Goddamn, isn't it great to have football back?
During the course of the game, I jumped off the couch, yelled at the TV, wrote messages in capital letters on BTSC to imply severe emotion, and had to change my pants due to....er....overexcitement.
A beautiful game witnessed though, have to say I love the low scoring grind it out affairs with teams who share similar styles to that of our own.
Anyways, below, are my top 5 players of the game, who really stood out to me and had themselves one hell of a game.
I was just over at Music City Miracles pages, and holy shit it was nice to read the OTHER teams fans bitching about field position. I cannot remember the last time we won the field position game.
Forced to punt 7 times, Sepulveda actualy wasnt deep in his own territory very often, and he showed excellent control with his punting, having 4 of those punts inside the 20, and never out kicked the coverage, Finnegan averaging only 3 yards per return.
Isnt it nice having a good punter? I think the icing for me was when Hentrich shanked that 28 yard punt, that was our punting reality last season, but Sepulveda looks primed for an excellent season.
4. Max Starks
He didnt start overly flash, especially on the meltdown play where he was left with 2 defenders to block and decided to not try and block EITHER of them, but he held his own all game and performed pretty damn solid. Did you hear the name Kyle Van Den Bosch? I dont recall many if any. Starks owned that matchup, and the left side was very solid for the most part.
Starks, after settling, was definitely our best lineman on the night, and he deserves credit for holding his own and keeping Big Ben's blindside protected all game.
I will try to remain optimitic about his upcoming recovery and hope that he is able to come back and not experience any drop off in production or game speed.
Polamalu was having one hell of a game before the injury sidelined him. 6 solos, an amazing interception that Fitzgerald would have been proud of, and he was explosive as I think I have ever seen him play.
He didnt need to play the whole game to establish himself as the best defender on that field tonight, and all of Steeler Nation share my sympathies and wish him the fastest recovery time possible.
Was it just me, or did Santonio Holmes have the quietest 9 catch, 130 yard game in recent memory?
I know it was the first game, but man does Holmes look sharp. He was incredibly fluid in his route running, had quick burst, avoided the jam at the line, and had his usual sure hands.
After the Superbowl, I think he has raised his expectations of himself, and he is ready to put in one hell of a season. No longer is he a compliment to Ward in the offense, but he is his own individual player that opposing coaches will have to gameplan for. He schooled Finnegan, Fuller and anyone else who lined up opposite him.
I really think this year will be one to remember from Holmes.
Our field general, our leader, our MVP. Shook off a less than stellar opening stanza, in which he took that sack which deprived us of field goal position, underthrowing a wide open Mike Wallace, and that disappointing throw which resulted in an interception.
However, he shook it off from the 2nd quarter's opening whistle, and had on of his most impressive games as our Quarterback. Once again, clutch as clutch can be from the QB position, he seemed to make all the right decisions in this game, and got us the W, twice really, after Hine's fumble.
Our passing game looked incredibly sharp, now about that running game....
On a short note, big praise for Mike Wallace out there. I am not sure what prompted him to see more game time than the preseason impressor Limas Sweed, but boy did he look good. Underthrown on the deep pass early in the game where he was wide open, looked crisp running routes, and had that big time catch on 3rd down for 22 yards. Catches like that in the clutch provide players with long careers, and Wallace should be very happy with his debut performance.