Game started off well - a couple early completions and then Ben made a dumb move and threw up a ball he should have held onto or thrown a mile out of bounds. I think he was just feeling good and didn't think any harm would come of it. The INT didn't really bother me, but I guess it bothered Ben. He had one pass to Hines at the goal line that was behind him that could have gotten picked as well.
Ben did however make a couple nice passes - one to Miller down the middle splitting the seam looked indefensible. Another pass to Holmes was beautiful and the dump passes out of the backfield to Najeh and FWP were flawless. We seemed to be blocking well on the screens and pummelling opposing LBs.
What I wasn't happy with is pass protection. Obviously OL is our weakness and we truly need to have some consistency there to be effective. Ben was pressured all day - and only because of his quick release was he effective. We had no rush until the D started focusing on the pass - then it opened up. None of the offense line impressed me. Chris Kemoeato seemed like the only guy who made any impression on me. I saw him engage and flatten one DE and I was like WOW!!
The defense however was almost perfect - moving around so much it caused the OLine to jump offsides several times. It was amazing to see LBs running stunts and seeing DB's flying in to get sacks or rushes on the QB. McNabb was not very effective at all - and he has NO speed anymore. Woodley looked good again, he seemed to be flying around and making plays. Timmons looked ok, but he seemed lost on some plays. I didn't think he was engaging or getting off blockers well. Also, he needs to commit to a rush or a drop back - not somewhere in the middle where he seemed to be a lot. He did rush a few times and looked way out of control - he'd often get run way past the QB by his T and the would not be productive at all. He would seem to be better trying to bullrush straight through a guy or trying some type of spin move.
Our second team D was shredding by Kevin Kolb - who was very impressive. The kid got rid of the ball quickly and checked several options when he had to and delivered the ball in the right spots. Lee Vickers, a TE, was his favorite receiver - they were clicking., Our D could not shut them down - mainly because they could not get pressure on the QB. Also, our LBs were non-existent, since most of those receptions happened to the TE right on the other side of the line of scrimmage. Wallace, Stanley, Woodley and Timmons need to be more stay at home and make plays. I'm not sure if they were flying around trying to get pressure on the QB or just not in the right position.
I like this William Gay kid - he brings quite a punch for a late rounder - her will be the steal of the draft I think. Anthony Smith was also laying down the smack - he's crazy - huge impacts on tackles, including special teams and he seems to be everywhere. Jeff Reed scares the crap out of me - he just seems wildly too inconsistent for me.
Dan Sepulveda scared me too - I am very high on this guy - but he seemed to be off. Shanking one punt is one thing when you are standing on the 50 yard line - but he was in our own endzone. You CAN NOT do that in the regular season. Of course the Steelers released Mike Barr - so Sepulveda is not in jeopardy at all. I wanted to see some of his kicks, but just saw one other good one.
The RBs were lame. FWP looked ok, but I think he needs some work next week. No one rushed well. They did however catch the ball well - Davis and Najeh caught a few and went a rumblin! I wanted to see more of Gary Russell - but he only got 4 carries for 8 yards. I'm not sure how the Steelers can keep him after so little work. One thing is for sure - all this talk about cutting Kreider has to STOP! The man is a huge piece of our rushing offense and he pancakes a lot of LBs. Without we will have half as good a rushing offense. He had one good catch and run - I like watching guys pinballing off him - the dude is huge.
One last comment/observation: Tomlin is awesome. The guy isn't going to go nuts on anyone - no chin, no spitting, no tackles on picks when your team is losing. He's as steady as they go. And he has more respect right now than Cowher did all last season. He calls guys over - he doesn't grab their face masks - he talks to them - not spits on them - they shake their head and learn something from it. I like that. being emotional is great, but it got old in Pittsburgh. Ben was being interviewed and when asked about the differences between Cowher and Tomlin, he tried to walk a very fine line and avoid crapping on Cowher - but OH MAN did he want to!
Tomlin said something at the beginning of the game in an interview that we all have to embrace. It don't matter what he says he's going to do, it's if he goes out there and does it - respect him for his outcomes, not his talk. He doesn't want to speak with his mouth, he'd rather speak with his actions. I guarantee that Tomlin is here for another 10-15 years, he seems like the kind of guy the Rooney's can get behind - and when they stand behind you, you know you are worthy of such praise.