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Old 10-16-2006, 05:44 AM   #1
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Default Game 5 Report Card: Steelers vs. Chiefs

Monday, October 16, 2006

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Quarterback: It looked like last year for Ben Roethlisberger, especially in the first half when he completed 13 of 15 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns and had a perfect 158.3 passer rating. He had pass plays of 28, 47 and 50 yards after having just two longer than 25 yards in the first three games and did not throw an interception.

Running Back: Willie Parker rushed for 78 of his 109 yards in the first half and scored on runs of 3 and 8 yards. He also had a 25-yard run to set up his second touchdown. But Parker also fumbled twice, one which was recovered by the Chiefs. Najeh Davenport had 66 of his 78 yards on two carries.

Receivers: The big play returned to the offense and, for a change, they were provided by the wide receivers. Santonio Holmes had a 50-yard catch and run to set up the first touchdown, Nate Washington made a nice play to bounce off safety Jarrad Page on a 47-yard touchdown and Hines Ward caught a 28-yard pass on a deep slant to set up the third touchdown. Holmes also had a 13-yard run for first down off a direct snap.

Offensive Line: After a poor performance a week ago in San Diego, the line rebounded very well. The Steelers rushed for a season-high 219 yards, including 154 in the first half, and averaged 5.2 yards per carry. What's more, Roethlisberger had lots of time to throw.

Defensive Line: Larry Johnson was held to his lowest total since becoming a starter -- 26 yards on 15 carries -- and didn't have a run longer than 8 yards. That's because the line did a good maintaining gaps and did not let Johnson get started downhill. DE Brett Keisel, who had four tackles, did a good job maintaining position when the Chiefs tried to run at OLB Arnold Harrison.

Linebackers: Probably the surprise performance of the game was turned in by Harrison, making his first NFL start in place of Joey Porter. He tipped a pass, dropped Johnson for a 3-yard loss on a swing pass and drew a holding penalty on a pass rush that negated a touchdown to tight end Tony Gonzalez. Chad Brown, in his first game with the Steelers in 10 years, had a sack and ILB Rian Wallace returned an interception 30 yards for a touchdown.

Secondary: QB Damon Huard completed only 16 of 32 passes for 162 yards and gained most of his yards after the score was 31-0. The secondary did not allow a pass play longer than 25 yards. SS Troy Polamalu made nine solo tackles, including a great stop on third-and-1 to drop Johnson for a 2-yard loss. He returned an interception 49 yards and broke up a pass in the end zone.

Special Teams: Holmes finally got a chance to run with some punts, and he had returns of 24 and 20 yards in the first half. He also had kickoff returns of 26 and 28 yards. But he also muffed a punt that was recovered by Ike Taylor and also fumbled on a punt return that was recovered by Bryant McFadden. Also, Jeff Reed was wide right with a 28-yard field goal, his first miss from inside the 40 in 41 attempts.

Coaching: Whatever Bill Cowher told the players during the week, it worked, as the Steelers put together their most complete performance of the season. Offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt got Roethlisberger more involved -- and more confident -- with high-percentage plays that morphed into other big plays.
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Old 10-16-2006, 06:42 AM   #2
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Default Re: Game 5 Report Card: Steelers vs. Chiefs

Overall, the game was well played by the Steelers, but it will spoil some people for the next few games, even if the Steelers win all of them. This game was one where seemingly everything was bouncing our way, including the fumbles. I was not happy to see those, even if none of them hurt us, but this was the reason why we lost to Cincy. What makes it worse is that all 2 players each had 2 fumbles and they are both big time players in our offense. This definitely needs to stop because very few games go as well as they did yesterday and this will come back to haunt the Steelers if not corrected.

But for now I am just happy that we won.
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Old 10-16-2006, 08:31 AM   #3
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Default Re: Game 5 Report Card: Steelers vs. Chiefs

I would definitely say that the scorecard is a fair assessment of the Steelers play yesterday. Imho, every unit stepped it up big time, but the most glaring improvement was in the Steelers' secondary.

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Old 10-16-2006, 09:39 AM   #4
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Default Re: Game 5 Report Card: Steelers vs. Chiefs

Firstly, congratulations to the Steelers - its a hell of a job putting up 45 points on anyone let alone a good team like Kansas.

I have the game taped, while I was at work, so i'll try and take a look at it tomorrow and see how the various areas of the team rated.

Off the bat, its amazing to see Bens stats - its like being transported right back to the playoffs last year - I think most people, myself included, expected him to have a good game sooner or later - but not a game with a maximum passer rating.

Parker appears to have had a very nice day at the office running for over 100 and banging it in from close range twice.

Because the offense functioned properly it gave the D a chance to have a little fun - and holding the Chiefs to 7 points is good going.

Oh and ST grade looks a little high - I dont think you can fumble twice and miss a FG and still get a B - it amazing what a win will do for objectivity.

Welcome back Steelers.

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Old 10-16-2006, 09:45 AM   #5
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Default Re: Game 5 Report Card: Steelers vs. Chiefs

So does anyone think people will be jumping back on the bandwagon anytime soon now that it looks like the Steelers that we all know and love doing just fine. I dont want to say they are back just yet...but they are fine. I know a lot of the people on here never doubted them, but still I was hearing a lot of grumblings from casual fans and people in other factions that left the Steelers for dead.
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