Wow, what an opening day, huh? Who saw that beat down coming? I have to give some credit to the Ravens; they looked great on all sides of the ball. The new additions and changes in the O-line gave Flacco a lot of time to get the ball off and hitting Boldin on our weak side of the secondary makes total sense. Harbaugh did a great job coaching his team to success today and they had all the passion and energy that the Steelers lacked.
So, where should I start? Offense? Iâ€™m not sure what was going on today. Ben was under a lot of pressure from Suggs et al on nearly every snap. But thatâ€™s nothing new. Suggs has been in his face in games in the past. The Ravens secondary, newly upgraded, kept it tight on all the receivers this time around. Clearly, this is something the Steelers need to work on.Â Rashard had some success running, but it was inconsistent. The Ravens defense had all bases covered. To beat them, the Steelers definitely need to mix it up a little. The good news is the Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown were the bright spots in the offense. And Sanders had some key first downs when needed.Â Maybe itâ€™s time to make Benâ€™s wish come true and focus on airing it out more.Â The problem I see is if heâ€™s under that much pressure, thereâ€™s no time to get the young guys down the field. Instead, why not work ala Patriots and focus on those short plays to TE or WR just to move chains. Sure, itâ€™s not fast, and also not exactly pretty, but effective when you have to get the ball off yet move chains.
Ben also had 3 interceptions in this game â€“ two for sure he threw right to Ed Reed. He was under pressure, but all of the INTâ€™s showed bad decision making on his part. In contrast, Flacco looked like the veteran, calm and controlled when the play he was going for fell apart â€“ he was able to seek out an open guy and get the ball off.Â His new and improved O-line helped buy him a lot of time too. He should take them all out to dinner and give them a hug for allowing him to have the game he had today.
Defense? Iâ€™m not sure where anyone was today. Looked to me like Harrison was the only one to really show up â€“ and heâ€™s playing at 70%? He continues to give his all even if his all isnâ€™t perfect and again was held on many plays â€“ some of which were recognized today. But those penalties against the Ravens werenâ€™t enough to make up for our own stupid penalties.Â Iâ€™d say Ike had a great day too up to the point where he got called for unsportsmanlike conduct.Â Lee Evans who the Ravens were hoping to be there deep guy didnâ€™t even touch the ball at all today to my recollection.Â Ike stayed tight on him.
Thatâ€™s certainly an upgrade from the other side of the field where BMac was beat before the ball even was snapped. How can I say that? Well, look at how he lined up. His hips were turned before they even snapped the ball which in WR terms means â€œWIN.â€ My son is a WR and in his training this summer, his WR coach (who also has coached Ocho and Houshmandzadeh among others) told him to always run full speed at the DBs feet because it would make him turn his hips which almost ensures that the WR will beat him on the field.Â BMac started out that way. So, heâ€™s beat before the ball is even snapped.
I donâ€™t blame the Ravens. If I had to game plan against the Steelers, I would hit that side every time too.Â No doubt.Â And we all know that Will Gay is great on the blitz, but he canâ€™t handle one on one coverage.Â So there you have it.Â Why we cut Crezdon Butler, who had a great pre-season, I will never understand. I am sure someone smarter than me knows why we didnâ€™t go for some CBâ€™s on that side. Not that I donâ€™t have faith in some of the other young guys, but I havenâ€™t really seen them play yet.Â I hope that they crush the books and quickly learn LeBeauâ€™s complex defense. We need something new.
This game doesnâ€™t make me as mad as the Pats game at home last year, but itâ€™s a close second.Â Especially stupid penalties that could have been avoided.Â Iâ€™m looking for the defense to get it together and step up a little and I am looking for the offense to play with some passion.
This game reminded me of the Super Bowl in that one team really, really wanted to win and you could see the passion.Â Both times, that team wasnâ€™t the Steelers.
Yes, its game 1, and I am sure it will get better, it has to. But this isnâ€™t how I like to see the season start. Pretty pathetic today Steelers. Show me the team that fights to win like you did last year.Â I think we need some adversity to get over just to build that passion and teamwork.
What do you think?