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Game Thoughts

A few thoughts on the game, especially for those that might've missed it.

  • Charlie Batch was less than impressive for most of the game. He made really poor throws on multiple deep balls. The first one to Washington was way underthrown but we got lucky with the PI call. He did make a really nice throw to Santonio on the last drive but followed it up with a terrible throw when Washington streaked wide open deep over the middle. Instead of leading him to the sideline and away from the defense, Batch lobbed one high over the middle where the defense had time to get there.  The final INT was just a really bad decision, especially since he probably could've picked up 15 or 20 yards on the ground and gotten out of bounds.
  • The defense was once again very shaky although give some credit to Ross, he looked really good and made some nice plays. Still unacceptable though. As was previously mentioned Woodley and Timmons looked pretty good. I would like to see Woodley get in there in pass rush situations more often.
  • Najeh didn't look awful but he also doesn't inspire alot of hope for us having a good ground game in the playoffs. I was impressed with Gary Russel in the limited time he got in there. He hits the holes hard, falls forward, and doesn't go down so easily. I doubt he will get much work in the playoffs but I think he will be a part of our long term plans. Verron looked solid in his limited action, I would almost prefer him to Cary Davis at fullback.
  • Great Tomlin coaching decision: The surprise onside kick. That play really shifted momentum and had we won that game it would've been a nice wave of momentum heading into the playoffs
  • Horrible Tomlin coaching decision: Why oh why is Santonio playing?! We have zero chance of doing anything in the playoffs if he is hurt. He got dinged in the 3rd quarter and then Tomlin put him back in! It looked like he was fine but it was an unnecessary risk. Santonio's long touchdown was almost an exact replay of the Touchdown he had last year in overtime to beat the Bengals. I wouldn't mind seeing that play again next week.
  • Really disappointed in Willie Reid who fumbled two kick returns (he was ruled down by contact after Tomlin challenged on the second). He had a chance to make an impression and didn't help himself. I would've liked to see him get some reps at WR. He was in there a few times but didn't get any balls thrown his way. No reason why he shouldn't have been getting looks while Santonio was resting. In other WR news Cedric made a great diving TD catch, nice to see him show up every now and then.
  • The O-line was still shaky. Batch got rid of the ball quickly but still was stepping out of sacks on a few occasions. Again most of the pressure seemed to come up the middle while Starks  seemed to have another pretty good game. They even pulled him towards the end in favor of Essex.

I think that covers most of it, feel free to add your thoughts, questions and commments. Hope everyone has a fantastic new year. Don't forget to watch the Penguins on NBC tomorrow at 1 in the Winter Classic!