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Dead Men Walking

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That's 1...
Written by Cotter   
October 15, 2013 00:00

"That is the mental toughness element of this game. That’s why you have to stay singularly focused and in the tunnel. This is a long season. Every team faces trials and tribulations, ups and downs. You cannot ride the emotional roller coaster. The reality is that we are what we are."

- Mike Tomlin (12/17/07)

A win is a win, and the point in the left hand column looks exactly the same no matter how it looks on the field.

It's something upon which to build.

As (part of) Newton's first law of motion says, "An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion."

So, from that perspective, we're on our way.

But the reality is, as Mike Tomlin affectionately says, you're only as good as your record says you are.

That is how the Steelers are looking at yesterday's victory, and indeed how we should also be looking at it.

Real talk, this wasn't the toughest test the Steelers are going to face this season.

Probably far from it.

The Jets are a good enough football team, but their run game is garbage, they have jack all to throw to, and Geno Smith is still only six games into his NFL career.

Seriously, Konrad Reuland.

That was an actual person Geno Smith threw to.

Put it this way - when your defense has had a rough go of it, trying to keep your offense in the game, a matchup against a rookie averaging a little under three turnovers a game is pretty much what the doctor ordered.

But don't be so quick to dismiss this win as "ugly."

Just because we didn't win by 6000 points, doesn't mean it wasn't a decent performance.

The defense held the Jets to two field goals, just over 250 yards of total offense, and flipped the field with the ball in or just outside the red zone twice in 60 minutes.

[sidenote: tell me this INT didn't remind you a little of James Harrison's pick in Super Bowl XLIII, just with less blocking in front of Timmons]

The offense held the ball for 36 minutes on 11 drives (vs. the Jets, who held the ball for just 24 minutes on 13 drives).


Ben Roethlisberger completed 23 of 30 pass attempts for a completion percentage of just under 77%.

No matter what you might have thought, this game was in the Steelers hands.

Doesn't mean they couldn't have blown it, but it was theirs to blow.

After the first 18 minutes, the Jets didn't have the lead once.

But listen, it's entirely possible that the Steelers don't win another game all season.

That is legit, a possibility.

Which just means we oughta make sure we enjoy this one while we can.

So, won't you come along with me as I relive the "Things That Were Awesome," "Things That Were Not Awesome," and "Things That Made You Wanna Drunk Dial Tomlin?"

Let's do it.

Things That Were Awesome:

1) Ben.

23/30, 264 yards, 1 score.

And if you want to see some real wizardry, go back and watch every play with a stopwatch.

Dude has basically 0.5 seconds from the time the ball is snapped to make something happen or bail.

The almost safety early in the game that he somehow managed to avoid despite Muhammad Wilkerson hanging on his jock.


Pulling it down and running for the first on 3rd and 10, throwing a shoulder into some DB in the process.



Get some.

2) Tasty Pastries.




Ok, it wasn't quite like that, but when you've gone like five thousand years without a defensive turnover, getting two in one game certainly feels that way.

Especially when they both come with the Jets within striking distance.

Also, no offensive turnovers.

What the hell is this, progress, you guys? 

3) Heath Miller and Antonio Brown.

I should be giving Manny Sanders more credit here.

Which isn't meant as a slight.

It's just that when two guys combined for 15 out of 24 catches, you gotta take notice.

Antonio Brown's stat lines over the last three games...

1) Bears - 9 catches, 186 yards
2) Vikings - 12 catches, 88 yards
3) Jets - 9 catches, 86 yards

That's 30 catches for 364 yards in three games.

Heath over the last two...

1) Vikings - 6 catches, 70 yards
2) Jets - 6 catches, 84 yards

Plus blocking on a line with Mike Adams/Kelvin Beachum at LT, and frankly, also Marcus Gilbert at RT.

Heath Miller is a man.



4) Easy Sweezy

Four for four on the day, including one from 46 and another from 48.

10 for 10 on the year.

Literally just under half of the Steelers points this season have come off of this dude's toe.



5a) Cowher vs. Simms

Cahr got after Phil Simms in the booth yesterday, and it was about damn time someone did.

"Well, Jeem, Antonio Brown is a wide receiver, so it's his responsibility to catch the ball."

Just a fictitious example of the type of value Phill Simms adds to NFL broadcasts week in and week out.

My favorite parts were when Simms told everyone that Cowher can't tie his own tie, and when Simms thought Cowher was complimenting him on his svelte physique  - "You said, ‘Phil, you’re a lot trimmer than Boomer Esiason" - but what I really think Cowher was doing was telling him Boomer Esiason could kick his ass.

5b) RIP Stephen Hill's Ribcage.

The only kind of tattoo'd you can get without ink and a needle, WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

5c) This kid.

Hey baby, what are you doin' after the game?

My dad said we could stop at Dairy Queen on the way home.

Things That Were NOT Awesome:

1) Antonio Cromartie.

Probably should've sat this one out, buddy.

Shit's rough nowadays.

2) Brown, Down!

[UPDATE: 10/15, 10:45AM - Well, that escalated quickly...Levi Brown to IR. Someone get the "Welcome Back" banner ready for Max Starks...]

I would not have given two shits about this if it wasn't for the fact that not only did Mike Adams get demoted, he got deactivated, leaving Kelvin Beachum, Levi Brown, and Guy Whimper as the only real Tackle options on the active gameday roster (assuming they wouldn't have moved Marcus Gilbert over to LT).

So, with Brown out, if Beachum was a monumental disaster and/or got hurt, we'd be left with Guy Whimper, who - judging by the fact that we've had lineman dropping like flies and underperforming all over the place this year, yet he hasn't seen one down of in-game action - has to be 100 miles south of terrible.

3) Manny Sanders almost losing a fumble.

Hold on, I just need a minute.

4) Snack Break.

How you guys doing over there?

You ok?

You want a cookie?

Alright, let's dive back in.

5) The NFL.

Dude, seriously.

If you didn't watch the "League of Denial" episode of Frontline last week, do yourself a favor.

I still can't believe Mike Webster had to tase himself to sleep.

Holy shit.

Things That Made You Want to Drunk Dial Tomlin:

1) Dat Drop.

There will never not be a time when dropping a pass you should've caught in the end zone won't be rage inducing.

But, you gotta let Antonio Brown slide here.

As I said above, dude is basically 3/4 of the Steelers offense, so he's bound to make mistakes once in a while.

At least he doesn't get bored in the middle of a game.

By the way, I Google'd "Mike Wallace focus" to try and find that reference and Google came back with this...



2) The Run.

Ha, not even sure what this "run" thing is that I'm talking about.

73 yards total, shared among four people, Ben having charitably donated 11 out of his own pocket.

Le'Veon Bell - An Isaac Redman-esque 16 carries for 34 yards.

I'd like to say that some of this is because of the O-line.

But run blocking isn't pass blocking, so you have to think they'd enjoy the opportunity to go on the offensive.

A 2.8 yards per carry average might give you a win against the Jets, but it ain't gonna cut it against anybody roughly good at the football.

3) Unlimited Screen Passes.

2/3 of the first series.

I mean, at least Todd Haley is committed to something, I guess.

I'm just happy we saw zero 3rd and long draws and/or end arounds. 

Yeah, yeah, everyone's an offensive coordinator on the internet.

4) Sacks on Sacks on Sacks on Sacks...


Kinda half kidding.

Not really, though.

Protection definitely seemed to get better as the game wore on, but let's get real, this is going to be part of the "Things That Made You Want to Drunk Dial Tomlin" or whatever I'm calling it pretty much every week for the foreseeable future.

Four sacks and eight official hits on Ben on Sunday.

The shot he took from Wilkerson (I think it was) when he threw the pass to Antonio Brown on the drop-heard-round-the-world play was total garbage.

Get your head out of your ass, ref.

You have one job.

5) Brett Keisel Down

There are very few things you can definitively say about the 2013 Steelers, but I'm pretty positive one of them would be that missing the best defensive lineman on the team/team captain for any extended period of time would suck ass.


Get well soon, buddy.

So, in conclusion, I guess all it takes is losing to Matt Cassel in a foreign country, adding what is widely regarded as a useless LT who will get injured in warmups during his first official game anyhow, re-signing guys they already cut weeks ago, "demoting" several veterans to reduced playing time, and removing all recreational games from the locker room.

No sweat.

Baltimore coming in less than a week, fresh off a loss.

Do you think these guys want to lose to the Ravens at home?



Have a fantastic week, you guys.

It's been a stone groove.

Until the preview...


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