- 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.