|24-17, Steelers Beat G-String Divas...|
|Written by Cotter|
|August 23, 2010 15:44|
Alright, so I know I promised to pound out a "full recap" today, but let's just scrap that idea, because it's 4:30 right now, and I've got several other more productive things I'd like to do today (like pick my nose for an hour), capice?
Here are a few more expanded thoughts on Saturday's game for you to generally ignore...
In case you haven't checked the box score or heard it from some other random human being who writes things about the Steelers on the internet, Ben went 6 for 8, throwing for 76 yards and one INT on which he underthrew Mike Wallace (sidenote: not hard to do).
There's really not a whole lot you need to say about Big Ben right now. These were his FIRST snaps of the PREseason. He only missed on two passes, albeit one of which was intercepted. But the important thing is he looked as comfortable as always behind a line whose pass-blocking capabilities right now aren't quite what anyone would consider to be in the proverbial midseason form.
PLUS, he hit Heath Miller three times, in eight pass attempts. I don't care what you say - get Heath Miller the ball and good things happen.
And no, I don't care how Ben was received by what could have been an already hostile crowd if it wasn't infused with so much Black and Gold (go NYC Steeler Nation!).
If not for the 68 yard connection between him and Mike Wallace, I probably wouldn't have anything to say about the guy.
Take that play out of his stat line and he goes 2/5 for 17 yards, although he did impress all of us who weren't sure his legs even worked with his random 11-yard rumble.
I don't really have a whole lot new to offer here.
He's experienced, we know that when he has enough time, he's got a solid arm and we know that he's got a frame that can withstand the type of damage any serviceable defensive line would do to a guy with the mobility of a lawnchair working behind the Steelers 1st team offensive line.
I'm not going to pretend I don't think it'd be worth giving Dennis Dixon a legit shot at the starting job, but I'm also not going to pretend Tomlin has showed any signs of giving Dixon a legit shot at the starting job. Maybe we'll see on Sunday night in Denver, maybe not.
The point is - most of us are on board, but at the end of the day, you have to put your faith in whoever Tomlin chooses to replace Ben with for the first four to six games.
Because frankly, no amount of whining from the fans has ever really moved the needle in Tomlin's mind.
7/8 for 82 yards, just as many rushing yards on just as many attempts as Mewelde Moore.
Yes, we get it - he's got good legs.
Yes, we get it - he's shown he can throw a good ball.
I don't disagree with either of those statements.
If you want to know how he would do against a first team defense, let's just ask the only first team defense he's ever faced, the Baltimore Ravens...err, rather, Peter King asked them, but here are their thoughts - "The Ravens want to see Byron Leftwich in Week 4, not Dennis Dixon. They think Leftwich is a stationary target they could nail with that pass-rush."
If you remember back to that game against the Ravens last November, Dixon went 12/26 for 145 yards and one TD. His big mistake, unfortunately, came in OT when one of his passes was intercepted by [backup, I belive?] defensive linemen Paul Kruger, which ultimately led to the Ravens 20-17 victory.
But there's another stat we should note from that game; and I'm not talking about the fact that he scrambled three times for 27 yards.
I'm talking about the fact that he wasn't sacked once!
To my knowledge what was the longest game of the season (duration-wise) was also the ONLY game in 2010 wherein the Steelers opponents didn't register ONE sack.
Was the line protecting him more because he was making his first NFL start? Maybe. Was it because his style of play is somewhat different from Big Ben's? Possibly. But the next time we faced the Ravens, they sacked Ben four times in 60 minutes of regulation.
So, how do I like him against a first team defense?
Put it this way - I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.
And hey, if he struggles, guess who's ready to give up his spot warming the bench?
I'm done with this subject for a while, thanks.
The Running Game...
Those of you who have been crying about the Steelers not running the football should have loved Saturday's game. The Steelers ran the ball 41 times, throwing it only 22 times, which for those of you who are good at maths is almost twice as many times.
How successful was it?
Well, Mendenhall averaged 1.4 yards/carry on 11 carries, and his longest run was six yards.
Redman, conversely, averaged a solid 5.7 yards/carry on only six carries, and his longest run was 12 yards for a somewhat-hard fought six points.
Mewelde Moore also averaged more than five yards/carry (5.4) on five carries, and his longest run was 17 yards, though he did falter on the goal line at the end of the first half on a carry he shouldn't have been given in the first place.
Some other guys ran the ball too, including Justin Vincent and FB Dwayne Wright, Vincent averaging 6.2 yards/carry on six carries and Wright averaging 3.4 yards/carry on eight carries, including one TD.
And good for them, but really, the first three are the ones who matter here.
I don't have much to say about the ground game except that 1) we seem committed to it, 2) I'm sure the offensive line is loving that, and 3) it's the preseason..Rashard Mendenhall can average negative yards per carry for all I care (as long as he holds on to the football).
The First Team Defense...
Other than Aaron Smith's sack above, there isn't a whole lot I feel that I need to note about the starting defense.
They did give up six points on a 75-yard, three-and-a-half minute drive orchestrated by a 3rd string QB, but I'm not going to hold that against them, considering they held the Giants offense to just 32 total yards on the THREE previous drives (16 on 1st drive, 5 on 2nd drive, 11 on 3rd drive).
It's preseason - just enjoy the hitting.
Other Undisputed Items...
1. I have GOT to fix/start using the Read More button on this blog.
2. Pencil Antonio Brown into the roster as WR/PR/KR.
3. Don't expect to see Troy miss tackles like that in the regular season.
4. If you don't know who Dan Rooney is, you have no business being anywhere near a football stadium.
5. Ike Taylor is an idiot. But he knows it, and wouldn't you rather him get ejected from a PRESEASON game for throwing haymakers than a regular season game?
Besides, Tomlin's on it...
Now, first of all - if you actually read this whole post, thank you and congratulations, achievement unlocked.
Second, what are your thoughts on the QB situation, the RB's performance, the D's performance, cookies, dinosaurs, or Mike Wallace saying he has yet to see an NFL CB who can cover him deep without safety help?
We welcome any and all comments.
Say what you will....
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