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Steelers-Lions Recap

Steelers win a crazy, topsy-turvy  home game, 37-27, over the Megatron Lions.

The Good – Steelers get off to a big start with 2 big Antonio Brown catch and run TD receptions and lead in the 1st half at one point 17-3. Steelers offense comes out aggressive and surprise surprise it pays off. Brown had another great game, although he did bobble a TD pass in the 2nd half.

– Missing in action rookie Markus Wheaton showing a nice burst of speed on a short crosser and run reception in the 1st half. The kid finishes with 3 grabs.

– New punter old guy McBriar finally boots a nice punt in the 2nd half, pinning the Lions deep in their own territory.

– Veteran WR Cotchery after having a rough start, has a really nice 4th quarter, a TD grab and another nifty catch, spin and run down to the GL.

– Speaking of which, very smart and aggressive playcall and execution to seal the victory for the Steelers on a fake bubble screen, fade pass to Cotchery for his TD grab at the end of the 4th quarter.

– Watching Ben amass almost 400 yards passing, 4 TD passes and no INT’s.

– Rookie RB Bell continues to be a legit threat in the passing game, which included snagging a short pass and running upfield for 43 yards in the 1st half.

– Will Allen with a huge INT and return of about 30 yards or so at the end of the 4th quarter with the Steelers leading by 3.

– Jason Worilds showing some nice hustle and speed on a big sack on Stafford in the 3rd quarter, resulting in a punt and almost a safety. Steelers offense gets the ball back in Lions territory, resulting in….

– The patchwork O-line played well in pass protection. Decastro and Velasco are keepers.

The Bad –  Steelers in the redzone today before the final TD (which was from the 20)- 1 TD, 3 FG’s. Not going to get the job done normally. Some spotty playcalling, but mostly poor execution.

– End of 1st half, with the Steelers lead shortened 20-17 and with 3 minutes left Haley calls for a bubble screen on 3rd and 10. Bullshit conservative loser ball call. Amazingly, the Lions would end up scoring 10 more points to close out the half with a 27-20 lead. Even more amazingly, it easily could’ve been 31-20.

– Watching Ike Taylor drop an easy INT where the ball literally hits him right in the freaking chest. The next play, Megatron 23 yard catch. Later, he would drop another, albeit tougher, pass. Taylor is a very good cover CB but the fact that his hands are so bad does indeed hurt him as a defensive player.

– Why was Ike Taylor left all alone covering Calvin Johnson for most of the game? There is no CB that can successfully do that in the NFL. Taylor gave it his all but it’s just crazy to hope for success all game with that approach. And constantly Ryan Clark would look for anyone else to cover instead of helping out over top against Megatron. Why is Clark even starting at this point?

– Why was Ike Taylor left all alone covering Calvin Johnson for most of the game? There is no CB that can successfully do that in the NFL. Taylor gave it his all but it’s just crazy to hope for success all game with that approach. And constantly Ryan Clark would look for anyone else to cover instead of helping out over top against Megatron. Why is Clark even starting at this point? It seemed like some adjustments were made at halftime, which was good to see.

– Some of Ben’s passes were really off early in the 2nd half, including one where Ben literally threw the ball right to a Lions LB on a slant play, luckily it was dropped.

– Ben overthrowing TE David Paulson who was completely uncovered in the endzone on 2nd and goal from the one. On 3rd and goal Bell falls down losing yards, resulting in a FG instead of tying TD. Barf. Horrible call on 3rd and goal, go all out.

The Bizarre – The Lions getting stopped on a fake FG in the 4th quarter leading 27-23. A FG would’ve given them a 7 point lead. Going for the kill I guess, bizarre call nonetheless.

Megatron had 0 receptions in the 2nd half. Lions 0 points. Coincidence?

Summary – Overall, a fun game to watch a nice win. The Steelers offense looked great at times, but consistency and execution could still be much better, especially in the redzone. Time clock management is also still an issue. Steelers defense played decently, pass rush and run defense need much improvement. Steelers playoff hopes remain alive, but chances remain slim. Next week a road trip to Cleveland who got hammered today by the Bengals, they will be pumped up for this game no doubt.

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