Steelers Pound Cardinals, Improve to 5-2

For the third straight week the Steelers took their opening offensive drive in for a TD and never looked back, winning their thrid straight game and improving to 5-2. This week’s victim was the hapless Arizona Cardinals. While the Cardinals did enter the game 1-4; we felt this game had the potential to be a dangerous one for the black and gold. The Cards were in dire need of a win, were coming off the bye week, certainly have talent on the team, have several former Steeler coaches and players who know the ins and outs of the Steelers and lastly the Steelers could have been looking ahead to next week’s matchup vs. New England.

Never fear, that didn’t happen. The defense came up big on the opening drive, something they haven’t done recently and Ryan Clark intercepted a tipped Kevin Kolb pass. From there Big Ben orchestrated a short field drive that culminated with a TD pass to Heath Miller.  The Steelers jumped out to a 14-0 lead just like last week and then hit a little lull when the Cards cut it t0 14-7 close to half.  From there the Steelers rolled on offense as Big Ben hit on 26 of his 39 passes for 361 yards and 3 TD’s with no INT’s.  He found 8 receivers in the process. The play of the game was a Big Ben to Mike Wallace TD pass that covered 95 yards in the second quarter. Antonio Brown came up big with 7 catches for 102 yards and even Emmanuel Sanders added 5 grabs as he saw more action when Hines Ward went down with a leg injury of some sort in the 2nd half. 

Rushing the ball again appeared to be an issue for Rashard Mendenhall as he only managed 32 yards on 13 carries. It’s hard to blame the line anymore on his inablility as Isaac Redman was afforded 6 carries and gained 29 yards and Mewelde Moore was also given 6 carries and put up 26 yards. Redman averaged 4.9 yards a carry and Moore 4.3 while Mendenhall was 2.5.  Sub 4.0 is pretty unacceptable, especially for a back who’s had 1,200 yard seasons. We had thought after last week that Mendenhall had turned a page when he rushed for 146 yards but he keeps trying to break to the outside when the play calls for a run up the middle. The O line is usually to blame but how can we say that when the other 2 guys get the yards and combine that with Ben only getting sacked 2 times and you’d have to say they had a pretty decent game overall.

Defensively Lamarr Woodley had a day, leading the team with 7 tackles, 2 of which were sacks. Not statistically credited is the play where he forced Kolb into intentionally grounding the ball in the end zone resulting in a safety. Ike Taylor had some decent coverage on Larry Fitzgerald as he held him to only 4 catches. He did have to play him physically and was flagged a few times but we have to give him credit, he got the job done.  Overall the defense held Kevin Kolb to a low completion percentage as he only hit on 18 of 34 passes. The Rush defense kept the Cards in check as well, keeping them to 72 yards. They were certainly aided by an injury to Beanie Wells, but he was only averaging 3.5 yards a carry when he was hurt so we’ll credit them.

Overall the team put together a complete game, including Shaun Suisham who we were down on, but he hit 3 of 3 field goals and everything seemed to flow this week. Good game all around.

Our weekly comments:

Stars of the Game: Ben-He was on fire again throwing for 361 yards and 3 TD’s. When he’s on like this, they team is hard to beat.

Lamarr Woodley-He led the team with 7 tackles, 2 sacks and forced a safety. He was in on what seemed to be every play. 

Move to the Starting Lineup-Antonio Brown-We’re back on this, he’s just too good to not start, 7 catches for 102 yards prove that.

Isaac Redman-We said Mendenhall last week, but we’re back on Redman, we like the way he carries the ball more than Rashard.

 Bench:  Rashard Mendenhall-He’s not getting it done, breaking it to the outside instead of running betweenthe tackles, he needs to be the back who spells Redman.

Cut:  None this week!

Observation-The Steelers had a 3rd and 1 with 16 seconds to go in the first half up 14-7 and the ball on the Cardinal 24 with 1 timeout in their pocket and the clock stopped. They chose to hand the ball off to Moore rather than take a shot at the end zone, thus settling for the field goal. We would have taken a shot at the end zone, worst case you throw an incomplete pass and kick anyway. Not sure what they were thinking there.

5-2, up next: Vs. New England 5-1


3 Comments on "Steelers Pound Cardinals, Improve to 5-2"

  1. longarm on Mon, 24th Oct 2011 1:14 pm 

    The “D” came up big and may have played one of their better games of the season. It was good to see Heath getting some action as he proved he can still get it done. The young receivers looked great can’t say enough about them. It will be tough next week but if they put it together like they did this week they will ave a chance. Of course the Pat’s aren’t Cards.

  2. kiki on Wed, 26th Oct 2011 6:24 pm 

    I want them to crush Brady next week!

  3. jpower on Fri, 28th Oct 2011 2:19 pm 

    Just came across your site while surfing. Read some of your posts and liked what you had to say. I agree that last week’s game was great for the Defense and the young receivers. Let’s get the Pats on Sunday!