Heath Miller, Hines Ward, and Troy Polamalu: Steelers Game Notes
Ryan Clark intercepts Derrick Anderson to close out the game, giving the Steelers defense three turnovers in the Browns' last four drives. All the talk of the defense blowing leads in the fourth quarter have been shut up. For now at least.
Ben Roethlisbergers touchdown pass to Heath Miller early in the second quarter. Not because it was a great catch by Miller, or because it was the Steelers first score, but because Roethlisberger had a good seven seconds to throw the ball with no need for him to scramble. I know it was the Browns and they only rushed three but for the last two years it hasn't matter who and how many have been rushing, they we never blocked for that long.
543 yrds vs. 197 yrds: This the Steelers offensive production vs. the Browns offensive production. That stat basically says it all.
- In a way the Steelers are showing more potential this season than they did last year. At the same time they also look a lot less complete and not nearly as polished.
- One problem that appeared Sunday was some apparent fumblitis. Not a problem Steeler fans are accustomed too. Willie Parker's fumble shouldn't be much of a worry because he's proven he's generally reliable in that department but Rashard Mendenhall needs make sure he learns to hold on to the ball in a hurry.
- As good as Ben Roethlisberger has been this year, and he has been very good, Heath Miller has been even better. Week after week Miller continues to become one of if not the primary target of the passing game. He may have surpassed Ward the most reliable pass catcher on the team.
- Don't take that as a knock on Ward. In fact he's on pace to have one of the best seasons of his incredibly productive career.
- Many expect and fans thought this year would be a transition where Holmes would take over Ward's role as the go-to-receiver on the team. Steeler fans should know better. Don't expect Ward to get old in a hurry. He's going to keep playing in this league for a few more years and if he's playing, he'll be a go-to guy.
- The Steelers offensive line is officially a solid unit for this football team. Pittsburgh's linemen have been scrutinized more than any unit in awhile but they have finally proven that the personnel are there. The time together was the problem and it is now solved.
- Does anyone think Roethlisberger actually looks uncomfortable standing in a well protected pocket? He doesn't seem to know what to do with himself when he isn't running for his life.
- Speaking of running for one's life, Dick LeBeau is finally making offensive coordinator do just that again. So is Troy Polamalu.
- Polamalu had his second interception of the season on Sunday and his second in three quarters of football when you take his injury into account.
- Not only is Polamalu a ball hawk but he's a big time ball hawk who makes his plays when the team needs it. His interception on Sunday, although early in the game, was one of the key plays in the game. The Browns were inside the Pittsburgh 20 sure to at least take a 3-0 lead and instead came away with nothing.
- Throughout the offseason Mike Tomlin talked about how Lawrence Timmons should be the Polamalu of the linebacker corps. After two sacks and two forced fumbles on two straight drives, Timmons is showing he has that potential. He also has been improving his run stopping ability as well.
- The Steelers never cease to develop star linebackers. If Penn State is Linebacker U then Pittsburgh is Linebacker Incorporated.
What I think Fans Should Think
- Fans shouldn't be worried but should be a little concerned that Ike Taylor got schooled by rookie Mohamed Massaquoi.
- Fans should be happier but not happy with Bruce Arians who called a fairly smart game until the fourth quarter were he forgot to run the ball with a lead and continued to call a balanced offensive scheme till the very end of the game.
- Fans should start hoping for Mewelde Moore late in games. He isn't nearly the home run threat Parker, or even Mendenhall is, but he gains yards more consistently the other two backs and more importantly holds onto the ball.
- Fans should love Mike Wallace for showing great heart and surprising power when he finished his 21 yard end-around by fighting for extra yards instead of running out of bounds.
- Fans should know to thanks Hines Ward for Wallace's toughness.
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