Big Lead Sports Bar


Steelers Win; Batch Home Avoids Trash Influx

The Steelers opened the 2006 NFL season in grand fashion last night, grabbing victory from the jaws of defeat in a 28-17 win over the Miami Dolphins. While the game will be remembered for a number of big plays, I think the biggest story should be the tragedy averted to the city of Homestead, PA.
I'm of course talking about the situation that Homestead's own Charlie Batch set up in the fourth quarter. Batch engineered a beautiful drive that moved the Steelers from their own 18 yard line to the Dolphins' goal line. Batch then fumbled Jeff Hartings' snap, and the Dolphins took posession. Staring down a Friday morning of trash removal from his front yard, Batch took the ball with 6:25 on the clock and 87 yards to go. Genius Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt called an 87-yard touchdown pass to Heath Miller, which Batch executed flawlessly. Of course, Miller stepped out of bounds at the 2 yard line, but I'm sure this is the last time that will be brought up.
Daunte Culpepper reverted back to his form of 2005 (pre-injury), which resembled the garbage that would've been thrown on Batch's lawn. He had two beautiful interception tosses to Troy Polamalu and Joseph Porter, with Porter's resulting in a touchdown. So Culpepper supporters can say that he did throw a TD last night. And if Ike Taylor actually had hands and fingers instead of cement blocks attached to his arms, Culpepper would've had a third interception and the Dolphins would have scored one less TD.
Here are some other thoughts on the NFL opener:
1. I liked the Bettis entrance; no one else noticed this, but that actually was Tim Lester driving the bus. Hey, work is work.
2. Jeff Reed showed his offseason spent at the Mike Vanderjagt School of Kicking paid dividends already
3. Reed aside, Steelers' special teams were not up to snuff. They let a member of the Caucasian Wide Receivers of America light them up on punt returns; Santonio Holmes figured fielding a punt inside his own 5 was a good idea; Ricardo Colclough showed he has no idea how to even field a punt; and James Harrison had an absolutely fantastic holding penalty on a kickoff.
4. Mark Madden really is a Super Genius. He was dead on: Nate Washington can't play in the NFL, he's not sold on Willie Parker, Charlie Batch is a 1-15 QB and they'll never throw to Heath Miller.
5. Hit of the Game: 1. Bryant McFadden in the closing minutes. 2. Brett Keisel's block on Culpepper's INT. Don't worry, Culpepper will have plenty of chances to work on his post-INT tackling.
6. Mini-Belichick may be a genius in the making, but he has yet to master the task of tossing a beanbag at an official
7. I never knew Joey Porter was gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
8. Anyone catch the momentum-changing no-call on the Cedrick Wilson pass interference in the 1st half? Seattle is right: those refs really do give us all the calls.
9. I'd like to see a show of many people still feel comfortable calling the Culpepper Dolphins a Super Bowl team?
10. "NFL Experts" Theismann, Schlereth, Mortensen, Allen, and Jaworski were all dead on: Dolphins victory in the opener.
One down, 15 to go. Bring on the Jags. Nice work, Chuck.


Anonymous said...

Bill Simmons not only picked the Dolphins, he pegged it as a near-guaranteed win.


Unknown said...

You are right O Raul, the trash in Homestead could have approached crisis levels over Batch's fumble. Thank God for Heath Miller and Nick Saban.

The Dolphins to me look like maybe a .500 team. Or are the Steelers, minus Big Ben, just that good. I for one think the Steelers are that good.

Two people who definitely did not have a good game last night: Nick Saban (who looked like a deer lost in the headlights on the Miller flag toss) and Jeff Reed. His horrible kickoffs, even more horribly-missed field goal and the nearly ten minutes it seemed it took for him to get ready to kick the extra point after Miller's touchdown equaled the worst kicker performance in years for the Black & Gold. Even Cowher mentioned the extra point afterwards.

Regardless of Reed, I'll repeat a comment I made a few weeks ago: The Steelers are a better team today than the team that already won the SuperBowl. Will they be as lucky as last year's team? Just ask Heath Miller.

And finally, I want to go on record announcing a brand new football terminology that I created:The four point play.

So what is a four point play? Simple. When your defense rises up on third down to thwart a touchdown drive within the 10 yard line and causes a field goal, that equates to a savings of four points, hence the aforementioned "four pointer".

I move that Mondesi's House adopt the four point terminology and in fact embrace it in its' future post game coverages when appropo. By the way, the Steelers (if you're counting) had their first four point play last night.

Anonymous said...

How about a blog entry that does not bash Mark Madden? Your Madden-bashing has become as annoying as Madden's Bettis-bashing. Leave it alone already.

Rory said...

I thought that C. Wilson pass interference was pretty moot considering the uncatchableness of the ball.

vinnie said...

Rory, are you talking about the pass interference flag they did throw? Yeah, I questioned whether that one was catchable, but the non-call was diffeent story. The first replay on the Jumbotron looked like he was clearly interfered with, but the second replay looked like it the defender actually batted the ball before contacting Ced.

Anonymous said...

Don't listen to that guy.

Madden bashing never gets old!