January 15, 2017

Steelers Kick 6 Field Goals, Advance to AFC Championship: The Pittsburgh Steelers kicked six field goals and withstood a late rally, defeating the Kansas City Chiefs 18-16 to reach the AFC Championship game. Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell ran for 170 yards, keeping the Chiefs offense on the sideline for long stretches of the game. The Steelers will face the New England Patriots.

posted by rcade to football at 11:49 PM - 12 comments

Travis Kelce is claiming that James Harrison took a dive on that two-point play where holding was called. I don't think it was even a close call. It was a takedown.

posted by rcade at 12:19 AM on January 16

Perhaps Kelce needs to take a look at his own dropped pass and unsportsmanlike conduct call before casting blame elsewhere.

posted by jmd82 at 10:25 AM on January 16

Kelce is the clear winner of this years Burfict / PacMan most brutal performance in a playoff game.

posted by cixelsyd at 11:40 AM on January 16

Loved this comment from deadspin:

Travis Kelce does elaborate dances after touchdowns, makes jerking off motions toward refs on the field, gets a stupid unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after dropping an important pass in a playoff game, and has his own reality show in which women compete for the chance to date him. Yet somehow he doesn't get half the criticism Odell and Cam get.

I'm trying to figure out what the difference is, but I can't qwhite put my finger on it.

posted by yerfatma at 02:23 PM on January 16

If Mike Tomlin hands the ball to Bell near the end zone on the first drive and the one where Roethlisberger threw a tipped pick, the game doesn't come down to the final minutes.

posted by rcade at 02:35 PM on January 16

If a frog had wings, he wouldn't bump his ass for a'hoppin. Just sayin.

posted by tahoemoj at 05:13 PM on January 16

I'm trying to figure out what the difference is, but I can't qwhite put my finger on it.

I remember how crazed things had to get with Shockey before people started seeing him as something other than a Meadowlands messiah.

Meanwhile, if it's composure and insight you want, some of Odell's post game press appearances have been worth sticking around for.

posted by beaverboard at 06:35 PM on January 16

The Chiefs couldn't stop Bell, Tahoemoj. Pittsburgh was inside the 2. I don't understand why coaches pass so often in that situation, particularly on first or second down.

posted by rcade at 07:08 AM on January 17

I assume on the first drive, they went for the pass on first down because (a) they had not yet established that Bell could gain 2 yards at will, and more importantly (b) everybody in America watching that game expected them to run. Not sure why they didn't just jam it home the second time.

Really, I was just yanking your chain; of course there's always "if only" situations in a game. The flip side would be if Kelce had caught the balls he normally does, and if the Chiefs had converted a few opportunities to intercept Roethlisberger on sloppy passes in the first quarter, the game might not have been close the other way, and Bell ends up a third down drop-down option instead of a yardage machine.

posted by tahoemoj at 11:32 AM on January 17

Bell had gains of 6, 11 and 8 yards on that opening drive. They had second and goal at the 5, not the 2 as I thought, and tried two passes.

The other drive followed a Steelers interception and was first and goal at the 5. Roethlisberger tried to force a pass in to Antonio Brown and it was tipped and intercepted.

I find it strange how many teams think pass before run close to goal. I know this is a pass-crazy league and some receivers play extremely big on short-yardage throws -- Dez Bryant and Brown come to mind -- but if you have an otherworldly runner like Bell or David Johnson and a good line, isn't a handoff usually the smart play on first and second down?

posted by rcade at 01:08 PM on January 17

Dallas sports radio Bob Sturm is driving himself mad with the same kind of question as it applies to Dallas/Green Bay.

posted by rcade at 02:42 PM on January 17

The only person who stopped Bell all day long was Pittsburgh's offensive coordinator.

Very similar to the Superbowl where the only chance in hell the Patriots had of stopping the Seahawks run game was for Carroll to call a center slant on on the goal line.

The prevailing coaching theme used to be run the ball down their throats - let them know exactly what we plan to do and do it anyways. Now it seems to be let's trick them with something we don't normally do or aren't as strong doing, possibly to get under the opposing teams skin but more likely to fail.

posted by cixelsyd at 04:00 PM on January 17

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