Sunday, October 4, 2009
Steelers 38, Chargers 28
Well the Steelers came out of the gate and dominated, just like they always do. The difference this week? They won. The Steelers defense and special teams faultered some down the stretch but they did enough to come out with a 38-28 win over the San Diego Chargers Sunday night. The Steelers improved to 11-1 in prime time games under HCMT and 14-0 against the Chargers in Pittsburgh. Sounds about right.
The first half was a clinic on how to play football. The Steelers took three of their four first hald possesions for touchdowns and three of those drives were for 10 plays or more. You want to know the best part of it? The only drive under 10 players was the first drive when they went 79 yards in six plays for a touchdown. Great half.
The Steelers held a 22:52-7:08 time of possestion advantage over the chargers and held San Diego to only 19 first half plays. The best stat I could find on the first half? San Diego's leading tackler, Stephen Cooper had nine first half tackles, the Steelers, as a team, had 11 total tackles. That just shows you how dominate of a first half it was.
Talk about dominating, Rashard Mendenhall was just a straight beast tonight. 80 yards in the first half and 165 in the game. On 29 carries Mendenhall averaged 5.7 yards per carry and for the most of the game he was gashing the Chargers defense for big yardage at a time and it was quite refreshing. The Chargers, for the game, had 16 yards on eight carries. Pretty pathedic.
What was even more pathedic than the Chargers run game, was their defense. The Steelers rolled up 497 yards of offense on the Chargers and really just did whatever they wanted. When the Steelers wanted to run, they ran. If they wanted to throw all the way down the field, they did. It was very refreshing to see.
Before I dive into other things I just want to say the offensive line was just straight cash money tonight. The run blocking was very good and the pass blocking was just the same. Chris Kemoeatu had an amazing day today. He was all over the place making good blocks and getting "a hat on a hat" as Mike Tomlin will almost surely say in the presser. The line as a whole gave Ben a ton of time to throw and its about time we give them a little bit of credit after three straight good weeks of work.
Ben once again played an amazing game. He went 26/33 for 333 yards and a two touchdown passes. He had a 128.9 QB rating and he probably played a lot better than that. He found Hines Ward and Heath Miller eight times each as Hines went over the 100 yard mark. Miller had 70 yards from Ben. Just all around good day from Ben and his receivers.
On the same turn we have to talk about the defense and the special teams. Between the two of those units they gave up 21 fourth quarter points and had a turnover and gave up an onside kick. The Chargers came one good defensive series away from almost winning this football game. The Steeler lose this game and you might literally see people jumping off the bridges downtown.
The Steelers gave up some big plays. Outside of Ike Taylor the secondary has been pretty suspect this year Will Gay has played some good ball off and on but for the most part the secondary really needs Troy back. Losing Troy exposed the secondary and with the little pass rush we have had it makes it look even worse.
James Harrison played a pretty nice game. He got burned on a few pass plays but really can you expect James Harrison to cover Antonio Gates down the middle of the field? I didn't think so. Harrison mostly took double teams all night and still was able to get two sacks. Lamarr Woodley didn't have any sacks but he came inches away a few times from having a few sacks and really being more of a force than he was tonight.
All in all it is a good night. Jeff Reed made a field goal to seal the deal tonight and restore some face with the fans. Mendenhall did the same thing. All is good in Pittsburgh and we will all have a happy Monday for the first time in a long time. Bring on the Lions and Browns. Hopefully with those we can get to 4-2 before a showdown with Minnesote and AP and Farve.
Much more to come tomorrow.
Here We Go