Likes and Dislikes: Steelers vs. Falcons
Not much to dislike this week folks: the Steelers played well in every phase of the game on Sunday. While there’s always cause for concern here or there, the details shouldn’t get nitpicked, as it’s hard to play a perfect game.
The offense looked good. Real good.
Ben Roethlisberger looked smooth.
Antonio Brown made his big plays, as expected. (We expect a lot from AB, don’t we?)
Martavis Bryant showed he’s more than a downfield threat, and I particularly liked his ability to get yards after the catch.
Markus Wheaton doesn’t break tackles like AB, but this kid can get up and move!
Le’Veon Bell didn’t move the chains on every carry, but still made several big plays.
Ditto for Heath Miller.
Oh and if only Lance Moore caught that one… (what a heck of a try though, right? ONE HANDED!)
The defensive side of the ball was flimsy at times, but got the job done.
I’m still not sold on Cam Thomas. His anticipation is off, his preparation for the play is off, or both. Several times big ol’ 96 was standing there looking confused. Sorry, I’m usually not hard on players, but every time I see Thomas miss, the defense as a whole suffers. (Watch the Roddy White touchdown to see what I mean.)
It’s harder to justify watching Cam’s mishaps when Steve McLendon, and mammoth rookie Dan McCullers, both eat up blockers and run down ball carriers.
The other Cam, Cameron Heyward, is still having himself a very solid year.
Jason Worilds is a beast: one that was denied a clean, hard sack of Matt Ryan. I’m still upset about what could have been a game-changing call, flipping the field in the Falcons favor. Luckily, it didn’t impact the outcome.
Jarvis Jones is getting there. Still looks great, having missed so much time.
Vince Williams reminds me of another warrior: James Harrison. Number 98 hits hard, and plays just as hard on special teams too. He’s going to be an asset going forward.
Speaking of special teams and hard-hitting: welcome back Shamarko Thomas!
I’d be remiss to mention the biggest defensive play, made by Will Gay. Looks like he’s been taking notes from Troy Polamalu (who cycled in and out and hopefully is okay.) Gay’s vision to take it to the house is incredible and something this defense has missed in it’s playoff drought.
The other safety, Mike Mitchell, gets his fair share of resentment by the Steeler faithful, but I saw him catch and save a would-be touchdown with a daring tackle that left him wobbly. Also saw Mitchell restrain himself from the usual attitude-induced penalty mid-way through the game. Folks, I think he gets it now.
And hopefully AB, who I was praising earlier, has it figured out as well: 2 penalties on 1 play, which ultimately ended a promising drive.
Here’s to the final stretch: 2 games at home, where a victory puts them in the playoffs and 2 victories can win them the AFC North.