Perhaps the best opening drive of the season for the Steelers. Everything looked smooth and play calling was flawless. 13 plays and 7:54 off the clock. Rashard Mendenhall ran great.
Mendenhall fumbled again though and I hope that is not the old problem he had.
Isaac Redman was there when his number was called. Loved that dive play call in overtime for the first down.
Steelers defense looked good early on forcing the Bills 3 and out on first two possessions. Saw Anthony Madison start which was a change. Saw some dime looks on defense too which was a change.
Second Steelers drive was almost as good. Drop on the drive and 3rd down false start hurt though. Drive ate up 14 plays and another 6:12.
I saw Trai Essex as an extra tight end a few times. The Steelers really missed Matt Spaeth today. Saw David Johnson quite a bit in two tight end sets, but he really is more of a fullback/hback.
You could tell when Ben Roethlisberger hurt his foot. Toughed it out well.
At least they ended the half with 3 points. Shaun Suisham earned his money that half and especially in overtime. He won it. Not sure Jeff Reed makes all of those kicks.
[flv:http://ll.video.nfl.com/films/s2010/nflcom/w12/101128_ghl_wk_12_dc_vo_pit_buf_700k.mp4 480 368]
Jonathan Scott, Ramon Foster, Chris Kemoeatu and Flozell Adams all had penalties throughout the day. Kyle Williams was giving Kemoeatu and Pouncey fits.
The line got worse in the second half but came up huge in the trenches in overtime.
I warned everyone about Fred Jackson in my preview. He is a great pass catcher and great after the catch in the flat.
When Bryant McFadden went out injured, William Gay played left corner and Anthony Madison played the nickel. Gay was up and down, but did cause the interception made by Troy Polamalu. I thought Madison was adequate at nickel but need to watch the game again.
Gay needs to understand down and distance better. On 4th down, they are going for the chains more than likely. Not trying to home run you. He played too far off Johnson on that 4th down.
The quarterback pressure came and went on the day. Better than it has been before the Oakland game though.
Polamalu is always around the bouncing ball when you need him to be. A couple of great pops on Steve Johnson.
I could do without seeing Roethlisberger punt left footed. Take the delay of game and let Dan Sepulveda do his job and try to pin them back.
Speaking of Sepulveda, what a huge overtime punt from out of the endzone and props to Madison for getting down field.
Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders had easy drops. Great receivers catch those. Sanders made up with some special teams play.
I get aggravated with Mewelde Moore at times, but he always gets the big 3rd down when you need it. That is why Mike Tomlin has him around.
Those calls on James Harrison and Kemoeatu were awful. The game changed right them and the air was out of the defense.
I thought Ziggy Hood played great on the left end.
Roethlisberger is amazing how he extends plays, this is what causes sacks as well so you have to take the good with the bad. What a big run he had.
Lee Evans just had one catch on the day.
Ike Taylor played well again, but that overtime drop by Johnson was HUGE. That was the ballgame right there. Ike gets beat every now and again. It happens. Great route by Johnson.
Keenan Lewis might be back in the dog house again after that pass interference call.
Lawrence Timmons was not as active today and missed a few tackles to boot. He still tops the stat sheet along with Harrison in the tackle category. Not his best game though, but still better than most all inside 3-4 linebackers.
Hines Ward had some key catches and knows how to sit down in the flat like no other receiver.