Mark Madden

Mark Madden

The Super Genius of Pittsburgh Sports.Full Bio



I watch every Steelers game twice. Here are a few things I noticed while viewing the replay:

*The Steelers only won by three against a team expected to stink, but the Steelers played better than the score indicates. The Browns weren’t bad.

*LB T.J. Watt not only had two sacks and an interception, but he was very close to making a few other big plays. Watt looked like a tight end on that pick – which is what he used to be. A monster game by the Steelers rookie.

*QB Ben Roethlisberger threw the ball better than I thought. His first touchdown pass to TE Jesse James was a pinpoint dart. Amazing.

Give James a lot of credit. Roethlisberger said that James took the trade for TE Vance McDonald personally. James certainly came out motivated at Cleveland Sunday, and the result was six catches for 41 yards and two touchdowns. James played 60 out of the Steelers’ 66 offensive snaps, so he seems to be re-establishing faith with the coaching staff.

There’s considerable fallout about the Steelers’ four unnecessary roughness penalties. Eleven such fouls were committed Sunday in the entire NFL. The Steelers committed four.

Select media is bitching about that, and there’s even some complaint about Roethlisberger’s clumsy leg dive at Cleveland’s Emmanuel Ogbah after Ogbah had blocked Roethlisberger following a Browns interception.

So, the Steelers are the villains. They are very likely OK with that.

The Steelers headhunted a bit Sunday. But turn on any NFL game. All you see is helmet-to-helmet. That won’t go away. New Orleans committed three unnecessary roughness infractions in the first half at Minnesota Monday night.

The referees are badly over-officiating. But that’s what the NFL wants.

It’s no big deal if the Steelers play cheap. But they can’t keep giving away 15 yards. So cut down the flags. That improvement must be made immediately.

Tomlin was rightly incensed that Sunday’s unnecessary roughness foul against Willie Gay appeared to be called by the refs after watching the replay on the Jumbotron. But Gay’s hit definitely merited a flag.

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