The Pittsburgh Steelers looked like their old, dominant self again after decimating the San Francisco 49ers. Heinz Field hasn’t looked this wild in forever, with energy that felt like a wave of black and gold crashing down against the opponents.
The offense took off and never looked back, as dominant performances by Ben Roethlisberger, DeAngelo Williams, and Antonio Brown set the tone of the game.
As well as the offense played, the play of the defense was what made the win all the more sweeter. The defensive side of the ball is what made most people hold their breath, as their shaky communication and lack of quality of play caused quite a commotion last week against the Patriots.
Many guys stepped up, especially the linebackers, since the 49ers seemed determined to run the ball against the Steelers.
You can’t mention “defense” from the game without Ryan Shazier’s name in the mix. This young man tallied a career high 15 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, and a fumble recovery against the 49ers. The lightning quick energy he brought to this ailing defense was like a shot of adrenaline directly to the vein.
Shazier’s 17 yard sack on Kaepernick was clutch, as it ended the drive right then and there. It seemed like every time Ryan was in on a play, it turned out to be a crucial stop.
The numbers indicated on his stat sheet only shows the tip of the iceberg. He’ll only continue to get better, so there’s plenty to get excited about.
Cam Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, and Arthur Moats also made statements with their excellent play, as they all recorded a sack on Colin Kaepernick. Even rookie linebacker Bud Dupree got in on the action, recording his 2nd career sack.
The secondary did just enough to not ruin everything, and even got some glory as well. William Gay and Antwon Blake were all over Kaep with the occasional corner blitz.
Everyone got in on some action, and it was awesome. This is how this defense should operate every time. We know they are capable of great things, so now we just need them to be consistent.
We know the offense can handle anything, but can the defense continue to hold their end of the bargain?
If so, then Pittsburgh will be armed and dangerous for a Superbowl run.
If not, how long will the Steelers bus travel with 2 flat tires?
Stats and info courtesy of NFL.com and Steelers.com