The only correct action it seemed Steelers' right tackle Willie Colon took Sunday was his admittance that Pittsburgh's offensive line was manhandled by Philadelphia in a 15-6 loss.
He wasn't the only one who was abused by a nearly comedic level of domination on the Eagles' defensive line. The Eagles hunted Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger as if he was a 12-point buck, forcing Pittsburgh to put TE Heath Miller in the backfield to help with protection.
Desperate times and desperate measures...
There was a series of seven plays in the second half where the Eagles picked up five sacks, one interception and one fumble recovery. That's an entire game's worth of quality defensive statistics wrapped up nicely in an efficient seven snaps. It's seven plays in three games that brought the Steelers back to the ominous pre-season predictions that they are a talented team, but their pass protection will ultimately be their undoing.
The Eagles finished with nine sacks overall, knocking Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger out of the game with a hand injury when the outcome was surprisingly in doubt late in the fourth quarter. It should have been 10. It was 10-6 when Roethlisberger, flushed out of the pocket to accomplish the exceedingly difficult task of getting rid of the ball, was flagged for intentional grounding despite being outside the tackles and was clearly releasing the ball to RB Mewelde Moore, who was past the line of scrimmage and was five yards from the passer.
The intentional grounding gave the Eagles a safety and a 12-6 lead. David Akers' ensuing field goal after the free kick gave the Eagles the final points of the game.Polamalu gets third INT of the year
Lost, somewhat ironically, in the best defensive performance the Steelers have seen from an opponent since Christmas of 2006 (at Baltimore), was an interception SS Troy Polamalu made off a tipped Kevin Kolb pass in the second half. CB Bryant McFadden, who has played spectacularly in the absence of injured starter Deshea Townsend, broke up a pass, sending it high in the air. Polamalu broke on the ball, dove and was parallel to the ground, making the catch with one arm while rolling over just enough to keep it off the turf at Lincoln Financial Field.
An Eagles challenge upheld the call, and cemented what could be Polamalu's finest play in a remarkable career. It was Polamalu's third interception of the season, tying him for second in the NFL.
In case you were wondering, the last Steeler to win NFL Defensive Player of the Year was Rod Woodson in 1993.Baltimore brings first serious AFC North battle
The Steelers travel to Baltimore in Week 4 for a Monday Night Football showdown with the Hated Ravens. With wins over Cincinnati and Cleveland, the Ravens now have more wins inside the North than they did all last season. Their only win came in Week 17 vs. Pittsburgh, who played its back-ups in a throwaway game.
Their defense looked sharp in a 28-10 win over Cleveland in Week 3. If the Ravens win, they're sitting at 3-0 both overall and within the division in a season that looks like 5-1 inside the North may not be enough to win it. Both Cleveland and Cincinnati are 0-3 and look horrible.
It's easy for Steelers fans to dismiss the Ravens and rookie QB Joe Flacco, but frankly, after Sunday's offensive abomination, they've got nuthin' on nobody offensively.
Alleged big-play threat Santonio Holmes has yet to see the end zone this season, and has 10 catches in three games. Hines Ward is the only Steelers receiver with a touchdown (3). In case you didn't notice, their offensive line was abysmal, and Roethlisberger's injured hand is being re-evaluate as I write this.
There's officially an offensive problem in Pittsburgh.
Labels: Game Wrap-up