View Full Version : Bires: Report of Steelers' demise is premature

09-20-2010, 07:30 AM
Bires: Report of Steelers' demise is premature
TEXT SIZE Increase text size Decrease text size
By: Mike Bires
Beaver County Times
Sunday September 19, 2010 08:26 PM

Pittsburgh Steelers kick-returner Antonio Brown (84) runs back the opening kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans in the first quarter of an NFL football game on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/The Leaf-Chronicle, Robert Smith)

NASHVILLE — That the Pittsburgh Steelers sit atop the AFC North standings after two weeks is surprising in itself. But how they got there is nothing short of mind boggling.

They’ve won two games, but have scored only one offensive touchdown.

They ascended to first place in the division with basically their third and fourth quarterbacks.

With simmering 90-degree temperatures baking them Sunday, the Steelers played musical chairs on the offensive line, mixing and matching guards and tackles as injuries and heat cramps took their toll.

Still, there was just enough offense to give the defense a rest in trying conditions.

And the defense?

Well, it sure looks like it Dick LeBeau’s relentless band of defenders has what it takes to regain the No. 1 ranking they had in 2008 when the Steelers won the sixth Super Bowl in franchise history.

One week after keeping Atlanta out of the end zone, the Steeler defenders smacked Tennessee in the mouth. They embarrassed Vince Young and Chris Johnson, the Titans’ two most dangerous weapons. They took the ball away on seven of Tennessee’s 15 possessions.

“Regardless of our demise being reported, we expected to win,” a defiant Mike Tomlin said as he concluded his post-game remarks after a wild and crazy 19-11 win.

“We are pleased to be 2-0, but we are not astounded by it. We’re capable. We’re a little bit annoyed to be quite honest about the premature reporting of our death.”

In the looker room after the game, most of the Steelers didn’t share Tomlin’s displeasure with those who may have predicted a tough start and even a tough year for the Steelers because of Ben Roethlisberger’s suspension.

Maybe the Steelers were in no mood to gloat about their 2-0 start because it’s early in the season. Maybe they were simply too tired after this brutal slugfest with the Titans, their former nemesis from the AFC Central days.

After all, it took just two plays before a fight broke out between the Steelers’ offense and Titans’ defense, and the intensity never eased up.

“When you have a rivalry between two physical teams, things like that are going to happen,” Steelers strong safety said Troy Polamalu said.

Sunday’s game sure was wild and crazy.

The Steelers ran a reverse on the opening kickoff and scored.

They lost Dennis Dixon with a left knee injury in the second quarter and had to play Charlie Batch. If Batch would have gotten hurt, wide receiver Antwaan Randle El would have been forced to play QB.

The Steelers could muster only 127 yards of offense and only seven first downs. Yet, they had a 33:40-to-26:20 edge in time of possession.

“We won, so it was enough,” Tomlin said of the offense.

Defensively, the Steelers had more than enough.

They roughed up Johnson to the point where he looked liked he didn’t want to carry the ball in the second half.

They frustrated starting quarterback Young so much that he was yanked in favor of Kerry Collins. That didn't matter. The Steelers intercepted both of them.

The Steelers forced Johnson, Young and Collins to each fumble the ball away.

“Definite respect to Pittsburgh,” Young said.

Apparently, Tomlin doesn’t think the media gave the Steelers enough respect in its preseason predictions. But that’s OK, Harrison said.

“Anytime people doubt us, that’s my motivation,” he said. “I live for doubters. I want to prove everybody wrong. This team wants to prove everybody wrong.

“So (the media) can keep talking about how we can’t do this or do that, and we’ll keep proving you wrong.”

With 14 games to go, it’s a little too early to start making playoff plans. The Steelers still have some issues to resolve. But at 2-0, they are anything but dead.

09-20-2010, 08:54 AM
Definitely too early to make playoff plans but if the D keeps it up and we figure out a way to score offensively we have a pretty good shot

09-20-2010, 10:07 AM
We don't get no respect. WHO CARES? Screw the press and prognosticators. I am watching NFL Network and the show is almost half over and no mention of the Steeler game yet. Those bozos just want to bury the story about the Steelers as far down as they can because they have to eat crow on their predictions. Screw Deion Sanders and cokehead Michael Irvin and their love of the Cryboys and Ravens and Vince Young and stabbin' Ray. And slobbering over Michael Vick. They make me sick.

09-20-2010, 10:14 AM
Looking good so far. Getting out to a nice 3-0 start would be huge. If the D continues playing at a high level when Ben comes back to light a fire under the offense, this team could be downright scary.

Fire Arians
09-20-2010, 10:24 AM
i could have told any of them that. with the defense we have this year we won't be out of any game. I predicted that we would do well in the first 4, but i did expect more out of our offense. but if our defense keeps playing lights out then we're all good. the W is all that matters