Sunday, October 26, 2014

Steelers Game 8 Recap - Steelers 51, Colts 34

This was an offensive assault form both teams. The Colts and Steelers combined for nearly 1,100 of offense and Ben Roethlisberger nearly set an NFL record for passing and that is just the start of what we all can talk about around the water cooler tomorrow. Do people still talk around water coolers? Whatever.

This starts and ends with Roethlisberger. He's played some really great football games throughout his career, but this is the best of them all. He threw for 522 yards and six touchdowns (!!!) and was in complete control. He threw the football 40 times in only 49 attempts and averaged over 10 yards per attempt. He really did nothing wrong the entire game and while he only threw nine incompletions a few of those were drops that could have easily went for catches. Ben doesn't throw a great deep ball but he was on point with it today along with pretty much every other pass.

Oh yea, and this:

Dude just makes plays and with Indianapolis putting up 34 points the Steelers needed their foot on the gas the entire night. Ben had his foot on the gas the entire night and carved up the second-ranked pass defense (according to Football Outsiders) like it was not big deal.

The Steelers offense as a whole gained 639 yards as a team. They had a pair of receivers go over 100 yards and they had 117 yards on the ground. 34 first downs, went 8-of-13 on third downs, and had the ball for nearly 40 minutes of action. There are a lot of good offenses that put up big numbers but this is one of the best offensive performances I have seen, maybe in my lifetime.

It would take me maybe 12 hours to do this recap if I went though and talked about every single player that had a great game today. Instead I will just talk about groups. First I will talk about the receivers. Man, were they good today. I mean I could talk about how good Antonio Brown is, but I think all of you guys know what he brings to the table. I think I can just post this here and it will about sum up how good he was today:

Martavis Bryant had been outstanding the last two weeks. I think when people talk about needing a "tall receiver" it is somewhat foolish because just being tall doesn't mean you are going to be good or just because you are small means you can't be successful in the red zone (look at Brown). That being said, Bryant has made a big impact and today he caught five passes for 83 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He got behind the defense for a 52 yard bomb and even though he dropped a very catchable ball in the third quarter (I think) he has been nothing but impressive through two games. Two games is a pretty small sample size but with some of the struggles of Markus Wheaton and Lance Moore it is good to see a guy come in and make an immediate impact.

Heath Miller is winding down his career. He is still a really solid player but he is not nearly the player he used to be but as he showed tonight he can still put up great numbers when given the chance. He caught seven passes (in eight targets) for 112 yards and a touchdown. He found the soft spots in the defense and when Ben wasn't seeing anything down the field Miller was as reliable as he always is with catching the football and making something happen.

The offensive line. Man. The Colts got after Andy Dalton last week and shut out the Bengals so coming in I knew it wasn't gong to be easy for the Steelers to make things happen in the passing game. All the offensive line did was keep ben clean the entire game and give him as much time as he needed to throw. Mike Adams has been a liability for much of his tenure as a Steeler but tonight he was pretty outstanding. Actually everyone was outstanding on the line and they were as good in the run game as they were in pass protection. The offensive line has been pretty poor in the recent past filled with injuries and inconsistent play so to see a game like this is really refreshing.

Le'Veon Bell is the man. He might be the second most important player on the offense behind Roethlisberger and that is because he can do so much with the football. He ran for 92 yards on 24 carries and then added six catches for 56 yards. Getting the ball into his hands is always a good game plan and when he can also catch passes as well has find the holes then you are going to have a very dangerous player. He didn't break the big one today but on numerous occasions he was so close to and you could just feel the big play coming. That is exciting stuff.

The Colts have a pretty outstanding offense and Andrew Luck is as good as it gets throwing the football. Indianapolis had 448 total yards of offense and scored 34 points but the defense played a pretty good game. I don't really know how to describe it because when you give up so many yards and so many points you probably aren't going to win a lot of games but they were getting after Luck. The Steelers haven't really been able to pressure the quarterback but they were hitting Luck on pretty much every drop back. Lawrence Timmons essentially was living in the Colts backfield as he hammered Luck all game. I don't know how he got up from some of those hits and I give him a ton of credit because he stood in the pocket and made some big time throws knowing he was going to get smoked.

The Steelers forced a pair of turnovers and turned one of those into a defensive touchdown thanks to William Gay jumping a route in the first half:

That cop was PUMPED.

The Steelers haven't created a lot of turnovers but they used the momentum and Gay was able to jump the route and give the Steelers some non-offensive points. It was a good feeling and something I wasn't ready for.

Things were pretty tense in the second half. The Colts are a team that never give up and usually come back for their wins. The Colts got it as close to eight points in the fourth quarter but the Steelers never broke. I am not really sure I ever felt like they were going to lose after halftime even though there was that sense of doubt.

Anyways, the Steelers got the win and it doesn't matter how. They scored 51 points and their quarterback just manhandled a pretty good pass defense. Fun stuff.

It's Ravens week.

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