Steeler Nation, the Pittsburgh Steelers are now 2-1 after defeating the Carolina Panthers Sunday night on the road 37-19. The Steelers played their most complete game in a long time, making big plays on offense,defense and special teams. Lets take a look at The Good,The Bad & The Ugly of the Steelers victory over the Panthers.
The Steelers had a lot of good things happen Sunday night but I believe it all started in the trenches. The Steelers won the battle of the trenches on both sides of the ball.The offensive line had a great all around game as they opened up huge holes for the running game and kept QB Ben Roethlisberger clean most of the night allowing only one sack. The fact that the Steelers ran for a whopping 264 yards and a 7.8 yard average proves that the Steelers offensive line dominated Sunday night.
Running back Le’Veon Bell ran for 147 yards on 21 carries and had a 7 yard average on the night. Bell is fast becoming one of the NFL’s top all around running backs.
Running back LeGarrette Blount had 10 rushes for 118 yards and a touchdown. Blount is the perfect change of pace back as he and Bell are a great 1-2 punch.
QB Ben Roethlisberger had a good night completing 22 of 30 for 196 yards and 2 touchdowns with a QB rating of 112.6.
WR Antonio Brown continues to be one of the most elusive and big play wide outs in the NFL. He had 10 catches for 90 yards and 2 touchdowns.
TE Heath Miller was his old reliable self catching 4 passes for 51 yards.
The Steelers defense won the battle of the trenches harassing Panther QB Cam Newton all night, while collecting 3 sacks and several QB hurries and a forced fumble.The Steelers run defense had a night of redemption holding the Panthers to 10 carries for only 42 yards. The success of the defense started with the defensive line as DE Cam Heyward, DE Brett Keisel and NT Steve McLendon all played well. LB Jarvis Jones forced a fumble and had a sack before his injury.
The Steelers also looked good on special teams as kicker Shaun Suisham was again perfect hitting all three of his field goal attempts. Punter Brad Wing continues to prove he is an NFL caliber punter. He had three punts for an average of 46 yards, including a long of 59 yards and one downed inside the 20.
The Steelers special teams coverage unit also had a big play as Shamarko Thomas forced a fumble and Robert Golden recovered it for a touchdown in the end zone.
On a night where a lot of things went right for the Steelers there was still some bad to go around. The biggest problem the Steelers had all night was once again penalties. The Steelers were flagged 11 times for 91 yards. Those numbers must come down if the Steelers want to be an elite team. They must show more discipline moving forward and stop making so many costly mistakes.
The Steelers also are still without an interception this season. The secondary must come up with more big plays when the opportunities arise.
The Steelers won the game but lost a few key starters to injuries including starters DB Ike Taylor ( broken forearm), OLB Jarvis Jones (dislocated wrist) and ILB Ryan Shazier (sprained knee). The Steelers are getting thin at a lot of key positions and can not afford many more injuries to key starters. The Steelers are always saying the “standard is the standard” and now that phrase will be tested more than ever. Lets hope these back ups can step up and get the job done before things begin to get ugly.
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