CINCINNATI - How many weeks in a row can I post a photo to our live file with Vance McDonald dragging, plowing, leaping, stiff-arming, etc., an opponent before finally just calling him a tank? Well, during the Steelers' 28-21 road win over the Bengals, that line was finally crossed.
Early in the game, it was clear McDonald would be targeted more often, allowing him space to do what he's done a lot of this season — more of what I've already listed above.
In Sunday's case, I shot the photo you see above: McDonald giving a literal piggyback ride to Preston Brown while simultaneously thinking about how he can evade, or go through, Jessie Bates in front of him.
The guy has been a complete treat to cover with a lens so far this season. He's been more of the big play guy many expected when he was acquired. And, he's definitely shaken off some of that "if he can stay on the field" stuff by outphysicaling (That's not a word, but there was no red line and I liked it so it stays) everyone he encounters.
Sunday, he didn't stop with the free ride for Brown, either. There was this sequence of video game-like evasion that started with outchurning Vontaze Burfict and ending up a couple dozen yards downfield. Jerome Bettis-like, if you ask me:
Then there was the hit. That's right, the hit. Bengals returner Alex Erickson felt a full-blown form tackle from the tight end that had McDonald walking to the bench with a heck of a lot of swagger afterward. You'll see the hit photo up there, too. Then the big man kneeling over his victim with a cold stare. Finally, the walk to the bench turning his Smallville-esque chin to the Bengals' faithful.
The rest of the game's action in photos is there as well, of course. See you guys and gals in the comments.