[image via. it's from last week, but i needed a crazy relief laugh after that game]
13-10 Steelers. Pretty incredible win.
I had some serious flashbacks to last Ravens/Steelers game when the Ravens got the ball back with enough time to win it in regulation. But the D stepped up and Flacco hopped a 4th down pass and there was no meltdown to be had on this night. Now yada yada yada 9-3, prime position for a first round playoff bye, control our own destiny nonsense. There's still so much football left in this season and I ain't even thinking about the playoffs at this point.
Let's look at this game a little:
Ben: 22 of 38 for a TD and 1 pick to go with 253 yards. Against a notoriously stout Ravens D, that's more than acceptable. Add in a possibly broken or at least harshly banged up foot and a nose caved in on the first drive and Ben made a pretty big statement in this game. Ben took a while before he looked totally comfortable moving and throwing off that bum foot, but he did well once settled. That pass to Manny down to the 1 or 2 was amazing since Ben was running to his right and throwing off his injured plant foot. I'm outta commission if I get a paper cut. Those things burn. Ben just keeps truckin'. 4 of 5 motorcycle helmets.
Mendy: A hearty congratulations to Mendy for cracking 1,000 yards rushing for the second straight season. He only had 45 yards on 19 carries, partly due to Bruce Arians repeatedly running up the middle or right at an area that Suggs could get to with ease thanks to the latest batch of O Line misfits and key injuries to guys like Flozell and Heath. I think his longest tote was like 8 or 9 yards. Whatever. He had the most rushing yards outta anyone in the game. That's a big accomplishment any time the Ravens and Steelers play. 3 of 5 motorcycle helmets.
Issac Redman: Incredible individual effort on the TD. I thought he was down for sure as soon as he touched it. But there wasn't enough purple in the world to stop him. 5 of 5 helmets.
Defense: Despite giving up 3 insane 3rd down conversions in the 1st half, 2 of which were huge gains, they tightened up and only allowed 7 points. And then there's Troy Polamalu and LaMarr Woodley...teaming up to cause THE turnover and return that sets the Steelers up for the win. There are some huge concerns, and guys like Bryant McFadden really need to immediately forget this game and try to move on. It was nice to have Keisel back...that deflected pass was huge. If we can win a battle of that magnitude his first game back, it'll be awesome to see what happens when he's back to full speed. 4 of 5 helmets. Big time play late.
Cheap Trick: I played the standard Cheap Trick track prior to kickoff, but there were no points to be had in the 1st half. I played it before the FG drive, so the 3 points was a start. Then as soon as the Steelers got the ball thanks to an incredible Polamalu strip sack, the Dream Police immediately came out. Redman was crossing the plane before the song was even over. 5 of 5 motorcycle helmets after a shaky 1st half. 7-2 on the season.
I did this fist pump without even realizing it at first when Flacco tossed that last incompletion. Again, with pants, though.
Home game against the Bengals next week. And it starts again.
(thanks to Doug for the banner pic)