Hi. For the six of you that still check in on this site hoping to see an update, thanks for that! But today we actually have something for you, and we hope you enjoy it. Since Adam is a Steelers season ticket holder, he will share his thoughts and observations from each home game. We call it The View From 522 (because that’s where he sits).
When you really stop and think about it Sunday’s 27-12 win for the Steelers was a pretty bizarre game. And that’s even when you get past the fact the Steelers were dressed like the kid from the Blind Melon video.
Let’s just for a second consider some of what happened against the Washington Redskins…
1) Guys named Will Johnson and Leonard Pope caught touchdowns for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the same game. If the Steelers played 100 games a year for the next 100 years with the same roster this would probably never happen again.
2) A quarterback was flagged for offensive pass interference 40 yards down field on a play call that was so stupid, so completely insane, that Redskins coach Mike Shanahan called himself a real dumbshit for calling it during his press conference the next day. The Washington Redskins, a team that traded a slew of draft picks and invested a No. 2 overall pick in the draft in Robert Griffin III, sent him 40 yards down field to get blown up by a free safety less than a month after he suffered a concussion and already takes far more hits than the average quarterback due to their offense. He is their best player and the future of their franchise. And they did that to him. That is insane.
3) Antonio Brown can cover a lot of ground in a short period of time while running backwards.
Let’s talk about this for a minute. Did you have a problem with it? Do you think it tarnishes the mythical (and let’s face it, non-existent) Steeler image? Is this another example of a generation gap between old school fans and media and the Xbox generation? Are you tired of my questions yet?
When it comes to celebration I’ve always been of the belief that two things are equally true. First, sports are fun, athletes are entertainers, and people are paying a lot of money to see them in action so you better damn well entertain me. Crossing the goal line and handing the ball to the referee might be the respectable thing to do, but it sure is boring. And second: If you don’t want a player to run into the end zone backwards against you, you shouldn’t allow him to score.
What I’m trying to say is I don’t think it was that big of a deal.
Sadly, my biggest problem with that play was yet another big special teams play for the Steelers was called back because of a hold or an illegal block in the back. This happens entirely too often.
4) DeAngelo Hall completely lost his mind, appeared as if he wanted to knock out a couple of referees, had to be physically restrained by his teammates, and ended up getting himself ejected from the game for reasons that still remain unclear. Even more confusing than his meltdown was his attempt to explain it after the game, an attempt that featured the following exchange with a couple of reporters, via the DC Sports Bog:
Hall: “I’ve got a meeting set up with Commissioner Goodell on Monday. Me and him will talk about it, watch the film, figure out what went down, hopefully get to the bottom of this.”
Reporter tells Hall the NFL offices will be closed on Monday because of Hurricane Sandy
Hall: “Well, we’re gonna figure something out. I’ve got my agent calling them, trying to set something up.
Reporter asks Hall what they’re trying to figure out?
Hall: “Like I said, I’m not gonna discuss that. Any questions about the actual football part of the game?
It seems that nobody likes Mike Wallace anymore
Mike Wallace may not be long for the Pittsburgh Steelers and that’s a shame because he’s one of their best players and one of their most valuable. Has been for three years, still is today, and should be for a few more years into the future. But he’s an unrestricted free agent after this season and unless the Steelers slap the franchise tag on him he’ll be eligible to hit the open market where there will be no shortage of teams lining up to sign him. And I don’t think this will bother too many people in Pittsburgh.
The Steelers introduced their starting offensive lineup before Sunday’s game and Wallace seemed to draw the quietest round of cheers and even had a few boos sprinkled in. In fairness, he was coming off the worst game of his career the week before in Cincinnati and feelings still seem to be sour after he held out in training camp because he couldn’t get the long-term contract he wanted. But even more than that there just seemed to be a constant grumbling about him, even when he failed to haul in that pass in the end zone, a pass that would have been a nearly impossible one-handed grab on a pass thrown on his wrong shoulder.
If you view Wallace’s season to this point as a disappointment it’s probably not an unfair assessment. The big plays aren’t there (though, I think that has more to do with the offense, which is now geared toward quick passes than Wallace not playing well) and he’s obviously had some drops. But I don’t understand why Brown is viewed as such a better, more complete receiver at this point.
Their production to this point is identical. Absolutely identical.
The numbers through seven games:
Wallace: Targets (58), Receptions (36), Yards (459), TD’s (4), Yards per catch (12.8), Yards per target: (7.9)
Brown: Targets (63), Receptions (40), Yards (480), TD’s (1), Yards per catch (12.0), Yards per target: (7.6)
And it’s not like Brown hasn’t left a few plays on the field this season in the form of drops (like the Eagles game) or fumbles (the Raiders game).
Yet nobody seems to have much negative to say about Brown outside of his over-the-top celebrations. Mike Wallace needs to hire Antonio Brown’s PR department.
And speaking of guys that need better PR departments, if you want to make an argument for the player that’s been the Steelers most consistent and efficient wide receiver this season it might just be Emmanuel Sanders. Seriously. He has the same 60-percent catch rate as Wallace and Brown, has converted a higher percentage of his catches into first downs than any other player on the team, is averaging over 12 yards a grab, and has been huge on third downs (10 of his 22 catches have come on third down). Based on the advanced metrics at Football Outsiders he’s been the Steelers best receiver this year.
Running backs still grow on trees
Jonathan Dwyer had his second straight 100-yard game and became the first Steelers running back to accomplish that feat since Willie Parker in 2008. He was running through some huge holes, but he was also running over people, bouncing off tackles, and once again picking up yards after contact. He was, of course, a sixth-round draft pick that many of us gave up on multiple times over the years after dismal training camp and preseason performances. And there he is now, a productive NFL running back. If you’ve read this site for any length of time you’ll know that Ryan and I strongly believe running backs are largely interchangeable (there are exceptions, of course, but we’re talking about the difference from Rashard Mendenhall to Isaac Redman to Jonathan Dwyer here) and the Steelers are once again showing us that it is, for the most part, very true. IF there is one position on this team I will never worry about it’s running back.