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Sunday, October 07, 2007

What we learned: Seattle

Early in the week, Mike Tomlin called out Nate Washington and Cedrick Wilson for their poor play the week before at Arizona.

Tomlin was particularly upset with their lack of downfield blocking, Washington's tendency to give up on plays and Wilson's constant bitching.

None of those things were evident Sunday. Message sent and received.

© Of course Tomlin wasn't planning on Washington and Wilson needing to be such big parts of the offense Sunday. The third play of the game was supposed to be a deep ball to Santonio Holmes - who was injured in pre-game warmups.

Instead the Steelers' third play was a two-yard run by Willie Parker.

© That win was all Ben Roethlisberger on offense and an inspired defense led by James Farrior and Ike Taylor.

Roethlisberger was as sharp as I've ever seen him - and mind you I've seen every snap he's taken in the NFL in person and seen him in practice for countless hours. Even the passes he missed were just off the finger tips of receivers.

Farrior had 2 1/2 sacks Sunday and already has set his career-high with 4 1/2.

Taylor had one interception Sunday and could have had five if he had better hands.

© Seattle really didn't give Matt Hasselbeck a lot to work with on many occasions.

The Seahawks went max-protect a lot and the receivers who were out in patterns were only getting five or six yards from the line of scrimmage. That's very easy to cover, even when Hasselbeck had plenty of time.

© Once Deion Branch was out, that was pretty much it for anything deep.

© The Steelers dodged a bullet when Marvel Smith got dinged and came back in later. You'd better believe there were a lot of people wearing headsets with black and gold shirts on holding their collective breath on that one.

Smith is the player the team can least afford to lose. And that's why the Steelers' No. 1 pick will be an offensive tackle next year - one who is able to play guard as well. The kid can then challenge Chris Kemoeatu for the starting left guard spot.

© Allen Rossum isn't much of a punt returner, but he is heady.

When he tried to field a punt at the goal line after a Seattle player had touched it, many in the press box wondered what he was doing.

Those of us who actually knew the rule knew that he was being smart. There is no penalty for the offense to attempt to advance the ball after the kicking team touches it. Rossum could try to get the ball off the one with no downside.

© The Steelers have yet to allow a point in the second quarter of a game this season. That's impressive.

© So much for those red zone problems. Three-for-three in this one. Of course those of us who have Jeff Reed on their fantasy team aren't all that happy about that.

You can't please everyone.

© This was a big win for this team as it heads into the bye week. With two weeks off before they head to Denver, the Steelers have an opportunity to get healthy.


Anonymous said...

I also saw that Mike Holmgren managed to find the other coach's hand at the end of the game. Quite different from the way he treated Bill Cowher at the end of the Super Bowl.

adamg said...

You left out Aaron Smith. I think he had 5 tackles yesterday. Then again, I guess Smith's easy to overlook. He just comes to work every game, never misses a down, plays every down and just keeps rolling in like the tide.