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NorthCoast
11-17-2010, 10:45 AM
Steelers: Performances of note

It was a tough day for Steelers nickel back William Gay (-1.7). He was the man in coverage for all three of Rob Gronkowski‘s touchdowns and didn’t really make a single good play in coverage. The final touchdown for Gronkowski encapsulated the day Gay was having, as he seemed confused pre-snap and then didn’t have the ability to recover from that initial hesitation. To think it was at the end of 2008 that we expected big things from Gay.

If there was a performance to really excite the Steelers fans it was that of Ben Roethlisberger (+8.2). For the first time this season he really looked like he was back, dealing with the pressure the Pats brought on him and making a number of plays only a top-tier quarterback can make. As is often the case, Big Ben did a lot of his good work when he was faced with pressure. On 25 of 55 drop backs he had to deal with it, and the end result was 142 yards and a touchdown. The five sacks hurt, but it was this ability that kept the score line even remotely close.

Ending on a good note, and a mention of the excellent blitzing of James Farrior (+2.0). He was a tad caught out in pass coverage, but on the eight times he went after Tom Brady he responded with a hit and four quarterback pressures. Makes you wonder why the Steelers didn’t use the crossing blitz a bit more.

Rookie report

The three-touchdown display of Rob Gronkowski (+2.3 pass rating) was a pleasant surprise after his troubles last week. Gronkowski was in for 90.41 percent of plays while by contrast Aaron Hernandez (-1.1) saw 15.07 percent of the snaps and managed to drop another pass. … Brandon Deaderick (-0.2) had a quiet game along with Brandon Spikes (-0.1) as the Patriots ran a lot of their nickel package. … Jermaine Cunningham (-0.1) ended the day with four quarterback pressures but was invisible in run support and gave away a penalty. … Devin McCourty hurt his day by giving up two penalties and a touchdown, despite adding two more pass breakups to his resume. … Sergio Brown (+0.2) saw a lot of action, and appears to have worked his way into the nickel defense lineup ahead of Jonathan Wilhite. … Punter Zoltan Mesko (+0.7) had a max hang time of 4.5 seconds on his five punts.

Pittsburgh center Maurkice Pouncey (-1.0) had plenty of trouble with Mike Wright in this game and gave up four quarterback pressures, which negated some good work with his run blocking. … With Hines Ward going down, Emmanuel Sanders (-0.3) stepped into his shoes and was a noticeable dropoff. He may have caught his first touchdown pass but only managed to catch 55.56 percent of passes thrown his way at an average of just 8.2 yards.

http://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2010/11/16/re-focused-week-10-patriots-at-steelers/

Guess I did not realize how bad Pouncey played. I wonder if his leg is bothering him or if he was trying to do too much with the reshuffled line? I think the Sanders stats are deceptive. Ben did not throw perfect passes and the pressure may have caused the WRs to shorten their routes. Should have had Brown in there instead of El. All of our WRs are shrimps, we need to draft a beast ala Andre Johnson.