Monday, November 29, 2010

Win Is A Win. Steelers 19, Buffalo 16 (OT)

Oh man, great find/grab by Cotter from One for the Other Thumb. This YouTube could be the entire game recap. No lie.

It isn’t always easy, but who said it was going to be easy? These are all NFL teams people and if you aren’t happy with a win then go root for the Bengals. They lose plenty of games where you can bitch and complain about.

I could go on, but Cotter put together a money paragraph in his post game:

If football games always went perfectly, what would be the point of watching? Life isn't perfect, so why should a football game or season be? Let's not forget, it's hard to win eight games in today's NFL (in the AFC, at least), period (just ask the Buffalo Bills). The Steelers have already done that, and they still have five games left. Every throw isn't going to connect. Every run isn't going to break for 45 yards. And sometimes injuries, penalties and dropped passes happen. But like I said last week, it's the ability to play through those things and overcome them that separates the winners from the losers.

Preach it brother. Good football teams win games like this and bad/mediocre football teams don’t win games like this (for example the 2009 Steelers).

Whatever. I am stoked. It’s a win.

Lets get into the bulk of the recap:

Jump it.

The Steelers jumped out and just did work in the first half. If you were a Bills fan, and you blinked during the first quarter then you missed your team playing anything that resembled offense. Just exactly what the Steelers wanted to do.

The Steelers used 13 plays to cover 78 yards in almost eight minutes (7:54) to move the ball and end the game with a Rashard Mendenhall touchdown run.

Unreal series from the Black and Gold and it was rewarded by the Steelers faithful who I would venture to guess filled up over half of the stadium. Not even kidding.

The Bills came out and made it known that there was on thing they are not going to do today, and that was not run the football. The Bills ran four plays in that first series and threw every single play, from the shotgun. Going into the game you figured they might not run as much as they would against another team, but they looked like they gave up before they even started.

The Steelers got the ball back a minute later, literally, and put on another great drive. 14 plays, 51 yards in 6:12 and finished that off with a field goal. The only reason this might not have been for seven was that the Steelers took a few penalties to push them to a pretty big third and long.

Shaun Suisham from 45 yards out for his first field goal as a Pittsburgh Steeler. I think he might have been elected for office if there was a chance to write him in at the time.

The Suisham kick came in the second quarter, but to sum up the Steelers dominance in the first quarter they held the ball for 14:06 (which included a few seconds into the second quarter). They were a perfect 6-of-6 on third down conversions where Ben was 4-of-4 passing on third down. Unreal.

Buffalo comes back and goes three and out but the Steelers start to get sloppy and Ben gets dropped a few times and really didn’t give the offense a chance to push the envelope and try to put this game away early.

After jobbing around for a few drives the Steelers took the ball with 1:42 left in the second quarter and went on an 8 play, 54 yard drive that resulted in a 46 yard Suisham field goal to push the lead to 13-0 at the half.

Things couldn’t have been much better for the Steelers in the first half. I mean look at those numbers. You can’t dominate a game more than the Steelers dominated the Bills there. It was like the Bills missed the invitation for the game and really weren’t even in the same league as the Steelers.

The second half the Bills decided to come out and show they weren’t going to go down fighting. I talked about it in the pregame that the Bills are very good at staying in games and coming back. Look at what they did to teams like the Pats, Ravens and Bengals and you just had that feeling they were going to make a move. They did.

The first drive out of halftime the Bills went 11 plays for 58 yards before Lee Evans fumbled the football away when James Harrison hit him. Pretty nice play by Harrison as he was in coverage and Evans was behind him and when Evans caught the ball Harrison went straight for him, hit him in the back and forced the ball loose. Big time play to kill a pretty nice drive.

The Bills held the ball for 6:31 on that drive, longer than they had it the entire first half.

The Steelers took the ball and went 6 plays, 46 yards but they could do nothing with it and punted it away. That is when things got interesting. Well, it actually got interesting before the punt as Ben dropped in a deep shotgun and punted a touchback. No idea.

So the Bills get the ball back and Fitzpatrick threw an incomplete pass (as it did pretty often on the day) and it was a pedestrian 2-and-10. Fitzpatrick goes back to pass and throws and incomplete pass, but there is a flag. Roughing the passer on James Harrison.

Are you kidding me? Put flags on the quarterback or don’t let the Steelers rush the quarterback. Terrible call.

Rather than third down it was first and a few plays later Fitzpatrick throws a check down pass to Fred Jackson on third and ten and he goes 65 yards to the house. Not special on the play, Jackson just found the seam and went. No idea. Doesn’t happen to often to this defense. Dick LeBeau was none too impressed.

The Steelers go three and out and you knew it was going to get bad. The Black and Gold only ran nine plays in the third quarter. Total role reversal.

Bills get a solid three after the three and out then Rashard fumbles. Last season I might have said this isn’t anything new, but he has done a pretty nice job of taking care of the football. This one couldn’t have come at a worse time. Bill tie the game on the short field.

The Steelers answer right back. 9 plays, 50 yards, Suisham 48 yard field goal to give the Steelers the lead. Wow.

The ensuing kickoff was brought back 26 yards to about the Bills 40 yard line. Tack on an undisciplined 15 yard penalty and you give the Bills great starting field position. Buffalo is caught with a Fourth and two from the Steelers 36 and they convert for 10 yards. Will Gay was on the coverage and 95% of Pittsburgh wanted him dead.

What does Will Gay do to atone? He forces a fumble on the next play that luckily bounces into a Bills player’s stomach and then forces a tip drill interception two plays later. Stevie Johnson runs a slant and Will Gay was there to break up the pass and Troy made a hell of a play to dive on the dirt and get a pick.

HUGE play to keep the Bills off the board and preserve the lead.

Steelers can’t run out the clock. Bills get the ball back with 46 seconds left and completes two passes to set up a 49 yard field goal to force overtime.

Overtime was just a bunch of shit going on. Steelers get a couple of stops and the Bills job around a little bit.

On the Bills second possession Fitzpatrick goes deep for Stevie Johnson. Johnson beats Ike Taylor and Ryan Clark and is WIDE open the endzone.

Drops the easiest catch of the day for anyone.

The Steelers force a punt. They go 13 plays and 63 yards capped off by some fine running by Rashard Mendenhall and Ike Redman. Both combined for nine carries for 41 yards and set up Suisham from 41.


Ball Game.

My Thoughts:

I think we need to remind everyone of something:

Ok, that was in case any of yinz jagoffs forgot. (How does spell check not know that yinz and jagoff are words?)

-Rashard Mendenhall was just in beast mode the entire game. People want to talk about getting away from the run and talk about how bad BA is, take a look at the what Mendy did. 36, yes you read that right, 36 carries for 151 yards and a touchdown. Unreal game by Rashard. Granted he was playing a bad Buffalo rush defense but he was very patient and was will to take the extra second so that the seam could open and he could bust through the line. I hope he keeps this up, we are going to need him on Sunday against the Ravens.

-If there was anyone that might have been just as good, or better on the offensive end of the football field it was Ben Roethlisberger. Sure, his numbers were pretty pedestrian (20-of-33 for 236 yards) but he got the job done when he was given time and was cool and calm in overtime and got the Steelers the win. What might have been most impressive about Ben’s day was this run:

-That was a huge third down play and they had to go 18 yards. The Steelers were inside their own 30 yard line with a tie ball game. What a gutty f’in play. Ben also had a sprained foot, numerous prior concussions and he puts his shoulder down and moves the chains. You wanna know how you win your teammates over? Not by talking to them in the locker room, it’s making plays like that. Just check out the players on the bench who jump up after he reaches the first down. That is why Ben is a top three quarterback in the NFL. What a gamer.

-The offensive line was so up and down it is unbelievable. The running game was really good and it wasn’t just all on the shoulders of Mendy. On multiple plays there were holes so big that you could literally drive a car through it. No lie. What was worse? The pass protection. There were six holding calls (although some of those were on running plays) and numerous times that Ben was running for his life and just trying to get out of the way. Granted things aren’t as great as we are basically rotating third team lineman in the lineup on pretty much a game-by-game basis, but whatev. The way I look at it is that if the penalties are the biggest problem I don’t much worry about it. Penalties are a very, very, correctible problem and I am sure this will be better against the Ravens.

-Hines Ward just keeps ticking. Caught seven passes for 107 yards. I guess he is probably just too old to play football.
-Some people wondered where Troy was for much of the season. He has been kinda quiet throughout the year but he came up in a big way against the Bills. In the second half he basically took it upon himself to win the game for the Steelers. I know most of you are thinking I am talking about the interception, but he was all over the place all night. The pick was a thing of beauty but the subsequent plays he separated the ball from the receiver with huge hits. One of his best games of the season.

-Injuries suck. Ben is hurt with a bad wheel, BMac is down with a bad hammy, Nick Eason hurt his knee. What the hell man? Can we have one game where we don’t lose someone? I know it is a tough game but damn man.

-There were two players on Sunday that played really, really, solid games and got no love afterwards. Ike Taylor and Will Gay. Taylor might be the most underrated player in the AFC right now. He takes on top notch receivers every single week and gets the job done. Sure he got beat by Stevie Johnson on what should have been a touchdown pass to end the game but Ike was lock down again. The only time most Steelers fans talk about him is when he gets beat. I am going to say this every single week: Ike Taylor needs to be a top two priority this offseason.

-Will Gay was very good yesterday. If you just go on players performances by reading Twitter you would think that he got beat for six touchdowns yesterday. Not only was Gay the main man responsible for creating the Troy interceptions but he also forced a fumble on a Fred Jackson that somehow the Steelers didn’t recover. All this while playing left corner after BMac went out of the game with a bummed hammy. Hate all you want on him, but he played a really good, consistent game against the Bills.

-Daniel Sepulveda needs not to be overlooked. With the ball on the Steelers one yard line in overtime Sepulveda launched a 55 yard punt and on that long punt a subsequent fumble that really backed up the Bills and gave the Steelers another chance to get the ball back. After they got that ball back they won the game.

-Shaun F’in Suisham ladies and gentlemen. Shaun F’in Suisham. I was pretty skeptical when the Steelers brought it Suisham and let go of Jeff Reed but it has obviously paid off already. Reed wasn’t getting the job done from 40 yards out so he was gone. Suiham hit four field goals between 40-49 yards. That wins ball games and that is what he did yesterday. I still think that the Steelers might bring Jeff Reed back in mid December because he knows how to use that Heinz Field turf, but for now I am really happy with how Shaun did. We will see how he works on Heinz Field but if he can bang a few in Baltimore to help us win I am all for it.

-How unreal was Steelers Nation at Buffalo?

Bet you over half that stadium was Steelers fans. Unreal.

-Like I said the whole recap, a win is a win. Nothing more or less about it. 8-3 going into Baltimore. Enough about the Bills. It is Ravens week. Get your mind right.

What do yinz think? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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