FanPost

Props and Drops -- Vikings Game

My wife suggested I do a blog segment where I highlight the good and the bad of Steelers performances following the game. I'm going to call this segment "Props and Drops" to give credit where it's due and point out which player(s) dropped the ball (sometimes, quite literally).

PROPS:

Definitely a lot of props to the line backing corps. Through the first three games of the season it seemed that the linebackers were nowhere to be found. Against the Vikings, the line backers accounted for 3 of the 4 sacks and scored more points in one quarter than our entire offense did the rest of the game. They terrorized Favre early and often in the game.

The ageless QB still had a tremendous game passing wise (334 yards through the air) because he was able to victimize William Gay and Ike Taylor, who both had very poor outings. But when it counted the most, the linebackers stepped it up to make the biggest plays. LaMarr Woodley scooped up a fumble and looked like a fatter, slower James Harrison returning it back for a touchdown. I didn't think he was ever going to reach the end zone. Keyaron Fox found himself with a gift in his lap when a Favre ass tipped off the hands of Chester Taylor and landed right in Fox's palms. He returned it for the game-winning score.

Another thing to note, even though the Vikings offense (which had been averaging 31 points a game) torched us in the yardage department, the Steelers D was still able to contain them to just 10 points. Seven points came off of a kickoff return. Up until now, the defense had been showing signs of crumbling in the fourth quarter, but I think they're finally getting back into the groove of things. It's not style points that matter. It's the scoreboard points that count.


DROPS:

Going into this game, I was convinced that Big Ben was going to have a field day against this 24th ranked passing defense. Instead, he completed just 14 of 26 passes (53.8 percent) for 175 yards when he had been completing roughly 73 percent of his passes all season and averaging 314 yards per game. My criticism doesn't go against Ben so much, but against his receivers. Hines Ward dropped a beautiful, deep pass down the middle that he typically holds on to, and Santonio Holmes let a couple balls scrape the turf that would have gone for first downs.

Ben also had 3 passes that I can remember were batted at the line of scrimmage (one of them, he threw right into an outstretched arm that had been hanging in the air for an hour before he decided to throw, so that's on him).

Hines Ward finished with one catch for 3 lonely yards. Gerry Dulac of the Post-Gazette gives the wide receivers a C+ for their efforts. I wouldn't be so generous, considering that the Wallace touchdown was due to a completely blown coverage. Satonio Holme's 45-yard catch and run was pretty sweet, though.

For more, check out: Lord's Day, Game Day

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