Nine Steelerless Months

Time to become a full-time hockey fan again.

  • I went in expecting an uphill battle for the Steelers, and by halftime was ready to turn the game off. Then they managed to get my hopes up just enough in the fourth quarter to make it that much more of a crushing blow. The 2007 Steelers: Just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in.
  • There were many plays today where Willie Parker could have broken extra yards that Najeh Davenport — while a good third-down back — couldn’t get. The Steelers definitely came out determined to avoid the up-the-gut runs that were pwned by Jacksonville in the last game, but when Fast W. is out with a broken leg, it isn’t as effective as it could have been.
  • That said, I thought Roethlisberger did an adequate job leading the offense with the running game in such poor shape. While after the first drive — which was great — his first-half performance was hideous, dude tends to play so well in the second half that it’s almost offset. The difference today was the three interceptions: while he often plays just meh in the first half, it’s rarely with so many turnovers that lead to easy points. His second-half self was just what we all expected: rocking the Elway comeback ability — even if he often does dig his own hole — but with ultimately too many cracks in the supporting cast around him to make it work.
  • I still think Hines Ward is the best clutch receiver in the NFL. The referees should have awarded him two points on that conversion play just for the catch alone. I guess non-existent holding penalties are always a good excuse.
  • Injuries sure are a bitch.
  • Trai Essex, my fellow NU alum: I thought you played pretty well. You played like a starter, which is more than can be said for the rest of the offensive line in the second half of this season. If you were playing for your upcoming free agency, at least it benefited the Steelers today.
  • The Steelers don’t have too many big-name players up for free agency this year save Alan Faneca, but I can’t say I’m sold on this lineup for another Super Bowl run. I can’t think of a glaring weakness, but something has just been off anyway in the past two seasons. Even in the Super Bowl year, they really overachieved to get that victory.
  • I don’t want to be Bob Ligashesky this off-season.
  • All things said and done, NBC did get the obligatory molten-steel B-roll shot that goes with any televised Pittsburgh event. That’s a victory in itself.

Penguins, bring it.

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6 Responses to “Nine Steelerless Months”

  1. “we’re going for two!!” Thanks Mike Tomlin.

    Posted by Omniscient1 | January 6th, 2008 at 3:19 am
  2. As the Jags were about to kick the last field goal, I said to myself, “You know what, it’s OK if the Steelers lose this one, as long as they lose it like this.” I was thinking of one of those legendary hold-your-ground college games where hanging in against HUGE odds and playing your guts out is enough that the fans of the home, losing team remember the game and cherish the way their team toiled in defeat. (Specific example: LSU’s home loss to USC in 1979.)

    All season, this Steelers team has played uninspired football, and it’s been unsatisfying to watch. There have been few moments during the year when I thought to myself, “Look at these guys. They’re going to hit somebody in the mouth no matter what.” They didn’t play with a visible fire, and it wasn’t any fun to be involved with (I don’t think I’m alone in this, either–there were still gameday tickets for yesterday’s game, if you believe it).

    The first half followed suit on that, but in the second half, they played the kind of inspired football you’ve only seen a few times this season–the second half of the Denver loss, the second half of the second Browns game, the first half against NE. They scored on damned near every possession, and more important, the defense could have run through concrete. It was, at last, fun to watch, and I loved them again.

    Then Ben fumbled. There goes the OK loss. Tastes so awful.

  3. Going for two from 12 yards out was a weird decision, but that extra point we’d have gotten from a PAT really wouldn’t have made a difference. As Greg said, it was that fumble that just killed them. John Madden noted during the broadcast that the trend of guys stretching their arms out for extra yards is a worrisome one. This was similar in that he was clearly trying for the lateral.

  4. If by “weird” you mean “incredibly stupid,” then yes, it was a weird decision. The team has enough trouble moving the ball 10 yards in 4 downs and you expect them to get 12 in a single try under pressure?

    If they had simply kicked in that situation, and again on their last touchdown, the score would have been 31-31 at the end of regulation. Yes they would’ve blown it in OT anyway, but the difference is they’d have gone to OT.

    Good job coach. Good job.

    Posted by Omniscient1 | January 6th, 2008 at 1:56 pm
  5. I have been with the Steelers since I can remember and I have to say I felt uninspired by this group.

    Bring it Penguins. 8-2 in their last 10 and lookin to do damage in the division….hottest team in the conference right now..

  6. if by “(in the) Super Bowl year, they really overachieved to get that victory” you mean “we unquestionably assisted by the refs and lucky enough to have a better team play almost as badly as them”…then I agree

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