Preparing to shoot a few segments of Big Jon in 5 for BEER2WHISKEY in our upstairs studio at Barley's Taproom in downtown Greenville. That's owner Josh Beebe preparing for his closeup.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Steelers versus Colts: Sheer Will Trumped Lackluster Offense

Although their record now stands at 2 and 1, I am not buoyed by the Steelers' wobbly win over the Colts on Sunday.

I'm trying desperately not to be the glass-half-empty guy here, but the Colts kicked them around pretty good. As usual, the offense just struggled. In fact, in what turned out to be a 23-20 victory for Pittsburgh, most of the Colts points (13) were courtesy of Steelers turnovers.

Even early in the game with the front offensive line intact, Pittsburgh couldn't run the ball. The Colts defense pushed them all over the field. Big Ben was stepped on, run into or backed over by his own linemen, on what seemed like, every other down as the Colts defensive line had its way.

On most plays there seemed to be more Colts in the Steelers backfield than Steelers.

The Steelers, traditionally one of the most effective running offenses in the NFL, gained only 67 rushing yards the entire game. That's the fault of the offensive line.

Conversely, the Colts did a much better job of moving the ball on the ground despite the Steelers awareness, that without Manning, the Colts were going to run a lot.

Steelers played hard on both sides of the ball, but barely squeaked out the win against a team they could have beaten by two or three touchdowns.

And now, after only three games, half the offensive line is out. Flash back to 2010 when it seemed as though in no two consecutive games did the same group of offensive linemen play in the same positions. I couldn't keep up with all the offensive line changes.

Resilience has never been a problem for the Steelers; they are contenders. Tomlin doesn't make excuses. When a second- or third-string guy is called up to fill in, he is expected to play like a starter, and often does. But the unspectacular job the offensive line did last Sunday provides some reason for worry.

Only sheer will on the Steelers' part eventually carried the day.

I'm just hoping that's enough to get them to the Super Bowl.

Oh, and kudos to the Bills for thrashing the despicable Patriots. I root for two teams every week: the Steelers and whoever is playing the Patriots. I'm sure the nitwits at ESPN are busy in their spin factory coming up with reasons why their anointed Patriots lost. But the emphasis is on LOST! It makes me happy.

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