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mesaSteeler
09-13-2010, 08:28 AM
Post-Atlanta thoughts

posted by Dale Lolley at 12:09 AM
http://nflfromthesidelines.blogspot.com/

Kudos to the Steelers for a big, big win. Thereís no reason now that they shouldnít go at least 2-2 with Ben Roethlisberger out, which should set them up for the 10-6 season Iíve predicted.

As Iíve constantly said during training camp and the preseason, people saying the Steelers hadnít done anything to improve themselves werenít looking at the big picture. Getting Troy Polamalu and Aaron Smith back healthy was huge.

It also appears as if Lawrence Timmons is ready to join the teamís other three starting linebackers with a Pro Bowl trip this season.

I know itís only one game and certainly things can fall apart - as we saw last season.

But the defense is playing with a big chip on its shoulder after faltering last season. Theyíve got something to prove.

© I could say the same thing about Hines Ward. I questioned how much he had left in the tank after he had a quiet training camp and preseason.

But he stepped up in a big way against the Falcons.

© One of the unsung heroes in this game was punter Daniel Sepulveda.

Five punts with a 46.8-yard net Ė NET Ė is a pretty good day at the office.

This was a battle of field position. And while Atlanta punter Michael Koenen had a strong day as well - pinning the Steelers inside their own 20 four times Ė it was his 37-yard punt in overtime that only made it to midfield that was the special teams mistake of the game.

© Mike Tomlin said after the game that had the Steelers won the coin flip to start overtime, he would have taken the ball.

I think that would have been a mistake. The way the Steelers were playing defense, Iíd rather have the game in their hands than in those of Dennis Dixon with a long field.

© Early word is that Tony Hills will replace Max Starks at left tackle next week at Tennessee. Hills made great strides during the preseason, but Iím not sure heís ready for that just yet.

Jonathan Scott, who was OK filling in there Sunday after Starks went down with an ankle injury, could also be in the mix.

A better move might be to move Trai Essex from right guard to left tackle and start Ramon Foster at right guard. But they wonít want to tear up the whole offensive line.

© Imagine this if you will. If the Jets beat the Ravens at home Monday night, the Steelers will be alone in first place in the AFC North after Week 1.

© This from Atlanta linebacker Sean Weatherspoon describing the Steelers offensive line: Mammoth offensive line. Big guys up front. They do a good job firing off the ball - pretty athletic guys, and they have a quarterback who can run around.Ē

Iíve been saying that this is the biggest offensive line in Steelers history. They used that to their advantage Sunday.

Itís going to be a problem, especially for 4-3 teams, who are going to be giving up a lot of weight on the ends.

© I overestimated how good Matt Ryan was when I made my pick of the Falcons to win this game.

Ryanís passes donít have a lot of zip on them and his outs take forever to get to the sideline. Without a running game to help him, he was pretty toothless.

He was also way to dependent on one receiver. Roddy White was targeted 23 times in this game for 13 receptions.

Iíve been covering the NFL for 18 years and canít recall seeing so many passes intended for one receiver. That made the Falcons very predictable.

posted by Dale Lolley at 12:09 AM 9 Comments Links to this post

steeltheone
09-13-2010, 09:19 AM
Have to remember the old saying, especially in week 1. Not as good as you think you are or as bad. The Falcons will get better. They are young.

Farrior is only a 2 down linebacker now. No Pro Bowler by far.

Timmons speed inside really helps. The 3 lineman and Farrior are SLOW.

Once again Hampton is replaced by a backup and we don't miss a beat. The same for Keisel and Smith.

Once again Troy proved nobody can replace him!