Welcome to Tuesday's Monday Morning Chrysler New Yorker. I'll give you a few seconds to figure that out while I dive right into this one.
Lookin' at just the beginning of the game, it looked like a 40-point blowout in the making. Though a few turnovers, some shoddy pass D and a little help from the refs late resulted in a mere 6-point win. The Bengals had a chance late with less than a minute in the game, but James Harrison put the team on his back (dawg) and blew up a surefire Bengals 1st down on 4th and 5 from the 12-ish or whatever. I'll give credit to the Bengals, they coulda gave up off the bat after facing an early 10-0 deficit, but they found a way to make it interesting.
Ben: It was a mostly forgettable game from the QB. 17 for 27, 163 yards, a TD and an INT. Pretty bland if you ask me. He made some really nice throws on the first 2 drives. Like...really nice. But his touch faded as the game wore on. I don't know if the ball slipped or Ben just didn't put enough zip on it during the pick. He underthrew Mike Wallace several times. I know I'm not supposed to get picky about that since Mike is all fast and stuff. But Ben gets the ball out on those bombs to Mike a hair earlier and they hit him in stride for TDs 9 out of 10 times. 3 of 5 motorcycle helmets. Any QB will throw an INT in a game, so I'm over it.
Mendenhall: Kinda wish he got 1 more yard, cos then he'd get more of the attention he deserves for this win. Arians tried to stress the fans out by running it up the gut on 1st down after all our O-Linemen got hurt. Mendy still found a way to change directions, follow a block or 2 and pick up yards in chunks when the team needed them. So he finished with 99 and not 100. He still had a TD and a nice 22-yard dash. 4.5 of 5 helmets. He really makes a difference when he starts to produce.
D: Whether you wanna say a lot of their late-game "letdown" was due to the refs or their own weak play, the fact is they still let in 21 points and let the Bengals drive when they needed to. I think last week I noted lapses in the pass defense. And while the run D was its usually strong self, they still let Terrell Owens catch all sorts of passes. They're content in taking away the run game to make teams beat them through the air. From time to time, teams are gonna beat the Steelers that very way. Hell, the Bengals almost did. 3 of 5 helmets. Wanna take a sec and applaud James Farrior. 11 tackles, 10 solo (per espn) and a sack. Just an incredible game.
Jason Worilds: 4 of 5 motorcycle helmets. One for each special teams tackle and another for the fumble recovery. He's gonna be a monster.
Cheap Trick: Another shaky game for the Dream Police. I played it before the opening kickoff and there were like immediately 10 points on the board. Then I played it while the Bengals were driving early in the second half, and they ended up missing a second FG of the game. I forgot to play it on the drive that Ben got picked off, and any points there woulda salted the game. That's my fault. Played it again prior to the last Steelers drive, and Mendenhall workhorse'd it into FG range, only to have Jeff Reed blow it. Overall, there was more positive than negative, and the song still resulted in a win. 4-1 on the season. 3 of 5 helmets for the game.
Jeff Reed: Nice 53-yarder, man, missing a 45-yarder to practically seal the win pretty much sums up your season to this point. 2 of 3 motorcycle helmets.
Patriots come to town for Sunday Night Football next week. The last time the Browns embarrassed an "elite" team, the Saints came back to beat the Steelers the next week. Remember that the Patriots looked foolish against Cleveland this week. Steelers better do work.
(thanks to Doug for the banner pic)