Big Lead Sports Bar


That Certainly Sucked

BRONCOS (3-3) 31

STEELERS (4-2) 28

Despite the best efforts of Ben Roethlisberger and Tim Spaeth, the Steelers ultimately could not pull it out last night in Denver, falling to the Broncos, 31-28. The only mistake the Steelers made, other than the three turnovers, letting Skippy Wolfendale attempt a 65-yard field goal, and Mike Tomlin screwing up the last-second time-out, was leaving the Broncos too much time on the clock to pull out a W.

Jay Cutler, disheveled hair and all, put his team into sufficient position for a game-ending field goal by the apparently un-iceable Jason Elam. One walk-off kick later, the Steelers ensured a lower ranking in everyone's Power Rankings this week as Elam split the uprights. Prepare for your freefall in the Fine Fifteen.

Personally, I felt the game was over after Tim Crowder took back a Ben fumble to the house and put the Broncos up by 14 in the 2nd quarter. I was impressed that the Steelers were able to mount a comeback, but it was only necessary because of the hole that they dug for themselves.

This was a Bronco team ranked last in the league in rush defense, missing Champ Bailey to boot. On the offensive side, they were missing Javon Walker. The Broncos winning the game without those players was the most ridiculous thing I've seen since, oh, the Steelers shutting out the Seahawks without Ward, Polamalu, Holmes and McFadden.

This game was a tale of two halves: the half when the Steelers scored 7, and the half when the Steelers scored 21. They were consistently inconsistent, negating big plays with big errors at every available opportunity. The offense had trouble finding any kind of rhythm, and the defense went back to their old ways of allowing any 3rd and forever to become a first down. I think it's safe to say that everyone expected a better performance from the Steelers. Maybe they were reading all of the stories saying how they were the class of the AFC, or the stories throwing dirt on the Broncos' 2007 season, but this did not play out as many predicted. Let's hope their collective heads get screwed on straight in time for the Bengals next Sunday.

Random observations from the game:

--Three TD passes to tight ends? Are we sure they didn't change Heath Miller's position to wide receiver?

--Despite my dislike of Coach Tomlin's game plan, he gets an A+ for his choice of headgear on Sunday night. Loved that hat. He may have a winning percentage of .667, but in the fashion department, he's batting 1.000.

--Was I the only one who heard the circus music in the background of that 3-yard kick return by Allen Rossum?

--Nice to see Hines Ward reeling in seven catches, considering his totals in three previous starts this season: one, three, and five.

--For those scoring at home, FWP's runs to throw out last night were 24 and 27 yards.

--Doesn't Mike Shanahan remind you of Tony LaRussa in some way, shape or form?

--Did the name Elvis Dumervil ring a bell? He's the guy that was formally introduced to Marcus Vick's cleat in the 2005 Gator Bowl. By the way, how are the Vick brothers doing in the NFL this year?

--So much for Keith Olbermann's prediction that the Steelers will go 15-1.

Around the league...

--Baltimore-Buffalo was painful to watch. Painful. Buffalo's not a bad team, they just absolutely cannot score in the red zone if you spotted them at the 1 yard line with four downs. Although it's hard to single them out when another team had to kick eight field goals. Meanwhile, Baltimore is Baltimore. It's very hard to watch them and consider them seriously as a threat in the division. Then again, we just lost to a team that lost their previous game to Norv Turner by 38 points, so we might not want to get too far ahead of ourselves.

--Don't look now, but the Giants are 5-2. So if history repeats itself, they should be quitting on Tom Coughlin sometime in the next week or two.

--I despise the Patriots, but I have no problem at all with them running up the score. This is the NFL, not Pop Warner.

--Admit it: no one believes Cleo Lemon can win because his first name is "Cleo" and his last name is "Lemon". Seriously, how many times have you heard this line: "How can the Dolphins win? They have Cleo Lemon at quarterback!"

--Tom Brady just threw another TD, Rob Bironas just kicked another field goal, and Big Ben just turned it over again.

--Gotta love that Vikings game plan: give the ball to Adrian Peterson 12 times and take your chances.

--Jeff Garcia went 37-45 (82%) yesterday against the Lions. If I've heard it once, I've heard it 1,000 times: Carmella Dicesare loves QBs with high completion percentages.

--I've officially lost it with the national media when discussing Chad Johnson...

"Oh, he's so much fun!"

"He just loves the game!"

"He does it in a way that doesn't disparage the opposition!"

Here's the truth: Chad Johnson is looking more and more like a locker-room cancer that is threatening to blow the Bengals into a million pieces. He rides his QB. He blows up at halftime. He's a selfish, me-first player in a team game. Ever remember Jerry Rice doing the Riverdance or putting on a Hall of Fame jacket after a TD? Exactly.

--Congrats to the Pitt Panthers and Coach Wannstache for the big and improbable win over Cincinnati on Saturday. How they slowed down a team that scored 40.6 points per game, especially after getting shredded by the likes of Navy, is beyond me. It was a great all-around game, with the Panthers notching two 100-yard rushers in the same game for the first time since 1988. My only question: Will Dave Wannstedt in the booth become a good luck charm?

--Not sure if you've heard this or not, but Kevin Millar, a current member of the Orioles, appeared in a Fox spot rooting on the Red Sox, using the phrase "we", and throwing out the first pitch in game seven. Considering the thoughts of this Orioles blog, it looks like a hot debate.


okel dokel said...

Last night went pretty much how I expected this season to go. Shaky offensive line play and an inability to prevent 3rd and long from being converted.

The offensive line sucked...really sucked. Perhaps that has something to do with Ben calling the protection. I am sure it is difficult to do that and figure out how to throw into double coverage, or way over the receiver's outstretched arms.

I do not want to besmirch the vaunted zone blitz, but where is the pressure and why can such pedestrian receivers (Glenn Martinez!!!!) find all of those "open spaces." The linebackers are looking old with the exception of James Harrison. The third and long issue needs to be fixed.

Next week's game could turn in to a very long day if the defense lets a much better receiving corps find all of the holes in the zone coverage.

Dirty Sanchez said...

I'm not ready to jump off the bridge yet, but the biggest thing about last night was not running the football. How do you not run Willie Parker 20 times in the first half against the worst run defense in the league?

It's almost as if Bruce Arians had to show the world how smart he was - "You guys think I'm going to run, the stats say that I should run, but no! I'm going to the spread offense so our crappy OL can have Ben running for his life. Woohoo, look at how big my d*ck is! I'm a genius!"

Hopefully this will get marked down as a lesson learned by Tomlin and they run the ball 40 times against the Bengals.

Adam said...

Thanks Pitt, without you beating Cincy, we may not have been ranked, and Gameday may not have come to Happy Valley.

Thanks losers :)

Adam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dirty Sanchez said...

Dear Adam,

You're welcome. Enjoy the extra attention as OSU kicks the crap out of PSU (or whichever players manage to not get arrested this week).


Unknown said...

dirty, you took the words right out of my mouth, like JoePa does to his dentures every night...Ba-Zing!

Chris said...

The Steelers showed up without any passion last night. It didn't seem like they cared about the game until the second half. And I thought Tomlin's hat was money too.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

I'm not going to bury Ben. If Manning throws 4 tds and 2 picks we say he had a good game. Ben does it, and he sucks.

The biggest problem here is that we lost, and I'm pinning it on the defense. Ben had a bad quarter and played pretty lights out in the 2nd half. The defense had a bad FOUR quarters.

Welcome to Pittsburgh, where the scapegoat for a loss is usually the quarterback.

And aren't ALL amazing comebacks in sports the result of a team crawling out of a hole it dug itself? I mean, if the team didn't suck ass enough in an early portion of the game to get down by a lot of points, there would be no comeback so to speak. Correct?

Every amazing Elway comeback from our childhoods was the result of the Broncos sucking balls for 3 1/2 quarters. Do we say "John Elway, the guy who sucked balls for 3 quarters"? No, we say "John Elway, the comeback kid!" or whatever.

Ben didn't allow the Broncos to march 80 yards on the opening drive. Ben didn't IMMEDIATELY give up a TD to the Broncos after the team pulled back to within 7 did he? Ben didn't let the Broncos basically moonwalk into field goal range at the end of the game either.

Wasn't one of his ints tipped by Ward? On the fumble, didn't he have to scoop a bad snap off the ground, only to be met by 3 or four defenders in his grill when he looked up?

Look, call me an apologist or whatever, but I'm just calling last nights game how I saw it. Ben made some mistakes no doubt, but if it weren't for him in the 2nd half we probably lose by 2 TDs. 13 tds to 5 ints on the season isn't really too shabby.

His biggest problem is when he's scrambling he just needs to learn when to pull the ball down and run instead of looking for big plays that aren't there. It seemed to work well for Cutler a few times last night.

Ok, aquitting of Ben and blaming of the defense for the loss over.

That said, the gameplan sucked. After the 1st drive I was wondering why the hell we weren't running on Denver's soft run defense. It made ZERO sense.

Didn't Willie have close to 100 yards (like 94 I believe) without even being close to featured in our offense last night? Misusing him the way we did in the game was shamefull to say the least.

I also love that the old 2006/2003/2002 Steelers defense that does not know its way to the bench on 3rd-and-long showed up for it's first appearance of the season last night. I was starting to wonder what happened to those guys!

Bad gameplan by Arians and Tomlin, HORRIBLE challenge on the Hines play... I didn't mind letting Skippy try to long FG. It seemed they were prepared for a possible return when they tried it.

Bottom line is when you have the #1 defense in the league (at least you did going into the game), and score 28 points you're supposed to win.

And... ummm Adam... I guess if Pitt beating a ranked team helped State Penn in some way then I dunno... you're welcome? It sounds like you're going to need an old rag or at least an old gym sock with you when you watch College Gameday from Crappy Valley Saturday morning!

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

Also I caught that Bucs game yesterday down here in FL.

Apparently Gruden can't develop young offensive players correctly, especially a QB.

See, it takes a special kind of veteran to run "Chucky's" offense. By "special" I mean a guy that's over 37 that can complete a staggering amount of 2-yard passes per game.

BTW, my sister introduced me to the term "beard" yesterda. She said that Jeff Garcia had a great "beard".

I was obviously confused. She told me that "beard" is slang for a girlfriend or wife that gay guys have to try and hide the fact that they're gay. Ie. Carmella is Jeff's "beard".

Alternative lifestyle or not, Garcia can throw the hell out of a 2-yard dumpoff.

Anonymous said...

I hate the F'ing Red Sox and could not care less what Kevin Mill-aaah is doing on TV.

That said, it's possibly bad karma to appear in such a context and certainly in poor taste.

But I just hate the damn Red Sox. I rooted for them in 2004 b/c it was clear that the Yanks were the bad guys at that time. However, when you consider that the Sox paid a $51 million dollar rights fee just for the right to acquire Dice-K (yes, his salary is an add'l expense!), it's clear that they are every bit as evil as the Evil Empire that resides in The Bronx.

Suzy Kolber needs a flo-bee.

Unknown said...

It is Matt Spaeth not Tim. I was at the game last night and the Broncos fans have to be the dumbest in the league.

mondesishouse said...

For those who didn't get the joke, John Madden and Al Michaels kept referring to Matt Spaeth as "Tim Spaeth".

Unknown said...

Gotcha - I was wrong to doubt you. Apparently Madden and Michaels missed seeing Spaeth play last year for the perennial Big Ten powerhouse Minnesota Golden Gophers. There was actually a Steelers fan at Invesco with an autographed Spaeth jersey. It was pretty cool, but didn't make the statement for good grades that my Greg Lloyd jersey did.