Steelers MMQB: NFL Week 2 Wrap Up

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What we learned in Week 2 of the NFL:

  • It was only a matter of time till Vick missed some games due to injury, it’s just a question of how many games now
  • Baltimore had nothing left in the tank after beating up on the Steelers last week
  • Cam Newton might be the next Philip Rivers, all the stats with no wins to show for it
  • Romo redeems himself in San Francisco
  • It’s going to be a long season in Indy
  • The McNabb experiment doesn’t seem to be working too well in Minnesota
  • The Lions and Bills start the season at 2-0
  • The Steelers bounce back by blanking the Seahawks

In a week where not a single divisional game was played there were some interesting matchups and some interesting outcomes.  After 2 weeks, over half of the 32 teams are sitting at 1-1 and some surprising teams are looking at a 2-0 start.  The Eagles suffered a potentially huge set-back as Michael Vick left the game with a concussion in the 3rd quarter after a helmet to helmet hit with a teammate.  The Eagles are going to have to do a much better job protecting the investment they made in Vick, as now he must enter the league’s mandatory concussion evaluation process before a thought of returning is possible. 

In what turned out to be the best possible outcome for a Sunday for a Steeler fan, the Ravens fell short of the Titans giving up 3 turnovers to Tennessee’s defense and 358 passing yards to Matt Hasselback.  This week it’s the Ravens that are decribed as flat, tired, and unprepared.  Now there’s no telling who the real Ravens are, the team that completely dominated the Steelers in the first week or the team that fell short to the Titans this week.  I’m guessing the real Ravens are somewhere in the middle, and it’s not like Steeler fans aren’t going to keep an eye out for them anyway.

Everyone seems to be drinking the kool-aid on Cam Newton now, and he has been impressive throwing for over 800 yards in his first 2 starts in the NFL, but the Panthers are 0-2 and the Packers defense has been rather suspect in their first 2 games.  Newton is adding a whole lot of excitement to the Panthers, and once he’s able to turn those impressive stats into W’s, the analysts will be drooling all over him more than they already are.  Seems like some of the teams putting up 300-400 yards in offense each week so far are also allowing 300-400 yards by their defense.  Those weaknesses can come back to bite you later on in the season.

The Steelers redeemed themselves after a very disappointing performance in Baltimore by shutting out the Seahawks at home.  The defense didn’t look old in the least bit, getting 5 sacks and not allowing Seattle to run a play in Steelers territory until the 4th quarter.  Steeler Nation took a collective gasp after a shot to Ben’s knees by Seahawks DE Raheem Brock late in the first half.  Ben limped off the field and was replaced with Charlie Batch for a few plays but Ben returned to play the rest of the game.   Steeler Nation will also be waiting to see if the Commish is going to follow the guidelines he has set for protecting quarterbacks and deliver a fine to Brock.  No doubt a hit like that would warrant a fine if it was committed by a Steeler.

My message last week was to not overreact.  However embarrassing and painful the loss to Baltimore was it was in no way a cause for chaos and panic.  One week does not make the season.  For this week, the message is to remember how bad that Ravens game was in gloating about how awesome the Steelers looked yesterday.  Tomlin’s post game press conference delivered the same type of message.  Here are some of his notable quotes from yesterday:

"We’re the same team that got blasted in Baltimore last week."

Tomlin on how he felt the team responded to last week’s loss:

"Appropriate, given how we played a week ago.We are still chewing on last week.It’s not going to take one performance to get that stench off."

Well put, don’t you think?  The Steelers can only go up from here, there’s no reason to rest on this game as if it were some kind of accomplishment.  This is a marathon, not a sprint, and any other similar metaphors are appropriate here.  The main point is, the Steelers bounced back like we knew they would and now it’s time to continue this dominance for the remainder of the season.  The trend seems to be so far this season that a strong offense usually means a weak defense and the Steelers can be the exception to that trend.  Bring it on Week 3!

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