The Pittsburgh Steelers will head into Week 18 of the 2022 NFL Season with a shot at making the postseason. The Black and Gold rallied from 13-3 down to defeat to the rival Baltimore Ravens 16-13. Here were my thoughts as the game unfolded and finished.
-Two weeks in a row. Kenny Pickett (15/27 168 yards TD) leads this offense down the field to a victory. And what a play to avoid the rush and toss a perfect pass to Najee Harris. It’s still a long shot but this team is still alive!
-Najee Harris (22 rushes 111 yards REC. TD) ran with violence tonight. Jaylen Warren (12 rushes 76 yards, 3 Rec. 22 yards) wasn’t exactly bad himself. I really like the use of both guys on the field at the same time. Not all the time mind you, but every once in awhile creates some issues for the defense.
-I honestly don’t know how you don’t take a few deep shots. The running game was killing it in the first half. Play-action and a deep throw to George Pickens (2 Rec. 29 yards) or Diontae Johnson (2 Rec. 35 yards) would have been appreciated. Heck, any play-action would have been nice!
-Mason Cole has been better than I thought he would be at center. But man when misses it’s really bad. Overall the offensive line was really good tonight especially running the ball. Dan Moore had some struggles in pass protection as he has had much of the year.
-Pat Freiermuth (3 Rec. 36 yards) is continuing to be the tight end this team needs. He has become really good at finding those open holes in zones.
-Spectacular catch from Steven Sims (3 Rec. 34 yards) over the middle on the game-winning drive.
-If anyone can tell me where Devin Bush is that would be great. In all seriousness, his career in Pittsburgh is officially over. Robert Spillane and Mark Robinson (7 tackles) saw way more action.
-Speaking of Spillane (9 tackles, 1 TFL)… I am incredibly hard on this guy but I can never have an issue with his preparedness or his hustle. He literally plays his ass off every week regardless of how limited he may be athletically.
-T.J. Watt looked like himself tonight for maybe the first time in a long time. He had a sack and two tackles for loss too.
-Awful. Terrible. Horseshit call on Cam Heyward which gifted the Ravens a TD at the end of the first half. If you can review a bad spot or if you can have the “eye in the sky” reverse Diontae Johnson’s sideline reception then you need to be able to review when an inappropriate personal foul has been called.
-Sometimes a player is just too much to handle and Mark Andrews (9 Rec. 100 yards) was that guy tonight. The Steelers tried several different guys on him and it didn’t matter. They even brought Bush off the bench and it didn’t matter.
-The more the game went on the worse the Steelers’ tackling was. J.K. Dobbins (17 rushes 93 yards) is a really good back but we missed several opportunities for TFLs.
-What a huge play by Terrell Edmunds (6 tackles, Pass Defended) to knock the ball away from Isaiah Likely. It was the difference between a field goal and the punt that ensued.
-Minkah Fitzpatrick (9 tackles, INT). The dude just makes plays.
-As always, I appreciate any player who plays through same pain or injuries but I’m wondering about Chris Boswell. He’s been an average kicker all season. The last time he was like this was 2018 when he was dealing with injury. He did bounce back to nail three big kicks but I’m concerned about him.
-Very solid night from Pressley Harvin III (49.5 yards per punt). A huge punt from deep in his own territory and another that forced the Ravens to start inside their own 10.
-Mike Tomlin made the right call to kick the field goal in the fourth. Down 13-6, the Steelers faced fourth and long with 9:30 to play. If you go for it and fail then a BAL field goal makes it a two score game and ends it.
-Easily Matt Canada’s best game (save for the lack of play-action). The run was working and he stuck with it. He didn’t get crazy with anything in particular and kept the offense in good situations.
-Say what you will about Teryl Austin’s defense but since losing 37-30 to the Bengals, his unit has surrendered 17, 16, 16, 16, 10 and 13 points. That’s defense you can and SHOULD win with in the NFL.
Next Week: The Steelers host the Browns. Game time will be announced Monday. Pittsburgh needs a win and losses by the NY Jets and New England Patriots.
Feature Image courtesy yahoo.com