I have to be honest. I was in such a bad mood on Monday night that I almost resolved not to watch the game. If the Steelers lost, it would put me in an even worse mood, so what good was that?
I actually made it to the 2nd quarter before heading to the television.
Fortunately, I got in front of the game just in time to see Ty Carter returning a Kyle Orton pick for a touchdown. After that, I was at ease for the rest of the night. Here are 10 reasons why:
10. Even after Denver returned a Big Ben fumble for six in the third quarter, I wasn’t worried. The Steelers were really moving the ball well when they gave up the sack and fumble return. It was obvious they had made the half time adjustments, they were FINALLY using the no-huddle, and it did not appear that the Broncos had many answers for them. That play was an a blip on the screen that was not a true picture of where the game was headed.
When I saw Ben taking charge and talking to the offense, I knew we were going down the field on the next drive.
9. Ben wanted to run the no-huddle because he thought it would be effective against Denver. Ben was right. Perhaps Bruce Arians should listen to him a little more often. I’m not a fan of going no-huddle ALL the time; but as sharp as Ben runs it, they should use it several times a game. At LEAST.
8. Mike Wallace was a steal. This guy has what it takes to be a big-time wide receiver in the NFL, and may eventually be better than Santonio Holmes (yeah, I said it). Limas Sweed, methinks your days are numbered.
7. Shhhhh…Do you hear that? Do you hear the sound of silence? Actually, that’s the sound of the Rashard Mendenhall critics. Yeah, I think we made a pretty good first-round choice there, and I don’t anticipate that Ray-ray Lewis will be knocking him off-track this season. Oh, Ray may hurt him by falling on the pile after Mendy breaks off another 15-yard run, but that’s about it.
6. Speaking of running backs…It makes me really sad to see Willie Parker on the sidelines, basically waiting for the season to end. We are probably witnessing the end of his time in Pittsburgh as Mendenhall secures the starting job.
I like FWP, like what he has done for us, and what he has done for himself. He has overcome a lot to become on of the top runners in the league and a Super Bowl record holder. But he’s getting older, and running backs just aren’t worth the money as they age. Here’s to hoping he can still make a splash with another team…as long as they are not on the schedule next season.
5. The Old Man still has it! Sure, Hines Ward isn’t as fast. He’s a little chunky. And he’s achieved his ultimate goal of being named the NFL’s Dirtiest Player. But he is still THE man, and he can still play. He’s as smart and saavy as always, and he’s still the guy Ben goes to when he needs a sure thing. The flip-and-hurdle touchdown at the end of the Denver game was just a thing of beauty.
4. I have now learned my Fantasy League lesson. I started Philip Livers (err…Rivers), Nate Burleson and Marques Colston this weekend. I would have dominate had I gone with Ben Roethlisberger, Hines Ward and Mike Wallace. Okay, so I won anyway, but I left about 20 points on the field.
Another nugget of advice: Never start a Seattle player over a Steeler. Ever. Burleson and TJ Whose-your-momma have killed me twice this season.
3. Ummmm…so who is the best defense in the NFL? There is a saying: “There are lies, damn lies, and statistics.” The Denver D may have the best stats, but they aren’t the Pittsburgh Steelers. Saying that Denver’s D is better would fall under the “Damn Lie” category.
2. Tyrone Carter: AFC Defensive Player of the Week. And I would have to agree with that award. I’ve said it before this season and I’ll say it again: Carter has become a solid backup/nickel player for the Steelers and we are fortunate to have him. His problem is that he has to back up two of the best safeties in the NFL, and we Steeler fans judge him according to that standard.
I’m certainly glad that Mike Tomlin put Ryan Clark on the bench, and I’m even more glad that Ty Carter confirmed the decision.
1. Brett Keisel was a steal as a 7th-round pick. Dude doesn’t get a lot of sacks, stats, or recognition. He just gets after it and gets it done, week in and week out–a guy who does it the “Steeler Way” for sure.
BONUS: I am anxiously anticipating Sunday’s game. If Bruce Arians will let Ben play his game, I fully expect the Steelers to take over the division lead. Am I nervous about that prediction? Yes. But I also have every reason to believe that the Steelers will keep rolling.
I’m just hoping that Chad Johnson Whatever-his-name-is will have to get some gold teeth replaced after the game.