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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Post-Cleveland thoughts

I've covered every game Ben Roethlisberger has played at quarterback and can tell you without a doubt, he's playing the best football of his career.

Roethlisberger still makes an occasional dumb throw - like his second half interception, what was he thinking? – but he's playing quarterback better than anybody in the history of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

There, I said it. Roethlisberger is better than Bradshaw. Better than Layne. Better than O'Donnell. Better than Stewart. You get the idea.

© The run defense didn't really suffer this week without Aaron Smith as Travis Kirschke and Nick Eason, with a little bit of rookie Ziggy Hood thrown in, helped shut down the running lanes for the Browns pretty well.

We'll see this weekend, when the Steelers host the Vikings, if they can kick that into the next gear.

© Following Sunday's game, the Heinz Field maintenance crew began tearing up the center of the field to re-sod it. It's supposed to be completed by the morning.

© Cleveland is so bad that even the usually cheerleader-laden Browns media is looking ahead at how this team can get the No. 1 pick in next year's draft.

© All of those people who spent all of those years screaming for the Steelers to throw the ball to the tight end have to find themselves a new mantra.

Heath Miller is playing Pro Bowl football. With Tony Gonzalez now playing in Atlanta, this might be the year that Miller gets his due.

But let's be honest, despite all of the lobbying of previous years, he really didn't deserve it. Yeah, he's a pretty good blocker and reliable receiver, but the Pro Bowl is about production.

He's got that this year.

© The Steelers offensive line is playing outstanding football but will be facing its biggest test of the season against the Vikings.

Left guard Chris Kemoeatu and left tackle Max Starks both had to be helped off in the first quarter and while both returned, you don't want to be at anything less than 100 percent facing that Minnesota defensive line.

© People who were worried about this team's receivers coming into this season didn't realize that Hines Ward found the fountain of youth.

© Welcome back Troy Polamalu. Two games, two interceptions.

© Outside of Josh Cribbs, Shaun Rogers and Joe Thomas, I don't know who on Cleveland's roster would play for the Steelers.


noel said...

It might be a blessing in disguise that Mendenhall fumbled the ball when he did. Not that a fumble is ever a good thing but he was carrying it too loosely and it's better to reinforce the importance of protecting the ball now then later in a tighter game.

Run D looked good and nice to see some turnovers in our favour. I'm perplexed by people claiming Farrior is too old. He's in the QB's face and even when he doesn't get the sack he gets smart pressure: hands in the face, no penalties but still gets a hit on the quarterback when he can. All that and when was the last time you saw Farrior or Woodley miss their gap assignment on a run? These guys are solid behind whoever plays in place of Aaron Smith on any given play.

I almost felt bad for Anderson. His numbers suck because his receivers catch like they're wearing baseball mitts out there. I'm not complaining though.

Vaflyer said...

Was it me, or was there a really bad hold which helped Cribbs get free for his TD return? It looked like 31, Ratliff?, got held pretty well. In fact, I think his jersey about got pulled off.

Patrick said...

I didn't see the game besides a few plays, but this didn't really seem like a pretty win.

Seemed a lot like a sloppy game where the obviously better team won. But next week is telling. This team seems to think it can just turn it on at will, but if they play like they did today next week, then they will get smoked.

Again a win is a win, especially when the other two teams in the division lose, but they just aren't a covincingly good team right now.

rocket9 said...

If you saw the end of the Minny/Balt game...the Vikings didn't look very convincing either.

Its been an up and down type of year for MOST teams in the NFL. Steelers are fine..they are improving every week and the O-line is coming together at last. They aren't peaking in October and that's generally a good thing. I like where they are at.

Patrick said...

oh one thing I wanted to add. The one deep pass Ben had was great by him of course, but the star of that play was Mendenhall. What a great pass protection play he had on that.

That seems to be one of his suprising strengths and I personally love it.

Ben said...

Pat, I don't mean any offense by this, and I usually enjoy your comments, but watch the games before you judge them. Aside from some stupid, fluke fumbles and a KR return, the Steelers obliterated the Browns. Roethlisberger has a monster game, as did Ward. It wasn't perfect, but there was a lot to be happy about in this one.

Patrick said...

well look, heres some things that we can definitely agree happened. allowed a KR against a guy who does it to them all the time, the Steelers picked off a WR throwing a pass, apparently numerous drops by Browns WR's (that I didn't see admittedly), a bone headed pick and a fumble by the Steelers QB, a questionable fumble by the starting RB, another legitmate fumble by the 2nd RB, and 4th down spot that I still don't know how was a 1st.

So even if I watched the game 4 times, those things happened. They played a horrible team and won by 13 and gave them way too many opportunities. A better team would take advatnage of those opportunities. So the fact that a lot of good things happened doesn't take away from the list of sloppy things that did happen and the team they played.

I'm not really upset with it, but I think it is very hard to disagree with this statement: The Steelers played a sloppy game against a very much inferior team.

And that's all I'm saying.

Robert said...

I think everyone is giving Ben too much praise. He piled up the yards but he had two turnovers that would have let a better team beat us. I would rather have a qb throw 250 yards with no turnovers.

We will know after next week if the Steelers are good or average.

Anonymous said...

Ben is completing 73% of his passes (2nd in the league), has a 9.12 YPA (1st in the league), has thrown 10 TDs (tied for 10th) and run for 2 more, has a 104.5 rating (4th in the league) and is passing for 315 YPG (2nd in the league). Stats don't always tell the whole story but he is playing great football right now and all you have to do is watch a game to know that. If anything he deserves more praise. If he keeps it up, he will be a MVP canidate.

marc said...

troy proved why he is so valuable. clark had an easy pick. other than that, our pass defense was once again below average. the question shouldn't be "how many balls did the browns drop" but instead, "did you see how open the browns receivers were?"

anyone count how many times gay turned around when robiskie failed to tip toe the sidelines? i don't think you could have any worse coverage on that play.

a good team (minn.) with a good QB (favre) and decent receivers will chew up our pass defense and take advantage of 4 turnovers.

if we play like this against minnesota we will lose.

Anonymous said...

way to pass judgement on a game you didn't even watch Patrick

if you dont watch the game then dont comment on it you idiot

Anonymous said...

Relax guys, I think the steelers players new they were playing against the perenial cellar dweller. They probably took more chances than they should have and new they could make up for them.

I predict a lot of pain and a loss for the vikings.

marc said...

btw, it appears mendy is excellent in pass protection.

Anonymous said...

Gee our drunk kicker is at it again. Will this guy ever learn? It's one thing to try to help a team mate out, but too show your fists to a cop..... come on Reed.

Anonymous said...

Did Reed get it on with another towel dispenser?

Great game for the Steelers, don't see how anyone can complain. Granted Cleveland is beyond bad on offense so we'll have to wait on the Vikes to see.

Question of the year, how can a team that was 13 - 3 last year lose 59 to zip?

Farmer Fran

Anonymous said...

It's easy for a qb to look good in today's NFL which is heavily tilted to offense. Before the rules were changed and loosened up, dbs could run and bump receivers all over the field; offensive linemen did not have the liberty to use their hands the way they do now; defensive linemen were able to deliver forearm shivers to their blockers and qbs were not treated like china dolls by the rules.

Roethlisberger has physical talent to be sure, but none of us will ever know how he would have fared under the different rules of different eras.

Patrick said...

I like how you call me an idiot for pointing out things that anybody could - like turnovers.

If anyone looks like an idiot right now its you. I pointed out some things that you really don't even need to see the game to know happened (even though those plays I did see on redzone smart guy).

And about 4 other posters pointed out similar things who did watch the game.

So when you start throwing around the word idiot, put it on yourself first.

Robert said...

I agree that Ben is having a good year but putting up 27pts against the Browns with 2 turnovers isn't something any QB should be really proud of. A good opponent would have scored from those turnovers and made this game VERY close. Turnovers are a big deal.

Anonymous said...

Hampton has a few Pro Bowls without "production" from the stats perspective.

kyle said...

"Roethlisberger has physical talent to be sure, but none of us will ever know how he would have fared under the different rules of different eras."

Then why bring it up?

not to mention, Bradshaw had a hall of fame career, Ben is bigger and stronger than Terry ever was. but again, it's a silly hypothetical. who cares?

Anonymous said...

I don't know if Ben is proud of his performance or not but I am. He was easily the best player on the field yesterday and one of the best players I watched this weekend. I do feel good about 27 pts. considering the Browns D was giving up an average of 24.2 points per game coming into this game and we scored 27. The Browns D was giving up 380.2 yards per game coming into this game and we put up 543, more than any other team they have played this season, including the Vikings.

marc said...

i don't think a comparison with the minn-cle game is in our favor.

first, favre came in with minimal preparation and 1 preseason game under his belt. second, the vikings torched cleveland on the ground for 225 yards and 6.1 yards per carry. significantly more impressive than our 3.9 yards per carry. not to mention the browns had a game day scratch in their 3rd leading tackler and leading sacker wembley.

obviously, big ben and the wr's lit up the browns. but none of that really matters when you puke it away on 4 turnovers.

Robbie said...

I'd love it if Ben could cut down on the turnovers, but maybe that's just part of "Ben being Ben." It's tough to complain when he's otherwise playing as well as he is.

Dale Lolley said...

Antoine Winfield likely won't play for the Vikes. That's a big loss.

blackNgold said...

"Roethlisberger has physical talent to be sure, but none of us will ever know how he would have fared under the different rules of different eras."

We will also never know that about Manning, Brady, Brees or any other QB playing right now.