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Random thoughts and observations from the AFC Championship Game

1. The Jets' clock management really, really blows. We didn't have to do too much to run out the clock at the end because they'd already done most of it for us! When they kept running inside and not really hurrying too much to get the next play off. When they passed but couldn't get out of bounds... I think it showed a lack of quality play calling on the Jets behalf and some inexperience on Sanchez.

2. Arians second half play callnig wasn't much better. We ran all over the Jets in the first half so what do we do in the second half when we're 2 scores up? Cute passes and draw plays? Come on. We can do better. We did better. Keep doing what they can't stop until they stop it.

3. Ziggy Hood is the next great Steelers Defensive End. We've filled in for Aaron Smith before but Hood is more than just the fill in play we got from solid pros like Kirschke and Eason. Hood is the second coming of Smith. And he's going to get even better.

4. Steelers best signing of the year may very well be Sean Kugler. What our OL has done has been no more than adequate over the season. But getting an adequate line out of the cast offs and backups he's had to this year shows what a smart hire he was. OK Legurksy fluffed a snap or two but I thought he filled in admirably for Pouncey, just like Foster has all season, just like Flozell and even Jonathan Scott has done at times.

5. I think Big Ben may be playing with an injury that's affecting his throws. His accuracy and deep ball were way off today. Maybe it was the cold but he should've had 3 TDs. To Heath early on, he threw too far ahead of him but Heath nearly came up with the great catch (I've seen more obvious no catches allowed recently). He badly underthrew Wallace and Revis really should have intercepted. Finally his second INT, he had a man WIIIIIDE open and threw such a poor pass Brodney Poole easily intercepted it. His stat line looked awful today but if he was throwing right it would have been 280 yards 3TD 1 INT. I hope nothing's wrong and it was just the conditions. But he didn't look right to me. Maybe the hip/thigh injury affected his throwing motion?

6. The media will point out what great stats Sanchez had but I think he was only so so. He played well in the second half. But let's look at it closer. The vast majority of his yards were against a prevent giving him easy completions over the middle of the field. His TDs came on blown coverages. Nice that he spotted it but those are rare occurrences against good defenses. My opinion: Sanchez is not quite ready to put his team on his back and carry them. But he showed some signs today.

7. Mendy looks like he had Peter King's Article pinned to his locker all week. I still think King is right, Mendy is not (yet) a big time back in the NFL. But todays performance was a big step in the right direction. We should have used him and Redman more in the second half. I still crap myself every time I see that ball swinging low and wide in one arm though. High and tight Mendy, High and tight.

8. We miss Santonio Holmes. I know we have Wallace and two promising rookies but a couple of drives in the second half Ben couldn't find anyone open. He scrambled a few times, took a couple of sacks... you have to think Stonio would've got us a few key first downs in that 3rd quarter. We've got 2 good rookies to replace him. But they're still rookies.

9. Mangold had his hands full today. At one point I thought Casey was going to pick him up and use him to knock Sanchez over with.

10. Ike Taylor had a bit of a shocker. Largely responsible for most of the Jets' bigger plays today I think. Including the 2 TD throws. Got beat and slipped over on the first and ran into his own man on the second. Result: wide open Jets receivers. Anotheer bad play by him on a first down pass to Stonio. I have no idea what he was doing on that play.

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