Thanksgiving indigestion is nothing new, I just prefer it to be from too much pie instead of from a bunch of turkeys. Unfortunately, in a game of such significance, several Steelers came up way short of “the standard”, as Mike Tomlin likes to call it, and it cost them dearly. Now, any thoughts of a division title is off the table and the wildcard spot, which was potentially firmly in their grasp with a win, will require a tremendous uphill sprint to the finish line.
Something to Cheer
- Worilds should unquestionably start on the left side, regardless of Woodley’s return. He had a few more important sacks and pressures.
- Hats off to Le’Veon Bell, just wait another half yard! The strange situation created by his helmet coming off as he fell in for a touchdown while probably getting concussed certainly would have seemed especially tragic if they hadn’t scored a few plays later. Though that helmet rule stopped him from getting the touchdown, it didn’t stop him from having some a big run and some big catches. I think this kid is gonna do alright.
- Great hustle by Cortez Allen to save a touchdown on the Raven kickoff return after the Steelers first score. It ended up saving them 4 points.
- The offensive line was amazing again in it’s pass protection. They have really stepped up, thanks in great part to Beachum. That is what made that final drive so painful to watch, as Beachum and Velasco went down to injuries. If they can’t return soon, we may go back to watching Ben being scraped off the turf again.
Turkeys to Jeer
- Like eggs in your mama’s favorite recipe, Ike Taylor keeps getting beaten repeatedly. He had a touchdown saving defense late which was admirable, but you got the idea that if it wasn’t for his play, the halftime score would have been 0-0 and not 0-10.
- I love Troy but his risks seem to be resulting in big gains by the other team way too often.
- Suisham has been a great kicker, but his botched early field goal attempt was hard to comprehend and ultimately, the difference in a 2 point game.
- Antonio Brown picked a bad game for an off week. Silent night is better on Christmas, not Thanksgiving.
- Emmanuel Sanders officially ended his career as a Steeler today. Yep, we’ll have to put up with him for another month, but his drops have far outweighed his bright spots. They are always in such critical situations, which makes it even easier to be so critical! That 2 point conversion pass to tie it has to be caught!
- On the other hand, boo to the play call that would possibly put their playoff chances in the hands of Sanders rather than a call to Brown, Miller, Dwyer or Cotchery on that final 2 point conversion attempt.
- The onside kick attempt was just plain silly. If it wasn’t for Suisham’s season, I can’t think of a good reason to keep our new special teams coach. Our return game is horrendous, we gave up a horrid run back right after getting back in the game, our punters are laughable and now this. Suisham ran around the ball so much, I’m surprised he didn’t collapse from dizziness before getting the kick off.
- Last, but not least, Tomlin’s interference on the big Raven kickoff return. I went back and forth about whether to cheer it or jeer it, since, with the Ravens, nearly anything is acceptable to get a win! But, in the end, I can’t accept that. It is one thing to see Cowher’s famous motion towards the Jaguar running down the sideline years ago, where the old player in him wanted to just slam the guy. But, he realized that he was a coach and if his players weren’t good enough to win the game on the field, his job was to do something about it in the classroom. I’m interested to hear what Mike was doing-watching the jumbotron and not aware or purposefully positioning himself. It sure didn’t look good. Classless, maybe. Something much more befitting of the Baltimore team, not the Steelers.
So what happened today? Well, this team needs what it has gotten so much of the last few weeks- big game performances from its’ top offensive guy not named Big Ben (that would be Brown) and turnovers. Today they got neither, and thus, didn’t get a win either. I think that the Steelers could afford a loss tonight a little more than the Ravens but not by much. They now have a tremendous challenge ahead of them that almost certainly demands winning out against the Dolphins, Packers, Bengals and Browns. 3 out of the 4 look doable. Cincy looms large. And, of course, they will need help. We’ll see how it plays out. For now, aren’t you glad we have all of those pumpkin pie leftovers to help console us during the rest of our holiday weekend?