Well that was pretty damn satisfying. There have been few times over the past 6-7 seasons where we could go into Foxboro and lay down 30 unanswered points in a beautiful 33-10 win. So lets bask in this one for a second before turning our attention to Dallas.
I’ve seen us begin games on a better note, but we haven’t finished a game like that in quite some time. Usually, we let the other team hang in for much of the game, either to win/lose a close one or to pile on with garbage points in the 4th. This time, we took over the 3rd Quarter, strangling any possible hope of a New England comeback. This is what aids a deep playoff run…the ability to put good teams away. Not that bullshit we’ve been doing for 11 games prior.
So enjoy it, Steelers fans. We took down the Patriots on their home field. We’ll go through the usual ratings before immediately switching gears to the Cowboys.
Sasso the Giant. Ow, that early interception was rough. And it was the perfect way to show just what our defense is capable of. Ben makes an early mistake, spotting the opposition a short field and eventually, a 7 point lead. They get 3 more the ENTIRE GAME! Alright, this is reading like too much of a rating for the D, so remember that Ben completed 50% of his passes for 179 yards, 2 scores and a pick. The weather was bad, so I’ll forgive the 5.4 yards per completion. Not a fantastic game, but Sasso did make it count when needed. I’m on the fence between 3.5 and 4…I don’t want to give too high a rating for a game that could’ve used less mistakes, si I’ll give him 3.75 of 5 helmets. On the positive side of 3.75.
RBs. Most of Willie’s 87 yards came against an already-worn down Patriots defense…but isn’t that the idea? How many teams can trot out a rested, franchise back with 15 minutes to play? Sure, Willie got a few carries early, but Mewelde had the better step. Willie racked up some garbage time yards…which should be scary to our final 4 opponents. No one put up any gaudy numbers on the ground, but both Willie and Mewelde finished with just around a 5.5 yard per carry average. I’ll take that. 4 of 5 motorcycle helmets despite no touchdowns.
D. 5 of 5 motorcycle helmets. See my description in Ben’s space for more in-depth analysis.
These last three guys get their own spots:
Timmons. It’s taken Lawrence a while to transition from the minors to the bigs (per se), but he’s really coming on strong. 5 tackles and an amazing INT return down to the goal line. I’ll consider it a touchdown, man. 5 of 5 motorcycle helmets.
Troy. Jeez, I had to bring up the fact that Troy might start stealing NFL Defensive Player of the Year votes away from Silverback. If he could shake off the Ike Taylor syndrome of dropping easy picks, he’d be in the double digits by this point. He equaled Timmons’ tackles and gave the fans the usual “Let’s-smile-because-Troy’s-returning-a-pick” routine. Honestly, the dude is so fun to watch. Another 5 of 5 motorcycle helmets. He’s leading the league in picks.
Silverback. After the half, I said “time for the pass rush.” To be honest, it was acceptable in the first half, but not to the point that I’m accustomed to. Harrison personally made sure to exert his team’s will on Matt Cassel and the Patriots. The dude rocked out 7 solo tackles within his 10 total, and stripped Matt Cassel on 2 sacks. NFL Defensive MVP. 5 of 5 motorcycle helmets.
Time to do the exact same thing next week with the Cowboys. The Patriots win is history.