Good Victory Monday to you Steelers fans.
Clearly my presence yesterday at Heinz Field is why the Steelers defeated the Broncos 27-19… OK maybe not but I’d like to think that so I will. A much-needed and perhaps “season saving” victory yesterday in front of a very nice crowd on a gorgeous day. Couldn’t have had better weather in the Burgh.
- First the first time this regular season we got to see more of Matt Canada’s offense. The consistent motion and jet motions are so important in terms of keeping linebackers from being overly aggressive. We also saw more of Derek Watt and heavy sets featuring Pat Friermuth and Zach Gentry.
- The offensive line was much better yesterday. Both in the run game and in pass protection.
- Chuks Okorafor getting the nod at right tackle over Joe Haeg was surprising yet it paid off. Despite a couple of false start penalties, Chuks played his best game of the season.
- Najee Harris over 100 yards for the first time in his career. Tremendous day for him.
- The Steelers have to find a more competent replacement for Harris. Benny Snell and Kalen Ballage did little to impress.
- In the ‘Three-Point Stance,’ our weekly game preview, I challenged the receivers to make plays after the catch. They most certainly did on Sunday. Terrific stuff from Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson.
- I think we have to accept that Ben Roethlisberger’s mentality isn’t going to change. He always believes he can extend plays despite his body’s unwillingness to follow his mind. He’s got to get rid of the ball and avoid those strip sacks. Kudos to the defense for holding Denver to a field goal there.
- From everything I’m gathering the injury to JuJu Smith-Schuster is not good. He is likely headed to the IR with a shoulder injury. We are hearing he may have broken it.
Tweet of the Day… Food for thought.
Just realized that every single Steelers opponent so far this year, including the Broncos, was 3-1 coming into this week.
— Trai Essex (@TraiDay79) October 10, 2021
- Terrific job up front by the Steelers against the Denver running game. Yes, there were a couple of moments where there were lapses but overall they held the edges and tackled well.
- James Pierre showed us yesterday why you never quit. He’s been burned in recent weeks as we all know but when the team needed him most he came up big and sealed the game with his interception.
- Is there anyone better in pro football than Cam Heyward is at knocking down passes?
- Minkah Fitzpatrick was really good yesterday.
- Yesterday may have been Chris Wormley’s best game. He did a terrific job against the run.
- What a play by Henry Mondeaux! Great spin move to get the sack of Teddy Bridgewater.
- T.J. Watt looked better yesterday than he did in Green Bay but I think he still isn’t 100%.
- Alex Highsmith is really good against the run but we need to see more from him as a pass rusher.
- Terrell Edmunds does a lot of good things. Will they keep him in Pittsburgh? I doubt it but I don’t think he deserves all of the hate he often gets.
- From what I could tell it looked like Pressley Harvin’s best day punting. And he’s must see in the warm ups. Balls that he punts sound like shotgun blasts.
- Great day for Chris Boswell. His second field goal was no gimme and giving us that 8-point lead was huge.
- Ray Ray McCloud is getting closer and closer to breaking one on the kickoff returns. You could really see the gaps open and close and he was really close to popping one Sunday.
- Mike Tomlin’s decision to take the field goal off the board after the personal foul was the right one. Easy to say after Chase Claypool’s big catch in the end zone after the pass interference call but it was. Any time you have a shot at seven you have to take it.
- The pass interference in the end zone was the right call. DBs have to make a play on the ball in order to avoid the flag. They are told this all the time. If you just play the receiver and have your hands on him then you aren’t getting the benefit of the doubt if you doubt look for the ball.
- As mentioned above, the increased amount of motion was terrific and the overall commitment to the run game was awesome. The crowd loved it.
The Heinz Field Experience
I try to get to a game or two each season and it was great to see so many fans. Last year I attended the Eagles’ game where the attendance was limited to about 5,500. Talk about weird…. I know there’s been lots of debate about whether or not “Renegade” has run its’ course. My feeling is this; I just don’t know what could replace it. The stadium goes absolutely bonkers. I paid close attention to the Denver sideline and most of the players were watching the big screen the whole time. Maybe it goes away eventually but I don’t think it should yet.
Make sure you donate a kidney if you want to purchase a beer.
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