The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Make no mistake, there were flaws in this game, but it made me laugh reading Ben Roethlisberger's comment following his historic performance in the Steelers' Week 8 win over the Indianapolis Colts.
"I missed a couple of passes," Roethlisberger said, according to BTSC's Dale Grdnic. Yeah, and I suppose the Mona Lisa has a flaw or two as well. He has to be grinning on the inside saying that, like any good leader would. He's not going to outwardly speak of personal dominance, but he knows damn well he thoroughly slaughtered the Colts' defense.
And that didn't come without the masterpiece painted by the Steelers' offensive line. Again, perhaps a flaw or two but otherwise the end result was as beautiful a finished product as this group has seen in years.
Take a bow, Todd Haley. For all the criticism he has taken (much of which is fair), he contributed the broad strokes to the offensive masterpiece Sunday. He was in the Colts' heads. He knew what they were going to do and he beat them to the punch, particularly early in the game. He seized advantages through packages and personnel, and he worked all of them on the field, sucking every last drop of production from this offense.
Join him on stage, Mike Munchak. The offensive line battled through a tough opponent, and left them flat on their backs. Not solely due to individual ability, mind you. Their timing and their recognition was perfect. The Indianapolis offense became a walking, living and breathing example of the dangers of blitzing while playing in man coverage behind it. Vonta Davis went down, and the Colts' pass rush never landed.
Let's key on that for a minute; the Colts had zero sacks in this game. Zero. Ben Roethlisberger threw the ball 49 times. No sacks and not a whole lot of pressure.
Lost in all of this was Antonio Brown's ridiculous one-handed catch at the side of the end zone, forcing the team to take out a few more gigs of memory to store his All Pro highlight reel. It was his sixth touchdown of the season, and he would add a seventh touchdown just a bit later to finish the game with 10 catches and 133 yards, giving him 60 catches through eight games this year for 860 yards.
And Brown wasn't targeted for the entire first quarter of the game.
We wrote often during this off-season of the high-level potential of this offense. While any offense putting up 51 points and 639 yards is more due to catching a team in a bad matchup, it was expected that this group could move the ball and put up points. Fueled by takeaways and a defense suddenly finding it much simpler to get to the quarterback (nod to Jason Worilds, who, upon first glance and confirmed by a cursory overview in a second viewing, played the best game of his career), the Steelers' offense had their arrival party on Sunday. They scored 42 points on their own and looked flat-out unstoppable throughout most of the game.
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