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Journal FortKnox's Journal: Football: Steelers/Bolts game [updated] 5

My thoughts on MNF.

Thankfully I had a big buffer on my TiVo to avoid the commercials and such. Had me on the edge the entire game.

The Steelers run game was dull all day. Bettis reminded us why we still want him around. Parker can take any gain and make it a touchdown, but in short yardage, he isn't a guarantee like Bettis is. The only thing that confused me was that Wisenhunt called Bettis for a screenpass and power-sweep... two plays that Parker could really rip apart if he got the hole. I have a feeling Duce may regain his starter status.

The passing attack worries me at times. Ben really throws a lot of passes high. Most recievers are making giant leaps to catch the balls. His only bad judgement was the quick pass that hit the LB in the hands and, luckily, bounced to Parker for a 10 yard gain.
The loss of Ben isn't absolutely terrible... there is 2 starter quality QBs behind him in Maddox and Batch (its the second deepest position they have after RB). Hopefully Ben will be back, quickly, or Maddox ready, because I don't want to see Batch playing Indy... but he'll still be a good QB for mediocre teams.

The defense isn't as good as they were last year. I don't know if its the scheme (doubtful as LeBeau is one of the best DC's in football), the personnel (they are pretty young in the secondary), or if opposing OC's have figured them out. They still do a good job, but aren't getting to the QB as much as I'd like...

All in all, it was a good win, and Cowher proves, yet again, to surpass his old mentor. Now the worry becomes Batch playing the Jags on a short week... Hopefully the defense will be able to handle the Jags offense and it'll be a low-scoring slugfest...

Update: Diagnosis of Ben is a hyperextended knee and bone bruise. He could possibly play this week, but odds are, Cowher will have him rest. The word outta Pittsburgh is that Tommy Maddox's injury isn't as bad as originally thought, and he, too, could be ready this Sunday.
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Football: Steelers/Bolts game [updated]

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  • After scoring the go ahead touchdown and watching SD line up to go for 2, I said to myself, "Self, they're going to try LT right up the middle again. He's going to get stopped and Pitt is going to drive down and kick the winning field goal."

    WHy, Marty, why not fake to LT to the weak side and run a naked bootleg to the strong side. Have Gates flow to the weak side as well and keep all the focus on that side of the ball? Why oh why oh why do you run it right where they are expecting?

  • Hero of the LA Extreme in the XFL.

    You know, as many derisive comments a lot of people in the media and in the NFL made, the NFL sure ripped off a lot of concepts from the XFL (the overhead "Madden Game" camera being one of them).

    Maddox will be just fine. Not taking anything away from "Big Ben", but... when the Bus puts up numbers like he did last year, and when a rookie QB looks that good... chances are it's the Offensive Line.

    And that's what I think about the Steeler's O-Line. I think my Grandmother

    • I hate how people say that this is the Lions year to shine, or butts will be fired.
      The WRs are young... YOUNG. It takes 3 years for a college WR to develop into an NFL WR. Give them a couple years, and they have a high octane offense... but no one wants to wait that long.
      They should run Kevin Jones more... kid is the best thing in Detroit since Barry Sanders. Keep running him until they put 8 in the box, then work on those young WRs.

      Detroit would have been smart to bring in Jerry Rice as a possession

  • Interesting to read it from a Steeler's perspective. The whole game struck me as a defensive shootout, and an offensive shootout. It seems that both teams conservative games were pretty much shut down (with the exception of Bettis who was pretty fresh by the time he was used in the 4th quarter). It wasn't until the teams went more aggressive that both defences shut down.

    But what amazed me was how the Charger Defence in the late third and early fourth quarter were pushing the Steelers backwards. I think the

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