Monday, August 30, 2010
Steelers @ Broncos
-- Steelers 17 @ Broncos 34: Who needs offense, defense or special teams when you have penalties? The Steelers committed 11 for a grand total of 93 yards, which is a better showing than any running back on either team put up. The Broncos tried, but could only muster 8 penalties for a mere 67 yards. The fact that most of these penalties were for 'Unnecessary Roughness' and 'Roughing the passer' (technically one and the same, to a degree) is not surprising in a league where any contact is gradually being frowned upon more and more. Roethlisberger and Orton both did ok in their brief outings, but in keeping with the earlier established theme I want to focus on the back up spots. Naturally I have to start by laughing at Brady Quinn, who came into replace Orton after he took a knock and promptly got himself sacked. Quinn finished with a stunning 1/2 for a whole 2 yards. Tebow then was poised to become the man of the hour. But it started a little rocky. Taking the ball from under center he looked uncomfortable, but that's natural given his history. At least he kept his poise and still got his passes off. Then, looking to his right he wound up and launched a bolt... to Steelers rookie Crezdon Butler. At least he chased him back down the field and 'forced' him out of bounds 5 yards shy of the goal line. Not to be deterred, he came back and led a 5 play, 74 yard drive, capping it with TD pass to Eric Decker. And to be honest, I can't see why scouts were moaning so much before the draft. Yes the wind up is begging to be stripped, but other than that he looks like a steal for the 25th overall pick. His feet were quick, he anticipated his receivers breaks well (ahem, for the most part) and his ball placement on the throws was very good. Given that he's a rookie and will get to sit behind Orton for the season, developing himself (and his center/QB exchange) the future looks bright for Mr. Tebow. Perhaps less so for Pittsburgh fans (all together now; hahahahaha. Good). Dennis Dixon went 9/16 for 94 yards and two interceptions (and two sacks). The first INT was right down the sideline into the end zone... and into the waiting arms of rookie corner Perrish Cox (see the rookie watch list from the other day). The second went to old hand Andre Goodman who took it back 77 yards for the score (note to corners; I think it was Dre Bly who last year demonstrated the dangers of doing your stupid little dance before you get into the end zone. Dixon nearly had him). Byron Leftwich was poised then to have the day to himself. Of course he probably would have done, had he not thrown 4 passes and connected on precisely zero percent of them. It was left to Charlie Batch to come on and restore some sort of dignity by going 3/4 for 44 yards and a TD. He however, decided that things were going a little too well and thus decided instead to play his part in "The Great, let's make Chris look like he knows what he's talking about conspiracy" by throwing a pass way short to his right which was promptly picked off and returned 48 yards for a TD by rookie Syd'Quan Thompson (see again, rookie watch list). Thompson added the 'coup de grace' by returning a punt on the next Steelers possession for 62 yards. On the ground we finally got a good look at rookie Steelers RB Jonathan Dwyer, who showed quick feet and good vision to finish the game with 89 yards and a TD from 13 carries. Dennis Dixon was the next best Steelers rusher, scrambling three times for 33 yards. The Broncos also looked pretty good on the ground. LenDale White went for 34 yards and a TD off 12 carries, while 2nd year back Lance Ball led the Broncos with 75 yards from 10 carries (biggest run was 43 yards). So there we have it. Pre-season week 3 done. One more week to go and it's time for those rookies and fringe guys to bust out some big efforts. And of course I'll be previewing all the action and eventually recapping it, right here. Till then, Have a great day everyone.