November 26, 2007

Congratulations, You've Made Gary Anderson Proud...

"My first game was Week 10 of 2002. At halftime, we had a steamroller roll it -- that was the only way to keep it firm. There was no grass left. It was all wet sand....Kris Brown played the first year here...He opted to go to the Texans."
- Jeff Reed
Just when you thought there weren't going to be ANY points scored, thank god for Jeff Reed and his 3/4 inch spikes...and I ain't talking about the ones on his head. The Steelers finally won out with just about 15 seconds left in the 4th quarter in what I was told approximately 6,395 times was the longest scoreless regular season game ever played. Or at least the longest since the 40's. Consequently, I'd like to thank ESPN for its expert statisticians. You guys are so good I wanna drop kick each and every one of you in the face...

Anyways guys, a 3-0 victory? A 3-0 victory? Under normal circumstances I'd go off about how embarrassing it was to watch the Steelers move the ball into, even start from, Miami territory and come away sans-points time after time. But these were NOT normal circumstances.

In fact, given the morass that was Heinz Field, I'd say we did a really good job. The Defense looked and played extremely hungry - racking up 4 sacks, 2 forced/recovered fumbles, and holding the Dolphins to just 159 total yards.

The Offense, while frustrating, at times did a relatively good job moving the ball. Willie contributed 81 yards on the ground, almost twice the amount of his Week 10 performance against the Ravens and Ben was extremely efficient (most accurate performance in team history, seriously), completing 18 out of 21 passes for 165 yards - half of those to Hines Ward (for half the total passing yards as well). Plus, as an added bonus, the line actually played rather well, comparatively that is...even without Marvel Smith, who was replaced by the all-but-worthless Max Starks.

"Special" Teams blocked a kick and Daniel Sepulveda got 5 well placed punts for 173 net yards, pinning the Dolphins deep at every turn. Oh, and Rossum had 3 returns for an average of just under 20 yards per...yeah I don't care either.

I mean we won the game. Should we have dominated? Yes. But did we win? HELL F'ING YES. In an era in which fantasy has ruined our appreciation for close games, most of us (myself included) would have hoped for a blow out, even in the Heinz Field swamp. But if the rule is that close games build character, then this team has more than enough to choke a horse (but not a mini horse Tec...if you're reading this).

I took some notes during the game, mostly in the 1st half (can you imagine why?). So let's talk about some of the good and bad from tonight's debacle.

BUENO:

  • Most Reliable Receiver In The NFL ~ Hines Ward. 9 catches, 88 yards. Ben to Hines was 1/2 of the offense tonight. The former Super Bowl MVP continues to show us how much he means to this team. Hines Ward, tough as nails.

  • Block Of The Night ~ Carey Davis on J Peezy at some point during the 1st half. I swore I saw this, though I don't have time to go back and pin point exactly when right now. But if you watch the game again (thanks to the power of god's magical gift to beer drinking lazy assholes like me, DVR) look for Peezy coming off the right end and getting Stonewall Jackson'd by Davis. And I thought he was just a novelty...

  • And..."Da Boot" Award Goes To ~ Larry Foote and James Farrior. Out booting Peezy himself significantly, these two combined for approximately 1/3 of the Steelers total tackles - 18, not to mention a sack and a forced fumble. Who ride?

  • Head Enforcer Tonight ~ I'd be remiss if I didn't give props to Tyrone Carter (!), who was the Steelers top tackler this evening, with 12 total tackles, 11 of which were SOLO! Depth is key, friends. Key. It's gotta be the visor...

  • A Long Overdue Contribution ~ Lawrence Timmons recovering the Farrior forced fumble in the 1st Quarter. Finally, welcome to the team Larry. Now, let's work on increasing that contribution to include maybe a sack, or an interception, or even a forced fumble you can call your own. I give him shit, but hey, you gotta start somewhere...

  • The Ape Attacks! ~ You didn't think we could get through a whole game recap without throwing some man love to Silverback, did you? HUGE sack and forced fumble on 4th down in the 4th quarter. Clutch as usual...I smell a pro bowl bid...

  • Good Hands, Diesel ~ Brett Keisel, knocking down a pass for the 2nd time in three weeks. You know, when I played hockey, my coach always used to tell us to keep our sticks on the ice, because you never knew when you'd get a puck on your stick. Same idea here. Great awareness Brett.
NO BUENO:
  • Plays That Would Make Your High School Coach Proud ~ Did you notice the Dolphins try and get cute with a little Statue of Liberty play there? Trying to mimic the embarrassing way the Jets executed their 1st drive last Sunday, eh? Cam Cam, you dirty bitch. Not tonight my friend. Sorry.

  • Tonight's Bed Shitter ~ Sean Mahan. He's too small to block the big guys and too slow to block the linebackers. So I wonder, what is he contributing?

  • Things We Shall Hit On Quickly And Never Speak Of Again ~ Ben throwing an interception to J Peezy on Pittsburgh's 1st drive...prompting the mouth to scream "You know you love me" at the Steelers sidelines...moving on.

  • Tonight's Plea ~ And finally, my plea for this evening -- No more costly penalties, please. There were at least two in the 1st half that negated 1st downs for us. We cannot blow offensive progress by committing penalties...done.
So while I was not exactly blown away by the fashion in which we pulled this one out. I am happy to have at least come away with the win. I'm sure this Monday Nighter is bound to go down in history. So at least we didn't lose it to the 0-10 Dolphins. Plus, I don't think any of us wanted to listen to the Browns fans talk about how we were tied with Cleveland for the division lead should we have lost that game. Simply put, we just cannot let Cleveland have that satisfaction. At any point this season. Or ever for that matter. Ever. Get it, Tomlin?

Anyhow, as much as it pains me to say - this was a must win, and we won it. So let's try and forget the sloppiness, and ride our 8-3 record into Cincy next Sunday for another prime time matchup. This time with Ocho Cinco and the Bungles.

So now it's your turn. What did you guys think of the game? Any memorable moments I didn't capture here? Did you guys also think Ricky Williams faked that injury so he could get some medicinal marijuana? Let me hear it.

Oh and PS (because I always have to end with a post script) - I seriously can't stand Tony Kornheiser. If they don't get his ass off of Monday Night coverage, I'm gonna have to start watching with the sound off...maybe it's time to invest in Sirius...

GAME RECAPS:
[Behind The Steel Curtain]
[Blitzburgh Report]
[DC Steeler Nation]
[Die Hard Steel]
[Joey Porter's Pit Bulls]
[NonStop Steelers]
[Pittsburgh Sports and Mini Ponies]

[ESPN]
[Post-Gazette]
[SteelCityInsider]
[Tribune-Review]

Ballhype: hype it up!

3 comments:

Tobiathan said...

Honesly, i don't mind Kornheiser as much as i HATE Jaworski. Jaws obviously still hates the Steelers for their success in his playing days and makes a point of rooting against them/for the other guy every chance he gets. Pr*ick.

I agree on Max Starks: the guy is fat, sloppy, and too lazy to play tackle. His hips were too high all night and he moved his feet like they were stuck in cement shoes, the feild notwithstanding.

Also agre on Mahan- he looked slow and weak all night. I've never been impressed by him at all this year. Not sure what, if any, the answer is there.

As much as i like to complain about officials(and we all know i do!) i have to admit that Najeh "Duce" Davenport screwed the pooch on that holding call early on. In his defense, his "holding" on that play wasn't as blatant as the refs allowed Miami to be on offense, but it was still holding. And Davenport(as in "couch": where he should be sitting on game day) runs like a scared little girl. The guy's HUGE, he *should* run like a monster...

And, BTW, even if we *had* lost we'd still be ahead of Cleveland thanks to our record in the division (4-0). So don't worry about that too much. Besides, Cleveland will lose a couple more here on out. I'm sure of that.

Now that i'm thinking about Mahan, i'm thinking you hit on the real source of weakness on our o-line. I noticed he was getting a lot of help from both guards last night. Maybe he's the reason Kendall keeps getting beat?

Hope my angry near-play-by-play last night entertained somebody. I'm still convinced that NFL refs, at least subconciously, hate the Steelers and try their best to put us into bad positions at key points in games.

Seriously: doesn't *anyone* else notice that we only get penalized after big plays at key points? Is it really just me?

And that's all i got to say 'bout that.

Go Stillers!

tecmo_bowl_bo_jackson said...

no mini horse-choking on my watch. My buddy was confused by the win, but we ended up with 3 more point sthan the opposition. That's a win, last time I checked.

Jason said...

I just felt like last night was a toss up. Thank God the Steelers won it, but it really was one slipped defensive back away from a cheap score and win for either team. What can you really take away from the game? You can't really use anyone's performance as a measuring stick considering the conditions. But a win is a win and a loss there would have been devastating.

My favorite moments of the night was that Dolphins' punt that just stuck right in the ground when it landed. Have you ever seen that before? If that didn't sum up the night perfectly then I don't know what did.