NFL from the Sidelines

Post-Carolina thoughts

I don't want to say I told you so, but I will. I told you so.

I told you the Panthers wouldn't come out and spread the field against the Steelers and then run the ball. I told you they could be run on.

I told you their offensive line wasn't very good and was banged up.

It all came to fruition.

Now, that certainly doesn't mean I'm right all the time. But in this case, Carolina was a perfect elixir for what was ailing the Steelers.

Now, can the Steelers keep this up? Well, they certainly should be able to against their next two opponents, Tampa Bay and Jacksonville.

But this victory came at a cost, as well. Ike Taylor could be done for the season - and his career - after suffering a broken forearm.

And linebackers Ryan Shazier (knee) and Jarvis Jones (wrist) also could have suffered significant injuries, though we won't know the extent for a couple of days.

Taylor and Jones were two popular guy for fans to rip on. We'll find out at some point just how important those guys are.

@ The Steelers offensive line has been getting ripped for a long time for not being very good. This game should have been a coming out party on national TV.

After a slow start, they wore the Panthers down. And regardless of what you saw in this game, that's a really good defensive front.

@ For all those people who were quick to point out Eddie Lacy's stats versus Le'Veon Bell last season, here's where they currently stand. Bell has 315 yards rushing and another 146 receiving in three games this season. Lacy has 113 rushing and 38 receiving.

Now, there's still a lot of season left, but would anyone trade Bell for Lacy right now?

@ Lance Moore played one snap in this one. He was healthy, but Justin Brown lined up in the slot throughout the night.

It appears the Steelers like Brown's downfield blocking better than than of Moore at this point. But both guys will have roles moving forward.

@ Speaking of Bell, he won the chess match with Carolina middle linebacker Luke Kuechly throughout the night in this one.

The Panthers are sure tacklers, Kuechly especially, but  Bell said the Steelers used their patience against them.

Carolina will give you four and five yards at a time, but doesn't give up big plays.

The Steelers chipped away and chipped away, until finally getting the Panthers to start gambling a little bit.

On his 81-yard run in the third quarter, Bell, who might be among the most patient runners in the NFL, made Kuechly think he was going outside. And when the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year vacated the middle of the field, Bell burst back inside.

"When he guessed wrong, it was 81 yards," Bell said.

@ The Steelers' offensive line did an outstanding job in this one. Marcus Gilbert was trashed by just about everyone, but was a big part of an effort in which the Steelers rushed for over 200 yards and Ben Roethlisberger was sacked just once.

"You guys were down on Marcus," head coach Mike Tomlin said. "We like Marcus."

@ With games against Tampa Bay and Jacksonville coming up next, there is no reason to believe the Steelers won't be 4-1 heading into a rematch at Cleveland.

We'll see how much this team has grown in the rematch with the Browns. Boy, that seems weird to write.
Read full post: Post-Carolina thoughts

Steelers-Panthers game-day thread

The Steelers will be without the services of guard Ramon Foster this week. He'll sit out with an ankle injury.

Cody Wallace is expected to start in his place.

Dri Archer also is out with an ankle injury. Also among the Steelers inactives are Martavis Bryant.

The bigger news is on Carolina's side of things. Both running back DeAngelo Williams and receiver Jerricho Cotchery will not play for the Panthers.

Williams was the one back that the Panthers have who could have seriously tested Pittsburgh's run defense. His backup, Jonathan Stewart, is averaging 2.5 yards per carry this season.Read full post: Steelers-Panthers game-day thread

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