The Steelers beat the Minnesota Vikings 26-9 in their first home game. This was expected to be a tough game, but they received a break when Sam Bradford could not play due to a knee injury. The offense looked better than last week and the defense had another good game.
For months I’ve been saying Martavis Bryant is the key to the Steelers offense being great and yesterday we saw why. Bryant had 3 receptions for 91 yards and a touchdown. His speed caused all kinds of problems (and pass interference penalties) for the Vikings. If he continues to get more comfortable in this offense, it can live up to it’s potential as one of the best in the league.
JuJu Smith-Schuster had 3 catches for 16 yards on 4 targets. He also had his first touchdown reception on a shovel pass. JuJu is becoming a bigger part of this offense, delivering great blocks like Hines Ward used to.
For the second straight week, the defense shut down the running game and put pressure on the quarterback. Cameron Heyward is wreaking havoc on opposing offenses and the line has much better depth this year. Case Keenum and DeShone Kizer are not Hall Of Fame quarterbacks, but so far the defense has looked very good.
When T.J. Watt left the game with a groin injury, it was Anthony Chickillo that stepped in for him, not James Harrison. Chickillo had another solid game, as he recorded 5 tackles. It appears he is the main option to play when Bud Dupree or T.J. Watt are not playing.
The offensive line looked better this week, only allowing 2 sacks and helping Le’Veon Bell record 87 yards rushing, but it’s still not great. This is supposed to be one of the best offensive lines in the league, and they look off. Players mentioned they are still working on becoming a cohesive unit, but isn’t that what you’re supposed to do in training camp and preseason?
Watt had to leave the game early with a groin injury. It sounds like it’s minor and they’re being extra cautious. Watt was awesome last week, so hopefully he can return soon.
James Harrison didn’t play a snap in this game, despite T.J. Watt going out with an injury. He was supposed to be the “relief pitcher” for the outside linebackers, but it sounds like that plan has changed. It seems as if Anthony Chickillo has taken on that role.