Week Three - Steelers 37, 49ers 16

The Steelers moved to 3-0 with another lopsided victory on the scoreboard, but once again, what does it mean? The competition has clearly been inferior, and even San Francisco was able to hang in the game until early in the fourth quarter. The defense continued to dominate, the offense was efficient and the special teams had its best game yet. And that led to another 20-plus point victory for the home team. Plus, the victories in the first two weeks went down another notch as both of those teams (Cleveland and Buffalo) lost on Sunday. With that said, it was a very solid performance and didn't give anyone a reason to think the Steelers are not a contender for a sixth Super Bowl. But I still want to see how they react to the first sign of adversity with a tough opponent.

The Good
With the struggles of the big four running backs (LaDanian Tomlinson, Steven Jackson, Larry Johnson, Frank Gore), Fast Willie is fast looking even more and more like a top-three back in the NFL this year. He currently leads the league in rushing, and despite no touchdowns again this week, he is making his impact felt all across the Steeler offense, as his early success running the ball gave Ben Roethlisberger a chance to take some shots down the field in the second half. Despite the absence of leading TD scorer Matt Spaeth, Roethlisberger continued to get the tight ends involved, as Heath Miller led the team with four catches for 82 yards and Jerame Tuman caught a touchdown pass. The defense was a bit soft on the first possession but was outstanding for the rest of the game after that. As I said earlier, the special teams had its best showing of the season. Allen Rossum's kickoff return for a touchdown led the Steelers back from their only deficit this season. Jeff Reed continued to kick at a Pro Bowl level, despite shaving his head. Rookie punter Daniel Sepulveda booted a kick inside the 10-yard line, where Bryant McFadden made a great play to save it before it went into the end zone.

The Bad
Pittsburgh once again let an opponent hang around too long. In the first two weeks, that meant Cleveland and Buffalo not out of it until the third quarter. And this past week, it was San Francisco hanging around until the fourth. Mike Tomlin's men need to have that killer instinct to be able to put teams away when given the chance, otherwise, that will come back to haunt them later in the season.

The Ugly
The Steeler defense held the 49ers out of the scoreboard for most of the game, but the stats show that it wasn't a dominating performance, at least in terms of total yardage. Sure, Pittsburgh held SF to 289 yards, but the Steelers themselves gained only 350 yards. San Francisco gained 5.1 yards per play, and that number will have to be reduced against better competition.

Up next: Arizona (1-2)

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