The Dolphins are annoying. They wear stupid colors and have weird players like Chad Henne. And yesterday, they had no real business hanging around with the Steelers, yet were in a position to win with only a few minutes left.
When the offense started rolling in the second quarter it looked like the game was gonna be a blowout. It's a little concerning when you gotta eke out a 1-point win. There were a bevy of reasons why it was so close when it really shouldn't have been. Ben miscues, Bruce Arians, injuries, penalties...all in all it was a sloppy effort. When Ben was hitting Hines and Mike Wallace for easy passing touchdowns, I thought it was gonna be a 20-point win. Luckily the team got as many points as they could during that offensive burst, cos the ability to move the ball was seriously halted in the second half of the game.
Big Ben: This game was classic Big Ben, and goes perfectly with the MMCNY name. He proves how important he is to the offense, yet also shows the knack for putting his team in too-close-for-comfort position with fumble after fumble. You take the good with the bad with Big Ben, and those 302 yards passing, 2 TDs and 3 fumbles look much better with a W backing them up. 3 of 5 motorcycle helmets. He's nearly in midseason form after only 8 quarters of action, but those fumbles, man.
Hines: Just an incredible game. He was making catches that honestly, Hines shouldn't be making. 7 catches for 131 yards and a score. During a game like this when rushing yards just aren't coming, Hines knew he had to make an impact. I keep expecting this guy to slow down or something, but he won't. 4.5 of 5 helmets. Hines is gonna be in Canton one day for games just like this. He doesn't die.
Defense: The injuries are comin'. Woodley has a hammy, Aaron Smith is gone for the year. Ziggy Hood, Nick Eason and Chris Hoke are getting more time than ever. When Smith went down, so did the overall performance of the D, which is troublesome considering what happened when Smith went down last season. But the team is getting these backups quality time, which is desperately needed right now. Jason Worilds is a beast in the making, and Ziggy Hood was drafted high for a reason. 3 of 5 motorcycle helmets yesterday. A standard has been set, and injuries can't be an excuse for performance letdown.
Cheap Trick: I gotta be honest, I slept in longer than I usually ever do on Sundays, and missed the first few minutes of the game. I turn on the game and the Steelers are already down 6-0 after 2 fumbles. One of the first things I did was turn on Dream Police as per my superstition of late and the Steelers march downfield for a field goal. Then I play it again on our next possession and Hines battles his way for a crazy touchdown. I only played it one more time, at the start of a 3rd quarter drive that ended in 3 more Jeff Reed points. This song is now 3-0 on the season when I remember to play it during games. Cheap Trick rules. 5 of 5 motorcycle helmets.
Steelers play in New Orleans next week on Sunday Night Football. I hope Drew Brees throws more interceptions like he did yesterday.
(thanks to Doug for the banner pic)