Thursday, September 10, 2009

Seven Steeler-Titan Points

Some takeaways from an entertaining opening night slugfest that ensured that I start the year 0-1 in picking against the spread...

> Had Titans kicker Rob Bironas had simply an average night, the Titans win this game. The Steelers would have had to go for it late, rather than kick the single field goal to tie it. And there is no reason to think they'd have made it, given how awful the team was in short yardage tonight.

> For every roto honk out there who gives grief to Brian Westbrook for turtling up and costing them a championship, real players now have two words in response: Hines Ward. His fumble at the 4 with under a minute left is the kind of play that could destroy a rookie or send a veteran to the unemployment line. And if you want to make excuses for Ward just being too much of a competitor to fall down there... um, don't. The man's not a child, or an imbecil. He knows he blew it, and freely admitted it afterward. And as someone who enjoys blocking WRs, it was nice to see Ward make plays in OT to help redeem the error.

> This is obvious, but the Titans really have something in rookie wideout Kenny Britt. When your first game is 4 catches for 85 yards, that's good for anyone, but when you do that on the road, in Pittsburgh? That's pretty damned special. If Britt is a real player, and can make Justin Gage an actual #2, and Nate Washington a #3... well, Kerry Collins just might be ownable in a roto league, and more importantly, the Titans might be the best team in their division.

> No team looks good when they run the ball 22 times for 35 yards, but when you are the Super Bowl champs in their home opener, that's really not looking good. This was an escape act tonight, and shows you just how exhausted a defense gets from defending the passing game.

> Who knew that Javon Kearse was still in the league? Ben Roethlesberger knows, after an avalanche of a sack in the fourth quarter, but the QB is such a mutant that he shook it off and converted the subsequent 3rd and 12. Beastly.

> Yards from scrimmage for Pittsburgh RBs tonight: Parker 24, Mendenhall 6, and Mewelde Moore... 35, including all of the RB plays in crunch time. Am I glad that I didn't get the chance to reach for Parker in a roto league. Honestly, Parker might be the most overrated RB in the league right now.

> If Troy Polamalu is out for a long period of time, you don't need me to tell you that the Steelers defense goes from special to not so much. And the same goes for their season.

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