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Sunday, September 23, 2007

What we learned, San Francisco

The final score ended up being lopsided, but Sunday's 37-16 victory was no cakewalk for the Steelers.

The 49ers defense was a challenge for the Steelers, particularly with the multitude of blitzes San Francisco ran at quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. It really was a page out of Baltimore's book, as the Steelers said throughout the week.

The only difference was that while Baltimore can also stop the run while sending various blitzers, San Francisco wasn't very stout up fron and Willie Parker was able to gouge the 49ers on the ground.

But I also think we got a look at how the Steelers will attack the Ravens this season as the tight ends caught five passes for 91 yards.

© I have a feeling that Hines Ward's knee injury is a little worse than the bone bruise the team is calling it. Team doctors were showing president Art Rooney X-rays after the game and there was a look of concern on their faces.

On the plus side, the Steelers proved Sunday they can win without much of a contribution from Ward.

© Are the Steelers throwing the ball enough to the tight end for you?

© Willie Parker is emerging as one of the best running backs in the NFL before our very eyes.

He's so much more patient this season and he's making some great cuts, running inside and outside.

© Yes, that was punter Daniel Sepulveda out there on the hands team at the end of the game. There's no truth to the rumor that Sepulveda will be considered as a replacement at wide receiver if Ward can't play next week.

© The Steelers are averaging 5.5 yards per carry this season after picking up 6.2 yards per attempt Sunday. The offensive line is run blocking better than I've ever seen it.

© I think we now see why the Steelers signed 49ers punter Andy Lee to an offer sheet during the offseason. The kid is pretty good.

© That conditional draft pick for Allen Rossum doesn't seem like such a bad thing now, does it. Then again, Rossum didn't do anything special other than run straight upfield very fast on that kickoff return. Of course, that's what you're supposed to do on kickoff returns.

© The Steelers are going to see more teams rolling the pocket on them in the future after San Francisco had some success with it.

But you need a quarterback who can throw on the run to do it.

© The division is Pittsburgh's to lose.

Cleveland stinks. Cincinnati's not much better, especially on defense. And Baltimore is showing its age.


Anonymous said...

Good things are happening when you get a big play fourth quarter (or any quarter) against a talented young team like the 49ers. The Cardinals game will be a new challenge...on the road against a coaching staff that knows the personnel inside and out.

adamg said...

I agree about the AFC North. The Steelers seem to be a cut above the rest. Cincinnati looks they are coming unglued. Kurt Warner, an immobile quarterback to boot, picked apart Balt's defense. I suspect teams have figured out how to attack them now, just like teams figured out how to attack Buddy Ryan's defense after a couple of years. The Ravens won't be able to hide Chris McAllister or Samauri Rolle behind a blitz much longer.
Surprisingly, I think Cleveland is going to keep getting better. I really like Derek Anderson as their QB. He's big, has a good arm and doesn't appear to get rattled too easily. I don't think they are nearly as bad as the Steelers made them look.

datruth4life said...

Dale, I agree with you on Ward. A bone bruise takes a few weeks to come back from. If it is more than that, then it'll be longer.

The good news is that this team has a lot of depth. Willie Reid will be moved up from the bullpen, and we'll see if Tomlin's decision to keep him on the team was a good one. Personally, I think having a tough WR that you can bring off the bench with 4.3 speed and good hands isn't a bad thing to have.

The OL play has been surprisingly good. You can't argue with Willie and Dookie's per carry average.

Rossum adds a huge lift to the special teams, and I think A. Frazier will as well once he gets on the field. I also like that size of his, 6'5'', 255, as a 3-4 rush LB to back up J. Harrison.

Hopefully the Steelers will have Matt "the TD maker" Spaeth back in the lineup next week.

Involving the TEs on the goal line is such a big weapon for the Steelers. It takes a lot of pressure off of Ben, Willie and the WRs. I agree that they will be big going up against the Ravens.

mapod said...

I still have a little concern about our offense. Seem we have problem get the ball in the end zone in the first half. Our defense is playing awesome,LeBeau has them running on all cylinders.
BTW if would be great to get him in the HOF soon.
It is about time we start passing the ball to our TE.