GOOD EVENING, EVERYONE. THIS IS THE NUMBER ONE COCHRAN SPORTS SHOWDOWN. I’M BOB POMPEANI. NUMBER ONE TOPIC TONIGHT IS THE STEELERS AND THE PREDICAMENT THEY FIND THEMSELVES IN AFTER LOSING IN OVERTIME TODAY TO THE RAVENS 26-23. HERE’S YOUR PANEL LEFT TO RIGHT. CO-AUTHOR OF THESE WALLS CAN TALK WITH PHIL BORGESS, RON COOK, COLUMNIST FOR THE POST- GAZETTE AND TIM BENDS ON THE RIGHT FROM TRIBLIVE.COM AND THE DVE PREGAME SHOW. WE’RE GOING TO GET RIGHT INTO IT. 1-4, ONLY 5% OF THE TEAMS IN THE HISTORY OF THE NFL, RON COOK, MADE THE PLAYOFFS. SO WHAT DID THIS LOSS DO TO THE STEELERS? IS THIS SEASON PRETTY MUCH DONE? WELL, IN MY OPINION IT IS. I TRIED TO FIND SOME FAITH AFTER THE 0-3 START BECAUSE THE DIVISION IS SO BAD, BUT 1-4, IT’S JUST GOING TO BE BRUTAL TO COME BACK FROM. I THOUGHT THEY NEEDED TO WIN LAST WEEK AGAINST CINCINNATI, WHICH THEY DID. THIS WEEK AGAINST BALTIMORE, WHICH THEY DIDN’T. I THINK IT’S GOING TO BE A REAL HARD ROAD AHEAD. YOU’RE NOT GOING TO HAVE ROETHLISBERGER. YOU MAY NOT HAVE MASON RUDOLPH. I DON’T LIKE THEIR CHANCES TO GET BACK INTO IT. I REALLY DON’T. THE DIVISION IS BAD. THE CONFERENCE IS TERRIBLE, BUT THEY’RE LETTING OPPORTUNITIES SLIP BY WITH AFC LOSSES. LET’S SAY, FOR INSTANCE, THE RAVENS WIN THE DIVISION. LOOK AT BUFFALO, EVEN THOUGH THEY’RE A FRAUD AT 3-1. LOOK AT THE BROWNS EVEN THOUGH THEY MIGHT GO 2-5 TO START THE SEASON, I BET YOU BOTH TEAMS WIND UP ABOVE .500 BECAUSE THEIR DREADFUL SCHEDULES THE REST OF THE WAY. STEELERS MIGHT PICK UP A FEW WINS, BUT I ONLY SEE THEM AS A FIVE TO SIX WIN TEAM ESPECIALLY BECAUSE NOW THEY’RE ON THEIR THIRD STRING QUARTERBACK, MAYBE FOURTH STRING. EVEN IF THEY WERE 1-4 BECAUSE THIS DIVISION IS NOT GOOD AT ALL. THEY DON’T HAVE BEN ROETHLISBERGER AND EVEN WHEN BEN WAS HEALTHY THE FIRST FIVE QUARTERS FOR THE SEASON, THIS WAS AN OFFENSE THAT LOOKED LIMITED. NOW YOU HAVE JAMES WASHINGTON OUT. I KNOW HE HASN’T BEEN MUCH, BUT YOU’RE DOWN A LOT AT RECEIVER. I CAN’T IMAGINE THEM COMING BACK FROM 1-4. IT’S A SHAME FOR THE DEFENSE BECAUSE BOY, HAVE THEY MADE STRIDES IN THE LAST THREE WEEKS, FITZPATRICK 15 SACKS AND 10 TURNOVERS IN THREE GAMES AND I THOUGHT THEY PLAYED WELL ENOUGH TO WIN TODAY. I CAN’T IMAGINE THIS OFFENSE HELPING THEM GET BACK INTO CONTENTION. LET ME DOVETAIL OFF THAT DEFENSE AND BRING THIS UP BECAUSE IT SEEMS THEY HAVE IMPROVED THEIR NUMBERS, BUT, TIM, EVERY TIME THE OFFENSE SEEMS TO SCORE A MEANINGFUL TOUCHDOWN AND THEY DID TODAY WHEN MASON RUDOLPH GOES FIVE PLAYS, WHAT DO THEY DO? GIVE UP A PLAY JUST AS QUICKLY ON A COUNTER DRIVE. THAT TO ME IS A PROBLEM AND HAS BEEN PRETTY MUCH ALL SEASON. THAT HAPPENED ONCE, IF NOT TWICE, AGAINST SAN FRANCISCO AND IT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED AGAINST CINCINNATI, TOO, IF CINCINNATI DIDN’T HELP THEM OUT BY CALLING A TIMEOUT TO ALLOW THEM TO PUT THE STARTERS BACK IN BECAUSE THE BACKUPS WERE ALLOWED TO PLAY A SERIES. THE STARTERS WENT BACK IN AND OF ANDY DALTON. THIS DEFENSE WAS SO LAUDED TODAY, NOT ONLY BY THE MEDIA AND THE FANS, BUT THE COACH DECIDED IT WOULD DEFER ON THE OVERTIME KICKOFF AFTER HE WON THE COIN TOSS BECAUSE HE HAD SO MUCH FAITH IN THE DEFENSE THAT QUIZICCALLY HAD GIVEN AWAY THE LEAD TWICE IN THE FOURTH QUARTER. THE DEFENSE DID A LOT OF REALLY GOOD THINGS TODAY, NOT JUST GETTING THE INTERCEPTIONS AND SACKS BUT YARDAGEWISE OVERALL, BUT BOB, YOU MAKE AN EXCELLENT POINT. THEY HAVE STILL BEEN SOFT. AFTER YOU SCORE, YOU KEEP MOMENTUM AND KEEP THE OTHER TEAM FROM SCORING. I HAVE A HARD TIME BLAMING THE DEFENSE AT ALL FOR PERFORMANCE TODAY. THEY HELD THE PASSING TO 100, 150 YARDS FEWER THAN WHAT THEY’D AVERAGING, SAME WITH THE RUNNING GAME. YOU’VE GOT TO DO SOME STUFF ON OFFENSE ONCE IN A WHILE TO TAKE A LITTLE PRESSURE OFF THE DEFENSE. I WAS MORE TROUBLED LAST YEAR BY THE FOURTH QUARTER COLLAPSES THAN THIS YEAR. I CAN’T BLAME THE DEFENSE FOR THIS LOSS. YEAH, I CAN’T EITHER. MAYBE IT’S NOT THE MOST OPPORTUNISTIC DEFENSE, BUT I THINK IT’S BEEN VERY GOOD THE LAST THREE WEEKS. THEY HAVE TO BE ALMOST PERFECT WITH THE WAY THIS OFFENSE IS NOW. THE STEELERS OFFENSE, THE PREDICAMENT THEY WERE IN, I CAN’T COMPLAIN WITH WHAT THEY DID, BUT RIGHT NOW THIS IS A FOOTBALL TEAM THAT IS LITERALLY FINDING WAYS TO LOSE ALMOST EVERY WEEK. THAT’S WHAT BAD TEAMS USUALLY DO. THEY FIND WAYS TO LOSE. IT’S TRUE. THEY’RE CERTAINLY NOT GETTING HELP FROM SPECIAL TEAMS. SPECIAL TEAMS WAS TERRIBLE. THE RETURN GAME WAS AWFUL. THAT MIGHT HAVE HELPED DICTATE TOMLIN’S DECISION, TOO. NOT MIGHT HAVE. HE FLAT OUT SAID THAT. I WAS STUNNED HE SAID THAT. HE ALSO SAID HE WOULDN’T USE THE WILDCAT AS MUCH, SO HE BS- ED US THERE. AFTER THE GAME WHAT HE DID. WE’RE GOING TO GET THE BALL AT THE 15-YARD LINE IF THEY KICK IT OFF. THEN HIS DEFENSE DID WHAT HE SAID IT WAS GOING TO DO BY FORCING THE PUNT. JUJU HAD THE FUMBLE. I WAS STARTLED BY HOW HONEST HE WAS. I DON’T RECALL HIM EVER SAYING ANYTHING LIKE. THAT HE ACKNOWLEDGED THEY’RE BETTER AT SPECIAL TEAMS THAN WE ARE. BUT HOLD ON A SECOND. WHEN HE SAID THAT, HE ALSO SAID TUESDAY HE DIDN’T WANT TO PLAY A FIELD POSITION GAME WITH THE RAVENS. AREN’T YOU BASICALLY PLAYING THE FIELD POSITION GAME BY GIVING AWAY THE OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE THE BALL FIRST AND MAYBE SCORE FIRST? NO. I THINK HE DID EXACTLY WHAT HE SAID, HE DIDN’T WANT TO PLAY THE FIELD POSITION GAME. HE FIGURES THEY’RE GOING TO KICK OFF. YOU’VE GOT YOUR FOURTH STRING QUARTERBACK IN THERE, START THE BALL PROBABLY AT YOUR 15-YARD LINE WITH THE FOURTH STRING QUARTERBACK. HE’S FIGURING WE MAY HAVE TO PUNT AND ALL THEY NEED TO DO IS GET IT HALFWAY WITHIN FIELD GOAL RANGE BECAUSE THEY GOT TUCKER WHO CAN KICK IT FROM 70 YARDS IF HE HAS TO. I THINK DID HE EXACTLY THAT. HE DIDN’T WANT TO PLAY THE FIELD POSITION. LET ME ASK YOU BECAUSE THAT CALL OF DEFERRING, I GET IT AND IT WORKED OUT EXACTLY THE WAY MIKE TOMLIN HAD ENVISIONED BECAUSE HE DIDN’T TRUST THE SPECIAL TEAMS. HOWEVER, THE RISK WHEN YOU DO THAT IS ONE PLAY FROM A LAMAR JACKSON TO BREAK IT. YOU’LL NEVER TOUCH THE BALL AND YOU’RE DONE. WHY WOULD YOU NOT WANT TO TAKE THE BALL FIRST? NO IDEA. I UNDERSTAND WHAT TOMLIN SAID, TOO. I UNDERSTAND THE LOGIC. IT’S STILL NOT THE RIGHT THING TO DO. IF YOU HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO WIN THE GAME WITH THE BALL IN YOUR HANDS, TAKE THAT OPPORTUNITY AND DON’T GIVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO THE OTHER TEAM. THE LOGIC FOR DOING IT IS SOUND EXCEPT FOR IT DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE. WHEN YOU FACTOR IN THE FOURTH STRING QUARTERBACK AT ALL. YEAH, BUT YOU GOT TO SCORE WITH THE FOURTH STRING QUARTERBACK AT SOME POINT. NO, YOU DON’T. NOT IF YOU STOP THEM AT FIRST. THEY PUNT IT. ALL YOU NEED IS A FIELD GOAL. JUJU DOESN’T FUMBLE, WHAT ARE THEY, 20 YARDS AWAY FROM A FIELD GOAL? RON, WHAT THEY DID THIS, YOU THOUGHT IT WAS THE RIGHT MOVE? I DIDN’T UNTIL I HEARD HIS EXPLANATION AFTERWARDS. THE REASON WHY IS BECAUSE IT’S NOT THE RIGHT MOVE. IT’S ALWAYS THE RIGHT MOVE TO TAKE THE RIGHT BALL AND NOT LET THE OTHER TEAM HAVE THE BALL WITH AN OPPORTUNITY TO SCORE. YOU CAN DO EVERYTHING RIGHT ON STILL RUN FOR 75 YARDS. AND YOU GET BEAT IF THAT HAPPENS. I WAS REMINDED OF A GAME IN 2009 AGAINST GREEN BAY WHEN THE STEELERS COULDN’T STOP AARON RODGERS. MIKE TOMLIN WENT WITH AN ONSIDE KICK WHEN THE STEELERS WERE WINNING AND THEY ONLY CAME BACK TO WIN IT BECAUSE OF THE LAST SECOND PLAY TO MIKE WALLACE. MIKE TOMLIN IS NOT AFRAID TO TAKE CHANCES. HE KNEW HE WOULD GET TORCHED FOR THAT IF INDEED THE STEELERS LOST THIS GAME. I SEE WHY HE DID IT, BUT MAN, PRETTY CURIOUS. THIS REVERSE PSYCHOLOGY DOESN’T LIVE IN OUR FEARS? THAT’S THE PROBLEM WITH IT JUST LIKE THE OFFENSIVE GAME PLAN WHEN THEY WENT WILDCAT ON LITTLE BIT. WHEN RUDOLPH STARTED TO PLAY, THEY LOOKED FINE. THERE’S SOME HYPOCRISY WITH THE DECISION MAKING. WE HAVE PLENTY MORE COMING UP. I WANT TO GET INTO SOME TOPICS MOVING FORWARD AND THERE’S SO MANY INCLUDING THE WILDCAT. WHY DO IT SO EARLY? RESULTED IN AN INTERCEPTION. IT WORKED ONE WEEK. GOING TO DO IT THIS WEEK, BUT THEY GOT BURNED. WE’LL TALK ABOUT WHAT TO DO NEXT WITH QUARTERBACKS BECAUSE AT THIS POINT IT IS A FLUID SITUATION, BUT FIRST WANT TO TELL YOU FOOTBALL SEASON IS UNDERWAY. SO HERE’S MY ADVICE. PICK UP A NEW NUMBER ONE COCHRAN CHEVY AND BE READY FOR THOSE TAILGATE PARTIES AND ROAD TRIPS. GET THIS FAST BECAUSE NUMBER ONE COCHRAN CHEVY’S AMAZING BUY AND LEASE SCHEDULES WON’T LAST LONG. SILVERADO, TRAVERSE AND MALIBU ONLY AT THE NEW NUMBER ONE COCHRAN CHEVROLET OR VISIT COCHRANCHEVROLET.COM. WE’LL BE BACK WITH MORE AFTER THIS. NUMBER ONE COCHRAN SPORTS SHOW DOWN IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY

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