Pittsburgh Steelers Defense Gets Offensive

TJ JenkinsAnalyst IOctober 28, 2009

PITTSBURGH - OCTOBER 25: Brett Favre #4  of the Minnesota Vikings walks off the field past Brett Keisel #99 of the Pittsburgh Steelers after Keyaron Fox #57 (not shown) intercepted  Favre and returned it for a touchdown at Heinz Field on October 25, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

Steelers 27 Vikings 17

Living in Cleveland Browns TV coverage territory got me again, as the two teams played at the same time for yet another week. I did not get to view the game live as I was trick or treating with my daughter and younger sister. It was quite fun, a lot more than I’d of had if I’d of stayed to watch the Green Bay Packers dominate the Browns.

So, I get home and immediately go for the computer to check the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Minnesota Vikings score and statistics.

Of course I let out a huge "hell yeah" after seeing just what had transpired during the game.

It seems that the Steelers defense is back to old form, as the line backing corps took two to the house handing Brett Favre his first loss of the season.

First things first though.

Ben Roethlisberger didn’t do too much during the game, getting sacked three times. He didn’t have to do much because the Steelers defense stepped up. He finished the game with a season low 175 yards and one touchdown. He didn’t throw a pick though, and we saw flashes of the Roethlisberger of yesteryear.

Rashard Mendenhall continued to be successful as the Steelers starting running back, though his opportunities were limited. Only 10 rushes for the second year back, with 69 yards gained. Not too shabby in my book. I mean, sure it’d of been great had he not fumbled and lost it, but things happen.

The rookie Mike Wallace was the team’s leading receiver, while Hines Ward, who was the league’s leading receiver, was held to just one catch for three yards. Not exactly something Steelers fans are accustomed to seeing out of him.

Wallace now has two touchdowns in his past three games. Limas Sweed on the other hand, well, he makes sure that Wallace is fully hydrated.

The Steelers linebackers were all over the field, with James Farrior leading the team in tackles and sacking Favre. LaMarr Woodley returned a fumble for a 77 yard touchdown. Lawrence Timmons had five tackles before leaving in the fourth quarter.

Timmons leaving the game opened the door for Keyaron Fox to catch a blooper reel screen pass off of Chester Taylor’s helmet and taking it 82 yards for the score to seal the game. James Harrson had two sacks of his own. Just a completely dominating group that literally won the game for the Steel City.

The former USC Trojan Troy Polamalu seems to be returning to pre-injury form. With six tackles, he’s certainly not shying away from contact like you’ll see a lot of recently injured players doing. I suppose he’s somewhat immune to any Madden Curse.

The defense also held the league’s leading rusher and freak of nature Adrian Peterson to 69 yards on 18 attempts. He got into the end zone once but his longest run was only two yards more than Mendenhall’s 17.

The biggest detriment to the Steelers in this game is their third down efficiency. Thirty-three percent does not cut it. You’ve got to be able to win the battle on third down. Four of twelve is not good at all. I’d settle for even 50 percent. I really would. But a third of the time? No way.

Also in that "bad" category, the Steelers special teams gave up the second consecutive kick return touchdown to rookie wide receiver Percy Harvin. Remember the old saying, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me,"? Well, look for special teams to be the epicenter of work this week.

All in all, I can only imagine how Favre feels, setting season highs in both yards (334) and attempts (51). The Vikings were forced into throwing the ball due to Dick LeBeau’s consistent blitzing schemes that allowed Favre no rest. The Steelers defense is finally back to old form and at the exact moment in the season where they needed to turn up the heat.