Monday, September 14, 2009
Game Diary-Thoughts from Being There and the Tape
The beginning of the game was amazing. A tear was definitely present in my eye as the 6 Superbowl banner was raised amidst fireworks and a sea of waiving terrible towels. Just an awesome experience.
-Logan immediately pays dividends with a 40 yard runback of the opening kick. It just felt like good things were going to happen. The atmosphere was electric.
-The O game plan to start the game was excellent. I loved the WR screens and it seemed to be working. Not sure why it was abondoned so quickly. The running game was going nowhere. O line was getting no push on running plays.
-Great pass protection on 3rd and 8 but Ben misses a wide open Mike Wallace for what would have been a TD
-Thankfully Sepulveda is back and pins the Titans deep with a 54 yard punt.
-Troy is unbelievable quick on his third down torpedoing of Chris Johnson in the open field to force a punt. It is going to be a completely different D without him for the next few weeks
-Another WR screen is successful to start the second possession, followed by another one to Santonio for a first down. Good blocking by Heath Miller out in front of the screens. Again, I don't know why we stopped doing this.
-Willie Parker can't make anyone miss right now.
-Screen to Heath Miller. Tis is the perfect game plan to reduce pressure on Ben.
-Classic Ben, avoiding a sack, then running around and losing about 19 yards. Should have thrown the ball away on this one because we got driven out of field goal range. Trai Essex got worked on this sack.
-The reffing in this game was suspect. The first questionable call came when Chris Johnson was bottled up at the line, cut it back the other way for a big gainer, finally being chased out of bounds by Troy. A late hit was called on Troy which was clearly not late.
-Tennessee's O line had a great game. Our D had trouble getting to Collins all game.
-Alge Crumpler is humongous.
-Troy was everywhere before getting injured. Everywhere. Hopefully he is back in 3, not 6.
-Bironas misses from 37. The hold and kick were directly in front of us. We had a great view of the bad snap which caused the missed field goal.
-Steelers love pulling Kemo and love running to the right. We rarely run to the left. Glad we paid Starks and Kemo a pile of cash so we can never run behind them.
-2 running plays net 3 yards, then the O-line completely fails to pick up the blitz. Starks had his choice of people to block yet blocks no one.
-I thought Collins looked great, repeatedly finding his check downs under pressure to keep drives alive.
-Willie Gay did not have a great game. He got beat solidly on a couple of occasions.
-There were an inordinate amount of illegal formation penalties. How hard is it to line up on the line of scrimmage? Thankfully none were on Willie Colon.
-Yards: Ten 67 Pit -2, with 4 minutes left in the first quarter. Steelers are notoriously bad in the first quarter on offense.
-Lendale White got booed every time he touched the ball.
-The Steelers weren't bringing much pressure early. 3rd and 3, only 4 people rushed plus the Titans were max protecting leading one to believe receivers should not be getting open but they were getting open underneath.
-TROY!!!!!!!! Ridiculous interception by Troy that happened right in front of us. What a play.
-Run=stuff. Parker doing nothing. O line, no push, probably because they are lying on the ground.
-Ben had great protection on his pick. Just a bad throw.
-Woodley got schooled by Johnson in the open field. Johnson is way fast. For the most part, our D held their running game in check.
-3rd and 12, Steelers bring 5 with Farrior getting the sack basically untouched. Great job by the D to prevent a score here.
-Steelers come out throwing on first down from their own endzone. Good protection again from the O-line. I see lots of throwing this year but Ten is a really good run D. Parker stuffed again.
-If Willie had any vision, he would have hesitated and a hole eventually developed.
-Ben looking for Heath alot. I like it. We gave him the money, let's use him.
-Santonio is great at making tough catches in traffic. He did it all game.
-Willie finally breaks a decent run for a first down. Probably because there was holding on Hines.
-Another terrible call, this time a phantom holding call on Max Starks
-Ben stands in and gets walloped as Willie Colon gets torched by his man. Santonio grabs a tough one in traffic again.
-Willie is just not making good reads. He just ran directly into a tackler. If he would have cut the other way, there would have been a lane.
-A ridiculous non-holding call on Harrison. Get used to this all season long.
-Lendale White getting booed.
-I didn't like the crowd booing Nate Washington
-Ten doing a decent job picking up our rush. Collins had good protection all game.
-Horrible pass interference call on Troy. Terrible. Tomlin giving the refs some lip. He is a badass.
-The Steelers were using a pretty decent rotation at D-line. We have great backups.
-Titans had 2nd and 5 from the 13. Kudos to the D to hold them to a field goal try which was blocked. Smith is such a beast. He got a great push and blocked the kick.
-Troy got injured on the block when giant Alge Crumpler fell on his leg straining his MCL. Early indications are he will be out 3-6 weeks. More updates should be coming today.
-I love Mewelde Moore. I hope we use him alot more this season. Steelers seemed to agree later in the game.
-The Steelers may be the best team in the league at the two minute offense.
-Ben is king of the pump fake
-Great protection for Ben who hits a wide open Santonio Holmes in the endzone. Former Steeler Chris Hope bit on the pump fake and never saw Holmes.
-The D looks completely different without Troy and lets the Titans drive right down the field to tie up the game before the half.
-Ike got beat like a rented mule by Kenny Britt down the sideline and Clark didn't come over to help.
-Titans run the exact same play to score a touch.
-Great stick by Harrison in the open field on Scaife which caused a fumble. I firmly believed Harrison was going to rip someone's limb off this season and he nearly did on Scaife. Scaife just dropped the ball when his knee got injured.
-Finally a decent, patient run by Willie Parker. What do you know, it was a run to the left side with Essex pulling. Maybe we should try it some more.
-3rd and 1, and the Steelers got stuffed. Curiously, we weren't in Shotgun with 5 wides. Hartwig blocked thin air causing no gain. Seems like that problem from last year has not been fixed yet.
-Steelers D looked tough pinning Ten deep in their own zone to force a punt.
-Steelers come out in Shotugn on first and ten. Glad to see they are noticing the run is not working.
-Sweed didn't get many balls. Mike Wallace's speed is evident and he seems to have decent hands.
-2nd and 7 hand off to Willie where if he makes one guy miss he could have a decent gainer.
-My favorite play of the night is when Cortland Finnigan for Ten thought he called a fair catch but didn't and then got drilled.
-Keyron Fox was solid all night in relief of Timmons.
-Gay with a good stick in the open field on Gage. Didn't like his little dance though.
-3rd and 6 Steelers bring 4 but Gage still gets open underneath. I think Farrior missed his assignment on this one breaking towards the outside man. Steelers got decent pressure with 4 rushing.
-Woodley overpowers his man to put pressure on Collins and tip a pass. Expect this alot this year.
-3rd and 11 Steelers only bring 4. Gage drops a first down catch beating Deshea.
-Logan had a pretty decent game but did make a few mental errors along the way.
-I am having trouble believing this is a Steeler team with the atrocity that is our running game today.
-Sepulveda had a nice game and our coverage units were excellent.
-Steelers finally start blitzing a bit to start the 4th quarter.
-Steelers go back to screens and come out throwing on their first possession of the 4th quarter. They also bring in the no huddle. Ben seems to be a decent play caller in the no huddle and the Steelers really move the ball in the hurry up.
-Miller rarely goes down on the first contact and always gets extra yards.
-Ben getting good protection and doing a good job of finding his check down which is usually Heath
-Kearse nearly kills Ben coming in untouched.
-3rd and 1=stuff. This is a given.
-Another 4th quarter drive for Ben to tie the game. Ben is money in the 4th quarter.
-Hentrich shackersons a punt setting the Steelers up with good field position with 1:50 to go.
-Ben has great time and hits Holmes for a first.
-Ben hits Mewelde over the middle for a first with 1:03 remaining. Steelers take a questionable timeout. They had plenty of time and could have spiked.
-Ben hits Hines wide open over the middle who breaks for the goaline this should be ballgame but he fumbles at the 5 Tennesee recovers.
-51 seconds on the clock. If the Steelers had all 3 timeouts left, they could force the Titans to punt it back to them but since they used one, Ten can run out the clock and head to OT.
-Steelers win the toss. Ben drives them down in classic Ben fashion and Reed comes through yet again. I win $5 from Josh yet again. Reed is quietly one of the most clutch kickers in the league.
Steelers 1-0. They survived a survival game.
1) Run blocking was awful vs. a very good run D.
2) Pass blocking was pretty good. Ben had time and made alot of good decisions and spread the ball around well.
3) Special teams played great.
4) D looked good especially without Troy for the entire second half. Run D as solid as ever. This is probably the best rushing team we play all year with Minnesota.
5) Tomlin still struggles with clock management
6) Ben is clutch and our 2 minute drill is the best in the league.
7) Mewelde should be our starter at running back. He is great out of the backfield catching balls as well.