In a week filled with upsets, it felt a little better to be a Steelers fan, even if they played the Browns. Â In fact, it was Pittsburgh’s 12th straight win against the Browns. Â What was once a fierce rivalry is little more than a Sunday get together these days. Â Despite the offense starting a little sloppy and a fumble fest in the 4th quarter with 5 straight turnovers between the two teams, Ben still was able to throw 23 of 35 for 417 yards and 2 TD’s. Ben also threw a glaring pick in what must have been a huge mental mistake. Believe it or not, the Steelers currently have the 3rd ranked offense in the AFC. And I hear people say Ben isn’t a top quarterback. Â Hello, 417 yards….and he makes plays. Â Ben is a football player, not just your average (or even above average) QB. Â This was only the second time in team history in which a passer threw for 400 yards and two receivers had 100 yard games.
Hines was, as always a consistent target for Ben, with 8 receptions for 159 yards and 1 TD. Â A second TD was taken away even though it really should not have been. Â Hines has at least 100 yards in every home game so far this season, let’s hope the trend continues. Â Santonio had 5 receptions for 104 yards and rookie Mike Wallace who has definitely proven himself as the #3 receiver had 2 receptions for 50 yards.
The run game has returned. Â There were many in SteelerNation who weren’t sure what was going to happen with the Steelers run game, but I am confident they can run the ball when they need to. Â Rotating FWP and Rashard this week proved one thing – FWP is out of the #1 spot. Â I’m not even sure he’s #2 because quite frankly, Mewelde Moore has been the consistent back on the team. Â He supported the run game through most of the season last year as well. Â I’d say Mewelde deserves that #2 spot and FWP is #3. Disagree if you want, and I am the first to say that I wish FWP was the one, but he’s just not. Â He’s not used in the right way, he’s not big enough to be a Jerome Bettis back and running him up the gut gets no yards. Â He’s an off the edge back who needs space. Â Unfortunately, this week when he had space, he tripped over his own feet in what would have been a 1st down and also fumbled the ball. Â Meanwhile, since he was benched in week 3 against Cincy, Rashard has rushed 61 times for a total of 304 yards and 4 TDs. Â Rashard is the running game of the Steelers future.
The defense (and SteelerNation) gladly welcomed back Troy this week. Â And in true “Troysus” fashion he thanked us for missing him with an interception late in the 1st quarter. Â Thanks for being healthy Troy – we missed you and your hair. Â In just 1.5 games, Troy now has 2 interceptions (and I am calling it now, he will pick a certain QB next week, I am sure!). Â The overall defense improved Â and only allowed 7 points and 197 yards.
This week, with that quarterback I refuse to name coming to town, the Steelers have absolutely got to play their A-game. Â There are no excuses, 60 minutes of smash mouth football is what I am expecting and what the Steelers need to show there is no Super Bowl hangover. Â The Steelers have won the previous two match ups against the Vikings but this week will require additional “attention to detail” as Coach Tomlin would say. Â They better “defend every blade of grass” as well. Â Facing the leagues top rusher, Adrian Peterson will be challenging but considering the Steelers held the Chargers to 16 yards on 8 attempts it can be done. Â The Steelers have not allowed a 100 yard game in the past 24 regular season games and should not start now. Â Adrian Peterson tore up the Ravens defense rushing 22 times racking up 143 yards. Â Hopefully the Steelers defense watches that tape and learns many lessons!
If they stop the run, then it’s also time to put pressure on the pocket. Â That QB will test the Steelers secondary but I have felt that Ike and Will, Ryan and Troy are some of the best out there even if they don’t necessarily get the credit they deserve. Â If the full defense does what it needs to do, the Steelers should prevail.
On the offensive side, pushing a strong run game and balancing the rest on Ben’s arm, the Steelers need to come out early and put points on the board. Â The Vikings secondary has some injuries and they are weak in the secondary. Â The Ravens were able to rack up a total of 222 yards and scored 21 points in the 4th quarter. Â Much of that on Flacco’s arm.
After 6 weeks, only the Saints and the Vikings remain unbeaten in the NFC with 6-0 records. Â I like Drew Brees and since I will be in Nawlins during the game this week, let’s do the Saints a favor and knock the Vikes off the top.
**SteelerGurl’s Pop will be writing a post on the upcoming game as well. Let’s see if his analysis matches mine.