- Mewelde Moore finally made an appearance with 3 big catches for 37 yards although only managing 13 yards on 8 carries.
- James Harrison and Lamar Woodley are quickly becoming the top duo of outside linebackers in the league. They combined for 10 tackles, 8 assists, 4 sacks, w forced fumbles and one touchdown.
- Jeff Reed made all 3 field goal attempts and has now made 30 of his last 32 field goals with the only missing being a 65 yarder last year at Denver and during the Mud Bowl vs. the Dolphins at Heinz Field.
- Rashad Mendenhall and Kendall Simmons are out for the season after suffering a fractured shoulder and torn achilles respectively.
So where do the Steelers go from here? The Steelers offense was abysmal in the first half last night. It only began to function after the Steelers went to their no-huddle offense. Expect more of that next week as Jacksonville's defense is tough against the run and Mewelde Moore, the likely starting running back, specializes as a pass catcher.
The Steelers must choose a replacement for Kendall Simmons. The way I see it, they have 3 options: Insert either Darnell Stapleton or Trai Essex into his spot or slide Willie Colon to guard and insert $7 Million Man Max Starks at right tackle. Seeing how Stapleton is inexperienced and Willie Colon has never played guard in the NFL, the smart money is on Trai Essex starting next week.
At running back expect the Steelers to sign Gary Russell off the practice squad and maybe another back depending on the condition of Carey Davis's sprained ankle. Other than that, just pray for Willie Parker's quick recovery and that the injury bug doesn't strike again.
Give the Steelers Defensive line credit. Baltimore was unable to establish any semblance of dominance even with backups playing at the Nose Tackle and Right Defensive End positions. Baltimore average only 3.1 yards per carry which allowed the linebackers plenty of 3rd and longs to tee off on Joe Flacco.
Was that the Steelers kick coverage team we saw last night or did we trade them for something better while I was drinking at Oktoberfest over the weekend? 4 punt returns for 7 yards and 6 kickoff returns for 120 yards are definetly an improvement over recent years.
It was good to see 3rd round pick LB Bruce Davis actually get into uniform. What wasn't so good was getting flagged for an illegal block in the first quarter.
Your updated AFC North Standings:
It's good to see order restored in the world. The Steelers are now tied for the 3rd best record in the AFC with the Denver Broncos and behind the Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills.
However the Cardinals and 49's are tied for the division lead in the NFC West with identical 2-2 records. So maybe things are only right on the East Coast.