Big Lead Sports Bar

10/05/2009

MENDENHALL CAN SWIM

STEELERS (2-2) 38
CHARGERS (2-2) 28
ROETHLISBERGER 26-33, 333 YDS, 2 TD
MENDENHALL 29-165, 2 TD
WARD 8-113

Thoughts on the near-historic collapse of the defending champion Pittsburgh Steelers last night:

1. As the title implies, I guess Rashard Mendenhall can play after all. Where was this hiding up until now?

2. I knock them as much as the next guy, but I've got to give credit to the offensive line. Sure, the Chargers were missing some key players on defense, but there were some crushing blocks being handed out to open holes for Mendenhall. They can all guest-host in peace tonight.

3. The Steelers outran LDT and the Chargers 177-16; Pittsburgh also held the ball for 40:20, ran 73 plays to San Diego's 47, and had 497 yards of offense. That being said, I could've done without the 28 points allowed in the second half. Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy.

4. The Steelers have been outscored 48-13 in the 4th quarter this season. And that's a trend that doesn't seem to be going away, given that their last three 4th quarters have yielded 21, 14, and 10 points to the opposition.

5. I know I sound like a broken record at this point, but wow, does the game look easy for Ben Roethlisberger right now. 333 yards, 2 touchdowns, no turnovers...and it sounded like announcer Cris Collinsworth was just seeing him play for the first time.

6. There was another redemption story written on Sunday night: kicker Jeff Reed hitting that 46-yarder to make it a two-score game with 43 seconds left. His future contracts thank him.

7. Anyone vote to take Ryan Mundy off the hands team?

8. Two sacks, five tackles and a forced fumble by James Harrison? I thought I was watching video from 2008. And I liked what I saw in 2008. And NBC liked the opportunity to shoehorn in their Harrison skit from SNL earlier this year.



8. Mewelde Moore did a better Ladainian Tomlinson impression than Ladanian Tomlinson, touching the ball six times and having two of those result in touchdowns.

9. Through the first four games, the Steelers have had three different players (Santonio Holmes, Mike Wallace, Hines Ward) lead the team in receiving yards. That's excellent news for the Steelers and bad news for opposing defenses.

10. Also bad news for opposing defenses: Heath Miller, who had eight more catches and is on pace for a 96-catch season. His career high is 48, done in 2008.

11. Don't look now, but Stefan Logan has already lost two fumbles. I haven't heard anyone talking about it, but it's worth keeping an eye on.

12. It's unfortunate (or fortunate) that the nation will be fixated on Favre-Packers, because they're going to miss the much-hyped Steeler invasion of WWE Raw at 9 PM on USA. Personally, this will probably be the first time I've watched wrestling since 1988 or so. So they've already got one casual viewer to flip over, at least for a few minutes.

13. Raw has a guest host every week, and here are a few of the most recent: Rev. Al Sharpton, Cedric the Entertainer, Trish Stratus (does it count if you used to work for the WWE?), Bob Barker, Jeremy Piven, Shaq, and Seth Green. Now that's an eclectic list.



14. For no reason other than my amusement and the occasion of him playing in Pittsburgh last night, here's the best Philip Rivers pictures on the net. Use them as screensavers, or print them out and scare your friends.







15. Sure, nobody outside of his fantasy owners and Charger fans like Rivers. But he does get bonus points for trash talking Jay Cutler:


16. OK, time to wrap this one up. Next week: Detroit. After that: Cleveland. And following those should-be wins, it's the Steelers vs. Brett Favre, Adrian Peterson, and the Minnesota Vikings at Heinz Field. Holy TV ratings, Batman.

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14 comments:

BurressWithButterflyWings said...

A few points I noticed last night:

- Our D-line is unreal against the run, but seem to be struggling a little in pass rush?

- Is Big Ben having an MVP-type season?

- Antonio Gates and Heath Miller are unbelievable athletes.

- Max Starks' blocking technique on that holding call seems to be the NFL standard for blocking James Harrison.

- Willie Parker the next Wally Pipp?

- and to beat a dead horse, the prevent defense is b.s. Can't let Rivers has the chance to pick you apart!

Justin said...

Wow. I witnessed a living, breathing dichotomy last night. On the one hand, the emergence of Mendenhall from a guy who looked like a total bust to a guy that just ran wherever he wanted to. And on the other, the fall of a defense that once imposed its will to one that looks like it doesn't realize that a football game is actually 60 minutes, not 45.

And back to Mendenhall. Despite the unreal stat line, the highlight of the night for me was the pancake he served to whichever Chargers LB came on a blitz (can't think of who it was, I was too focused on yelling as I saw him drop like a rock).

Josh said...

Mundy isn't on the hands team. They didn't have the hands team on the field.

Logan's fumble should have been blown dead seconds before because of loss of forward progress. That would have change the game REAL fast...

I really think Mendenhall is a better fit for the 2TE offense than Parker, who prefers a FB. I've been saying this all year, now...

Corey said...

the whole strategy to get a lead a protect it doesn't appear to be working....how about just playing four quarters of FOOTBALL?

okel dokel said...

A win is a win. Mendenhall looked great and I agree with Justin that his block on the blitzing linebacker was sweet and I believe caused injury.

Mike Wallace continues to impress. This guy has quite an upside and Tone better watch it or his stay at the #1 receiver could be short lived.

Enough with the nice stuff - this fourth quarter trend is downright disturbing and the defense needs the same treatment Mendenhall received last week. One week is OK, but three weeks in a row is unf*inacceptable.

Also, I do not like the trend on special teams. Some major gaffes that could have cost the game, 14 points between Logan's fumble and Mundy's hands team play. I thought we were going to be improving in this area...maybe in the coming weeks.

These next two games scare me. I am concerned the defense may take their new fourth quarter approach the whole games because they do not highly regard the opponents.

Zone Blitz said...

Carey Davis .. Let's just call him "Biggy Big" ...

The dude looks like he sat at a Country Kitchen Buffet since the day he got cut!

But props to "Biggy" ... he made a heads up play. Welcome back!

Corey said...

one comment about giving rivers kudos for trash talking cutler: it is that complete lack of class that generates my disgust for him!

i lived in indy for a couple of years and will never forget how he taunted the fans there...just classless.

BurressWithButterflyWings said...

I also thought Logan's fwd progress was clearly stopped, but there was no whistle.....

HomeRunFromBehindTheMeatballs said...

Hey, I have an idea. Let's all get REEEEALLY excited about Rashard "Bust a Move" Mendenhall running all over a team that was already terrible against the run before their best run stuffer went down for the year!

Mendenhall looked great last night, but he's gotta do it more than once. And against a formidable opponent. (We may have to wait until the Minny Vikes for that one). Although, ONE good game does put him lightyears ahead of his draft class brethren (Limas / Bruce Davis / Tony Hills).

As long as i'm being kind of unpopular with my reality check... What? No post on the pirates staving off loss #100? Sure it's only because they didn't make up a rainout, but it's a moral victory, right? I mean, 100 losses is awful, but 99 losses... now that's one heck of a season! Surely our beloved buccos deserve a little love for their grand achievement?!

Justin said...

Dude, I don't think anyone is "REEEEALLY excited" about Mendenhall. We're just happy to FINALLY see him have a nice outing. No one is overblowing the Chargers defense: we all know it isn't quite on par with Baltimore, Minnesota and the like. No reality check needed. Let's just enjoy the fact that Mendenhall has a whole lot of confidence to work with now.

BurressWithButterflyWings said...

I love the BASEketball reference, but however terrible the Chargers are on D, I don't think we should minimize what Mendenhall did last night. Especially considering he was being written off as a bust.

okel dokel said...

Yea, it was nice to see him play an entire game. not sure what that means for the long haul, but I am more hopeful than I was last week.

Let's face it he will be the feature back next year when Willie is gone.

Nate said...

I, for one, never wrote Mendenhall off.

Let's not forget that in his only start before his injury last year, he was having a pretty good game against a much tougher run D in the Ravens before he broke his collarbone. 30 yards on 9 rushes...with 30 carries - around average for the Steelers - he would have had 100 yards against one of the NFL's best run-stopping defenses.

He also got 39 yards out of his whopping 3 carries against the Bears, another team that's not too shabby at stopping the run.

It may be time to flip the roles and have Parker spell Mendy, because he seems to do a lot better as the starter than coming off the bench.

Steve said...

All I can say is thank God Tomlin's decision to go for it on 4th and inches earlier in the game worked and eventually led to a TD, or every Steelers fan (95% of them), who thinks wins and losses are all about the offense would be blaming Arians and the offense for the loss.

Without Polamalu, the Steelers secondary and pass defense is one of the worst in the NFL, which is what it was before Troy arrived and is why I believe Troy should be handed the MVP or at very least the defensive player of the year award right now.