Big Lead Sports Bar




"And Skippy shall lead them". That was the theme again last night as the Steelers stole a 19-16 victory from the clutches of the Carolina Panthers in front of 50,485 at Heinz Field.

The first-team offense played just two series and nobody on the unit tore anything, so that makes two victories on the night. Their first-quarter scoring drive was set up on a long pass play from Ben Roethlisberger to Nate Washington. Of course, Washington didn't catch it, it was a 37-yard pass interference call on Carolina's Richard Marshall. But a penalty is a part of the game and as good a reason as any to throw the deep ball, which set up a Carey Davis touchdown moments later.

Among the running backs, Willie Parker had a nice 26-yard run and should be declared ready for the opener. Rashard Mendenhall apparently learned little from Hines Ward's social experiment and coughed up the ball for the third time in two weeks. I know that's a little thing in the grand scheme of things, but some rookies can have fragile psyches, so that may be something to keep an eye on. In relief of Mendenhall, Gary Russell ripped off a 23-yarder but ran for only 20 yards on his other 13 carries. As a team, the Steelers outran Carolina, 178-62.

The Steeler D held the mostly punchless Carolina offense to three field goals from the ageless John Kasay and a touchdown from Brett Basanez to Chris Hannon with 1:54 left in the game. With the score sitting at 16-15, Carolina coach John Fox elected to go for the tie in lieu of a two-point conversion, which bothered both players and fans (especially the guy that was clearly audible yelling at Fox on the KDKA/FSN/WPCW/Whatever Other Station Aired the Game Last Night Because of the Democratic National Convention broadcast).

Luckily, rookie QB Dennis "Don't Call Me Kordell" Dixon marched the Steelers downfield in short order and set up The Internet's Favorite Kicker for his second game-winner in as many weeks.

And with the Skipper's fourth field goal of the evening, we bid adieu to another season of preseason "action". It's been fun, but not as fun as the regular season will be. Polish your black-and-gold goggles, warm up your Terrible Towel, and fire up the tailgating. We've got an appointment with the Texans next weekend.

News and notes:

--Jerome Bettis was on the sideline, in town for an appearance at the new Tanger Outlet Mall in Washington, PA and his ESPN 1250 Radio debut today at 5:30.

--It's official: Arnold Harrison will miss the entire season after tearing his ACL for a second time. Personally, it's a crushing blow for the 25-year-old linebacker, who looked to have the team made.

--From the "Not Really a Bold Prediction" Department: Maybe it's just me, but I'm not counting on WR Limas Sweed to have a Randy Moss-circa '98 rookie season.

--Can we get a radar gun on Byron Leftwich? Please?

--As far as battles go, Willie Reid returned 2 kicks for 49 yards, Mr. Drummond 2 for 57 yards (and a punt for 5 yards, plus 2 catches for 10 yards), and Dallas Baker had 2 catches for 35 yards. The PG's Gerry Dulac says it's down to Baker and Reid.

--Anthony Smith had another bone-jarring hit last night, and thankfully it wasn't on Hines Ward or any of his other teammates.

--Keyaron Fox led the Steelers with 9 tackles and will add solid depth to the linebacking corps this season.

--Mewelde Moore had a nice 26-yard reception out of the backfield and looks like he'll be a solid contributor when called upon.

--Mitch Berger: 2 punts for 88 yards, long 48. Paul Ernster: 2 punts for 55 yards, long 33. You know what that means...POLL TIME!


Justin said...

Rashard. Rashard Rashard Rashard.

Also, I'd like to tell what's-his-face who was in the booth last night that the TE's name is SherrOD, not SherrARD.

HotDog_Zanzabar said...

Speaking of names, how come those nincompoops (Paulsen and Crow) keep pronouncing Scott Boras' name Scott Bore-ose? Are they that etnocentrically sports oriented that they don't know of anyone unless they are affiliated with the Black and Gold? Or maybe they're morons? Good chance it's both.

Someone Somewhere said...


Rashard: fumbling is a problem. Ask Richard Huntley and Tiki Barber c. 2004.

Limas: One of, if not -the- most important aspect of your position as a wide receiver, is, you know, "receiving". Coach Mike Tomlin should probably immediately cease and desist any and all contact between you and fellow WR/butterfingers Nate Washington. Maybe run some crossing routes in practice with A. Smith roaming nearby. If you drop the ball he's going to drill you...catch it, you're spared.