James Harrison and his defensive teammates just were unreal today. Four sacks, a pick, a fumble recovery and two defensive touchdowns highlighted an amazing day for the Redzone defense. I have no idea where to start. I am so amped up from the game I can't even think straight. What a game and what a win going into the bye week. God have mercy on Denver playing this defense after a bye week.
On the stat sheet the Steelers were pretty well outplayed as they were out gained 386-259 in total yards but they were bend but don't break on the defensive end. They did break, but it was the hopes and backs of the Vikings fans and players as they scampered the other way in a convoy of Black and Gold for the win.
Oh, and Twitter might be the best thing ever.
What a pretty basic quarter. If you wanted to see what "feeling a team out" is all about then you need to go rewatch this quarter.
That is exactly what the first quarter was all about. Four combined first downs, and 53 total yards. For the first time this year AP was held to negative yardage in the first quarter. The Steelers made it very clear early that AP was not going to beat them and it would have to be Brett Farve. Good choice.
Minnesota ran a total of 12 plays in the first quarter and the Steelers had only 15. On the Steelers third drive they were aided by a 19 yard punt by Minnesota punter Chris Kluwe that set up the Steelers at the Vikings 39 yard line. The Steelers were able to pick up two first downs to set them up with a third down and four from the Minnesota seven yard line and Ben found Santonio Holmes for a touchdown. But wait, it gets called back for offensive pass interference on Heath Miller.
It was a very weak call if you ask me. It was on the other side of the field and he ran a small pick play. Even my Vikings fan roommate said it was a bad call. Whatev. Field goal and a 3-0 first quarter lead.
The second quarter saw both teams swap a touchdown although the Vikings offense really came to life and the Steelers were dead until the last minute of the half.
After the teams exchanged punts the Vikings got started on the their own 24 yard line and went 76 yards in 13 plays and was capped off by an AP two yard touchdown run on third and goal from the two yard line.
The rest of the half was pretty blah as the Steelers got the ball back at their own nine yard line with 1:39 left in the half and trailing 7-3. All the Steelers did was go 91 yards in eight plays in 1:15 to retake the lead with a Mike Wallace touchdown.
Ben Roethlisberger pretty much had his way with the Minnesota secondary in that last drive as they were playing a very deep cover two with their dime backs in. Ben just worked the soft spot in the middle of the field and found Mike Wallace for 22 yards and then for 40 yards and the touchdown. Not a bad drive.
The Steelers opened up the third quarter in almost the exact same fashion as their opening drive of the game. Rashard Mendenhall with a carry of 16 yards to start and ending the drive with a field goal. Kind of weird.
The really bad part of this drive came when they got to the Minnesota 8 and first and goal. They come out throwing on first down, no biggie. On second down Ben is in the gun and gets up as if he is going to throw a WR screen but never throws it. He then tucks it and runs it up the middle for a yard loss. WTF? I have no idea why there was no secondary route, why the play was not ran right or what it was even supposed to be.
I guess Hines and Mike Wallace were talking after the play to see who was wrong, but someone was and it probably cost the Steelers a touchdown. They got three.
Minnesota comes back and goes 64 yards in 13 plays and gets a field goal of their own. What a win for the Steelers Defense. Minnesota gets first and goal at the Pittsburgh one. They run AP up the middle, nothing.
There was a penalty for Casey Hampton being lined up offsides, replay down. AP up the middle, nothing. Brett Farve then goes two passing plays and throws them both incomplete and then the Vikings go for the FG and knock it down.
Why not go for it? Moreover, why not give it to the best running back in the league three or four straight times? I mean does Brad Childress have Farve on his fantasy team? I guess he does. Fail for the Vikings. Four plays inside the one and you get only a FG.
If there is a better word for the fourth quarter than epic then I have no idea what it is. What an amazing quarter. You want to know what a great defense looks like? Check this quarter out again.
The Steelers, however, get a great play by Tone to start the quarter for 45 yards and get it to the Minnesota nine. This could start to put the game away. Could be up by 10, get that two score lead. What happens? Mendenhall tries to go over the top, at the five yard line nonetheless and fumbles. Shit.
Brett Farve does what he does in the first drive for Minnesota. He takes the Vikings from their own three yard line and drives them to the Pittsburgh eight. The huge play on the drive was a 3rd and 18 that the Vikings convert when they are at their own 29 yard line. Bretty finds Sidney Rice down the sideline for a pretty unreal catch. It was initially called incomplete but Childress challenged and actually won it. Crazy.
I am thinking, wtf, Fox is all over Brett's balls like no other and I am going to have to hear about it on ESPN later. Then it happens. Brett Farve goes back to pass. Pulls his arm back to throw, and Brett Keisel makes an unreal play, forces the fumble, Lamarr Woodley picks it up and goes 77 yards, to the house, for the touchdown.
This is what twitter looked like:
What do you expect to happen next? Yea, a special teams touchdown by the Vikings. Jeff Reed gave his best effort to not tackle Percy Harvin. He went 88 yards to put the game in the same position.
The Steelers get the ball back, go five and out with 3:21 remaining giving Farve a lot of time to come back and either tie or win the game. I am not going to lie, I was nervous.
I then got a text from my buddy at the game, all it said was "Renegade again"
All I said was "Uh oh. Game. Over." I then told the TV we needed a pick and this is what goes down:
Brett Farve tries to throw a screen pass to Chester Taylor and it goes through his hands and into Fox's hands and he goes 82 yards to the house for the second defensive touchdown of the day. Heinz Field was on fire.
That was it. I was going nuts. What an effort. The Vikings get the ball back and Brad Childress takes a time out with four seconds to go and down by 10. Is there a 10 point play that you can have? I have no idea wtf he is thinking. What happens in the last four seconds? James Harrison sack. Nothing like getting your 40 year old QB hit again by James Harrison. Joke.
Not a great game for Ben, but he did what he had to do. Got the huge TD at the end of the half to put the Steelers up at the half. He only went 14/26 for 175 yards and a touch. Whatev, he is the man. The defense picked him up, hes picked up the defense before. Love it.
The defense gave up a ton of yards but they buckled down when they needed to, AND they scored two defensive touchdowns. James Harrison is a beast. I even saw something today that I thought I would never see: A penalty called on an offensive player for holding James Harrison. Holy shit, I might die happy. I thought it could never happen.
Rashard Mendenhall had 69 yards on only 10 carries. He did a really nice job of getting to the outside on this defense and having success. He was having a lot of success on the left side of the Vikings defense. He better get this fumble shit figured out. This is happeneing too often and he holds that ball like a loaf of bread. He needs to fix that up now or he will be seeing the bench more.
Mike Wallace is money in the bank. He just keeps making plays. Limas might want to take a look and see how it is done. A startling stat was that Hines only was able to get one catch for three yards and Tone only had two catches for 59 yards. Light day for the WR. Heath had six catches for 38 yards. Sure thing there.
The Steelers did a pretty nice job on AP. 18 carries, 69 yards and a touchdown. They locked him down except for a run or two but a nice job by the run defense. He also had 60 yards receiving so it was a pretty nice all around day for AP. He also ran over Will Gay on the last drive and made Will his bitch. I can admit that. What a player.
What did I talk about yesterday? Get a few turnover and we will win. What happens? Pick, fumble recovery, win. Sometimes I actually do know what I am talking about.
The last thing I have is something that really bothered me. WTF is up with Fox. This was the wrost broadcasts I have seen since I started watching football. That says a lot. The broadcasters today were all over Brett Farve like he was the founder of the free world. Yea, he is good, but you are supposed to be unbiased. I am supposed to be the biased one. Slobering all over Brett as he gave a half assed effort to tackle both Woodley and Fox were pathedic but you would have thought he ran a 4.1 40 for 75 yards and just missed tackling them. What a joke.
Also can you figure out among everyone when you are going to commercial? On more than one occasion Fox cut off a commercial to join the game when the play was being ran. I am pretty sure that should not happen. What a half assed effort by Fox. Actually makes me glad we play in the AFC and get to watch it on CBS most games. I hope I never have to see that stupid ass robot for the rest of the season.
I must give props to the Vikings. I was very skeptical of them coming in and they proved to me that they are a pretty good team. Glad we don't have to see them again till the Super Bowl if it gets to that. They have the best running back in the league and a pretty decent defense. They played really well today and I can admit when we face a good team and that was a good team.
That being said, the Steelers won. Bring on Denver.