Maybe Chris Carter didn't play as well as I initially thought he did.
Maybe Charlie Batch played better than I remembered.
Everything's always better on the second viewing, and in doing that, I found a few more things I didn't quite pick up on right away. I'm sure there are things I still missed, so give it a read, make a few comments of your own.
- Good power, smash-mouth, strong-sounding cliche football on the second play. Dwyer goes for eight behind DeCastro behind Will Johnson, all linemen got a block, pads cracked loudly.
- Too bad Rainey fumbled and nearly got decapitated, that was a slick end-around. TE Heath Miller was used as a fullback, essentially lead-blocking from the right side slot out left. Dwyer got the fake handoff and saved the play from being blown up in the hole. Rainey's speed got him outside for nine until he lost control of the ball, came up a bit high and got drilled. I'm curious if he remembered that all that well today.
- On Roethlisberger's interception, it looked like Roethlisberger decided at the last second to try to hit Brown on the deeper out pattern, instead of Will Johnson, who ran the shallow route. He got it caught in the middle, and hit no one but Bethea.
- Antonio Brown scored from 57 yards out on an amazing catch-and-run on third down. He's down inside the five if not for Baron Batch, who came trucking down the middle of the field after Brown cut back to the inside. He had Bethea targeted, shoved him into Tom Zbikowski, who tripped, both of them fell down...and Brown flipped over the goal line. Great run by Brown, great learning by Batch, who'd say later running backs coach Kirby Wilson harps on the running backs getting down field to block. Perfect example of why on that play.
- In the age of "When In Doubt, Send a Message to Defensive Players," Larry Foote should expect a fine for his forearm-to-head shot on Austin Collie. It wasn't malicious, it wasn't even really intentional, but it was careless, and that's what is getting defensive players fined more than anything else. Foote broke down to deliver a hit to Collie's body, but he pulled up and hit him with his forearm/shoulderish area.
- Not to rag on the defense, a unit that played very well in the first few series of the game, but upon the re-watch, Chris Carter really did not make much of an impact. I thought he did something in this game, but early on, zip. Got away with a holding call on Reggie Wayne, got swallowed up by tackles and tight ends alike, didn't really get to the passer.
- We may not like Larry Foote in passing situations, but he really is a good run-defending linebacker. Great play on a fire blitz to move the back away from the intended hole. He gets wrapped up by Ziggy Hood and Ryan Clark puts him on the ground much like a combo shot in pool.
- Easiest pick Ike Taylor ever made. And basically the last mistake Luck will make the rest of the game. After that he really played well.
- The first four plays of Mike Adams' night weren't all that bad. He even made a good block on Dwyer's big run. Then he gave up a hurry, forcing Charlie Batch to run hard to his right, which looked painful. The Steelers punted and the wheels fell off Adams. First down, got shoved a good three yards backward, running play blown up for a loss of four. Second down, with TE Leonard Pope to his left, Adams gets into his pass blocking set, scans over at who needs help, LG Ramon Foster (who moved from right tackle earlier in the game) or Pope. Adams continues dropping back...continues dropping back...the defender is all but past Pope now, and Adams vainly rushes over to nearly hit the defender before he gets to Charlie Batch. Adams is now clearly in the head of Foster, who leaves his man to help Adams, allowing his man to take a free shot at Batch.
- After the half, it's Kelvin Beachum's turn. We'll leave that alone.
- David Gilreath got a different message than Adams and Beachum did before this game. He came to make plays, and plays he made.
- I love how aggressive the 3s played in the third and fourth quarter. Sure, you can see a bit of difference in ability, but they were put in positions to succeed or fail. Makes it easier to see who has the ability and who doesn't.
- Both Charlie Batch and Jerrod Johnson played well in this game. I'd give the nod to Johnson just because of how composed he was during the 4-minute drill, but not much to knock either of them for. Until Buffalo, it'll be interesting to see how that plays out.