Sunday, November 17, 2013
Locker Room Buzz: Pittsburgh Steelers
By Scott Brown
PITTSBURGH -- A few thoughts on the Pittsburgh Steelers' 37-27 win against the Detroit Lions.
Staying the course: The Steelers did not make any drastic adjustments after giving up almost 300 passing yards in the second quarter alone to Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. So how did they limit Stafford to 3-of-16 passing for 35 yards in the second half while holding Calvin Johnson without a catch after intermission? “It was just being more sound,” Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu said. “They weren’t drawing up any great schematics things against us. We just did our jobs better. We got a much better pass rush in the second half as well from the four-man rush. We weren’t blitzing or anything like that.”
A win and a keepsake: The two wide receivers who put on a show swapped jerseys after the game. Antonio Brown holds Johnson in such high esteem that leaving Heinz Field with the Lions’ wide receiver’s jersey ranked second -- albeit a distant second -- to exiting with a comeback victory. “To get his jersey was icing on the cake,” Brown said. “Excited to get his jersey. Hopefully I’ll get some work with him next offseason down in Atlanta.” Brown and Johnson combined for 13 catches for 326 yards and four touchdowns.
Just one win: Coach Mike Tomlin refused to give more weight to the win even though the Steelers showed a lot of mettle in rallying from a seven-point halftime deficit to beat the team that is in first place in the NFC North. “I don’t want to play ball,” Tomlin said. Translation: The seventh-year coach did not want to give even the hint of appearing like he thinks the Steelers are poised to go on the kind of run they need to become a legitimate playoff contender.
Big Ben's bad throw: As good as Ben Roethlisberger was in throwing for 367 yards and four touchdowns, he took the blame for overthrowing a wide-open David Paulson in the end zone in the third quarter. “I have to make that throw,” Roethlisberger said of perhaps the easiest throw he had all game. “Heath Miller is our first read in the flat. He was double-covered, so I looked back to Paulson. I couldn’t see if there were any defenders that inside, so my safe throw was high and away where only he could make [the catch]. I put it a little too high for him. That’s on me. I have to make that play.”