Afterthoughts on the Steeler Game

Right off the bat, let me say that he all-out blitz on 3rd and 20 was an awful call.  I won’t defend that blitz.  But I do want to remind everyone of other bad, costly plays in that game.  The sad part is that these mistakes are oh so avoidable.

But before the 3rd-and-30 touchdown occurred, Nick O’Leary blew the game.

We were up 11 points with the ball and only 1:13 left to play.  Around midfield.  On our live gameday chat, I was saying we should play play it safe and do nothing stupid.  Let’s go into halftime leading by 11.

And Chad O’Shea was right on the money.  He called for a very basic, safe pass to formerly reliable tight end Nick O’Leary.  R-Fitz put the pass right on the money.  But Nick O’Leary looked like the DeVante Parker of old out there.  He not only dropped a perfect pass, but he bobbled it backward, right into the arms of (adding insult to injury) Minkah.

We cannot blame an aggressive play call and we certainly can’t blame the QB.  No, that tide-turning, game-losing interception was all on Nick O’Leary.

You have to follow the flow of the game to see how important Nick’s gaffe was.  Yes, the ensuing Steeler TD was horrific, but the Steeler offense would not have been on the field if Nick made a simple catch.  That drop was a shot to the gut, and both our D and our O never recovered.

How about the 4th down conversion that wasn’t?  I warned everyone in advance that the Steelers would get all the calls.  Surprisingly, the refs called a fair game up to that point.  But to “assume” you know where the ball was without clear-cut irrefutable visual proof?  That’s just another call in the long history of Steeler lore.  You saw how upset Flores was?  He needs to be that upset before and during the review.  He needs to make his points to the refs during the process…and not wait until it’s too late.  Wouldn’t change anything, but arguing after the fact seemed childish to me.

Mark Walton fumbling when we were only down 4 points and driving?  Ouch, that one hurt.  Especially since I praised Walton the last few weeks.

R-Fitz fumbling the very next play when we got the ball back?  That one hurt because we had to listen to the JJ Watt praise for the next half hour.  JJ isn’t on either team, yet they fawned on him forever.   Hopefully the Texans blow a few games without him now.

And one final item that we cannot overlook is a big series in the game that bothered me, yet all the pundits overlooked.  We led by 4 at the half and kicked off.  Pitt drove down the field and ended up missing a filed goal.  We took over with outstanding field position at our own 45.  We had the momentum, having stopped the Steelers and ending their drive with zero points and the ball in great shape.

But from there, the sequence was Incomplete, Incomplete, Interception.   THAT series ended the game.   First of all, I HATE throwing deep on first down.  When you miss those, it sets up 2nd and long, and we’re not good enough to pick those up.  We had moved the ball all during the first half with some runs and short passes, so there was no need at all to doom our first series of the 3rd quarter with a bomb.  Not from our own 45 with all the momentum.   Another incompletion followed, and then the long interception that Minkah caught inside his own 5.

Our defense was exhausted, and they needed ANYTHING other than a fast 3-and-out.  It was a really bad time to take 10 seconds off the clock when we needed 10 minutes.


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  1. Admin, as I sat watching the first half, I kind of thought, ok, we did pretty good things here. and then, we didn’t! That ball falling into Minkah’s hands just took a blow to my gut…former players somehow come back to haunt us. WHO called that blitz blunder of a call? Head coach, offensive coordinator? WHY would one of them call that play? Stupid. Flat out stupid! I want Flores to do well, he may have a good rapport with the players which is a part of things, but can’t the play caller whoever it is, see what works with the players you have and continue plays that set up for success? This team can’t do 3 & 20 or 25! We don’t have a Tom Brady who throws a ball like a guided missile right where it needs to be. So now I will pray we can beat the Jets and Gase. NY Jet fans are looking at how long he will be around…feel ya.

  2. Dead on Admin I’m still pissed at both coordinators although Flores didn’t mention them I bet he wanted to. I’ll give Flores a pass but you are correct he should have been arguing the review while it was happening not after.

    The Fins just bought a 5th from the rams for 4 M by taking on Talib. I don’t expect him to play but that would be a little funny if he did down the stretch. All of a sudden the secondary would be pretty decent if X is ok that is. I’m a little worried about his knee problems.

      1. Probably the right move hopefully get him healthy once and for all when they actually need him in the future. Sit him as long as necessary he shouldn’t have played last night at all until they knew 100%. Trainers/doctors have never been good in Miami….

  3. Over the hill Aquib Talib now a dolphin

  4. Also talib is currently on IR and can’t play this season. What a waste!

    1. Seems like they did it for the pick not the player. Just not sure if a 5th is worth 4 M but Ross is the one paying not us…haha!

      1. Author

        I suppose if Talib chooses to, he can come here and learn the defense in the classroom this season and see if he’s interested in being part of the rebuild next year.

    2. Seems to purely be “hey we’ll give you 4 million and a 7th rounder for your 5th (and sure we’ll let this guy sit on our IR too while we’re at it)”. I highly doubt he’ll even move to Miami much less play a down for them.

  5. Author

    Dolphins cut Nick O’Leary.
    I feel a bit vindicated. The coaching staff saw his boneheaded play last night as a major factor in the loss, and they’re getting rid of him. I was harping on that all night, while the announcers were praising Minkah’s interception. They acted like Minkah made an incredibly difficult catch instead of luckily finding the ball right in his arms thanks to O’Leary.
    Seems like a nice guy, and I hope he moves on elsewhere. Otherwise, he’ll have to think about that game-losing dropped pass for the rest of his life. As well he should.

    1. I’m actually kinda surprised by that one… I mean it was a bad play but I’ve seen Peyton Manning throw bad interceptions too…. one play should not warrant being immediately cut (unless you’re a Bears kicker maybe). Granted he has a low ceiling, and now that Gesicki is showing some signs of life after being on the verge of getting the “bust” label so maybe it was just a numbers game….

      1. I think it is definitely due to Gesicki’s improvements.

        1. I think that the coordinators should have been toasted before a TE that made one mistake. Those tools have cost them multiple games! Don’t get me wrong they should be playing the young guys more get them experience. Rosen should be in as well but they are sticking with Fitz. Why?

          1. Yeah it’s a weird line they’re drawing with the QB situation (going with the best QB to win now rather than seeing what you can develop in Rosen for the future) … I think it pretty much shows though that they have already made the decision that Rosen is not in their future plans as anything more than a backup (and most likely not even that).

    2. Author

      I have to agree with you all. One mistake on a team where everyone else makes mistakes too? Seems a bit unfair.
      Let’s see how Gesicki does against Gase in a few days!

      1. So many conflicting emotions… I really want them to win and see players like Gesicki that Gase had no clue how to utilize correctly really excel in the game. But the LAST thing I want is for the Jets to sneak by the fins in a tiebreaker for the top pick either… ugh… lol

  6. This Jets game needs every player on deck to come out and play good, smart, efficient football. No room for errors. (Personally, just beat the Jets twice and I’ll be ok for the rest of the season). This is the where they should raise the level of their play– because of the long rivalry between the teams that all the fans are very familiar with or they should be if they are honest Dolphins fans, a win in a game like this is huge. Winning begets itself. When you win, you learn what it takes to win, that extra effort or something clicked. We are not talking brain surgery here-it’s football, they’ve been playing since they were in Pop Warner, high school and college…for some this is all they know. I am not a fan of banking on draft picks-they can get hurt in game one and out for the season, so then what? Counting on that player just went down the toilet. I want to see Fitz’s foot on Gase’s neck on Sunday. Gase is so arrogant that the even more obnoxious Jet fans are looking at who their next head coach could be! no hugs and kisses here! Kinda like watching this show!

    1. Sorry, I know this will get your Ire up but I want to lose and have a chance at Chase Young and a top 4 QB.

      1. Author

        The Herald had an interesting piece on this, where they emphasized that it MUST be a QB, and it MUST be Tua. This is our chance to get it right finally.
        My main point is that there are no guarantees. Tua might be the next JaMarcus Russell, or Chase Young might be the next Dion Jordan.
        The season is still early too. One of those Top 4 QBs might blow an ACL in the next month. One of the Juniors might opt to stay in school. One (or more) might refuse to play for the Dolphins, a dick move like Eli, Elway, Jim Kelly and others did.
        April is 6 months away, and this speculation is going to consume us all…and it’s exciting!

        1. Too late, consumed. Tua only is a stupid stance. What if Burrow outplays him this weekend? I really like the idea of Chase Young and a QB in 1 draft.

          1. Kinda with WCFF on this one… I really think Young is going to be a beast in the NFL… but…. I do understand that QB is the most important position in football and one that we really haven’t had a top tier player at since Marino so if they feel like they have to take “the guy” at #1 then they better be right about it. I might lose my mind in a couple years if we have anything less than a top 10 QB in the league when we could have had Chase Young lol

  7. Consumed is a good word. For once, we won’t be picking in the dreaded 12th-15th slot as always.

  8. And of course Drake walks into the end zone for the Cards and holds onto the ball.

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