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September 26, 2010 - Ray Eckenrode
Bleeding Black and Gold: Pittsburgh 38, Tampa Bay 13
Veteran QB’s big day sets
tone for easy Steelers win
First quarter: Steelers 7, Bucs 3
> As Gus Johnson is about to induct Hines Ward into the Hall of Fame, we go … dark. What? Thank God for radio, which means we don’t miss Mewelde Moore’s 16-yard return to the 14.
> CBatch wanted Mike Wallace to go deep on the broken play and when he didn’t Batch should have thrown it away. Instead, he tried to force it and the Bucs are in business.
> Bill Gay, back in his comfort zone as the nickel back, with a huge early play to keep it 3-0.
> We’ve seen several things so far this season with foot speed and hand-eye coordination that have us wondering if Moore isn’t about out of gas. He’s is only 28, but that’s middle aged for an NFL back.
> We appreciate the thought on the Wildcat reverse, we really do, but the play took waaaaaay too long to develop.
> Steelers burn Russ Grimm’s son, starting in place of stoner Tanard Jackson, on an underthrown ball. Daniel Sepulveda gets an assist on the score.
> And once again, we’re reminded why Ike Taylor is a defensive player.
> As Steve Tasker praises a “great block” by Mike Williams, the video replay shows an “illegal block in the back” by Mike Williams.
Second quarter: Steelers 28, Bucs 6
> We would rather Rashard Mendenhall didn’t spin like that. For every one time it works there are nine times he gets belted.
> We’re guessing Mike Tomlin would rather CBatch slide on that scramble.
> Heath Miller, this year’s Altoona Mirror Sunday Superstar poster boy, with a big red zone catch to set up a non-spinning Mendenhall.
> (With apologies to Rob Egan) Can you imagine what the Lions offense would look like if this version of Mike Williams were playing on the opposite side from Calvin Johnson?
> Steelers take advantage of Williams’ dreaded fighting-for-extra-yards fumble and CBatch and Mike Wallace have some magic going on.
> Tasker contends Bucs will have to defend run or pass on third-down play just before the half. One problem, Steelers have no running backs on the field. CBatch hits Ward on the play for an almost unthinkable fourth touchdown in the first half.
> Will Allen and Ryan Mundy both injured in the first half. Paging Tyrone Carter, please pick up the white courtesy phone.
Third quarter: Steelers 31, Bucs 6
> Dancing Bill Gay makes his first appearance since 2008 as Tasker FINALLY notices the Steelers don’t have anyone putting their hand on the ground on third down.
> Isaac Redman jumps on two consecutive plays to try and get a first down. Jumping is only advised when you’re trying to go OVER a pile, not go FORWARD.
> It’s just amazing to see LaMarr Woodley throw around 350-pound tackles.
> Wow, the Bucs punter is terrible.
> Ryan Clark goes down and (whew!) Mundy is well enough to enter for him.
Fourth quarter: Steelers 38, Bucs 13
> Brett Kiesel gets a gift-wrapped pick but runs his a$$ off for the touchdown. This is officially the “everything goes right” game for the Steelers. Remember, there’s an “everything goes wrong game lurking somewhere.”
> Steelers go old-school with 22 personnel (2 backs, 2 tight ends) and do a great job of running clock.
> The Steelers next-generation linebacking stars Jason Worilds and Sylvester Stevenson combine for a sack.
> LeGarrette Blount, a running back the Steelers almost drafted, looked very good Sunday in limited action.
The final word:
> We’ll wait to hear the injury report before we call this one a complete success, but obviously that was more of a breather than anyone could have expected, especially given the way Tampa Bay and Josh Freeman and Mike Williams started. Mssrs. Flacco and Boldin appear to have gotten their act together Sunday so expect the usual bloodbath next week at Heinz Field with a 4-0 start at stake and an early bye week looming.