Mid-Season Review

14 11 2010

By Justin Cupler

With week 10 rolling in and the season halfway over, lets look at how it has gone.

A few things came to mind when Ben Roethlisberger was suspended for four to six games. First the panic of the Steelers supposedly fielding offers for our star quarterback, that, thankfully, never came to fruition. Then I was left thinking that we would be starting with Leftwich, probably one of the better back-ups in the league. This meant that there will not be a huge drop off, then suddenly he is hurt, on what looked to be a light tap to his knee. Now it is Charlie’s turn, no problem, another good back-up. Not true, Mike Tomlin shocks all of us by naming Dixon the starter. I am now envisioning a 2-2 start as a good start and wondering “what is wrong with Charlie?” Then we saw Tomlin’s brilliance, he was saving Charlie as a “just-in-case”  and that “just-in-case” happened, Dixon went down.

Who would have though that our third then fourth string QBs would lead us to a 3-1 record? I know I certainly did not expect that. Batch played as well as his 35 year-old body would let him, and also reminded us that he used to (and still does) have some wheels under him (Madden update time).

With Interim General Batch leading the troops, Private Mendenhall was on the front-line throwing stiff arms and spin moves like grenades, exploding opposing defenses and proving why the Steelers chose him in the 1st round.

When the bye-week came around and when Ben returned to his command post, he had inherited a truly balanced offense and a 3-1 record. He did the right thing, accepted it as is and continued as the team started. This led to a 6-2 record and a 1 game lead on the rival Ravens, with no competition from the Bengals or the Browns.

My 10 thoughts:

1 ) Mike Wallace is the leading (yardage) receiver on the team with a 125 yard lead on Ward. Thats impressive.

2 ) Ward is still the most unselfish and complete WR in the league.

3 ) Mendenhall is on pace for 1,400 yards, if he picks it up a little — 123 yards per game in the last 8 games — he can wipe Barry Foster’s name from the Steelers single-season rushing record (1,690 yds). That’s all I want for Christmas :).

4 ) That offensive line is looking good for a patch-work line.

5 ) The Steelers may want to keep Flozell Adams around after this year. He looks good at right tackle.

6 ) Is Pouncey our new Dermontti Dawson? He looks like it so far.

7 ) What ever happened to Antonio Brown? One good play and now Emmanuel Sanders keeps him out of the lineup every week.

8 ) Please keep Antwaan Randle El off of punt return duty. He does not properly track the ball and he just runs back and forth until someone tackles him. Sanders is a better fit there. I love El by the way, just not on returns.

9 ) Is this Farriors last year? The guy can still play pretty well, but he is getting up in age.

10 ) People who said that the loss of Troy Polamalu and Aaron Smith was not the cause of the Steelers defensive woes last year are now eating crow. Same players as last year, except a healthy Troy and Aaron.

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