So I'd say that win was an early birthday gift (ye olde b-day is this Thursday). But I'm actually hoping that next week, Big Ben and the Steelers can give me the present I'd really like. Well, ok, at least get themselves a step closer to the present I'd really like.
The Steelers were the only home team, and the highest seeded team to win this weekend. Which, first of all, is just a total mind[eff], considering the Panthers were playing the CARDINALS. But I guess the Whis is just too much for the NFC to handle. The Cards are bombing the shit out of that conference right now. Larry Fitz may be the most ridiculous receiver left in the hunt.
Outside of Hines, of course!
Anyways, the Offense clicked. The Special Teams, one pretty big gaffe notwithstanding, looked pretty sharp. The line BLOCKED(!). Willie ran amok. Ben threw rocks all over the field. It was sheer pandemonium. Case in point - A punt return TD? When was the last time that kind of thing happened for the Steelers in a playoff game?
So while I had a hard time believing what I was seeing during most of yesterday's game, I think perhaps the most refreshing (but not surprising) thing was Ben Roethlisberger.
Big Ben was unbelievable. There really isn't any other way I can put it that will do his performance from yesterday justice. He was the football player equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife (see above). He threw, he punted, he blocked...I think he may have even come up with the cure for cancer in between drives during the 3rd quarter and then diffused a bomb at the Igloo in the 4th quarter, while Byron Leftwich was taking care of his light work.
The big story leading up to this game was Ben's concussion. Guess that one had a happy ending, then, didn't it? Just goes to show you that Big Ben is a fighter; a winner. Of course, I say that today...
There will probably be those who look at the fact that we ran the ball 16 more times than we threw it and say that Ben just didn't lose the game. But those people clearly didn't actually watch the game. The Chargers weren't stopping the run. So why should we stop running it? The bottom line for Ben is that he made the plays he had an opportunity to make and didn't make any major mistakes. He was 17/26 for 181 yards, and what's more, he completed passes to six different receivers. It was a pretty money performance for Ben.
And while I'm not going to devote an entire paragraph to it here, Master Fly W. Large was awfully good himself. For more on that, see the "Things That Were Awesome" below.
Now, this certainly doesn't mean the game was a "flawless victory" as you might find in Mortal Kombat...
But if you want me to sit here and pick out all of the things the Steelers did wrong, I'm sorry. I'm just not going to do that. It feels way to good to win that game the way we won it. In fact, even as I now write this, I'm still all warm and fuzzy inside.
I will say this, though. Let's not forget that the Chargers D is not the Ravens D. However, the Ravens went knock down, drag out, with the Titans on Saturday. So there's a good chance they'll already be bruised and battered when they take the field Sunday. Not that that means they can't still rip shit up, but you know what I'm getting at.
Is there any method to this costumery whatsoever? What is that, a firefighter, two cowboys and Rod Marinelli?
Don emailed me this weekend to tell me that Flacco looks like Neil O'Donnell. I can take a hint.
That all being said, let's review the "Things That Were Awesome," "Things That Were Not Awesome," and "Things That Were Mildly Irritating."
THINGS THAT WERE AWESOME
1. Big Ben!
2. Willie. Parker. - 27 rushes, 146 yds, 2 TDs. MONSTER game...
3. None of these...
4. Silverback - I highly suggest you get yourselves one of these...
5. The Wood - 4 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 scorching case of awesome
Well, isn't this awkward?
6. Larry Foote - 5 tackles and a pick
7. Sansmokio's punt return magic!
8. The O LINE!
9. This seal of approval from Tomlin...
10. HEEEEAAATTTHHHHH! 3 catches, 37 yds, 1 TD
THINGS THAT WERE NOT AWESOME
Sweet Sweed hands, dude...
Don't worry, I'm only joking. They only threw to him once. What did you want?
2. Please find another trick play. The Reverse is useless
3. Roughing the passer on Troy? Looked like a love tap to me
4. No pick for Ike even though it looked like he wrestled it away AND stayed in bounds
5. At least two Offensive Line penalties annulling at least two solid plays
THINGS THAT WERE MILDLY IRRITATING
1. Going for it on 4th down and not making it
2. Going for it on 4th down AND GOAL and not making it
3. Darren Sproles' 63 yard kick return
4. Chargers TD drive early on in the 4th Quarter
5. Rivers to Jackson - 67 yds for the first 7 pts of the game
You know what, though, guys. There's one thing we're all forgetting. The Eagles have pretty much already won the Super Bowl. We might as well not even play this next game, because we all know, even if the Steelers win, the Donovan McNabb-Andy Reid connection will manage the Super Bowl to victory.
Brian Dawkins cried after yesterday's Eagles victory. Talk about a drama queen. ESPN's Tom Jackson said he loved it [Dawkins' emotion]. But to be fair, Tom Jackson also loves butterscotch krimpets and fuchsia neckties (not joking). Hey Dawkins, why don't you and Ray Lewis start a club for overdramatic football players...and, fruitcups. You know who cries? Terrell Owens, and Ravens fans. Get it together. Like I give a shit either way.
Challenge of the Week = Count how many Eagles fans you talk to who mention the Eagles winning the Super Bowl. Expect a lot of sound logic out of these individuals. Not.
I already heard ESPN prematurely ejaculating the notion of a Turnpike Super Bowl. Sorry, folks. Can't get that far ahead. But for the record, if it did happen, I'd predict - Mike Tomlin, 800 - Andy Reid, 7.
Andy Reid reminds me of a walrus.
There is no better way to summarize that Giants-Eagles game than this picture...
Yeah, you and the entire Giants offense, dude.
I can't WAIT 'til next Sunday. GET FIRED UP! WE'RE IN THE AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME!
...Man, these posts go way better when I actually have something to write about.
OH yeah, apparently the new shit is good luck...
Now, I know y'all have some thoughts to share about THAT game, right?