10.05.2009

For Now, Let Us Praise A Season Revived

Everyone's going to freak out about how the Steelers were in danger of blowing an unheard-of 28 point lead to the Chargers at home, and while it got to be an unnecessarily close 35-28 margin at one point, this game was never really in doubt with the complete inability of the Chargers to stop the Steelers offense.

And because it's the Chargers, Steelers fans have to stop themselves from going overboard on the praise of the offense, which actually did its part in putting the opposition away. It was, after all, San Diego's defense that last allowed a Steelers running back to go over 100 yards. Still, it's hard to discount the straight forward running that Rashard Mendenhall did that led to 165 yards and two touchdowns. Add to that that the grouping of Hines, Santonio, Wallace and Heath is bedeviling defenses, and when they're on, they're going to be tough to stop. But it won't always be this easy. We're not deluded Ravens fans thinking we suddenly have an unstoppable offense by beating up on crap defenses.

For the time being, even with the minor scare, let's be thankful that Pittsburgh did what it had to do and won a key game in impressive fashion. Now the Steelers have the benefit of having the Lions and Browns in consecutive weeks to pad their record before meeting the Vikings in a huge contest prior to the bye week. Polamalu will talk in earnest about being back next week, but I'd prefer him waiting for that Vikes game in a few weeks, and even limited action at that.

The pass rush found a way to be more active at the end of this game. James Harrison registered multiple sacks and has three in the past two games. If LaMarr Woodley can get back on track, the defense will get close to where it has been once Troy returns to solidify the secondary.

Stefan Logan's turnover to allow San Diego back in the game was a questionable one. Some will grouse how the whistle should have blown because he was wrapped up, but he's got to know to hang onto the ball throughout. Perhaps it's time to reconsider getting Santonio back on punt returning duty. After a few years of finally perfecting his technique, it seems weird to strip him of it, especially when the problem for the Steelers was on kick returns.

Meanwhile, Ben Roethlisberger is completing an amazing 73 percent of his passes. The pass blocking looks ever more dominating each week. If Kemoeatu turns out to be all right, the line is shaping up to be a satisfactory unit. He returns not long after, but he'll see what the injury report looks like.

This was a week where nearly everything came together, even if they had some fluky difficulties in the final quarter. The rest will yet come, but this was a mammoth step and even the biggest downers will have a hard time denying that.

10 comments:

tbone said...

Its amazing what happens when your running for your roster spot. Fat Polamalu had some great blocks last night too...They need to go back to the "60 minutes" mantra ASAP though. 21 points in the 4th quarter is insane.

Christmas Ape said...

Yeah, I don't know how the floodgates are opening like that seemingly every week.

But only 14 of those are on the defense. Special teams has to take a big responsibility for the Chargers' surge with the Logan fumble and the onside kick. The fumble was a huge swing.

gamechump said...

I am willing to forgive the D-FENCE!!! a bit because the Chargers have a great O-FENCE!!!. To think we would shut them out if kind of crazy. I just love an upset KingLaserFace so I was happy.

My question is when do refs decide to call the ending of forward progress. I thought Logan was stopped for long enough to end the play, but I am retarded I guess?

Christmas Ape said...

It's not always clear-cut. In a gang tackle like that, they usually blow that dead earlier, but I think Hochuli's premature whistles last year have made them hold on a little longer.

Dixie Normess said...

Exact type of win we needed: showcasing for Arians and the staff areas of improvement and those that still are "growing edges." Stafford with the dislocated knee should mean an opportunity to get full back in the swing.

tbone said...

This is a good stretch to get 3 wins before the Minnesota match up in week 7. Hopefully Polamalu will be back and that will give the defense a nice lift...I just don't understand them in the 4th quarter...Time to start a petition to shorten the games to 3 quarters and we'd be undefeated lol

Christmas Ape said...

It could be harder to administer a knockout blow because LeBeau can't dial up as many elaborate blitzes without Troy. He's not a panacea though - a few other players still have to step it up on the defense to get back to where they were last year.

Steel Triangle said...

Jeff Reed sobered up (unlike me), or maybe not. Either way, he nailed the kick when it counted.

Mike Wallace continued to shine.

And, was it my imagination, or did Doug Legursky (?!) look like Bronco Negursky at fullback?

Well, he definitely lined up at fullback. And the Chargers' defensive line wanted no part of him. That's what I saw. I think.

gamechump said...

I do not want Troy to comeback until we REALLY need him. I want him to be as healthy as possible. We need him.
He can SO crash at my house.

... I need him...

/sobbing.

Christmas Ape said...

I doubt he'll play until the Vikings game at the earliest and even that might be spot duty so he isn't rusty after the bye week.