There was a lot to like about the Steelers’ Saturday night’s performance against the Chiefs, starting with the offense. Ben was Ben, the offensive line showed improvement (though Tamba Hali spent the evening repeatedly abusing Mike Adams), and the wide receivers were impressive (Manny Sanders’ non-touchdown grab in the first half was this close to being really sweet), and that includes rookie Markus Wheaton.
On defense, McClendon looks solid, Ziggy appears to be improved, and Juan could be the best inside linebacker in the AFC. Meanwhile, Jarvis Jones, who spent the night at the hospital with a chest injury (Eddie B. called it “precautionary”), gets better every week. In the secondary, Cortez and Troy were fantastic, and barring some suspect penalties (good to see Jeff Triplette is in midseason form), the Chiefs’ first team might’ve never gotten into the end zone.
That said, the special teams is an mitigated disaster. Danny Smith makes Bob Ligashesky look like Bobby April, and there’s no reason to think that’ll magically change once the season starts.
Now here’s to hoping none of the starters see the field Thursday in Carolina.