Monday, October 21, 2013

Steelers Game 6 Recap - Steelers 19, Baltimore 16

When the Steelers win it makes me happy. I know with how negative I have been towards the team but that is two wins in a row for the Steelers and you know what that means...


Now I wasn't able to catch the whole game but I was able to watch most of it as I was working a 12 hour day on Sunday so this is going to be pretty brief.

-I talked about him in the previous weeks but man has Shaun Suisham been nothing but money so far for the Steelers. Sure, he got the game winning field goal as time expired but he also converted field goals of 34, 28, and 38 before that to give the Steelers a chance to kick a game-winning field goal. The Steelers offense did a nice job yesterday against the Ravens defense but they sputtered and Suisham was there to get points. Eventually it is going to come back and bite the Steelers for settling for field goals but it is nice to know they have someone who can get your three points when you need them.

-The Steelers offense line was pretty good. Maybe real good. Ben Roethlisberger was sacked three times but the Steelers ran for 141 yards and the offense was able to score on five different possessions and only punted one time which was in their first possession. They converted 7-of-12 third down conversions. Obviously there are different reasons that the Steelers won but I really think that the offensive line is probably the number one reason. Big ups for those guys after a really brutal start to the season.

-141 rushing yards. Whoa. Le'Veon Bell started the season injured and seems to be getting into game shape as he carried the ball 19 times for 93 yards and looked powerful and nimble and finally gives the Steelers a running back that can come close to calling a number one back. It is a breath of fresh air. Not only did Bell rush for 93 yards but he also caught a pass for six yards. I know that doesn't seem like much but if he can catch some passes and become a threat there it will slow the pass rush and give Roethlisberger another option.

-Speaking of Roethlisberger, he had an underrated good game. People are going to look and see that he only threw for 160 yards and a 7.0 yard per attempt average and brush it off but it was much more than that. He completed 17-of-23 attempts and once again didn't turn the football over. He was efficient and spread the ball around to eight different receivers with his main target, Antonio Brown, once again serving as his go-to guy with six catches. When you have a running game you don't need your quarterback to put the game on his shoulders and that is what happened on Sunday. Taking care of the ball is key for Roethlisberger and when the line was giving him time the Steelers can be a pretty good offense.

-The defense was really good. Baltimore managed only 287 total yards and it wasn't until late in the fourth quarter that the Steelers gave up a touchdown which was the first touchdown given up by the Steelers since they were in London. Sure, the Steelers only had one sack and didn't create a turnover but they were able to get some pressure on Joe Flacco and make him uncomfortable. Troy Polamalu was great again and Lawrence Timmons was an absolute beast with 17 tackles (12 solo).

-The Steelers defense did give up the touchdown at an inopportune time with less than two minutes left in the game to tie the score but the offense picked them up. It seems like the Steelers have came up short on chances like this more in the recent past but Sunday they put together a great drive that picked up first downs and killed the rest of the clock. After Emmanuel Sanders returned a kick 44 yards the Steelers offense ran seven plays that covered 34 yards to set up the winning kick. I think the best part of this was that when the Steelers got to the fringe of Suisham's range they didn't just try to milk the clock, they went for the kill. On a first and 10 Bell ran the ball to the Ravens 35 with 48 seconds left and after a Steelers timeout they came out in shotgun and Roethlisberger found Brown for 11 yards and basically made the field goal an automatic one. Great job by the offense.

-Like I said I didn't get to watch the game overly close but it seems like the entire game plan was on point. I am talking about Todd Haley and Dick LeBeau on the offense and defense having a game plan and the players going out and executing it. I know Haley gets a lot of hate for some of his offensive stuff, some of it warranted some of it not, but he deserves a ton of credit yesterday.

The best part about all of this is that the Steelers beat the Ravens. I don't think the Ravens are particularly good but these are always close games and when you can win them it puts a little more pep in your step.

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