Wow! How close I came to shedding a tear after watching last nights game. For all of Steeler Nation who have watched embarrassing, inexcusable and downright awful football at points throughout the last two seasons, it was extremely joyful to watch the Steelers put it all together last night (we will look past the flags for now). There were many winners tonight, but we will focus on who really stood out.
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Without Ramon Foster, Marcus Gilbert struggling and going up against the 2nd best defense last season, it looked like it was going to be another long night for the O-line. However, they dominated the trenches last night. After giving giving up only 1 sack, they consistently gave Ben and the running backs time to throw and find holes. Both Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount both rushed for over 100 yards and had two very long ones to add to that. Kelvin Beachum and Cody Wallace both had respectable games, but it was the right side who really shined Thursday night. Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro and Marcus Gilbert all played dominant at times, and a good bounce back game for Gilbert as well.
Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount
Like stated above, both Bell and Blount ran for over 100 yards, 147 and 118 respectively. Blount is added on the winners column because he did have a very nice performance, but Bell is the feature back and it seems like he is the one who really gets the offense going. He had a long of 81 yards, which eventually led to a touchdown and sealed the deal for the Steelers. Bell is turning into a star in the NFL, is he isn’t already, and the Steelers look to have found their next great running back.
9 cathces. 90 yards. 2 touchdowns. Just another day of the week for AB.
Sep 21, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart (28) is tackled by Pittsburgh Steelers nose tackle Steve McLendon (90) in the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
It’s about time the Steelers defensive line showed up this season. They held Carolina to less than 50 yards rushing on the night and consistently got pressure on the quarterback. Steve McLendon had another nice performance and added onto it with a sack. Cameron Heyward and Brett Keisel both had productive nights getting after the quarterback as well.
We saw our first turnover of the season, thank you Jarvis Jones! Jones was is really starting to come into his own and playing much better than last season. He already has more sacks in the first 3 games of the season than he did all of last season adding one tonight and a forced fumble. Jason Worilds also consistently got to the quarterback and blew up the backfield, without recording a sack, however. Lawrence Timmons had a nice game with 6 tackles and rebounded nicely after struggling somewhat the first couple games. Ryan Shazier had a quiet but solid night before he went down with an injury. Arthur Moats who came in for Jarvis Jones even had a sack and put pressure on the quarterback.
This is the best game the Steelers’ special teams has played in a long time. They forced turnovers, they scored touchdowns, they made field goals and had some booming punts. Shaun Suisham was money all night, going 3-3. Shamarko Thomas caused a turnover that led to a touchdown recovery by Robert Golden. A lot of credit for the touchdown should go to Brad Wing. If you can’t tell, I am rooting for the rookie punter. He had a solid night and his high, booming punt of 59 yards led to the touchdown recovery.
The only player I saw last night that consistently struggled was Cortez Allen. It seemed every time the ball was thrown his way he got caught with a penalty. He also let a touchdown pass go behind him that Greg Olsen caught. Not a good night for Cortez.
What a great win for the Steelers and Steeler Nation and something to build off of! Can’t wait to see what the rest of the season brings. Let me know what you think about the article by leaving a comment!