There are few things in this world that can make a Sunday afternoon enjoyable like soaking in a Steelers win can. It feels especially good when you’ve been waiting since January to do it and it’s brought to you via a beatdown like the one the Steelers handed to the Seahawks today.
You can’t get much more of a polar opposite comparison than the one between this game to the game against the Ravens last week. Sure, the Seahawks are a very bad football team (so no reservations for Indianapolis just yet) but good teams take care of business like this against bad teams and it’s certainly a step in the right direction in terms of both getting into a sort of rhythm and gaining some confidence back after last week’s shellacking.
Speaking of beating bad teams, a certain purple-wearing team — who was pretty much handed the AFC North title by the media last week — looked pretty mediocre against a bad Titans team today. All in all, you can go ahead and cue the Ice Cube because today was a pretty good day.
- The defense may have actually been kidnapped last weekend, because the one that took the field this afternoon looked nothing like it. 0 points, 31 rushing yards, 5 sacks, only gave up 2/12 3rd down conversions and didn’t let the Seahawks enter Steelers territory for the first time until the fourth quarter. Pure domination — they played quick, sound, and certainly anything but old. The front seven looked like the one we all have come to know and love with Aaron Smith having a great bounceback game. Ike Taylor played another fantastic game and even William Gay had a pretty decent outing filling in for Bryant McFadden.
- The offensive line had a better game than they did last week. Pouncey was tremendous as usual, Marcus Gilbert was impressive (all things considered) and Ramon Foster filled in nicely for Chris Kemoeatu, his block on the Redman TD run being his crown jewel of the day. My choice of words here and lack of Jonathan Scott and Doug Legursky are for a reason, but more on that in a minute.
- Ben looked sharp for the most part today, outside of that one piss-poor decision that Aaron Curry almost turned into 6 points and a few balls that seemed to get away from him. Most importantly, he somehow appears to be fine after that scare in the second quarter. I don’t need to tell you how bad that looked, so let’s be thankful it only looked that way. Regardless of how serious it is in the grand scope of things, that sunofabitch hurt and Ben is, for a lack of an original word used today, a warrior for coming back into the game.
- Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman were as good as we needed them to be. I’m especially happy for Redman, he deserves to get these chances and is certainly making the most of them. He and Mendy are developing into a great 1-2 punch.
- Mike Wallace, simply put, is one of the five best players on this team right now. A one-trick pony his rookie season, he has really put in the time and work to develop his skills elsewhere and he’s really starting to show that he’s a complete receiver. Good attitude + good work ethic + good skills = a Steeler for a long time. Get used to number 17.
- Antonio Brown is a Sportscenter highlight waiting to happen as a return man. He dances a bit too much at times, but it almost worked today and I promise you it will pay off for six sooner rather than later, probably a few times this season.
- I hate to have a gripe after such a great performance, but unfortunately I need something for this section. The offensive line still has a long way to go. Jonathan Scott and Doug Legursky simply are not NFL quality starters. Obviously this team has proved in the past that a good line is not needed to reach the ultimate goal, but these guys can play better than they have been. We’re probably stuck with Scott at LT, but IMO, Foster should start over Legursky at RG once Kemo comes back. If that makes me a PAMF, so be it. It might be the best option the team has for the rest of this season. The guy sucks.
Cheers to a great win and bring on the Colts.