What a great win for our beloved Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. I was completely wrong in my belief the offense couldn’t run on Baltimore’s stout defense, and I’m glad to admit that I was wrong.
After speaking with our editor at BTSC, Jeff Hartman, we decided to revive the “Burning Questions” article once a week. This will usually run mid-week, but with the short week we decided to run it the morning of the game.
HERE WE GO!!
I know what Steeler Nation felt when Ben Roethlisberger was laying on the field at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, a collective hush followed shortly by a holy #&@*!
What I want to know is how you felt when Joshua Dobbs dropped back in his own end zone, off of play action, and was looking to pass. I laughed, I laughed so hard as he was dropping back because I thought our coach, one Mike Tomlin, had lost his freaking mind. Take into account the momentum and feel of the game had seemed to shift. Not to mention this was Dobb’s first pass in his young professional career and coming in cold on top of it.
I laughed even harder as it was being completed, but I did look, expecting to see a yellow flag lying on the ground.
What was Tomlin thinking? I tell you what he was thinking, “We Don’t Live In Our Fears”, and if you don’t believe that go back and watch that sequence of events.
End of the Half
I’m normally the person that loves the aggressive approach, I would love to have a dollar for every time the defense sits back in prevent defense and I yell at the TV wondering what they are doing.
The end of the first half wasn’t one of those situations.
We had just missed out on a possible scoring opportunity the previous possession, when the normally sure handed JuJu Smith-Schuster dropped a pass. It looked as though he had room to run and if nothing else we would get a possible field goal attempt from Chris Boswell.
The next possession, Baltimore was held to a field goal, aided by a Baltimore penalty, at this point I’m saying ”yeah, good half”.
However, the Steelers get the ball back with less than a minute and I’m thinking let’s run this out and get into the locker room. What ensued next was my wife coming out into the garage and asking me “what is wrong, I heard you inside the house”. In explaining to her what was wrong, as normal she walks back into the house shaking her head.
It was a solid performance in the first half holding Baltimore to two field goals. The offense had just missed out on another possible scoring opportunity with the dropped ball bu JuJu. Other than the “Ole Heave and Pray” approach by Joe Flacco, Keith Butler’s unit had pretty much dominated a division foe and rival in hostile territory.
To say I was livid was a mild understatement. I get being aggressive, but not at that point of the game or that position on the field with that amount of time. I guess the Tomlinism of “We Don’t Live In Our Fears” applies to all situations even if we don’t always agree.
What were your thoughts on the end of the first half of the game?
Cam, Christian and Carolina
The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the black-and-gold, and they have another tough opponent in a shortened week. What lies ahead is a running quarterback, an all purpose running back and one of the league’s better tight ends.
Cam Newton’s ability to throw is one thing, but being able to run is another. He has 73 rushing attempts credited to his stat sheet, and 342 yards rushing along with 4 TDs. The defense will need to have focus on containment as well as staying fundamentally sound in their gaps. I believe Butler may employ a spy in this game. I would rather face Cam in the pocket, as opposed to eating up large chunks running free.
Christian McCaffrey is a guy who can present match up nightmares with his versatility. He averages a little over 6 catches a game, and to me that presents more of the issue with limiting him from being relevant in the game. This isn’t saying he can’t run the ball, but his ability in space is more concerning. The second year back has 49 catches for 378 yards on the season.
Greg Olsen is a solid receiving threat, and we all know how the Steelers have struggled with covering tight ends. He has been hobbled this season with a foot injury, but has managed to remain a part of the Panthers’ arsenal of late catching 3 TD passes in as many games. Has also caught 12 passes on 15 targets, so when Cam goes to him it’s usually a positive outcome.
The Carolina Panthers have other weapons but these three players present the match ups that have me worried.
Which of the three do you believe will present the toughest test?
Love to hear your thoughts in the comment section!