I'm gonna get straight to the point with this Steelers recap since it's the 2nd late-night recap in less than a week and the Steelers lost and I feel another short recap coming on. Byron Leftwich didn't lose this game and actually played quite well.
Oh and Mendenhall didn't lose the game by not going out of bounds on the final drive, either. Rethink the whole scenario leading to that point of needing precious seconds in a game where only 14 points wins.
Ben: Byron outplayed Joe Flacco in every category save the 1 interception, his only real mistake and it didn't result in any Baltimore points. Remember, Joe Flacco was outplayed by the 3-years-removed-from-tampa-experiment Byron Leftwich. And even Byron's pick can be whitewashed with the best TD run the planet has ever seen. I think fans have made too much of Byron needing to take himself out of the game for some notion of his pains dooming the team or that he was ineffective. Ravens games are always like this, Ben, Chuck, Byron, Dennis Dixon under center. A punt return and a fumble took the Steelers out, not Byron. 3.5 of 5 motorcycle helmets.
RBs: Mixed bag. Dwyer pumped out 55 yards on a few nice runs. But that was most of the damage. Mendenhall was serviceable in his first game back from missing a handful, but nothing electric like he was during his knee comeback earlier in the season. The Steelers were committed to letting Byron huck the ball downfield for much of the game, it would've been nice to see where else the run game could've taken things. Love to Byron in this spot with his 31 yard TD scamper, 20 yards longer than the longest run by any RB in the game for both sides. 3 of 5 helmets.
Defense: Absolutely fantastic game. 13 points allowed, 7 on special teams and 3 after a brutal fumble on the wrong side of the field. Defense played incredible, allowing only 2 FGs, with the DBs finally starting to gel. Keenan Lewis has outperformed himself every week for the past 5-6 games. Woodley showing he can still generated disruptive late-game pressure. Kinda bummed that Brett Keisel had his 2nd boneheaded late-game mental mistake of the season. D got the job done, typical for a November meeting between these 2 teams. 4 of 5 motorcycle helmets.
Just 3 ratings this week, I want to go to bed. Browns next week. I hope the Steelers throttle them.
(thanks to Doug for the banner pic)