Sunday, August 23, 2009

Washington - 17, Steelers - 14

Finally got to watch the Steeler game a little bit just right now and there were a few things that I caught from the game that you can actually take something out of. Now, the Steelers lost the game 17-14 but that really does not mean anything.

The first thing that I noticed in the first three minutes of the game was that I am so glad I don’t have to listen to Joe Theisman for the entire season. He was awful last night. I remember when the Skins ran their fake punt, Theisman stated that it was a good call at a crucial time of the game. Crucial time of the game? Are you serious Joe? It was 30 seconds into the first quarter? Get a clue. Also he tried to say that these teams prep for each other and have game plans. No way. If Dick LeBeau wanted to have a game plan the Skins would not have had it that easy on offense and there would have been some more character in the Steelers offense. I know that.

The first team defense I thought did a pretty nice job last night. The Skins tried to go deep twice and Troy made a nice play on the first offensive play of the game and Ike Taylor had nice coverage one on one a few series later. Lawrence Timmons got a few pressures, although no sacks, but I didn’t see anything that was glaring bad like I did against Carolina. He was a little late jumping a coverage in the second quarter but he still was right there on it so it could have been worse. The Steelers also stuffed the Skins on a goal to go series which was nice, Keyaron Fox made a play on third down which was very nice to see.

The offense was not good at all. The line was having problems all night and Charlie Batch was hurried, hit and being forced to move out of the pocket most of the time he was in the game. The Steelers were able to convert on a goal to go series when Willie Parker scored on a toss play to the right on a second and goal play so that is somewhat reassuring. Charlie Batch looked ok as he came back for his extended play but overall I was not impressed with the offense as a whole. Granted, last year they were in the mid 20’s in every category AND it is the preseason so who knows. I would like to see more. Maybe it was a little bit that Ben wasn’t in there, but who knows.

Rashard Mendenhall looked better last night. He played after Fast Willie Parker and although he might not have played against the top defense he was finding creases and hitting them a little bit more last night. Mendenhall collected 26 yards on five carries so it was much better statistically then his first preseason game against the Cardinals.

None of the receivers made much of a presence in the game as there were not too many completions to go around. All the QB’s combined only went to complete 15 passes and those were to 11 different receivers. Shaun McDonald had three catches but that was only for 13 yards. Mike Wallace made two catches for 23 yards and probably looked the best out of him, Sweed and McDonald. I think Mike Wallace has a decent chance, as of now, to make the team.

On a bad note, Dennis Dixon left the game in the fourth quarter after suffering a shoulder injury. Coach Mike Tomlin said that it was a AC Joint which if it is true could be an injury that could take a week or months. Dixon looked ok. Made a few nice throws to Wallace and Sweed and also made a very nice run late in the second quarter for 17 yards. It will be nice to continue to see how that injury progresses because I like Dixon and think he can help this team, if not this year then defiantly next year.

The specialties were the best part of the Steelers game last night. Punt coverage was very good last night as Danny S. gave about 48 yards a punt and the coverage team only gave up about six yards so it was very good showing by that. In the same respect I think Stefan Logan made the team last night with his returns. He averaged 12 yards a punt return which is a lot better than what they were able to do last years. He also averaged 40 yards per kick return. 40 yards. That is incredible. If you told Big Ben that he was going to start the drive on the 35 or 40 yard line every time he will tell you that we are going to score some points. Logan is on the team, not doubt about it. You gotta be happy about the special teams from the Steelers.

The officials were not very good last nigh at all either. A lot of flags and some shoddy calls on both sides. Not just bad calls and bad no calls for the Steelers but I think the Skins got hosed too. Hopefully the officiating can be better than this for the regular season.

Overall a so-so game with a lot of penalties on Pittsburgh, 10 in the first half, and some sloppy play on offense. This is only the second preseason game so you can reserve some criticism but hopefully we can see something else next game.

Here We Go.

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