Huge win for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Not because their offense couldn't be stopped, not because they beat the Browns for the 12th straight time, not because the defense forced four turnovers, but because the Bengals and Ravens lost and now we are tied for first place and the 1-2 record that we had a couple of weeks ago isn't too bad right now. This is what its all about.
If any woman out there has married a Cleveland Brown WR and is reading this blog I will advise you of one thing. Do NOT let your husband carry your baby. He will drop it. Now, don't get me wrong, Derek Anderson is not a good QB by any stretch of the imagination, but I mean when you drop six passes as a team it is no wonder that DA was 9/24 for the game passing. What a joke the Browns receiving core has been this year. Edwards might have been traded but his bad hands are still with the team.
How good is Ben Roethlisberger? 417 yards through the air, which from what I can understand is an NHL high this year. I might be wrong on that. Drew Brees probably had like a 700 yard passing day somewhere in there. Ben was not as accurate today only hitting on 23 of his 35 attempts but he was still able to do pretty much whatever he wanted to do. He found six different receivers and found he big three (Ward-Holmes-Miller) a combined 18 times. He knows where those three are and he looks for them. They make the plays.
Talking about the WR, they were pretty money today. Hines Ward is just cash money when you throw him the football. He is top five in the league in receiving yards and he should move up the charts with his eight catch, 159 yard performance today. Hines had a TD and had another one overturned when he lost the football, while out of bounce, after his 15th tumble roll. Whatever, Steelers win.
Santonio Holmes made five catches for 104 yards but really had a nice all around game. On his long reception of 41 yards he made some nice cuts to go across the grain to get into the redzone. The most impressive part of Holmes' game today was his blocking. He was throwing blocks all over the place for his other receivers. It was really nice to see that he is working on the little parts of the game which are important for him to become the type of receiver that Hines Ward is.
Mike Wallace gets better every single game. He made two catches for 50 yards, but his most impressive play was a 21 yard end around run. It was the end of the run that was impressive. Wallace gets hit at the seven yard line and churns forward for almost five more yard after first contact and almost got into the end zone. That is Steelers football and he is just getting better with every snap and every game.
The Steelers run game was a mix and match of three different players between Mendenhall, Moore and Parker. Overall the Steelers went for 141 yards on 36 carries and other than the case of the fumbles the Steelers had in the third quarter they did a pretty nice job on the ground. In a string of plays in the third quarter both Willie Parket and Rashard Mendenhall fumbled on back to back possessions to give the Cleveland Browns the ball back after they had fumbled it to the Steelers. This is how a string of series ended for both teams in the third:
PIT - Ben Roethlisberger INT
CLE - Derek Anderson sacked and fumble lost
PIT - Willie Parker fumble lost
CLE - Derek Anderson sacked and fumble lost
PIT - Rashard Mendenhall fumble lost
So if you were keeping track at home there was about a six minute window during the game when there were five turnovers between both teams. This is a little concerning for the Steelers. I am especially worried with Rashard Mendenhall. He has no ball security whatsoever. He holds that ball like a loaf of bread when he runs and I can see this being a huge problem for the Steelers especially when you play teams like the Viking and Ravens who go for the ball all the time. It needs to be fixed, soon.
The defense was pretty money all day. Not sure if it made that huge of a difference, but just having Troy Polomalu on the field just makes the team better no matter what. I mean it doesn't hurt to have him pick a pass off to stop a Browns drive early in the game. The Steelers defense only gave up seven points, got two sacks, forced two fumbles and picked off two passes. Four turnovers and Ben Roethlisberger is a good recipe for Steelers wins.
It also helps when the Browns can't catch.
This was a huge win, like I said before the Ravens lost to the Viking and the Bengals lost to the Texans so right now the Bengals and Steelers are tied with a 4-2 record each and the Ravens are now at 3-3 after three straight losses. Good day to be a Steelers fan. Next week will be a tough one, but we are at home, where we are 3-0. It will be nuts. More later.
Here We Go