Saturday, September 12, 2009

Steelers start the season off right

We probably should have put sort-of in the title as the Steelers did start off the season with a win, they had their mistakes. Or downright disasters, also known as the running game. And Hines Ward's fumble, but he gets the benefit of the doubt on that one as won't be making a habit of that. The Steelers wouldn't be the same without him. Or Big Ben. He may have been off at the beginning of the game, but he was his usual self when he needed to be, leading his 20th career come from behind win to beat the Titans 13-10 in overtime.

The good:

- Big Ben proved that his legal troubles are not going to distract him on the football field. It's ridiculous how many times he's led a come from behind win in the final minutes of a game. Who do you want leading your team when you're losing in the final minutes? Tom and Peyton who?

- Stefan Logan. Awesome. It's about time we can get excited about a guy taking one to the house or at least getting them great field position. No more fair catches 90% of the time or getting two yards. Who would have thought a 5'6" guy from the CFL would make such a big difference? Granted it hasn't been long, but he looks good so we'll jump on the bandwagon.

- More special teams. Who would think you'd miss your punter? Daniel Sepulveda never looked so good. It may not seem like much until you end up with a couple of bum punters and the other team is starting at their 40 every time you punt. Sepulveda looks great and we all know field position is extremely important.

- It looks like Limas Sweed lost the number three receiver spot to Mike Wallace. We were wondering why Sweed was rarely on the field as we were under the impression that he had the number three spot, obviously not. Wallace came up big near the end of the game and made a huge catch to set up the winning field goal. So far so good. (Edit: Bruce Arians is saying that Sweed and Wallace are interchangeable in the three spot and he didn't mean for Sweed to be on the bench as much as he was.)

- Santonio Holmes. He looks like the big time receiver he was in the Super Bowl. He had nine receptions for 131 yards and a touchdown. He made some big catches when it counted and has obviously taken lessons from Ward in standing in to make the catch when you know you're going to get hit.

The bad:

- Troy Polamalu gets hurt. His tackle early in the game for a loss was nuts and the interception was even more nuts (yes this should have been under the good) but he also had a couple of miscues with penalties. But then he gets hurt. After Aaron Smith blocks a Tennessee field goal attempt (good!), Troy is trying to make a play on the ball and Alge Crumpler lands on his leg, which twists in ways it shouldn't have twisted. And let's face it, Crumpler isn't exactly a small guy. So far all we've heard is it is a sprained MCL but he was supposed to have tests to see if it could possibly be any worse. He is expected to be out at least three to six weeks. Not good news for the Steelers. Are we the only ones who thought Madden curse? We seriously don't want to buy into the crap but look how many players have been bitten by something after being on the cover. Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick, and Shaun Alexander have been hit by the so-called curse. Definitely weird.

- The run game. Where was it and how do we get it back? It doesn't seem as if it's something you can blame entirely on the offensive line. Willie Parker just doesn't look good. And according to this article, the scouts don't think so either. We'd like to see Rashard Mendenhall get more carries along with Mewelde Moore, they had better results.

- We're not the only ones disappointed by the pass coverage, are we? We want to see more aggressive plays and broken up passes. It was getting frustrating watching Kerry Collins throw completion after completion.

Overall a little rust, but things are looking good. Big Ben also doesn't seem like his off the field issues will be interfering with his play any time soon. 1-0 looks good.

According to sources, Mike Tomlin is in talks with the Steelers about a contract extension past the two years that remain on his current deal.

Harrison's hit a cheap shot? Bo Scaife seems to think so but his coach doesn't agree.

As for the Pens, they visited the White House. Link to Seth's montage over at Empty Netters.

The Pens will report to training camp tomorrow at 8 a.m. for physicals and other amazingly fun things. Sunday they will hit the ice. We're going to be heading down to visit training camp and hopefully it'll be a great time. We'll get some pictures up as soon as possible.

Penguins single game tickets go on sale today (Saturday) at 10 a.m.

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