Here are some quick post game thoughts to get the conversation going.
- I think for the first time in several weeks, we can't complain about the offensive play calling. Not only did the Steelers put up 34 offensive points, but they also had 4 plays over 20 yards and another 5 plays between 15 and 20. This offense can be absolutely dangerous when run correctly.
- I don't think the defense did much last night to quiet anyone's worries. Stephen Jackson is a hell of a running back but he made this defense look like the Bad News Bears during the first half. In fact he had 65 yards rushing on just 5 carries and another 18 yards on two receptions. The two Rams' touchdown drives in the first half totaled 109 yards and Jackson had 76 of those yards. The defense simply got lucky that the offense scored enough points that the Rams had to adjust their game plan.
- Anyone else ready to push the panic button on the kickoff coverage again? Derek Stanley, a rookie returning kicks for just his second game, had 8 returns for 229 yards (28.6 average). Both of the Rams' touchdown drives in the first half were aided by kickoff returns of 43 and 49 yards, in fact every scoring drive that St Louis had in the first half started at the STL 41 or better. Oh yea, and Rossum is moving himself closer and closer to the end of the plank.
- FWP's season was over on the second offensive play last night as a result of a broken right fibula. It's really a shame because he could have gashed that Rams' defense and posted a number that might have given him a healthy lead for the rushing title. Najeh filled in admirably but there were several times that I thought to myself, "FWP would have broke that run for a huge gain." That STL run defense was pathetic last night. It will be very interesting to see how this offense moves forward now, but I would expect we'll see a breaking news story about Verron Haynes making another trip to Pittsburgh for a workout (only this time he won't be leaving).
- The offensive did a good job of run blocking last night (4.5 yards per rush) but once again allowed Ben to get abused. He held onto the ball too long at times (like normal) but other times there were just guys running free. In total they allowed 4 sacks to a team that had 27 total in the previous 14 games.
- Congrats to Big Ben for tying an NFL record for his third career game with perfect QB rating (158.3), tying him with Peyton Manning as the only QBs in NFL history do that three times.
Hopefully our fearless leader, Blitz will be back by his comp sometime today to give some more insight.