Good Victory Monday to you Steelers fans.
It was a tale of two halves in Buffalo on Sunday as the Pittsburgh Steelers rallied from 10 points down to beat the Bills 23-16. Here are my thoughts on what transpired in Western New York.
- With just 54 yards and ZERO points in the first half the offense bounced back in the second putting up 16 points. It’s clear there were some adjustments at half most of which centered around spreading the Bills’ defense out more.
- Ben Roethlisberger was every bit the wily veteran on Sunday. He struggled in the first half and then made plays with his arm and feet to lead the comeback in the second half. Part of the first half issues were the total lack of running game and the lack of consistent protection. Either way I expect him to play better next week.
- What a redemption story for Diontae Johnson who was benched last time the Steelers played in Buffalo. His beautiful grab in the corner of the end zone was awesome.
- Welcome to the NFL Najee Harris. No way was his pedestrian day all on him because early on the blocking wasn’t there. He found out quickly how fast NFL defenses are. He made some huge runs in the second half.
- You can never judge the value of a guy like JuJu Smith-Schuster. He makes tough catches, gets tough yards and blocks!
- Terrific grab by Chase Claypool along the sideline. Exactly the type of catches we expect.
- Very disappointed by the lack of tight end usage. One catch each for Pat Freiermuth and Eric Ebron.
- Speaking of, a screen to Zach Gentry? Come on Matt Canada.
- Overall, the offense didn’t look a lot different. Where were the jet motions? The re-alignments? The creativity? We saw brief glimpses but I expected more. This doesn’t mean there weren’t noticeable differences but as I said, I expect there to be more.
Tweet of the Day… I totally admit it. I had us losing this one too.
— kelly (1-0) (@KJovenitti) September 12, 2021
- Minkah Fitzpatrick was tremendous. Pass coverage, run support, the guy is just fantastic. 10 tackles (6 solo) and a pass defensed.
- Was T.J. Watt deserving of his new deal? You’re damn right he was.
- Cam Sutton had what I felt was the biggest play of the game. He played superbly overall with the TD in the back of the end zone the lone exception.
- Tre Norwood was a very pleasant surprise getting way more snaps than I had envisioned.
- Melvin Ingram is a bull in a China shop. He is a serious threat when he’s on the field. There’s little drop off when he replaces Watt or Alex Highsmith.
- Cam Heyward had two pass deflections and forced a fumble that for whatever reason the officials missed.
- It was nothing flashy but Devin Bush also had 10 tackles and 6 solos in his return from a torn ACL.
- The Steelers consistently got pressure using just four rushers on Sunday. Keith Butler didn’t always bring the same guys but when you can do that against Josh Allen you’re going to win a lot of downs.
- Really interesting usage of James Pierre. Mainly saw action only in specialty packages as a boundary corner.
- Danny Smith and I have a love-hate relationship. There’s no denying that. His kickoff unit was exposed on the opening kick as it gave up a 75-yard return. But there was redemption with that blocked punt for touchdown. Incredible.
- People often scoff at signings like Miles Killebrew but that was EXACTLY why the Steelers went out and got him. His blocked punt (and Ulysees Gilbert’s subsequent TD return) completely altered what the Bills were going to do offensively from that point on.
- Not a great debut for Pressley Harvin III. He averaged about 41 yards per punt which included a nasty shank. He did have one however that made its’ way inside the 10 yard line.
- Chris Boswell was perfect and credit Harvin with a seamless transition to being his new holder.
Up Next… The Steelers have their home opener as the Las Vegas Raiders come to town.
Have a great day Steeler Nation!
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