Steelers – Raiders Wrap-up

22 11 2010

By Justin Cupler

Just as the Pats did against the Steelers last week, the Steelers took out their terrible loss on the Oakland Raiders. The inconsistency and lack of desire that we all saw last Sunday was completely wiped clean this week as the defense looked to be back in form, registering 6 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and 2 interceptions (3 if not for a terrible call by the Referee). The offense looked stout and dominating once again with Ben being involved in all but one touchdown (3 passing and 1 running).

The defense, what can we say about that defense? They were overpowering and looked like Tomlin had lit a bonfire under their tails as they only allowed 3 points and 182 total yard (most of which came on mop-up duty). Harrison and company were swarming to the ball. Even the banged-up defensive line showed some spark, keeping the offensive linemen busy so the backers, safeties and even corner backs could get in on the fun. James Harrison registered 2 sacks, taking his total to 9 for the season, and even the ageless one–James Farrior–got himself a sack and looked very fired up and ready to get another. Heres to hoping that this is the Steeler’s defense we will see the rest of the year.

The offense got in on the fun as well, gaining 431 total yard and posting 35 points. Ben looked back to his old self, throwing the ball to eight different receivers, three TD passes and one TD run. Mike Wallace also got off, once again, going for 116 yards on only 3 catches. We also saw something from the Steelers that I–and most fans–were complaining about in recent weeks, they finally held their foot on the throttle when they had a team down. Instead of playing the safe, “we aren’t going to run up the score” stuff, they kicked the Raiders while they were down to make sure they were staying down. I was shocked not to hear comments from Tom Cable about running up the score, way to take your beating like a man, Tom…

Again with the Referees… Anyone who thinks that the Steelers get beneficial calls from the refs  needs to watch this game. I wrote down the four worst calls I saw during the game, all against the Steelers, all subjective calls and all 15 yarders.

1: Roughing the passer in the first quarter on Lamaar Woodley. Lamaar came flying in on the play and actually pulled up and love tapped Campbell about 1 second after he released the ball. They said he hit him in the head, Woodley’s arms were raised above his head showing that he was not hitting him full force and Campbell pulled his best acting job ever.

2: Helmet-to-Helmet on Ryan Clark. Clark hit the guy several inches BELOW the shoulder pads and was nowhere near the receivers helmet.

3: Roughing the passer #2 on an interception returned for a TD. This hit happened just as the ball was released, even the announcers called it a clean and legal hit.

4: Personal foul after a fumble pile-up. The referee said “Player had to be pulled off of the pile.” Yeah, because the Raiders player pushed him onto the pile causing his knee to buckle, AFTER THE WHISTLE.

The moral of the story is that no matter how poor the refs call a game, the better team will always find a way to win. It is that easy. I do expect a complaint to be filed by Tomlin and another apology from the NFL though.

Richard Seymour, typically an on-the-field kinda guy was out of character when he sucker-punched Roethlisberger after Ben had nudged him following a TD pass. It is unclear as to whether Ben said anything to him or if it was just an accidental bump, but the punch was unacceptable and Seymour was ejected. That kind of stuff cannot happen and Seymour should see a six-digit fine and at least a one-game suspension.

All-in-all, a great game overall by the black and gold.

My ten thoughts:

  1. Maurkice Pouncey is a tough kid!
  2. Though Mendenhall’s output has been reduced, you can still see the impact he has on the other team.
  3. Roethlisberger is back to his old “whatever it takes” self that won two Super Bowls.
  4. Mike Wallace isn’t “just fast” any more. He is a complete receiver, despite one bad drop today.
  5. The defensive backs covered pretty well today, we saw more Keenan Lewis than usual.
  6. If Seymour is not suspended then there is a serious problem with the NFL’s system.
  7. Again, the NFL needs to give the referees some accountability for their poor calls, besides no playoff games.
  8. Once again, Doug Legursky came in and played well at multiple positions.
  9. Seeing Antonio Brown and Emmanual Sanders both playing was a great thing. Emmanual is a good receiver and Brown is an excellent punt returner.
  10. A few career firsts: Jason Worilds got his first career sack and Isaac “Redzone” Redman got his first career touchdown. Congratulations guys!
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