There’s a lot of good to go around this week in Steeler Nation. Coming off a divisional win is just one think making our black and gold lives better this week. The Trib reported today that Troy was voted the NFL’s most popular player in a Forbe’s magazine poll. Must be his commercial keeping him top of mind considering he’s only played one game this season. He beat out the likes of the Manning brothers, Drew Brees and the Gronk. And his 63% appeal rating is all the envy of the two presidential candidates I can assure you.
We should get Pouncy back in Sunday’s line up. If anything his return will keep us from having to go into the bleachers for another lineman.
And Heath. I could write for days on this guy. But three letters will suffice.. MVP. Need a third down converted? Need some help on the right side to pick up the rush? Need someone to pass block down the field? Need someone to take a hit over the middle? I’m still waiting for the day when he lines up opposite Woodley. That would be awesome.
Now the bad.
Pittsburgh, along with most of the east coast, has been enjoying way above average temperatures all week. But all that changes tonight. The forecast for Sunday’s game against Washington is low 40s and rain. But will that keep 65000 people away? Fans are going to be drenched and delirious from the crazy stripes. And happy about it.
So what does the potential for some wet weather mean for the Steelers? How much of the game is going to be played on the ground? We know that Mendy is out again, and Redman is still questionable, though seemed to look sharp at practice. That means that the running game falls mostly to Dwyer again. He put up a solid 122 yards last week against a 20th ranked rush defense in his first NFL start. That’s the best performance by a Steelers running back thus far. Good thing for him, seeing he was benched after his fumble in the Oakland game. (Which let’s face it, is kind of harsh. I seem to remember a few other guys having a hard time holding onto the ball that day…) But maybe its lesson learned. Ball security in tough conditions could will be the difference in the game. Dwyer has been impressive, showing guts in his second efforts. But he will have to work this week against a pretty stingy Skins run defense that includes the timeless London Fletcher.
The Steelers have shied away from the long ball this year, throwing downfield only once or twice per game. Wallace has told reporters that he sees cornerbacks creeping closer and closer to the line because they expect the Steelers to keep the passing game on short yardage. With the Redskins coming in dead last in pass defense, maybe it’s time we unleashed some deep balls…though that is with the assumption that Wallace will actually catch them.
And finally, so much buzz this week about the killer bee uniforms the players will be forced to wear on Sunday. I’m actually surprised at the mediocre reactions of most fans. I thought there would be more, well, verbal disdain. The best I saw was a Harrison tweet saying “send them back to 1934.” Weak. In a SportsNation poll this week that drew 7,578 votes, 65 percent say they hated the black-and-gold horizontally striped threads. WHAT? Thirty five percent actually like them? Or were they thinking of the benefits of making RG3 go blind from seeing 639 dancing stripes on every play. I mean it could be worse, they could be wearing something like this…