Good Victory Monday to you Steelers fans.
As I always say, “A win is a win is a win…” But I have to tell you that as good as I felt after last week I don’t feel the same today despite the win. The Steelers had literally everything working to perfection in building a 27-7 lead at the break. Then the second half started. Credit the Titans for fighting back but the Steelers laid an egg in that stanza despite eeking out a 27-24 win. Here are my thoughts on the game.
-You could not have written a better script to start the game. Long drives, keeping Derrick Henry off the field and literally pummeling the Titans’ D. Good coaching and good preparation here.
-Ben Roethlisberger’s stat line will show three interceptions. I view only the final one as his fault. He threw into triple coverage into the end zone and also cost the team a chance to extend the lead to six. To make matters worse, Diontae Johnson was wide open. Otherwise, he was terrific and threw one dime after another on third down.
-Can’t say enough good things about James Conner who just keeps on grinding. So many hard, tough yards out there Sunday.
-What a difference Diontae Johnson makes for the offense. I think he and Big Ben have some communication issues to work out but what a dynamic player.
-Ray Ray McCloud is the return man we have been waiting for! Need I say more?
-The defense deserved better. They could have made a few more plays sure, but they got very little help from the offense in the second half.
-The conversions on third down were again spectacular. 13 for 18 is pretty damn good in my book. Conversely, the defense held Tennessee to 5 for 13.
-The way the offense played in the first half yesterday was brilliant. It’s what we all have dreamed of quite frankly. The run, the pass… Everyone getting involved. It was a thing of beauty.
-Not sure what else can be said about T.J. Watt. Three more tackles for loss and a sack yesterday. He might be the most disruptive player in the NFL right now.
-Vince Williams is a baller. He just is. So many important plays he makes during a game.
Tweet of the Day… What a hit this was from Spillane.
I know you got injured on this play
But I salute you for this type of collision against this running back.
— Will Blackmon 🍷 (@WillBlackmon) October 25, 2020
-Roethlisberger absolutely, positively cannot throw that interception up three late in the fourth. That was the type of decision I saw ten years ago. He locked on JuJu and threw into triple coverage. You have to walk away from that with a FG at least.
-Henry Mondeaux got a helmet this week and it didn’t go so well. He picked up two bad penalties, one on kick return and one on defense.
-As good as Randy Fichtner had been in the first half, he struggled to find rhythm in the second. Some of that is execution but some is also just poor play-calling.
-The loss of Devin Bush seemed to affect Bud Dupree more than anyone. He played in the middle several times early on and really didn’t factor in the game with his pass rush as much as I thought he would.
-Did officiating cost the Steelers Sunday? No, it didn’t at all but I have questions. First of all why was there no “roughing the passer” call made? Twice Roethlisberger was hit late or driven into the ground. Secondly, how can you call the defensive holding against Minkah Fitzpatrick who was illegally picked then you turn around and don’t call it on the other end? All I ask for is consistency.
-I don’t want to see Big Ben throwing the ball 49 times. There, I said it.
-Not sure why Chase Claypool wasn’t utilized more. It’s hard to argue with the success Diontae Johnson and JuJu Smith-Schuster had but I need to watch the tape. Claypool did draw an important pass interference call though.
-Let’s talk about the end of the first half. With :14 left in in the half, the Steelers got the ball at the Titans’ 32 after a muffed punt. Pittsburgh did not have any timeouts remaining and they led 27-7 which is a 20-point lead. Why Ben Roethlisberger chose to throw into double coverage to Diontae Johnson is beyond me. Chase Claypool was on the other side and oh, he’s 6’4″ with a 42″ vertical jump. But that’s not even my point. Why not look for an out route or sideline route to get Chris Boswell closer? Kick the field goal and now you’re up by 23 which means the Titans would have to score three touchdowns and get at least two two-point conversions to tie. I thought that last sequence was lazy and not well-thought by Fichtner and/or Tomlin.
Coming Next Week
The Steelers will have yet another major battle as they travel to Baltimore to play the rival Ravens who had the week off. I fully expect this to be their most difficult game of the season and there will be a few fans allowed into the stadium there. A loss would hand the Ravens the tie-breaker. Baltimore has three divisional games remaining and the Steelers have four (CLE, BAL, CIN 2).
Have a great day Steeler Nation!
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