw signs of us being capable of stopping them. We're competitors, as [Ben] is. We're going to allow competitors to compete."
WHY TOMLIN NEVER WENT FOR A TWO-POINT CONVERSION
Upon falling behind 27-3 to San Diego in the 3rd quarter, the Pittsburgh Steelers twice scored TDs to pull within 18-points with a conversion pending. ??The first came with 2:33 left in the 3rd quarter (and also featured the Chargers being caught with a 12-men on the field penalty on the extra point), and the second with 6:07 remaining in the game. ??On both such occasions, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin decided to just kick an extra point, keeping the game a three-score deficit. ??Tomlin said afterwards he never considered going for the two-point try.
??"Until we stopped them it was going to be insignificant," said Tomlin. "I was holding the two-point plays for that reason and that reason only. Now, we still have them in our hip pocket. Those specialty plays we didn't want to put on tape unless we had an opportunity to close the gap. As you can see, we didn't"
QB Ben Roethlisberger was asked why we didn't see Plaxico Burress more after his 18-yard catch on 3rd down: "Did you ask coach that?"
Chargers coach Norv Turner said he gave his two OTs Kevin Haslam and Reggie Wells game balls. "Reggie got here Monday or Tuesday I believe. They played well and again we won the game today and that means a lot to me. Every week you don't catch a team at their best. I think we did things to shut Pittsburgh down and they may not have played as well as some other teams we've played."
On WR Michael Spurlock's 7 catches & 4 3rd-down conversions:
"He had a great matchup and he's a good underneath route-runner. He did a good job catching the ball. I think they were concerned about our two outside receivers and they should have been. Danario Alexander had a couple of drops, but he's shown that he has big play ability. He beats you on a double move. They're playing coverage doubling the outside guys and the inside guys are getting single coverage."
LARRY FOOTE'S LOCKER
"That was ugly. That was uncharted waters, especially in here. Just kept trying to fight, but you saw third-downs, where we've been getting strong the last month, we gave it up today. At the end of the day, it was a good 'ol take 'em out back butt whooping. They beat us. We got a hold of the run, but they were out-executing us."
Do you still feel good about this team?
"Absolutely. If we've got a chance, I'm excited. Our goals are big. We can't be happy just because other teams lost and we're still in it. Starting tomorrow we've got to correct this thing and start making a committment. It's going to be one of those gut-checking times. We are who we are, we're 7-6. We've got to turn it around. We just got whooped today, whatever the excuse is, whatever the reason. They had a whole new offensive line, and they out-executed us."
THE CORNER DELI
"It was tough, man. Got our number one corner out, young guys stepping in. As a secondary we gave up a lot of third downs today that kept drives going. But we're going to fix it. We've got good young guys and myself, we have to get in there and watch more film, make sure we minimize that in Dallas."
Do you still believe in this team?
"Yeah definitely, why not? Over one game? Y'all can't base this off [just] one game. If you do that, you're acting like a true fan."
How do you explain losing to several sub-.500 teams?
"They just plain out-executed us that day. Somedays you're hot, some days you're not. And today we were not. We didn't come out and play our best ball. We've got to stop doing that when we're playing great teams like the Giants and all those, we're fired up. When we play the teams with the lower records we've got to find a way to play with that same intensity and come out and play."
"They had a good gameplan going. We've just got to do a better job getting pressure, got to do a better job covering, a better job as a whole on defense. We'll watch the film and make our corrections. I feel like our enthusiasm wasn't as high, our excitement, intensity wasn't as high as it was previously in previous games. We can't let that happen, we can't have that and be successful. That's what we showed. I can't put a finger on it."
THE RYAN CLARK BAR
On Cincinnati and Baltimore losing:
"It says a lot of other teams are playing bad football too, giving us the opportunity. But you wanted to win today to capitalize on it. You can't look up at the board and be excited about Cincinnati and Baltimore losing when they both outplayed you today. It's about the Pittsburgh Steelers getting better. We control our own destiny, and we've known that the whole time. We know if we win out we'll be in the playoffs. We can't do it like playing today. That game looked like it was supposed to look. They were kicking our butts on the field, and it showed on the scoreboard."
Did you see this coming
"I am a true Steelers idiot. I feel like we're always going to perform well. I feel like we're always going to make that play. Today we didn't do it. We didn't have it anywhere. The offense started getting it going late, but we didn't make enough plays to keep it close for those things to matter."