Steeler/Jags Post Game Notes
For whatever reason, the Steelers were a bit flat for most of the game on Sunday. Perhaps it was because Lewis once again played vanilla for most of the game due to Euro-reject Quinn at QB and not Brunell. Maybe it was because both Taylor and Brunell sat and the Steelers just couldn�t savor beating on Quinn and Mack as much. Whatever the case, some notable signs for Steelers prosperity were unfortunately subdued by several subtle omens:
When it counted, the Steeler defense came up with pressure and a big turn-over late in the game. The turnover gave way to the Steeler running game which then put the Jags out of their misery. Just the mentality and heart players need to have when the game is on the line. The Steeelrs have it.
Kordell continues to impress. He may not be Brett Favre, but he is having an excellent year. Kordell�s running and passing ability are making him a feared QB in the NFL. In years past, many defenses(especially the Ravens) gave lip service to Stewart�s ability to run and throw. Defenses this year aren�t singing the praises of Kordell or saying how much they need to prepare for Stewart. Could this be because they actually do fear Stewart and what he can do.
Kris Brown has made a strong comeback after being a goat. Don�t forget what happened last year to the Tenn. Titans and Del Greco. After a very successful career, Del Greco missed no less than three field goals to lose games for the Titans in the waning seconds. Brown, at this point in the season, has conquered his demons and is booting the ball well.
Relying on Kris Brown is a sure recipe for disaster. The Steelers continue to get field goal attempts where other teams are putting up TDs. One only needs to watch the Miami game yesterday to see the futility of a ball-control offense for the sake of ball control. The Dolphin offense played the majority of the game, but scored exactly 0 points. It is very hard for any NFL team to methodically march down the field in 4 and 5 yard increments and expect to put up points. Scoring TDs should be the goal � not getting first downs.
The albatross that is the Steeler Special Teams nearly dragged them down into the abyss yesterday. The Steelers are not playing the better special teams that the NFL has to offer. They are playing very average Special teams every week, but are unable to muster any kind of resistance at all. A free TD to any playoff team in January could be disastrous especially when two field goals still isn�t as good as a TD.
A minor problem is the fact that the Steeler defense, although ferocious, is not scoring any TDs as of late. The sacks are great, the yardage is great, the lack of Int�s and fumbles setting up good field position isn�t. Not a glaring problem, but something to consider when you look at teams like the Jets who have 17 interceptions and 16 fumble recoveries. The Steelers did a nice job yesterday, but it needs to get better.
The Steelers are playoff bound � probably the division champion, but unlike settling for field goals, hopefully the Steeler coaching staff and players sense and lust for something greater.