Big Lead Sports Bar


Steelers Run Up the Score in Shutout of Dolphins

STEELERS (8-3) 3
DOLPHINS (0-11) 0

By the numbers, there were a few intriguing storylines to last night's debac...I mean, game. For instance, "How many plays for zero or negative yards would the Dolphins have?" (many), "How many potheads would Lawrence Timmons step on?" (one), and "How many points would be scored in the game?" (three).

Yes, last night was not a shining moment for anyone involved. Joey Porter put it best when he said that "it was like playing on the beach", although I would imagine that the beach had more traction and a more attractive crowd.

Mike Golic was on TV/radio this morning blaming the four high school championship games and Saturday's Pitt game for the poor turf, but in actuality the culprit was the new turf installed after those games. Unfortunately, each of those games ended up being more interesting than the Steeler game. Give me more Central Catholic-Gateway.

Monday night's other major storylines, other than Big Ben's upcoming exclusive interview with Channel 4 ("I don't play football for the money"), Seal's music being played at every break, and the possibility of Dave Wannstedt showing up to personally choke Ricky Williams, was the presence of one Joey Porter.

The Dolphins got their money's worth, with the $32 Million Interception Heard Round the Burgh. Mr. Peezy ended the game with 8 tackles (6 solo), 1 pick, and his 11th loss since leaving Pittsburgh.

It's hard to say anything about the actual play in a game like last night's, but I'll try. I thought the Steelers, when not sinking in quicksand, were sloppy. They had several killer penalties that wiped out first downs, and that's an aspect of the game that can't be blamed on the ground crew. The Dolphins looked every bit the part of an outmatched team, but they have to get credit for hanging in there. When your offense consists of John Beck handing off to Patrick Cobbs (who was briefly a Steeler, by the way), honestly, what do you expect?

The Steelers, coming off of consecutive games against 1-8 New York and 0-10 Miami in which the combined score was 19-19, will next face off against Hall of Famer Chad Johnson, Carson the Great, and the Cincinnati Bingles on Sunday night. In a nice change of pace for NBC, it's not a Patriot or NFC East game. Hopefully the game will also be a nice change of pace for Steeler fans, who've witnessed consecutive stinkers the past two weeks.

News and notes:

--I take my hand off to Willie Parker for crossing the 1,000-yard mark. Now if he could only improve on scoring just 2 TDs this season...

--Your obligatory Big Ben update: he's currently ranked #2 in passing in the NFL at 106, behind only Tom Brady at 127.9.

--More fun Steeler rankings: 2nd in total rushing, 22nd in total passing, 12th in total offense; 2nd against the rush, 1st against the pass, and 1st in total defense; 1st in points against and 4th in net points; and 1-1 against the Jets and Dolphins.

--Don't forget, the Steelers are now 2-0 with two shutouts without Troy Polamalu and Santonio Holmes in the lineup.

--Was I seeing things, or was that a Willie Reid appearance last night in crunch time?

--Nice interview by Stan Savran last night with Gabe Rivera on FSN's pregame show. And speaking of pregame shows, has the WTAE Sally Wiggin Monday Night show become a Pittsburgh institution yet?

--Let's send a thank-you note to the Cleveland Browns for continuing to win each week. I'm convinced that their success is, at least in a small part, pushing the Steelers.


Dirty Sanchez said...

Enough of this B.S. mentality of "only fairies play on turf or FieldTurf". I think it's well established by now that Heinz Field has the worst surface in the NFL (and probably college), bar none. Maybe after Ben rips up his knee while running for his life the Rooneys will pony up the money for FieldTurf and end this embarrassment.

I keep forgetting that I have the FoxSports Pittsburgh channel on my cable lineup. Damn, I miss the days of being single and watching Stan & Guy, then settling down to some Yuenglings, wings and Mike Lange calling the Pens games.

apk said...

The worst argument in favor of grass is "both teams have to play on it." This is exactly why we beat the Miami Dolphins 3-0 last night. Had the game been played on Field Turf, or asphalt, or whatever, the Steelers are likely to take the game in a walk (Jets games notwithstanding). The only thing that kept Miami in that game last night was the field conditions. That should be a scary enough reality to convince the Rooneys to go artificial.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris said...

willie reid = crunch time money!

CapitolMAN said...

Dirty Sanchez,

I didn't know Field Turf was made of magical material that prevent knee injuries.

It's just as plausible that the pliable sponge called Heinz Field reduces the risk of a torn ligament. Every time a player plants his foot, the ground gives way. Is that less safe than hardened turf?

Despite the score, the game was entertaining, which is what football is supposed to be. It was a tense, madcap two-and-a-half hours in which anything could have happened. Had the Dolphins won, but the Steelers had played the better game... well, perish the thought!

That's football.

I'm tired of this pro-artificial turf movement. The weather is a part of the game and if you desire complete anesthetizing of football, then perhaps a roof should be constructed over Heinz Field, too.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

If the attempt at re-sodding the already putrid field along with the rain was the "great equalizer" last night, then why couldn't that have happened on Saturday so that Pitt might have beaten USF damnit?!!?

tecmo said...

Speak, capitolman.

I, too, enjoyed the hell out of the game. The grass conditions created a better game than anyone could've imagined. Perusing Deadspin comments last night prior to kickoff, I kept reading people predicting a 24-10 score and the like. Everyone (not just the folks at 'Spin) thought this would be the most uninteresting MNF game this season (aside from week 1 Arz/SF), and it turned out to be a real nailbiter. I thought we were going to lose after we blocked the FG attempt, but it was nullified by the delay of game penalty. Luckily, Cameron decided to go for it rather than give Feely another shot.

Just because the score was 3-0, it doesn't make the game uninteresting. Fantasy football has created an illogical stigma where only blowouts and shootouts are seen as interesting. I had a hell of a time seeing if and how we would pull out a win.

CapitolMAN said...

True that, Bo.

I thought the kicker would have liked to have a practice shot, even if it cost him five yards. Perhaps he told Cameron that he had no chance to make it from 43.

AJ said...

For the record, I was at the game last night. Scored some last minute tickets from a woman at work whose husband was off hunting and she decided at the last minute that sitting in a rain storm didn't seem very appealing.

It's rare that I get tickets, but I have the wackiest track record when it comes to attending Steelers games.

Adding to last night's MudBowl '07... I've also witnessed in person the 2005 game against the Bears that was played in a blizzard, the 34-34 tie against Atlanta a few seasons ago in which Pittsburgh blew a 17 point 4th quarter lead, the Kent Graham taking a sack while in field goal range with no time left on the clock debacle against Cleveland, and I was in Detroit for that game in which Pittsburgh got screwed on the overtime coin flip on Thanksgiving Day.

Maybe I should just stay home from now on?

Bic said...

That game was not interesting at all...maybe because most of the folks in Pittsburgh are Steelers homers you were able to enjoy the game but if that's Seattle and Oakland playing, you'd be saying the same thing as everyone else.

Will said...

Disagree, dennis. I'll watch any NFL football game as long as it's close. That could either be a back-and-forth shootout or it could be a defensive stalemate. Either one is exciting to me, as long as both teams have a shot to win until the very end.

In fact, I'd rather see the Steelers win in a blowout than edge a crappy team by a field goal. That's homerism more than anything.

Unknown said...

perfect for steelers fans!

1100NG said...

On the topic of Willie Reid -- you were seeing things...unless you count catching a screen pass (behind the protection of what I remember as the famous banana bunch right formation) for a gain of 4 as 'coming through in the clutch.' Sorry, it bothered me when my roommate got excited about it and it bothered me now. One catch in the red zone in a 0-0 game against a 0-10 team does not mean you are clutch.

okel dokel said...

1100ng the Willie Reid comments were made with tongue firmly in cheek.

The game was fun to watch, but the field is just a bit too gnarly. I am sick of the constant coverage of the field's condition but something has to be done.

I like Ben and all he does but I still think he holds the ball a bit too long. Is it just me or do others feel the same way?

Dirty Sanchez said...

Why not make them play in a landfill? Or let the grass grow until it's a foot high, that would be interesting, right? I'm not sure what the statistical breakdown of knee injuries on FieldTurf vs. what happens when your foot sinks 3 inches and then you're hit, but I would imagine Field Turf is a little safer.

The field conditions should not affect the outcome of the game. The only reason Miami kept within 21 points was because of the shitty turf. Would the atmosphere and ambiance of playing in mud have changed if Pittsburgh had lost that game and ended up missing the playoffs?

I don't remember people getting all up in arms about "natural conditions" when the Steelers played on glorified concrete for 30 years. Grass is great, but not if you are mandated to hold a bunch of high school playoff games on it, in addition to letting Pitt opponents run all over them 6 times a year.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

I think the Pirates should try to use this type of field.

It could be a great equalizer for them like it was for the Dolphins, and they might win more often!

The Duke from Dukes Court said...

This was a situation where a bunch of random coincidences collided.

WPIAL football playoffs
Pitt Home game
new sod
a bad rainstorm that intensified during 8:30pm scheduled kickoff
a bad playing surface on natural grass.

If the Steelers stick with the grass surface I don’t see the surface being that bad ever again.


This is football, sometimes the weather is going to be awful and effect the game.

Dirty Sanchez said...

I agree Louis, except that when Zach Duke is pitching they should also make the fences 50 feet high as well.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

By the way, I found that Playstation 2 on ebay to be completely inadequate for Steeler fans.

C'mon, most of us have totally moved on to Wiis and PS3s by now.

So no, it was not perfect for Steeler fans. Browns fans, maybe, but definitely not Steeler fans!

Jonny Van Mundegaarde said...

the Duke, I don't know whether to call u a bandwagon jumper or not, but who here thought we'd live to see the day where someone would be proud to use the Duquesne mascot as their namesake and avatar. Fuckin' A...

CapitolMAN said...

The Dukester runs the only blog dedicated to Duquesne basketball. I think I can say he's a long-time, proud, and slightly inebriated fanatic.

Will said...

LLIMH - I still haven't moved on beyond the N64 :X

TheTruth said...

Mondesi- You are a prophet.

Pitt did it! Great week for the Stache. First he gets a new contract and then he knocks WVU out of the national title game.

Fear the Stache.