|Martavis Bryant: Touchdown!|
Running back Le'Veon Bell was evasive, slippery and clutch the whole game, with 88 yards receiving, 55 yards rushing and a touchdown reception.
Todd Haley made a brilliant play call in the red zone that would have been called absurdly idiotic if it had been intercepted instead of going for a touchdown pass thrown by Antonio Brown to Lance Moore. Haley would have been tarred, feathered and pilloried if that pass had been intercepted. Antonio Brown, though, threw a perfect pass that Moore caught. Everything worked on that play, thank goodness.
|Antonio Brown, running free|
Speaking of Watt, he was held more or less in check most of the night -- if you count a fumble recovery, a sack and a hard hit on Roethlisberger being held in check. Still, for that guy, yeah, that's being held in check. Somebody (Haley, Mike Munchak, the offensive line, et al, collectively) deserves credit for that. Team effort.
Room for Improvement, with Better Teams Coming
For all of the big plays, opportunistic breaks, lucky bounces and solid game-planning, it took all of that to keep the Houston Texans at bay in a one-score win at home on a Monday night. Not all was lollipops and roses: Arian Foster averaged 5.1 yards per carry for 102 yards. Pittsburgh's defense had only one sack and allowed a 33-yard run and pass plays of 32, 24, 18 and 15 yards. Ben Roethlisberger was sacked three times and fumbled the ball once. The Steelers got next to nothing on their kickoff returns, again, and that is now a trend.
Better teams are coming to Heinz Field, beginning next Sunday with the 5-2 Indianapolis Colts, who shut out and thoroughly humiliated the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. One game at a time, though, and there's lots to feel good about this desperately needed win over the Texans.
Now, it's time to build on the good vibes and get another win. Beat the Colts and then the Baltimore Ravens the following week, and we can begin to consider the Steelers legitimate contenders this year. It's a tall order but within grasp.