I finally got a solid night off and got to my DVR to watch the game from last Saturday. So even though it’s nearly a week late, here’s a recap. My recap style will probably change over the coming season. I’m trying to make them a little more concise if I can. Thank god for preseason experimentation. For now though, a more traditional Blitzburgh recap.
Stefan Logan fields the first kick of the season and gets hammered right out of a gate. Recurring theme? Gary Colmean starts at quarterback.
Mendenhall and Wallace combine and move the chains once. Some Lion DB remembers who Rashard Mendenhall is and throws a hand somewhere near him. Fumble. Flozell Adams makes the best play of his evening and recovers. A dropped pass later, and Dan Sepulveda marches onto the field.
Punt fair caught at the 4. Nice play, noob. If you had listened to anything your coaches told you, you’d let that bounce. At worst the ball is pinned deep and it ISN’T your fault.
Enter Matt Stafford. Polamalu returns with the defense and the Lions wisely run their first play away from him. KDKA misses a play. Some punter you’ve never heard of gets the ball all the way to midfield. Imperial Death March in the name of the Steelers’ offense?
Not quite. Flozell Adams gets blown out of the water and Leftwich eats the turf. Looks like a miscommunication regarding the length of Lefty’s dropback. Adams expected three steps and a throw, Byron took 7 and never stepped up. Mewelde Moore makes a statement with a fumble and self-recovery. Yikes. 3rd & long, and Kyle Vanden Bosch runs over Kemoeatu and Byron gets hammered again. Sepulveda rocks another punt.
Some dude carries the rock on a HB Draw and Lawrence Timmons reads the play like a book. James Harrison runs over Jeff Backus, sleeps with his wife, and picks his kids up from school. Backus gets flagged for not even trying. Farrior makes a tackle with the technical proficiency that eluded him last season. Stafford’s next pass bounces off some hands and Ryan Clark ballhawks it. Picked.
The offense barely capitalizes as the O-line doesn’t even try to block anybody. Heath Miller still makes a catch and gets extra yards because he’s twelve times more awesome than anyone you’ve ever met. Reed kicks a 3-pointer and demands another million dollars. LaMarr Woodley = not impressed.
The Lions run the kick a decent ways and the special teams coverage only looks marginally improved. The second team defense is now playing against the Lions’ first team offense. Patrick Bailey looks out of place, a look he’d be wearing all night. Keyaron Fox looks out of place by being noticeably better than everyone else on the field. Woodley stays in because he is the Heath Miller of defense. Stafford is firing lasers. Keenan Lewis and Joe Burnett athletically defend Calvin Johnson on separate plays. 4th/5th CB keeping Megatron out of the end zone? I’ll take that, thanks.
The second quarter begins with a Stafford-Megatron touchdown. Megatron one-on-one with a backup CB isn’t gonna work more than twice for the defense. Get used to that, NFC. Matt Stafford picks up his clipboard and baseball cap for the rest of the night.
Logan tries his best to make something out of nothing on a kick return but that isn’t happening. Isaac Redman makes his first appearance. Pouncey is in at center and he mauls everyone. Leftwich remains in at QB. Redman made good on a few misdirection plays. He loses the ball like an hour after he’s on the ground but some ref was asleep at the wheel and it’s reviewed. Edmund Nelson seems to think there’s a case for the fumble. Pitifully obvious from the replay at the stadium.
Antwaan Randle El makes an Antwaan Randle El play on a quick slant over the middle. The svelt re-made Leftwich lollipops a throw over oncoming lineman and Red Zone makes a play. Frank Summers does the same thing on the next play and it seems less impressive. Leftwich gets hammered on a throw to the heavens and underthrows Mike Wallace’s speed.
Then came Redman’s run. It gets its own paragraph. The play starts when Maurkice Pouncey eliminates a defender into a pocket dimension, RedZone spins out of two different defenders and Pouncey buries someone downfield ahead of Redman again. The Chris Berman noise was made for this play.
Lefty overshoots Arnaz Battle by about 35 feet. Easy to blame the QB there, but Battle could have gotten a little more separation. Reed boots a field goal and all everyone will remember about this game is Isaac Redman being beastly. Jeff Reed kicks a touchback for seemingly the first time in his career, so we know that he at least has all the muscles necessary to kick off.
Some dude jukes out Larry Foote. Why is Foote in coverage in the flat anyway? He’s a ram. After a number of nondescript plays by the Steeler defense, the Dennis Dixon show begins with an entourage of rain. Dixon’s first dropback ends with him tucking and running. Not impressed, dude. They didn’t draft you to be Michael Vick. But that’s okay because on an awkward weakside rollout, Double D floats an easy ball to Arnaz Battle. He makes a solid run after the catch and almost takes it to the house on a sick juke move. Mewelde Moore makes a destructive block on two DBs and Dixon jukes his way into the end zone.
Or not. Touchdown is overturned and placed at the 1-foot line. People boo for some reason. RedZone lives up to the nickname anyway. Doug Legursky fullbacks it up and Redman find his niche. Six points. Stefan Logan makes a solid leg-tackle.
Then the LaMarr Woodley of lightning bolts scorches the sky and everyone is forced inside.
BACK TO WORK OKAY GUYS
Three hundred years later, Shaun Hill comes out to run a two-minute drill for Detroit. The Detroit two-minutes offense apparently consists of “Dede Dorsey up the middle.”
Stevenson Sylvester is spotted wearing #47. Not a good sign. That number is typically given to guys that don’t make the team because people don’t just GET that number around here. Although, when the LBs wearing 40 numbers take the field, you know it’s preseason.
No idea who Williams #48 is. He’ll be working at his dad’s TV shop come October. Anthony Madison tackled a receiver that is apparently named Ryan Clark. How is Anthony Madison still around? Dude is tough.
That was the end of my DVR recording for the moment. A later recording that mystically appeared picked up a few minutes later in the game with the Steelers having the ball in their own end and Isaac Redman wrestling his way through short yardage runs.
Dixon overthrows a ball somewhere and a ref calls DPI for some reason. Double D follows it up with a weak 2 yard run out of bounds. Emmanuel Sanders makes his Ward-catch on a quick slant. Takes a hit, hangs onto the ball, first down. A few plays later, Kordell Stewart Dennis Dixon doesn’t go through his reads and takes off with the ball. Then he does it again. Not negative plays, but he’s not playing quarterback. Those kinds of QBs don’t win in the NFL.
Antonio Brown made a nice gain on a reverse and got horse-collared. And that was all I saw. I heard the power went out at my house, and I can scarcely remember more of the game.
I do, however, remember Antonio Brown’s touchdown. The best-executed play of the night. Dixon sat under center, saw what the defense was showing, made his adjustment based on his read, and Antonio Brown cut into the zone vacated by the blitzer to make a soft catch. And from there, his speed took over. That was the Dennis Dixon we need. One that plays the quarterback position. Hopefully he builds on that this preseason. I know Arians will be drilling it into him.
-Tyler Grisham is… all right. He probably won’t make the team but he’s not a bad player. Shifty white guy WR, you know.
-Ziggy Hood was invisible as far as I could tell. Didn’t notice him at all.
-Pouncey impressed. He’ll start at center Week 1 if he masters the silent count in New York on Saturday.
-Dre Bly is still in the NFL, in case you were wondering.