The Steelers opened the home half of their 2012 schedule last Sunday, and it was a beautiful day in every way. The weather was perfect, the fans were into it and even got to flex their booing muscles at the replacement officials. The level of play on the field was far from perfect, but it wasn’t boring either.
And when it was over, after it had gone into the books as a 27-10 victory over the New York Jets, the Steelers had made a statement about who they are while offering some real promise about what they could become.
The identity of an NFL team for a particular season is only revealed over time, and no, two weeks isn’t enough time. But two weeks was enough to see how these Steelers were going to respond. Mike Tomlin referred to it as “redemption week,” and the team played to that level against a playoff-caliber opponent. The constant Tim Tebow sideshow aside, the Jets are physical and have enough proven playmakers to be dangerous to every team they face.
And really, to their credit, the rest of the offensive players followed his lead.
The Steelers defense was without
The splash plays aren’t coming in waves yet, but the Steelers were combative and relentless and physical.
The Jets have been vanquished, and so Steelers responded to their loss to the Broncos in the proper way. His job demands Mike Tomlin to try to focus them on the next step – stacking wins – but there should be some credit given for what they did to the Jets.
Because, really, it’s what they did against the Jets that makes it seem possible this particular group of Steelers will be able to give Tomlin what he wants.
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