Monday, January 7, 2008

Monday Morning Hangover...

What a weekend folks… what a weekend… no beating around the bush today I am just going to get right down to it…

I’d really like to write a recap of the Steelers game for you, but my tailgate party started at about 3 in the afternoon, and even though we lost, the party didn’t stop until 3 in the morning. Needless to say my memory of details of the game isn’t all that great. Therefore I will just talk about/recap the things I do actually remember and also the things that I’ve heard the most bitching about over the last 24 hours.

The first drive for the Lers started off so promising as we drove the ball down the field and scored a TD to open the game. So far so good, everyone is happy, and everyone is fired up, I couldn’t think of a better way to start the game off. Now it was time to kick off and as everyone who’s seen a Steelers game this season knows, kicking off is crapshoot and this time the Steelers crapped out. Maurice Jones Drew took the kickoff 96 yards to the 1 yard line and the game was quickly tied at 7. Way to go special teams coach (I don’t even know what your name is and I don’t care cuz you will surely be fired within days or weeks) Why wouldn’t you use the same type of high short kick that worked against the Jets? Jagoff...

The rest of the first half was a struggle for the Lers to say the least. The Jags D-line made the Steelers run game almost non-existent as they were just working our offensive line over, constantly pushing them backwards. Due to the fact that Dookie Davenport was struggling to find any room, Big Ben was forced to take the game into his own hands. Ben was forced to throw for most of the half, which ultimately led to 3 costly interceptions. Rashean Mathis picked Ben twice, returning one for over 60 yards and a touchdown. That INT hurt, but the one that proved to hurt the worst was the one Ben threw right before halftime, while the Steelers were in position to kick a FG before the clock hit zero in the half.

The third quarter came and went and the Steelers fell even deeper into the hole starting the 4th quarter down 18 points. At this point a lot of people were probably counting the Steelers out, but Big Ben provided some of his best play of the night while under tremendous pressure. Ben led two touchdown drives within a 5 minute period, throwing TDs to Santonio and Heath, and bringing the Lers to within 5 points of the Jags, after missing a 2 point conversion on the 2nd TD.

Now it was finally starting to get interesting. After being behind for a good majority of the game, the Steelers were back within one TD of taking the lead. The Steelers got some help from Gararrd as he threw his second pick of the night to Ike Taylor, who returned it to the 16-yard line. Shortly afterwards the Steelers scored again on a one yard Dookie TD run. Now the Steelers were up a point and going for 2 to make it a 3-point lead. Arians called a fade play to Hines, which worked, as he snagged the throw with an acrobatic catch in the back of the end zone… but wait what’s this? A yellow hankie on the field, holding on Sean “Turnstyle” Mahan, 10-yard penalty replay the down. Of course the Steelers missed the 2 and were forced to settle for the slim 1-point lead.

After forcing a Jags punt the Steelers held their destiny in their own hands, as all they had to do was run out the clock and the game would be over and we could all party like rockstars. This did not happen. The Steelers faced a 3rd and 6 in their own zone, and instead of calling a pass play to Heath Miller or the sure handed Hines Ward (which woulda ended the game) freakin Arians calls a QB draw…. Yes that’s right a QB draw play, maybe Arians was confused and he saw that #10 was on the field and thought it was Kordell still running the offense. Talk about your all time backfires, we can’t run all day long but Arians calls a run play when we need yards most… it doesn’t make any sense to me either, but I’m pretty sure that coach Wiz woulda had a better play call up his sleeve. (I’m sure he was probably thinking thesame thing as he watched the game from his lazyboy in Arizona)

We all already know what happened next… shitty punt, 3rd and long conversion, 4th down kick in the nuts QB draw run by Gararrd, field goal Scobee, 70 thousand people going home drunk and angry. You can bitch about the holding call on the running play by Gararrd, but whats the point it won’t change anything. I do think its BS you can call a holding on Mahan on the conversion, but you ignore the call against Hampton… such is life though I guess and this year just wasn’t the Steelers year. Good game played by both teams here, and definitely one of the more entertaining games I’ve ever had the pleasure going to see.

Now the question remains, where do we go from here? With an already depleted O-line and Red Beard Faneca almost certainly departing in the offseason, the Steelers will have a lot of challenges to face and questions to answer. Can we really afford to resign Faneca and Big Ben? Can the players stay out of the slammer during the summer time? Will Hines Ward every finally realize that the Locker Room bar in the Southside sucks and cut ties with it? All questions to ponder during this offseason.

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