Steelers’ fan Rich is back with another entry for our ‘Voice of the Fan’ section. You are always welcome to add your two cents as well. Just hit us up with an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Three Colts Points, two Steelers turnovers, and one angry Steeler Nation. That is how it all started. To be quite honest, it took me a while to get a good feeling about this game. I was uneasy about a six to three lead. I have seen these thin leads disappear like a Cleveland starting quarterback.
This game started out on the wrong foot. Jacoby Jones fields the opening kick-off like he’s carrying a girl’s books heading home from class. As pressure arrived, he realized he needed to tuck the ball. Too late. He coughed it up for what should have been an easy Colt possession and score. But this is the Steeler defense. On third down, Jarvis Jones picks off Hasselbeck. The Steelers hadn’t even got to the thirty before DeAngelo Williams gave up the second Steelers’ turnover, and the third turnover in the game with less than three minutes in the books. The Colts converted the turnover into three points. Pittsburgh seemed to right the ship. Their next two possessions were field goals. They gained a six to three lead by the end of the first. But as I have mentioned before, a three point lead does not define my comfort zone.
It took a while, but the offensive unit finally got some wheels. When they found them, they made tracks. Big Ben and company put the hurt on the Colts’ D to the tune of five hundred twenty-two yards! This is the second week in a row the Steelers amassed over five hundred yards. If you were to ask the average football fan what quarterback tied an NFL record with four straight games of four hundred fifty plus yards, Ben Roethlisberger is not the name on everyone’s mind. But it is the right answer.
In grabbing up that yardage and tying the record, the Steelers did most everything right. Third down efficiency was eight for thirteen, their highest success percentage of the season so far. They also racked up twenty-one first downs. This is what keeps drives alive. Extended drives lead to scores. As much as I like singing the praises of the Steelers Offense, Steeler D had just as much to contribute to this win. While the first three turnovers happened in the first three minutes, two committed by Pittsburgh, the fourth turnover was a broken up pass and interception by Brandon Boykin. The Steeler defense gave up a mere two-hundred forty yards. They allowed only eight first downs, and none of them were rushing. The only really bad drive the Steelers defense had happened halfway through the second quarter when the Colts went up by four. The Steelers D pretty much said ‘No Mas’ after that.
I want to put this out there. The Steelers have been ‘bargain hunting’ players and it is not been effective. Pittsburgh traded a draft pick to get Josh Scobee. His lack of accuracy was the cornerstone of defeat in week three against the Ravens. Pittsburgh picked up Jacoby Jones three weeks ago to bolster a special teams unit. He coughed up a fumble in the first, and muffed a punt return in the current depth chart shows Jones in second of three on punt returns, and at the bottom in kick returns. There are reasons these players are ready available. They are past their prime and seem to come at a cost. So why does management seem to go after them? Your guess is as good as mine on that one.