You gotta win to get in! Our Pittsburgh Steelers advanced to the divisional round of the playoffs yesterday and gained some revenge when they demolished the Miami Dolphins at Heinz Field 30-12. Mrs. Black-N-Gold takes a look at the game, The Good, The Bad & The Ugly.
Oh! There was a whole lotta good goin' on! This was on both the defensive side and the offensive side. What do you expect with a 30-12 score?
First of all, congrats to RB Le'Veon Bell who set a new Steelers rushing record in his 1st career playoff game. LBell ran 29 times for 167 yards and 2 touchdowns. Juice was loose, proving that Bell is a BEAST. And let's not forget WR Antonio Browns contributions. AB caught 5 passes for 124 yards and 2 TDs. Then, there was QB Ben Roethliberger. Big Ben came up big with a 13 of 18 day for 197 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions and a 105.3 passer rating. Yes, the Killer Bs brought their A game yesterday. And don't forget the offensive line. They paved the way for Le'Veon's record-breaking day and kept Ben clean for most of the way (just 1 sack).
And how about that defense. They held Miami RB Jay Ajayi to just 16 carries for 33 yards. They also recovered 2 fumbles and picked off 1 pass. That goes along with their 5 sacks, 6 TFLs and 9 QB hits. And at one point, they forced Miami turnovers on 3 consecutive series. No doubt about it. This D came to play!
I gotta tell ya, as GOOD as the defense and offense were, the special teams was their usual not-so-special selves. K Chris Boswell shanked a PAT. They allowed a fake punt to go for a 1st down. They gave up 119 yards on kick returns for a 29.8 yard average. They allowed a 58 yard return at one point. Good thing the D bailed them out. Poor special teams play won't get you to payday. The further you go in the playoffs, the more your porous special teams will be exposed. Clean it up.
With a 30-6 lead well in hand going into the 4th quarter, Mrs. Black-N-Gold couldn't help but wonder why Ben, Bell & Brown were still in the game. Especially after Ben landed awkwardly, at one point and was then wearing a walking boot on his ankle after the game. Ultimately, some of the starters sat late in the 4th quarter but what was the point in leaving them in the game? Coach T, don't you want your men healthy for the rest of the ride through the postseason? When you've got the win in hand, put your playmakers on the bench.
Our Steelers are back at it next week in the divisional round of the playoffs. They'll travel to KC to face the Chiefs. You may recall that the Steelers slaughtered KC 43-13 in week 4 at home. It may not be that easy this week on the road. Get ready for more playoff football. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!