NFL from the Sidelines
Monday, October 16, 2006
KC just not that good
The question was asked following the game, “How did the receivers get so open all day?”

It was a good question to be sure and one Cowher really didn’t answer.

Is it possible that the Kansas City defense just isn’t that good? Yep.

© How about those replacements?

Chris Kemoeatu wasn’t all that noticeable on too many plays starting in place of Kendall Simmons, but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. His best stat? The Steelers rushed for 219 yards and Roethlisberger was sacked once.

I don’t know how Kemoeatu will grade out, but it couldn’t have been bad. He was at least Simmons’ equal.

Arnold Harrison? Well, he truly was the best Arnold Harrison he could be starting in place of Joey Porter. Harrison finished with three tackles and a pass defensed, which is often a typical outing for Porter. Again, the biggest stat in favor of Harrison was the production of the running game, this time Kansas City’s. The Chiefs managed just 38 yards on 19 carries, so Harrison couldn’t have been too bad.

You don’t replace Porter with Harrison, but it certainly goes a long way toward showing why the Steelers weren’t real hot to re-work Porter’s contract.

Deshea Townsend showed why he’s still starting ahead of Bryant McFadden. Townsend surprisingly played in the nickel and defended two passes with three tackles, including one that was in the open field on third down against Larry Johnson.

McFadden, meanwhile, was OK. He had three tackles, two pass defenses and an interception, but also drew a pass interference penalty. McFadden will be fine down the road, but Townsend is still too cagey a veteran to replace.

© Anybody who suggested that Troy Polamalu needed to sit out some games until he was healthy should feel pretty silly right now.

Polamalu was, quite simply, one of the top two players on the field Sunday. The other player? Roethlisberger. And yet some people were suggesting he needed to sit as well.

Take a deep breath, people, and think about things clearly before you say or write them.

© The Steelers got their hands on 13 passes, coming away with three interceptions. They had just one sack, but Keisel told me after the game that their scheme was to just rush four players on most plays because they knew Damon Huard was going to get rid of the ball quickly. Plus, they didn’t want Johnson sneaking through a blitz and running free in the secondary against defensive backs.

Neither was a problem. Huard never hurt the Steelers, while Johnson’s long run was eight yards.

© Santonio Holmes did a nice job in the return game, but still had some ball-control issues. His first fumble on a punt return came when a Chiefs defender flashed by him at the last second, causing him to miss the ball. The second was a straight fumble as the ball was ripped free from his hands.

Sometimes, however, the ball just bounces your way. It was that kind of day for the Steelers.

© Najeh Davenport claims he was gassed from being on the punt return unit the play before his 48-yard run on which he was run down from behind by Kansas City defensive end Jared Allen.

OK, I’ll buy that. Davenport was playing over the center on punts and didn’t look out of place. That should give you an idea of how big he is.
posted by Dale Lolley at 1:07 AM  

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