Yesterday's 24-0 shutout of Seattle was needed and deserved by the Men of Steel. Say what you will about the opponent, the Steelers did what they needed to do by defeating an inferior opponent especially at home.
Much like we should not have been over-reacting after the Ravens' win over us, we should not be setting our sights for Super Bowl XLVI just yet either. The offensive line remains in flux, Bruce Arians' red zone play-calling remains questionable and suddenly Shaun Suisham is not exactly automatic as he appeared to be last season until the Super Bowl.
Any way you slice it though, we may have seen a 'new' Steelers team yesterday and this goes to something BiltzBurghRockCity brought up on the game recap and in the forum. Defensively, we looked much more willing to keep things in front of us and reduce the number of blitzes early in the game. Was this by design or just what Coach LeBeau thought the Seahawks were giving? Either way, you saw 7 different guys on the defensive line yesterday, Larry Foote getting ample time and Keenan Lewis getting some action on D as well.
Offensively, you saw a more balanced load of carries between Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman and a passing game that took what was there rather than trying to hit home runs. Ben said as much in his post-game comments when he mentioned that he didn't recall a time when he hit so many check-downs. Arians' red zone offense was a disaster yesterday until the nice hook-up between Ben and Mike Wallace. Arians needs to get creative and stop trying to run the ball straight ahead on every play from the 1-yard line.
The bottom line for the SteelerNation is that maybe, just maybe, we are finally evolving little bit. Yes, some things will never change, but getting beat the way the steelers did in Baltimore has a way of making you re-evaluate some things and it appears that Mike Tomlin and company did just that.
Marc 'SteelDad' Uhlmann