Season of big plays for Steelers' foes

Season of big plays for Steelers' foes
December 11, 2013, 9:00 am
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For the Steelers, it’s been a season of big plays. But unfortunately for them, the big plays have been by the opposition.

Pittsburgh has given up an NFL-leading 11 plays of 50 yards or more. And coach Mike Tomlin said it’s not as if the Steelers can point to a couple of specific areas that are resulting in the big plays.

“The reality is, 50-yard plays eliminate a lot of execution,” Tomlin said, as reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We’ve had quite a few that eliminated a lot of execution opportunities. If they were centrally located, those things are easily solved. But, when you look at it, it’s like popcorn — it’s a myriad of schematic things, a myriad of personnel things.”

(We’re not sure we quite get the popcorn thing, though if you were feeling uncharitable, you could alter Tomlin’s quote to say that’s it like popcorn because it can make you choke.)

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Meanwhile, even at 5-8 with a faint playoff pulse, the Steelers’ outlook for Sunday night’s game with the AFC North-leading Bengals won’t change, the coach said.

“We understand the ramifications of what happened [consecutive losses to the Ravens and Dolphins], but it really doesn’t change our plan of what we want to do this week — defeat the Cincinnati Bengals,” Tomlin said. “We’ve lost two close games in the last two weeks to teams in the same state as us — fighting for survival.

 “We came up short, but it doesn’t change our approach.”