The Pittsburgh Steelers honored their Super Bowl XL Championship team this weekend on the 10th anniversary of their magical run to the fifth title. Since the Steelers play their opponent from Super Bowl XL on the road next week, the next best opponent to celebrate the achievement with would of course be the Cleveland Browns.
Following their 30-9 win today over their rivals to the northwest, the black and gold can look ahead to a much needed break. There were lots of things to love about the win but there were also a few things that left a lot to be desired.
Things I Loved Today
Ben Roethlisberger. Enough said right? Big Ben came off the bench to throw for more yards than any other back-up QB in NFL history dating back to 1950. He threw the ball as well today as he has in quite some time and I don’t think there’s any doubt the offense enjoyed having him in the game.
Anthony Chickillo. The rookie finally saw some serious time at outside backer spelling Jarvis Jones today and I thought he was really solid. His motor has always been great but today he flashed some serious speed coming off of the line of scrimmage.
Cam Heyward and Stephon Tuitt. These two individually are very good. Together they are an absolute nightmare and combined for five tackles, two sacks an three tackles for loss. Without them pushing the pocket, this defense would be in serious trouble.
Brown and Bryant. After dropping a few balls last week, Martavis Bryant bounced back. Then today he made a spectacular catch only to fumble the ball away. After switching gloves those problems were a thing of the past. He’s an absolute difference maker. As for Brown, there isn’t a better all-around receiver in the game and he’s one hell of a gymnast.
Things I Hated Today
The Secondary. 372 yards passing given up to Johnny Manziel? Hey, the kid may be a nut-job but he can throw the football and proved it today. The Steelers’ secondary continues to struggle with coverage and again today had several bits of miscommunication that resulted in big plays for the Browns. Both Antwon Blake and Ross Cockrell struggled at times today but all the blame can’t be theirs alone.
Red Zone Offense. The Steelers were one for six today and there’s plenty of blame to go around. From poor play-calls to poor execution the Steelers cannot rely on field goals. If it sounds like a broken record it. This issue looked like it was resolved earlier in the season but it has come back. With the defense struggling to slow down passing games, the Steelers’ offense has to score touchdowns.
Jacoby Jones. Wasn’t Jones brought in to replace Antonio Brown in the punting return game and Dri Archer in the kick return game? So far, Jones has done nothing, other than give fans a heart attack, to make us think he was worth picking up. Although he’ll never do it, Mike Tomlin could be forgiven if he brought back Archer.
photo courtesy cleveland.com