ANTONIO BROWN—Another big game
Well, it finally happened. It had to happen eventually. The Steelers finally won their first game of the season with a 19-6 victory over the New York Jets, 3-3.
The Steelers looked impressive on both offense and defense, something they haven’t done all season, against the up and down Jets. Now they face the up and down Baltimore Ravens, 3-3, at home. The Ravens are coming off a 19-17 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
The Steelers win leaves only three teams without a victory; the Jacksonville Jaguars, 0-6; the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 0-5; and the New York Giants, 0-6.
After losing several players off last year’s Super Bowl winners, the Ravens have looked like an average team this season and their 3-3 record tells the story. Quarterback Joe Flacco, who was supposed to have moved into the class with the super quarterbacks by leading the Ravens to the promised land last season has looked average this season. And even though every expert says that when Ray Rice carries the ball 20 or more times they win, for some reason he only carried the ball 14 times against the Packers for 34 yards and of course they lost.
Flacco was 20 of 34 for 342 yards but with no ground game it wasn’t enough to beat the Packers, even though their defense held Aaron Rodgers pretty much in check, allowing only 19 points by the high scoring Packers. The Ravens defense even without Ray Lewis has been impressive this season, but the offense has been inconsistent, while they try to find receivers to step up to replace Anquan Boldin who they traded to the San Francisco 49ers.
With both Baltimore and the Cleveland Browns losing, the Steelers could put themselves right back in the race with a win over the Ravens this Sunday and the Oakland Raiders, 2-4, the following week in Oakland. The Raiders are coming off a very unimpressive 24-7 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. But a win in New England against the Patriots, 5-1, will be a much tougher task. The Patriots looked very impressive with a come from behind 30-27 victory over the then undefeated New Orleans Saints.
In the AFC North the Browns lost to the Detroit Lions, 31-17, and the Cincinnati Bengals gave up a big lead but held on to beat the Buffalo Bills in overtime 27-24 to move to the top of the division at 4-2.
Even though the Steelers beat the Jets pretty easily it was more the lack of talent by the Jets than the Steelers being impressive. The offense only scored 19 points, but New York does have a solid defense. Ben Roethlisberger was 23 of 30 for 264 yards and a 55 yard touchdown to Emmanuel Sanders and Le’Veon Bell had just 34 yards on 16 carries. Antonio Brown had another impressive outing with 88 yards on 9 catches and Heath Miller had his best game with 84 yards on 6 catches and Sanders had 70 yards on 3 catches.
One thing noticeable was that Roethlisberger protected the ball in the pocket much better in this game with two hands to avoid a turnover.
On defense the two rookie linebackers, Jarvis Jones and Vince Williams looked very impressive. Cameron Heyward replaced Ziggy Hood at nose tackle and played very well. But whether he will remain in the starting lineup remains to be seen. Hood saw a lot of action.
The Steelers picked off two interceptions moving them off the list as the only team without an interception in the league.
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