Tired of waiting on Arn's drive by so I thought I'd post my game notes from a HUGE W in Nashville yesterday. What do you guys and gals think?
* When looking at the schedule in the pre-season this was one you wrote an L next to unless you are named Nostradamus. With a 1-8 record in Tennessee life time the best I could come up with during pre-game was “Well, they’re due.”
* The Pittsburgh Steelers sported a Championship caliber defense for the second week in a row in stopping the Titans cold 19-11 yesterday in hundred degree temperatures. The Titans made the Steelers wear black in the Nashville heat but the Steelers made the Titans pay dearly with a gargantuan display of defense and an array of hard hits that forced 7 Titan turnovers and stopped hot running AFC premier back Chris Johnson’s streak of hundred yard games cold at 12. Vince Young was benched. Kerry Collins was not much better. What a difference Troy Polamalu makes. Game notes;
· * Very happy with the coaching staff. The opening special teams call on the reverse was brilliant. The Titans hadn’t seen Brown or his speed…ever. By putting Moore deep it made the Steelers appear conservative, which is what they have been in the kicking game thus far. Then the reverse. Then Antonio Brown introduced himself to the Titan special teams as he raced by all 11 for the TD. I like that Tomlin stuck with Batch regardless of the extent of Dixon’s injury. With a 10 point lead at the half it made perfect sense to let the vet steward the W. Even Bruce Arians did some good things although his offense generated very little. I loved the 2nd down pass into the end zone from Batch to Wallace that was called back. Better to take your shot into the end zone on 2nd down than 3rd under a fierce rush. Later in the late 4th quarter when the Steelers were definitely going to run the ball, a series of shifts and motion generated an encroachment penalty on the Titan D. A well designed play BA!
· * It was a surprise LB Sylvester Stevenson was drafted let alone that he made the 53. Don’t know if he had a hat in week 1 but his special teams play was nothing short of all pro on Sunday. After making a key block on Antonio Brown’s opening kickoff he promptly stripped the Titans on the ensuing kickoff. He also made several other ST tackles throughout the afternoon and was generally impressive.
· * Ward got hosed on that opening toss by Dixon off his helmet. He got punched in the head with a ball and mugged by 11 Titan defenders and not a one was ejected. Guess everyone knows how dirty Hines is?
· * As stated above, Troy Polamalu is All World and we are watching a Hall Of Fame career in progress. The leap over the pile and tackle of Collins in the 4th quarter was simply one of the best plays you will ever see on a football field.
· * I can’t tell you how many times I said “2 time Champion and 2008 defensive player of the year James Harrison” watching the game. He is also looking at another Pro Bowl. Woodley is too. So is Timmons. This might be among the greatest Steeler 4 LB tandem of all time. Lloyd, Greene, Kirkland & Brown were pretty good but…Dominating D! Got to love that.
· * VY got hit so hard on one sack I think he had to leave the game for an appointment with his analyst. Woodley, Harrison, Timmons…Dominating. Brutal defense…Championship caliber…did I say that already?
· * B Mac…welcome back…again! Huge pick after a big 15 tackle game against the Falcons. The Steelers FO stole B Mac from AZ.
· * HUGE 3rd and 1 for Redzone Redman. That makes 4/5. Not too shabby for an undrafted practice squad tackling dummy. He also looked good on special teams. I don’t understand why Moore gets any carries anymore. I know why he is on the team and he serves several key functions but I would use Redman more.
· * The offense needs to get better. Dixon was skittish with a turnover and a fumble before the injury. Batch passed for about 20 yards. The D won’t always hold the opponent to 1 TD in 2 weeks. Stay out of trouble Ben. Get well soon Byron. 3-2 win versus Tampa is all we need for 3-0
* Congratulations Steve McLendon! In the NFL you are a heartbeat away from playing. Big Steve has sat on the PS for 2 years and was activated in the heat of Nashville yesterday with Big Snack injured. Then when Hoke went down I saw McClendon grab his helmet and stand next to John Mitchell waiting for his turn. On his first snap he engaged two blockers and then recovered a fumble. How exciting for him!