Pittsburgh Steelers: 5 Things Learned from Week 11
5 Things Learned from Week 11
One thing that a lot of people learned from the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 37-27 win over the Detroit Lions is that you can never count this team out. Every week this season, since starting with a 0-4 record, many individuals (including myself) doubted if they would ever turn things around before it was too late. Well, ten games into the 2013 NFL year, I must say that there is no quit in the team that plays in the Steel City.
Of course, the thing that sticks out is the second quarter of this game. Pittsburgh had a 14-0 lead, only to unravel and let the Lions take control and go into halftime with a 27-20 lead of their own. Most teams would have probably folded after getting the wind knocked out of their sails, but the Steelers did the total opposite.
Head coach Mike Tomlin had his team regroup and come out for the second half like nothing disastrous happened. Although the turnaround of the backend of the game was positive, there were some things that weren’t as good.
The Steelers did manage to keep quarterback Ben Roethlisberger from getting mauled. Detroit only got to Roethlisberger only once in the game. However, the offensive line still struggled to open lanes for their running game. As a team, Pittsburgh only mustered up 40 yards on the ground.
Even after taking notice of the Steelers’ recent display of resilience, there are some other things to take notice of with this rejuvenated football club.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google+
5. Defense is Starting to Look More Dominant
With the exception of the second quarter, Pittsburgh’s defense looked almost invincible. In the first, third and fourth quarters, the Steelers didn’t allow any points, and shut down the best wide receiver in the game.
4. There is No Doubt That Antonio Brown is One of the NFL’s Best Receivers
While playing in a game with Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, one is bound to be forgotten. But even with Johnson catching six passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns, no one could overlook Antonio Brown’s performance. Brown finished the contest with seven receptions for 147 yards and two touchdowns. Those numbers currently has Brown ranked as the top receiver in catches (74) and fifth in receiving yards (952). With his production, he definitely should be mentioned along with Megatron.
3. Steelers Got Lucky with Lions’ Dumb Fake Field Goal Call
Lions head coach Jim Schwartz made a head-scratching choice of running a fake field goal on a fourth-and-five from the Steelers’ 10-yard line early in the fourth quarter. Had Detroit kicked the 27-yard field goal to go up by seven, then the circumstances of the game could have been totally different. Fortunately for Pittsburgh, they not only stopped Lions punter Sam Martin from getting the first down, but they forced a fumble, causing a turnover that led to the Steelers scoring the touchdown that would put them up for good.
2. Defense is Creating Turnovers on a Consistent Basis
Dating back to last season, Pittsburgh’s defense lacked the ability to create turnovers. That unwanted attribute carried over into the 2013 season, with the Steelers only generating one takeaway in their first six games. Since then, Pittsburgh has eight forced turnovers in the past four contests.
1. A Chance to Make the Playoffs is Actually Real
With this much-needed win, and with losses by the Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland Browns, the Steelers are in a three-way tie for second place with their 4-6 record. Pittsburgh’s Week 12 opponent is Cleveland. The Ravens will face off against the New York Jets, while the division-leading Cincinnati Bengals will sit at home enjoying their bye week. If the Steelers leave Cleveland with a victory, and Baltimore falls to the Jets, then Pittsburgh will have sole possession of second place, and will be only two games behind the Bengals with five games left in the season.