The first half was dominated by one team in the 1st half. Would you believe after a shaky 2-2 start that the Steelers would dominate an entire half against a team ranked in the top 10 on passing and rushing defense? Yeah me neither, but that’s what’s so beautiful about every Sunday – a chance for redemption.
The first five minutes of the game looked to be the same old same old from the defense as the Titans marched the ball for a first and goal from the 5. A bunch of penalties from the Steelers kept the drive alive, but they held strong and kept the Titans to a field goal.
On steps the offense and like many in Steelers Nation, I was worried to see how the first drive would work out with another version of the offensive line. Ben Roethlisberger’s accuracy was a bit off on the first few throws. But, a great catch from Wallace kept a drive going, and the Steelers marched down the field for a an 8 yard strike to Heath Miller for a touchdown. And from there on the Steelers controlled the first half.
Ben Roethlisberger ended the first half going 15/22 for 114 with 3 TD’s. Best part of those stats is NO SACKS. Even with a sprained and bruised foot and a banged up offensive line, Big Ben was protected well and only hit once right after the throw to Miller. The blocking has been superb so far – both passing and running. The line is executing well and you can tell that game study has paid off. Dwyer showcased that great blocking with a huge 76 yard gain for his first rush as a pro football player – the hole was huge.
Speaking of, the Steelers saw something in game tape on special teams with the Titans because they ran a perfect punt fake pass to Ryan Mundy for a huge gain. That lead to a Hines Ward TD catch. The Dwyer run ended in a D. Johnson TD catch. Unfortunately, Big Ben did not go completely unscathed. At the end of the half, he was picked off by Cortland Finnegan on an errant screen to either E. Sanders or Hines Ward.
The Steelers have done really well in all aspects of the game. The O-line has made some mistakes and Marcus Gilbert appears to be done for the game with another shoulder injury. Johnathan Scott is in for Gilbert and the Nation holds its breath for a missed block from that lug head. I hope that the Steelers pull Ben and put Batch in. If the line can still do some decent run block, they should let Redman and Dwyer do the work load and allow Ben to rest that foot…. but yet somehow I feel that they should keep rolling to get a great offensive rhythm going into next week…. or maybe I’m just being selfish because I haven’t seen good offense from this team yet this season.