There were so many elements to how the game went, I found myself not sure of what I enjoyed most. But here are some of them; which was most enjoyable to you?
1.) A solid win, with barely any time grading our nerves. The last few years, even when we win, the games are stressful; either we lose our lead or come close to it. My friends and I always say, "Can't we finally have a game where we are in control the whole time so we can just enjoy ourselves?" Yesterday came as close to a "no pressure win" as we have had all year, and much of the last few seasons as well. When the Skins came back and score the TD, I thought "We are going to have to score a lot to win this one" and it turned out not to be true. As in the Cinci game, the D gradually tightened it's grip and shut them down (The drops helped, but the D was still pretty solid regardless.)
2.) (Maybe my favorite Seeing Dwyer prove he can be a force in the league. It's not just that he is getting the yards, it's also the manner in which he is. As the years have gone on with Mendenhall, I have grown increasingly annoyed at his running style. I know it's been discussed, ad nauseum, but it is just refreshing to see JD just find a hole and power his way through it and then give his last tackler a nice shot at the end of his run. That style wears down the opposing D. __AND__ (and this is an underrated factor), it psyches the O line up. They get fired up when they see JD just blasting through and into the D. It is no coincidence that in the last two games - featuring JD getting over 100 yards - our rush blocking has improved over the course of the game.
3.) Seeing our D resemble what we have gotten used to. We still have no Troy, and only about 60% of Harrison, but our D is starting to gel and heat up. There is nothing more depressing, as Steeler fans, to see a soft D, which is what they somewhat resembled until the last few weeks. I find real bliss in watching our D when it is making life miserable for the opposing QB and Os. RG3 was getting all the hype, but our D made his life pretty lousy, for the time being. They were rushing fairly well on us, but as we scored more, it was obvious their rush wouldn't be enough to beat us.
4.) Ben looking sharp, and not getting hit. Has he ever been better? And how nice is it to not have to cringe every other passing play because he is getting smashed? We are starting to resemble how other decent teams look, where their QB isn't getting nailed every other play and I like it.
5.) O line coming together. There is no question that the line is starting to play much better, in both rush and pass blocking, and it's a joy, to be honest. And then what will they look like with DeCastro back? Having Pouncey back is a real pleasure as well.