Big Lead Sports Bar



"Baptism by Fire" will be the theme on this week's edition of NBC's Sunday Night Football, as Dennis Dixon will get his first career start in the NFL against the playful Baltimore Ravens.

As you'll recall, this unexpected turn-of-events was a result of Ben Roethlisberger suffering a minor concussion against the Kansas City Chiefs, who actually managed to knock out a second Steeler QB moments later when they injured the wrist of backup Charlie Batch. Roethlisberger is now not expected to play, Batch is out for six weeks, and Tyler Palko is expected to be signed from the practice squad to backup Dixon. My head is spinning.

The 6'3", 195-pound Dixon, who was a Heisman candidate at Oregon before tearing his ACL in 2007, has thrown one pass in an NFL game, that coming last December against the Browns.

Some other Dixon trivia you'll probably hear on Sunday night: he was drafted by the Braves in the 20th round of the 2003 MLB draft; he was picked again by the Braves in the fifth round of the 2007 draft; he hit .176 in 74 minor league at-bats that season; he returned to Oregon for football his senior season and suffered the ACL injury; he was replaced at QB by Ryan Leaf's brother Brady Leaf, who would go on to get injured in his first game as Dixon's replacement.

As for the rest of the wounded Steelers, Troy Polamalu and Chris Kemoeatu are out, Travis Kirschke is questionable, and Willie Parker is probable. This is going to be a true test of Steeler depth if there's ever been one.

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Hanlon7117 said...


It's Tyler Palko time!

Steve said...

I will be more disappointed if the Ravens lose. If the Steelers win it will be a joke and Baltimore should forfeit the season.

Someone Somewhere said...

Call me the eternal optimist, but I have a good feeling about this. The Steelers need something...ANYTHING to get them to trust one another and play as a team. This game will either be that event, or it's going to cause them to unravel to the point where I'm not sure if they can recover. The defense is good enough to keep it close...Dixon must avoid costly mistakes.

Chip said...

If Mendenhall doesn't get at least 25-30 carries tomorrow, Arians shouldn't bother coming back to Pittsburgh.

Who would've thunk back in August that we're one Ray Ray cheap shot away from TYLER F'N PALKO behind center for the Black and Gold.

GIANTS FAN said...

Great sports blog man! I have two myself. I was thinking that maybe we could do a link exchange so that we can spread some traffic around to each other.

Let me know.


Real McCoy said...

The Steelers have been in a similar spot before.

Mike Kruczek

Steve said...

Mike Kruczek > Dennis Dixon.

The Steelers look awfully stupid right now for not picking up a veteran QB when they had the chance. This game is pretty much the season as far as I can see. Even when we wind up tied with the Ravens after this one, the Ravens have been playing much better all season and their losses have been close ones to really good teams, not cluster phuck losses to mediocre and bad teams. Yes, I consider the Bengals mediocre or bad and will for the rest of my time on this earth. Tonight's game is one that you'll have to get good an drunk to watch just to numb the pain long beforehand.

Yup, we'll see just how big of a putz Arians is if he tries to incorporate his pass at all costs approach tonight. I predict Ben will be playing before the 4th quarter trying to rally back from a 14-point or bigger hole.

Unknown said...

In the words of Andy Stitzer, "This is gonna be bad."

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

To everyone wanting "Stiller football" back, you're gonna get it tonight.

Even though it may look more like the 1999 "Bettis-Stewart" version of it.

Jonny Van Mundegaarde said...

Polamalu's not playing will be more of a factor than Dixon's playing.

We'll still win though. Simple hatred of Baltimore is the trump card. This team hates that team with a passion.

Unknown said...

if this pick of dixon says anything, it is "oh shi$! it's gonna be a long night."