A sloppy W is better than a Rembrandt L. The Steelers couldn’t seem to get out of their own way for the first quarter racking up over 50 yards in penalties but somehow escaped unscathed. When the offense finally got rolling an inability to put one foot in front of the other and score TDs and instead settling for FGs was almost their undoing. In the end Ben Roethlisberger led the Steelers into field goal range with time ticking down and Shaun Suisham made his 3rd FG of the day and the Steelers had an ugly 16-14 win that looks like a Picasso in the box scores.
· I didn’t think I’d be saying this but Mendenhall was a difference maker for the running game. While he lacks that burst into another gear that he had before the ACL tear, he ran hard and well. He will get the speed back next year whoever he plays with. It is just surprising that he was able to return from such a serious injury so quickly. I am surprised. Kudos to Rashard for his workout regimen.
· I didn’t think I’d be saying this but Shaun Suisham has been clutch. He has worked on his game since his days at Dallas. If he continues to work on his game and improve I won’t be so nervous when he lines up to kick field goals. Especially game winners.
· I didn’t think I’d be saying this but Mike Tomlin’s team seems undisciplined. They are leading the league in penalties and most disheartening is that many are pre-snap. They were on their way to 200 yards in penalties Sunday afternoon. This many penalties digs a huge hole that some Sunday the Steelers will not be able to climb out of.
· It seems that the refs see every penalty the Steelers commit and then some. The 15 yard roughing penalty on Mundy was ludicrous! He hit a standing and running receiver with his shoulder pads in the receivers back in between the numbers and drew a penalty? On another play Clark was flagged 15 yards for tackling a receiver fighting for extra yards. At what point do we dress the players in shorts and give them little pink flags that you yank off to stop play? This is not your father’s NFL. It is more like your little sisters NFL.
· Speaking of penalties, Willie “False Start” Colon is a penalty machine. He has traded in the false start for holding. The refs catch him every time. Yet when Big Snack Casey Hampton was bearing down on Mike Vick and the Philadelphia Center had a hand under each of Snack’s pits and literally threw him to the ground there is no call. Don’t kid yourselves…The regular refs are just as bad as the replacement refs. Maybe worse? Mike Wallace was clearly interfered with in the end zone on one pass play into the end zone. It was as bad as the call that went against Green Bay only it didn’t cost the game.
· James Harrison makes all the difference in the pass rush. With Woodley or without Woodley, James Harrison is a difference maker. Woodley is not the same player when Harrison is absent. Harrison doesn’t care who is rushing from the other side. He just dominates.
· Since Woodley signed the big contract extension he seems fat and brittle, unable to stay on the field. Have another cookie Lamar.
· Sadly, you are watching the end of a Hall Of Fame Safety’s career. Troy Polamalu, like Woodley can’t stay healthy. Woodley at least goes a couple games before pulling a hammy. Troy can’t make it out of the first quarter. The Steelers need to draft a safety ASAP.
· Ryan Mundy is a huge detriment to the defense. He already gave up a 70 yard TD in Denver and a 60 yard TD run in Oakland. The defense covered for him when he completely was juked out of his panties on a run by Shady McCoy. This is a special teams player we have starting at safety.
· Lawrence Timmons had one of his best games since signing his contract extension. Much more was expected of this number one pick. If he can play every Sunday the way he did against Philly he will be All Pro.
· The Steelers defense is old and slow and in need of serious upgrading. The proof in the pudding is their play in the second half of games especially the 4th quarter. What Greg Lloyd used to call the Steelers (60 minute men) is no longer applicable. Woodley’s geriatrics are more like 45 minute men. Without a great drive by Roethlisberger at game’s end, the Steelers would be 1-3 staring straight at 1-4.
· If Antonio Brown was a candy bar he would be a Butterfinger. Mike Wallace seems distracted. Jericho Cotchery let a sure TD fall by the wayside slipping on his own feet on way to the end zone.
· Ben Roethlisberger is clutch and is a winner. He makes those around him better. I like him in the Haley offense and think he may be healthy in December and January for a playoff run…if the defense can hold the opponents in the second half.
· With an ugly 3-2 win on Thursday the Steelers will be 3-2. After only 1 win in the month of September it would be nice to get 2 wins in the first 11 days of October.