Friday, September 11, 2009
Keep Wavin' Those Towels
I'll take the good with the bad; Well, when the Steelers win the game, that is.
The game was as nailbitten as any season opener can be, and the defensive fistfight between the Titans and Steelers seemed almost inevitable. The game was really sloppy, and no team had a perfect drive, but I think we all can agree that we saw two very talented teams on the field. Be afraid AFC, be very afraid. Here are my thoughts on the main storylines of the night.
Ben: BBR was very much himself. The clutch QB looked sloppy at times, but when he got things rolling, he was essentially impossible to stop. Yes fellow Steeler Fans, I know it feels odd to have so much trust in our passing game. But when one has an elite QB hooking up with two Super Bowl MVP wide recievers, one can't really complain. It's becoming a trademark of Ben's to convert 3rd down passing plays like he's eating peach rings-and in the 4th quarter nonetheless. I'm also getting to the point where I'd rather see the ball in Ben's hands in shotgun on 3rd down and 2, rather than put the conversion into the hands of our offensive line's run blocking capabilities.
WR's: Mike Wallace made a clutch play, and a great move to get open. Hines Ward was incredibly clutch-yes, even with that fumble. And I have a strange feeling that Hines is going to spend the rest of the season making up for that drop-even though we won the game. Oh, and Santonio Holmes was ALWAYS THERE. I don't think i've ever been this excited for our wide recieving corps.
D: The run defense had a shaky start, but they really clamped down after the first half. Keyaron Fox looked right at home, and looks like a very solid backup. He had a fumble recovery after James Harrison's destructive tackle of Bo Scaife. The pass rush didn't get to Kerry Collins enough, but Farrior had a crucial sack to take away field goal range, and KC was rushed often into making some bad throws. BIG SNACK was absolutley tearing it up out there. The secondary was hurting out there, and I'll get to TP a little later, but they pulled it together to stop some crucial drives late in the game.
Special Teams: Isn't it nice to have some talent in our special teams? Stefan Logan looked like he could break out into a TD run at any point in the game. Jeff Reed made the clutch kicks. Sepulveda BOOMED the ball, and Aaron Smith blocked a field goal that proved to be the difference of the game. What more can I say?
Troy:Most guys would put Troy's injury in the ugly, but we're talking about the Steelers. Injuries aren't excuses, they're opportunities for other guys to step up. Troy will be out 3-6 weeks, but he'll be resting and possibly fully energized to take on the post-season if it comes to that. Also, Tyron Carter is one of the best back-ups on the team. He has incredible energy, veteran smarts, and makes big plays. I may be overthinking this, but I think teams underestimate the defense when Troy is out. That gives the Steelers a leg up to catch their opponents sleeping. There are still great playmakers. But boy, the way Troy was playing in the first quarter, I cannot wait for him to get back.
Running Game: There is no way I'm blaming Fast Willie for this running attack. As i've said from the end of last season, the run blocking is the worst element of this Steeler Team. I don't know what the coaches can do, but they need to take some action. The line needs to make opportunities for Willie to run; it was utterly embarrassing to see WP caught in the backfield repeatedly. That being said, Willie needs to break the first tackle. There were times when a little hole was there, but his ankle got caught and boom, there goes that run. The one shining light was Mewelde Moore's runs in the 4th quarter; he can be a real slimy dude when he wants a first down. With that on the table, let's remember that the Titan D-Line is one of the best, even without Hayneworth.
Overall, I wasn't dissapointed with the team in the least. There is definitley room to improve, but they just got one of their toughest foes knocked off the schedule, and got away with a mark in the win column. Although the Bears are a tough team, the matchups really benefit the Steelers. Baltimore will be the next game that could be as tough as this one. Let's all hope that Troy will be back and in great shape for that one.
Here's to the start of another great Steeler season.