The Pittsburgh Steelers improved to 2-0 this week, beating the Minnesota Vikings 26-9 in their home opener.
Before they move on to the Chicago Bears next Sunday, let’s reflect on this past weekend’s win, which saw a return to the field for Bud Dupree, returns to form for two on the Pittsburgh offense, and an exciting touchdown celebration that still had consequences, despite the league’s relaxing of penalties on excessive celebrations.
1. The Triumphant Return of Martavis Bryant
Last Week, Bryant raised some concerns with a pedestrian showing in his first game back from a year-long suspension.
His two receptions for 14 yards against Cleveland are in the rearview mirror now, even though he only caught the ball three times today. That would usually be a cause for concern, but the low number of catches can slide for now, as Bryant turned them into 91 yards and a touchdown.
When you’re averaging 30 yards a carry, you’re going to find yourself named an impact payer no matter how many receptions you have. Here’s hoping Bryant can keep his mojo going into next week and beyond, and hopefully Ben Roethlisberger and offensive coordinator Todd Haley can work him back into the number two spot on the receiving corps. Martavis Bryant is a talent, and the rust appears to be shaking off quickly.
Elsewhere on the receiving front, Antonio Brown raced up 62 yards on five carries, still looking for his first 100-yard game against a Mike Zimmer-coached defense. Rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster had the Steelers’ other touchdown, though his celebration will probably end up being talked about more than his four-yard shovel pass to reach the end zone. All in all, it was a good day through the air, where the Steelers gained 243 yards, and averaged a full first down per reception.