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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Post-Washington thoughts

And to think, there were people who actually thought this would be a close game.

The Steelers set the tone defensively in this one on their first series.

The Redskins ran a reverse at James Harrison and Brett Keisel for nine yards on first down. They then ran Alfred Morris at them again on second and third downs. Result? Minus three yards and a punt.

Harrison continually manhandled the tight ends the Redskins kept running at him, sealing the edge on play after play.

So much for him having lost something.

Harrison is playing his way back into game shape and is starting to get there.

@ The Steelers are now 14-1 against rookie quarterbacks since Dick LeBeau became defensive coordinator in 2004.

Rookie quarterbacks are, after all, still rookie quarterbacks.

Not that Robert Griffin III played poorly, but he wasn't great, either. Yes, his receivers dropped a bunch of passes, but Griffin - I refuse to refer to him as Griffin III as the press box announcer did Sunday - also had just eight yards rushing on six carries.

The Steelers kept him in the pocket for the most part and limited his big plays.

@ Morris, by the way, came into the game second in the NFL in rushing and left with 59 yards.

He was more effective running the ball than Griffin, but also got stopped - like in the first quarter - as often as he ripped off a 10-yard run. And he had a few of those.

@ Todd Haley continues to come up with new wrinkles in his offense. Sunday, it was a fake bubble screen that allowed Heath Miller to slip downfield for a 25-yard gain.

It was well designed and future opponents are going to have to take a look at that before they jump up to bite on those bubble screens.

@ Haley is also doing exactly what was asked of him when he was hired - keeping Ben Roethlisberger upright.

In fact, after being sacked five times in the opener at Denver, Roethlisberger has been sacked just eight times in the past six games, a span of 228 passes.

When did you ever think you'd see Roethlisberger sacked once every 25 pass attempts?

And this is with pretty much the same group of guys the Steelers have been getting things done with the past few years, you know, the guys who couldn't block a toilet.

Goes to show that a different offense can lead to different results.

Of course, the Steelers head to New York to face the Giants this week, so that line will be tested greatly.

@ Speaking of Haley and Roethlisberger, the Steelers had three TD passes Sunday, two to tight ends, one to a fullback.

That was a season's worth of TD passes to those positions under Bruce Arians.

@ In their past 12 home games, the Steelers are 11-1 and have given up 126 points.


Anonymous said...

Good Game but the true test will come next week as Dale said. If we hadn't lost two to inferior teams we would be leading the division instead of down a game. But like women, when quarterbacks are spurned, I don't think they forget. Hassleback and Palmer had their superbowl/playoff hopes crushed by us and payback is a beach.
Dwyer looks like mini Bettis out there but our run blocking finally has come together so I think Redman and Mendy will have similar results when they get back. I think the o line was confused earlier and they finally are getting the offense.
It is just a shame it took the owner to get rid of Ariens. Tomlin still cannot stand up to Ben, like taking him out at the end of games we are far ahead in. I realize the Redskins could have come back, but watch how long they keep him in in routes, if we ever see one. LOL

Mrs. Isaac Redman

Anonymous said...

Why did it take a switch in OC's to realize that MAYBE our huge sure handed TE Heath Miller could be a great redzone target? We struggled to score in the redzone for years and just this simple switch in emphasis has had a big impact.

Anonymous said...

Tough decision coming up with Redman. If he's healthy, his skill set is redundant to Dwyer's, who has been tearing it up (albeit against soft run D's). Curious to see how Tomlin handles his sudden embarrassment of riches at running back. How do you work Redman into a rotation that features Mendenhall, Rainey, Dwyer, and sprinlings of Batch during the no huddle? Redman is probably the most proven receiver of the bunch, but Mendenhall hasn't had the opportunity in a Haley offense that actually throws to the RB to showcase his receiving skills.

marc said...

good game. the offense played well and the defense did what it had to do. but, there were many, many open receivers for the redskins. hopefully, the steelers will tighten that up against the giants.

Steve-O said...

Agree with all you said Dale, but I worry a little bit about two things:

1. We still can't punch it in at the goal line with our running corps/O-Line

2. The better QBs can find receivers open, in fact Griffin found them, they just couldn't hold on. This will get exposed by Brady and Eli (it already has by Payton and Carson).

There's a lot to be happy about but this team still has a few big holes.

TarheelFlyer said...

The D is still a concern, but the offense is getting to the point where they might be able to outscore people.

Lastly, Ben is having a career year IMO. He is going to get better as we go along. Look at the QB ratings and tell me he isn't elite...

Manning, Rogers, Ryan, Ben, and Brady. Yet, most people don't put him into that category.

Mark said...

I think the issue is, why such a huge difference in home and away games?

If the Steelers played like this, but the game was at Washington, I would believe they've righted the ship. I'm worried that the team that went to Oakland and Tennessee will show up in NYC.

Pistol said...

Shout out to Paulson too his blocking it seems is getting better every week. We already know he can catch but i think hes gonna be a player.

Dale Lolley said...

I'd say half of the drops came because the Steelers were hitting their receivers or there was the threat of a hit.

I would go back to using Redman as the short-yardage, third-down back. He's more powerful than Dwyer, but Dwyer has more wiggle and speed.

Anonymous said...

I felt like Emmanuel Sanders and Kennan Lewis were both making big plays, much more-so than in past games. I hope they keep it up.

Anonymous said...

PFF agrees about Lewis:

Throughout the game, the announcers were intent on pushing the narrative of the Redskins’ dropped passes. While they did drop seven for the game, some of the instances the announcers cited were actually great plays from cornerback Keenan Lewis. He graded at +3.1 on the day with three passes defensed. Lewis saved a touchdown as he batted away a post route intended for WR, Dezmon Briscoe at the start of the second quarter. He got his hands on another would-be touchdown that was intended for WR, Aldrick Robinson with 14:22 to go in the fourth quarter. On a day when Griffin seemed to have all day to throw on his play action fakes, Lewis’ coverage was a key part in holding the Redskins to only one touchdown for the game.

Lance said...

Very good game over all. I thought Keenan Lewis had a very solid game and I was pleasantly surprised how well the back up safeties played, all these quality reps will benefit them down the road. Harrison is getting back to himself as well, there were some passes to be had, but you will have that when you commit to shutting down the run. This offense is only going to continue to get better, I just love the 10 play 6-8 minute drives, 3rd and short is much easier to conver than 3rd and 12 in the NFL. Mike Adams is getting there, I have been impressed with how ell he is coming along, and Willie Colon is just starting to manhandle people inside. The Giants will be a big test, could come down to who has the ball in the end Eli or Ben.

Anonymous said...

As far as the backs go I agree Dale about using Redman as a short yardage/goaline back. I'd use Mendy as the 3rd down/Hurry up back and Dwyer as the feature back. Spelling him with Mendy every third series like they usually do. Batch doesn't dress, Rainey does. Unless of course Batch gets a spot just for special teams like you suggested last week.

adamg said...

Thought Mundy and Allen played well, too. Perhaps because they are used to playing together on the 2nd team defense. Familiarity with your safety partner is an underrated part of good coverage, imho,

Ed said...

There has been all this talk that Clark's hit on RGIII was helmet-to-helmet and that he launched himself. As I watched it back it doesn't look like it to me. I mean look at how he extends his arms. It was more of a shove down. And he didn't launch himself, his feet were still on the ground.