After one half of football, the Steelers lead the Browns, X-Y. Here are some of my observations from the second quarter. Be sure to check out my first quarter notes, too.
- The line-an-offensive-guard-up-as-a-fullback trick worked for the second time this afternoon, as Doug Legursky led the way for another Rashard Mendenhall touchdown. Although his yards per carry (2.9) won't show it, Mendenhall is having an effective day, grinding out 29 tough yards on the ground, despite doing so mostly in obvious running situations. He also added a nice 24-yard catch-and-run - his longest gain through the air this season - as someone for Cleveland blew their assignment in man coverage. Hopefully head coach Mike Tomlin will give his workhorse some much-deserved rest in the second half. Issac Redman already has three carries in the first half; hopefully that's a sign of things to come, namely, Tomlin feeding Redman endlessly and killing the clock in the second half.
- Colt McCoy's first interception came on a bobble - not the Cleveland quarterback's fault - but his second pick of the afternoon was a real head-scratcher. Maybe there was a miscommunication between McCoy and his intended target, but it looked like he threw it directly into Ryan Clark's half of the field; Pittsburgh seemed to be running a simple two-deep safety, man under look. The Steelers capitalized on the turnover shortly thereafter, as Ben Roethlisberger hit tight end Heath Miller in the flat for a 4-yard score. I hope we'll see Byron Leftwich in the second half, too. There's just no reason to risk injury to your key guys when you're up by this much. Everyone remembers what happened to Wes Welker in Week 17 last season, right?
- Whatever they're paying the "Helping Hands" dude, it's not enough. That guy's creepiness is transcendent.
- McCoy's third interception came when the rookie held onto the ball too long.; the pocket began to collapse around him, and linebacker James Harrison laid the wood, resulting in a wobbly ball that Anthony Madison easily scooped up. On the ensuing drive, kicker Shaun Suisham added to Pittsburgh's lead with a 41-yard field goal.
- Pittsburgh is dominating in all phases of the game. On offense, they're averaging a staggering 8.8 yards per play, scoring on every drive, and nearly achieving perfection on 3rd down, going 5-for-6. Pittsburgh's defense has allowed just 134 yards, while recording three turnovers, and continuously harassing McCoy. With a Steelers lead of 31-3, the Steelers-Browns tilt is looking only slightly less ridiculous than a first-half box score in the Madden video game.