Roethlisberger and the Steelers give the San Francisco 49ers the juice:

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Photo credit: Steelcityhobbies

Author: Jon Kuzma

Even though the Steelers came up short against New England in their opener. Football analyst knew it was only a matter of time before the Steelers offense broke out and did great things. That finally happened in week 2 against the San Francisco 49ers. In the match up which took place at Heinz field, the Steelers were able to get out in front early striking quickly against the Niners. Ben Roethlisberger looked in charge and in control all night and the Steelers had a commanding 29-3 lead at halftime. Roethlisberger would contribute 3 touchdown passes and 369 passing yards. Completing 21 of 27 passes and compiling a 155.8 passer rating. It was evident that his deep ball is a weapon to be feared at this point for the Steelers. Roethlisberger was able to complete a number of bombs against the 49ers really showing off his deep pass accuracy. He took advantage of the Niners secondary time and time again. Whether it was connecting with Darrius Heward-Bey on a 35 yard touchdown pass. Or hitting Markus Wheaton on a 48 yard strike which had Niners defensive backs arguing their assignments with each other. If you’re a Ben Roethlisberger fantasy football owner you’re likely going to be enjoying a fine year of production from the former Miami of Ohio Quarterback. Other notable performers for this Steelers offense were DeAngelo Williams who has been on fire for the Steelers so far. He has rushed for 204 yards and 3 touchdowns over the first two games of the season. Showing that maybe the Steelers ground attack is a result of the whole unit being strong rather than just Le’Veon Bell being the star. The offensive line seems to open holes no matter who is in the backfield. However Williams has been phenomenal with ball in his hands and has made the most of his opportunities. Antonio Brown was also a force for the Steelers in that match recording 9 receptions for 195 yards. Brown is showing yet again why he is one of the best receivers in the National Football League after his dominant performance in 2014. This season over the course of two games he has been able to haul in 18 receptions for 328 yards and 3 touchdowns. Good enough to have him right back in the hunt for the #1 receiver spot in the league. Keep an eye on all of these playmaker and what they are able to do throughout the regular season. Because of them they were able to finish this game against the Niners with a 43-18 victory. Thus far it’s been a lot of fun to watch!

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Week 1 assessment: Patriots will repeat as Super Bowl Champions

New England Patriots at Washington Redskins 08/28/09

Photo credit: Keith Allison

Author: Jon Kuzma

Now that week 1 action is complete we are now able to look back and reflect on all of the outcomes. While in the off-season you speculate who is going to have success and who won’t. Now we have tangible evidence of what some teams are going to do this upcoming year. Coach Mike Krzyzewski Duke’s basketball coach had a great quote that stuck with me one time “If a team can’t perform on a moments notice they probably won’t be worth much in the end.” If you take that quote and put it in context for the Patriots you would see the phrase matches up perfectly. The Patriots came into the opener and rolled the Steelers 28-21. While the score showed a closer game than there actually was. It was clear that New England has a better offensive system than the Steelers. Bill Belichick out coached Mike Tomlin for all four quarters of the game. Also collectively New England as a team is still the team to beat in the entire league. Brady with all of the off-season heat that he has been facing was magnificent for the Patriots offense throwing for 4 touchdowns and no interceptions. One thing opposing defenses must truly respect is the Patriots passing system. Josh McDaniels has done a terrific job of pushing the offensive play calling envelope with a much more conservative Belichick at the helm. Together McDaniels’ aggressiveness as play caller, and Belichick’s conservative and calming demeanor they create a great balance for the Patriots offensively. When you have a talented cast like the Patriots do coaching wise, Tom Brady gets to focus more on the field playing wise rather than what play call should be made next. The formula was a Super Bowl winning one last year, and it looks like the Patriots will repeat again. “Remember if a team can’t perform on a moments notice it won’t be worth much in the end”. Well the Patriots just handled business in their opener with the black cloud of spygate hanging over their organization. A sign for good things in the Patriots future.

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Steelers offense will be fine when Bryant, and Bell return:

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Photo credit: Jeffrey Beall

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Steelers offense looked good in the regular season opener against the New England Patriots. They put up 21 points and very easily could have had 6 more if Josh Scobee didn’t miss a pair of field goals early on. Roethlisberger and company looked promising on several drives. The connection of Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown was on full display for all the fans in Foxborough to see. Brown finished with 9 catches for 133 yards through the air. Deangelo Williams also showed the world that he can still be a productive player. The former Panthers running back contributed 127 yards rushing on 21 rushing attempts. Clearly showing that the change of scenery was exactly what Williams needed to resurrect his career. All of this Steelers offensive success came without star players Le’Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant. Bell was suspended because of substance abuse issues that were stemming from an incident that occurred in 2014 when Bell was arrested for a D.U.I and marijuana possession. Returning one of the NFL’s best young running backs to the mix, will be a huge benefit for the Steelers. Bell rushed for 1,361 rushing yards in 2014, and that combination of him and DeAngelo Williams will be one of the better tandems in the league. It will be interesting to see how the Steelers mix up the backfield touches when Bell returns, especially since Williams is playing at such a high level. As far a Martavis Bryant goes, the Steelers really missed him against the Patriots in the opener. He was suspended for 4 games because of a fail drug test for marijuana. Bryant gives the Steelers a chance to take the top off the defense. That big play capability he brings to the table can easily turn into six points for the Steelers on any pass play. That was something the offense was clearly missing that night and to have that advantage back would add another dimension for this team. Just imagine how lethal this team could be if they could get their kicker Josh Scobee to clean up his game. And if they get Le’Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant back. It could be scary for opposing teams in the future.

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What the First Game of the Season told us

 

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Photo credit: Keith Allison

Author: Joey Carr

The Regular Season Opener between the Patriots and the Steelers was everything we expected it do be and more. Tom Brady came out more with more flare and vigor than most players do on Super Bowl Sunday. The fans, even in the torrential downpour of rain, shook Gillette Stadium with chants of “Brady, Brady, Brady” and “Where is Roger?” The Commissioner of course was not in attendance to see New England raise its 4th Super Bowl banner, thus signaling the end of last season and the start of a new one. And the New Year got off to a rip-roaring start.

Coming out of the gate, everyone expected to see two high power offenses battling it out, testing each other’s defenses; and that’s exactly what happened. Both Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady came out guns blazing, moving the ball downfield with ease until one mistake cost both of their first drives to end without any points. That can mainly be attributed to the Steelers newly acquired kicker, Josh Scobee. Scobee missed his first two kicks from 46 and 44 with no wind to speak of, which might’ve cost the Steelers the game. They had great momentum going until the missed kicks, with DeAngelo Williams running wild against the Patriots defense. Williams was never the feature back when he was in Carolina, but he sure looked like one last night, going for 127 yards on 21 carries. For some reason, the Patriots kept giving him the outside edge, which he took advantage of all night long. Big Ben also looked sharp through the first half, completing some dimes to Markus Wheaton and Antonio Brown. But the first 30 minutes and the game were dominated by Tom Brady and New England. Brady came out revved up, and it certainly showed. At one point, he completed 19 straight passes, 3 of them for touchdowns. His only miscue during the first half came on a sideline lob intended for Danny Amendola, but was overthrown by a hair and probably cost the Pats 6 points. However, Tom made up for it the next series, marching the offense downfield and eventually found an uncovered Rob Gronkowski for the 16-yard touchdown, the first of the NFL season. From then on out, it was Gronk’s world. The unstoppable tight end ran uncontrolled all over the field, amassing 94 yards and 3 TD’s on only 5 catches. Also, another one of Brady’s favorite targets had quite the night; Julian Edelman, a.k.a “Minitron”, almost effortlessly caught 11 passes for 97 yards, simply turning around and standing still to catch the pass. The biggest surprise of the night however was running back Dion Lewis looking like an established veteran, cutting back and breaking ankles all over the field. The former Colt and Brown accumulated 120 total yards from scrimmage, a stat the Pats have not seen consistently from a running back since the days of Danny Woodhead.

The defenses for both teams looked shaky at times, but the difference in the game was the Pats D bending, but not breaking. The Steelers got to the red zone several times but only managed one touchdown. Of course if they had Le’Veon Bell that stat might be a little different. Another example of bending not breaking was Malcolm Butler guarding Antonio Brown. Butler did all he could on a few plays but Brown still managed to somehow catch the ball, a feat we’re used to seeing. There were

times where the Super Bowl hero got flat out beat by Brown, but for the most part he defended him as well as he could’ve been expected to.

The first game of the season had all the qualities that make a great game: an amazing catch (Markus Wheaton’s toe tapper on the sideline), a close score, and offenses that were extremely fun to watch. Big Ben and Tom Terrific are two of the greatest quarterbacks of this generation, and they sure did prove it last night. And if this game was anything close to what we’ll see this year, we’re in for an outstanding season.

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Buzz around the NFL: Steelers offense looks ready to roll

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Photo credit: SteelCityHobbies

Ben Roethlisberger completed 3 passes out of 3 attempts in the Steelers preseason game which included a 45 yard bomb to Martavis Bryant. The Steelers quarterback looked poised and the offensive line did a great job of giving Roethlisberger time. The offense seems to be picking up right where it left off from last year where the team posted 33 combined passing touchdowns and a 1300 yard rusher in Le’Veon Bell. With another year under all of those players belts that offense should be even more potent, and even more dynamic this time around. Back up quarterback Landry Jones even looked good in his preseason action, throwing for 328 yards in both games combined. A sign that the whole unit collectively is strong. Even the players down the depth chart are playing their role and contributing to this team. This is why the offensive ceiling has been so high for this team over the last two years. They’re playing with cohesion and that has led to them firing on all cylinders. You also can’t fail to mention that they still have Antonio Brown who was flat out electrifying last year on the football field, posting 13 receiving touchdowns. Brown has been an x factor for the Steelers ever since he got there from Central Michigan University. Markus Wheaton is another player that is notable of mentioning for this offense. He contributed 53 receptions and 644 receiving yards last year for Pittsburg. He is a player that can clearly help out Ben Roethlisberger when he is in a jam, and is another vital piece of that puzzle in the Steel City. Look for this team to be clicking in the regular season, this is despite the fact that they struggled in these preseasons games in terms of wins and losses. In the regular season those starters will be on the field longer and will be able to make that impact that is needed. This team should be a lot of fun to watch on sundays once week one rolls around.

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