Victory screech! After a brutal two game stretch where the the offense was just anemic both running and throwing it, today the Pittsburgh Steelers actually unveiled an fully functional offense last night in their win over the Baltimore Ravens. And there were several players who were more than a little bit good in last night’s game.
Obviously we have to think about quarterback Charlie Batch. I am sure a month ago Batch thought he was going ride out this season as a third string quarterback, dressing for about half the games and finish his playing career in an most uneventful way. But surprise, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is injured, his backup Byron Leftwich is injured and the Steelers are left with Batch the past tw0 games.
Batch’s debut may have been less than impressive, but last night he made some really good throws and had a much greater command of the offense and while he played like an aging backup, he has to be in consideration for the award based on how he stepped up when the team needed him. You really can’t argue with a 276 yard passing night against the Ravens defense.
Next on the list is running back Jonathan Dwyer who took the lead role in the running game and while he didn’t have a huge yardage game but he kept the Ravens defense honest, he ran hard on every play and even when nothing was there, he kept working. Once this offense gets back to 100% I can see Dwyer having more 100 yard rushing games, but on this night he didn’t stand out for his stats but more for the role he chose to play in the offensive gameplan.
Finally we come to tight end Heath Miller. I understand that the Steelers had 4 players catch 5 passes, but what Miller did with his 5 catches on only 6 targets was so impressive. I continue to preach on about just how underrated Miller is and yesterday with the big plays he made it was illustrated. The 43 yard catch and run and the dive on the 7 yard touchdown to tie the game might have been the 2 biggest plays of the entire game.
In the final analysis, as great a game as what Miller had, this night was all about Batch. Nearly 70% completions, over 275 yards and a touchdown is so much more than I think any Steelers fan could have asked for. This may be the last game Batch plays in for the rest of his career, and so what a better way to finish things off. And so it’s for that effort that Batch is my offensive player of the week.
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