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Steeler Hitman

5 Up and 5 Down Steelers over Browns

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5 UP

1. Most complete game played in all four phases by this team since 2018 win over Panthers. Steelers are 5-0 what can you say?

2. Run defense really stood up today and forced the Browns out of their game plan.

3. Minkah Fitzpatrick. Been waiting to see him get  his hands on the ball.

4. Robert "Mickey" Spillane laying the steel!

5.  Chase Claypool and John Connor fueled the offense.  

5 Down

1. The Bush ACL injury. 

2. Missed a few sacks on Baker by not wrapping. Nit-picky, but gotta improve here with mobile QB's. Going to visit Lamar and the Ravens in a few weeks, must improve here.

3. Hard to criticize an offense who put up 31 of 38 points, but can still get a little more consistent with execution of some plays.

4. Refs.  I am glad we had a different crew than last weeks, but the Ebron PI was ticky-tat and Lord they missed a ton of holding plays. Tuitt was mugged a few times as well as most everyone else.  What was the discussion on the Claypool TD? Stevie Wonder saw it was a TD! Consistency from these guys is non existent. 

5. A very tough stretch with three of four on the road starting with the Titans (Ravens, Cowboys and home versus Bengals).

5. 

5. 

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- offense being productive without much from Juju and no Johnson

- the pass rush

- secondary playing up to its 2019 level

- conner

- claypool playmaking ability

- pass protection. Garret was nowhere to be seen outside his one sack

Down

- Bush

- juju production(I think he'll be find tho. we did not throw the ball often today...I wonder with his numbers being down will we be able to bring in back in a cheaper 3 yr type deal..he'll still be young at the end of the 3 yr deal, so he could still get a major big deal when it ends)

- RPO doing nothing

- Bush

- Bush

Edited by August4th
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too bad about Bush, but Spillane sure ain't takin no prisoners out there. Looking forward to seeing if he can continue to punish the opposition and continue allowing the defence to play at a high level. 

Main UP is that the team showed upon and was prepared and played a total game and annihilated their opponent who was said to have the best run blocking OL. It was strength vs strength, a good game on paper that I looked forward to, but was no contest 👏

Dotson was another UP, give the rookie credit, made some nice blocks. Chuks /OL strategy as well, I don't think Garrett had his name called.

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My big down is obvious, Bush. Maybe a small down is the disappearance of JuJu.
My ups are like yours - Claypool, the D coming strong, Tuitt the monster, Ben and a nice game by both Conner and Dotson.
This is our most well rounded team in a very long time. 

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3 hours ago, mwalker said:

Maybe a small down is the disappearance of JuJu.

So I spent some time thinking about this and I've got a few feelings:

1 - Juju is talking about how he doesn't care because they are winning and that the grass isn't always greener.  I love that.  Hopefully that keeps it up.

2 - Juju is still getting doubled.  Claypool is getting single looks and so is Washington.  Sometimes I hate the way fans can be and when Ben forces it to a double covered guy anyways there's complaints he doesn't throw it to the open guy, then when he throws it to the open guy there's complaints he doesn't go elsewhere with it.

3 - Ben has targeted someone different every game with a high number of targets.

4 - This is good.  The more he throws to everyone the harder it becomes for a team to lock into a single player as "the guy" to take away down the road because Ben can use everyone and can trust everyone.  Look at the past few SB champions.  They've had that ability to go to any WR at any time.

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another up is watching Ben playing and forgetting he's coming off a major elbow injury. He does not throw the deep ball as often but he can still sling it. those deep passes to claypool have been on the money. I like this efficient/smart with the ball version of Ben. We can win a lot of games with QB manager Ben + this defense

Edited by August4th
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I agree with everyone here not many downs besides Bush's season ending injury

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12 hours ago, August4th said:

- offense being productive without much from Juju and no Johnson

- juju production(I think he'll be find tho. we did not throw the ball often today...I wonder with his numbers being down will we be able to bring in back in a cheaper 3 yr type deal..he'll still be young at the end of the 3 yr deal, so he could still get a major big deal when it ends)

Everyone mentioned Ju Ju, but I am not really concerned. about his production or lack thereof. I thought that they may feature Ju Ju this week in light of Claypool's breakout game.  However, the Steelers did not pass a ton nor did they try to throw for 350 or 400 yards as many thought that they would against the Browns secondary. I am impressed with Big Ben's decision making. He was clearly setting the Browns defense up early with getting them to aggressively jump the RPO routes. Then he threw some well placed deep balls. Spreading the ball makes this offense dangerous. They are doing what they couldn't consistently do in 2017 "put up more than 30. Arguably in each game they had a chance to score more points at the end rather than run the clock out. Claypool's early success is going to get some teams to forget about Ju Ju and then he and Johnson (if he can get and stay healthy) will start torching opposing defenses as well.

9 hours ago, 3rivers said:

too bad about Bush, but Spillane sure ain't taking no prisoners out there. Looking forward to seeing if he can continue to punish the opposition and continue allowing the defense to play at a high level. 

I am fan of both Spillane and Dirty Red. Spillane seems like the light bulb came on and is a slightly faster ILB than Vince and Red was when he was here. Very good game and a great start. It is saying something that he seems to have passed Ulysses Grant on the depth chart. Grant is supposed to be the closest back-up to Bush and can drop. Spillane was on the PS and got a chance last year and has just continued to develop. Losing Bush is not a good thing, but he certainly didn't get the memo that his play was supposed to be a drop-off from Bush's. 

Dotson was another UP, give the rookie credit, made some nice blocks. Chuks /OL strategy as well, I don't think Garrett had his name called.

I don't generally like to get too excited about rookies, but this draft class has played well as unit and contributed across the board (from Claypool and Dotson to Highsmith and McFarland.  That said, Dotson looks like a future starter and maybe even better.  He is a throwback who has good all around skills. Already better than we thought he would be as a rookie. 

2 hours ago, mwalker said:

Maybe a small down is the disappearance of JuJu.

We said a few years ago that replacing AB's production would take WR by committee. I think with Claypool, Johnson, Washington and JuJu the Steelers have four very good WR's. This crew somewhat reminds me of the 95 crew of Yancy Thigpin, Charles Johnson, Ernie Mills and Andre' Hastings. I think Ju Ju will be fine and will get his chance for breakout games. I thought he would be featured this game, but it will come. 

This is our most well rounded team in a very long time. 

If this team can hold onto the football and eliminate some mental errors and penalties they can play complimentary football. If this team can consistently do that, they will be hard for anyone to beat.  If the Steelers can move the ball, score, and get off the field on defense. Look out!  Ben is playing some of his sharpest football from the neck up over the past two games!  The crazy part is that his stats have not been huge. I.E. under 275 yards and not a ton of attempts. Just good clean, smart football.  

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36 minutes ago, Steeler Hitman said:

Everyone mentioned Ju Ju, but I am not really concerned. about his production or lack thereof. I thought that they may feature Ju Ju this week in light of Claypool's breakout game.  However, the Steelers did not pass a ton nor did they try to throw for 350 or 400 yards as many thought that they would against the Browns secondary. I am impressed with Big Ben's decision making. He was clearly setting the Browns defense up early with getting them to aggressively jump the RPO routes. Then he threw some well placed deep balls. Spreading the ball makes this offense dangerous. They are doing what they couldn't consistently do in 2017 "put up more than 30. Arguably in each game they had a chance to score more points at the end rather than run the clock out. Claypool's early success is going to get some teams to forget about Ju Ju and then he and Johnson (if he can get and stay healthy) will start torching opposing defenses as well.

I think this is a rosier assessment of the beginning of the game than the truth. I don't think Ben was "clearly setting the Browns up" by trying to almost throw 3 INTs on the RPOs. I think that is just a mainstay of our offense and Ben tried to force it 3 times and it failed every time. Give credit to whoever decided to stop doing that and start throwing shots outside the numbers, because clearly the Browns were expecting the RPO quick slants into the middle of the field. 

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According to Ben post-game it was actually Dobbs who came up with the idea of the double move on Ward on the sidelines. It wasn't some great gameplan, unfortunately.

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7 hours ago, warfelg said:

So I spent some time thinking about this and I've got a few feelings:

1 - Juju is talking about how he doesn't care because they are winning and that the grass isn't always greener.  I love that.  Hopefully that keeps it up.

2 - Juju is still getting doubled.  Claypool is getting single looks and so is Washington.  Sometimes I hate the way fans can be and when Ben forces it to a double covered guy anyways there's complaints he doesn't throw it to the open guy, then when he throws it to the open guy there's complaints he doesn't go elsewhere with it.

3 - Ben has targeted someone different every game with a high number of targets.

4 - This is good.  The more he throws to everyone the harder it becomes for a team to lock into a single player as "the guy" to take away down the road because Ben can use everyone and can trust everyone.  Look at the past few SB champions.  They've had that ability to go to any WR at any time.

That's fair. I also looked up that he still leads in number of receptions. Not yards (Claypool has doubled his). I guess seeing it spread around might indeed be a great sign.

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18 hours ago, MOSteelers56 said:

I think this is a rosier assessment of the beginning of the game than the truth.

I am not going all the beer mug is half full or it s half empty. The reality is that it is both. The team beat the heck out of what was to be their toughest test thus far. I am not to use former Coach Dennis Greene's words, "Crowning them champs!" But then again the Steelers were who I thought they were! 🤪

I don't think Ben was "clearly setting the Browns up" by trying to almost throw 3 INTs on the RPOs.

I am not saying that he was trying to throw INT's to throw a TD late. The Browns were jumping the routes and did a great job of preparing for those routes. And yes one, two,  or three could have been  an or multiple INT's. However, we have longed talked about this team and the coaches inability to make in game adjustments and take what a team is giving them. I am simply saying that Ben used that to his advantage and it created some deep pass opportunities. In games against the Broncos and Texans, he tried to force some deep balls that clearly the defense was prepared for. Better results come from better preparations and adjustments. Love Ben or not, I see him playing some of his best football from the neck up and I as a fan am happy to see his growth, maturity, passion for the game and leadership. We are a different Steelers football team with him than without him. He deserves some love for that. 

I think that is just a mainstay of our offense and Ben tried to force it 3 times and it failed every time.

No doubt about your statement and I am not in disagreement. But unlike the past, he didn't do 10 times and get three or four picked off. There is a thin line between patience and stubborn.  Sometimes the offense has given up on the run too early and we have criticized them for not being consistent with it. This is a case when they knew when to say when. And more importantly, they adjusted to the aggressiveness of the DB's and later exploited it. The style points aren't here, but the results were. He later was able to complete a few deep balls that turned into points for our offense. 

Give credit to whoever decided to stop doing that and start throwing shots outside the numbers,

That is exactly what I am trying to do.  I think that Ben saw this and said, "Hmmm!"  And then decided to take advantage of the defenses aggressiveness. That is good QBing.  I think we all love Ben as Steelers fans, but we have been critical of Ben with some decision making, forcing the ball to keep players happy, not being vocal at times, not accepting responsibility at others, pointing or calling out teammates, not adjusting to what defense give, etc,.  He deserves some credit. It is a long season and I think we all agree that this 5-0 team has not yet played its best football! 😃  That is something to get excited about. I don't think any of us expect 19-0-0, but this is a good football team that is battling and making the most of their chances and the circumstances. We have criticized and critiqued Big Ben, OC Fichtner, DC Butler, ST Smith, and Coach T. They deserve some praise for playing and coaching a good game. I won't break my arm patting them on the back because they have another stiff test against a very good Titans team. 

because clearly the Browns were expecting the RPO quick slants into the middle of the field. 

And clearly the QB and the offensive coaches adjusted. That is all that I am pointing out and giving some credit for. They don't get an A for style points, but those don't matter. It is all about wins and losses and getting better. This team is getting better and winning games that they would have found a way to lose in the past. They beat a good football team pretty soundly and convincingly.  This just in, the Steelers are a pretty good football team. Great win Sunday, onto the next big test, the Titans!

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