Pittsburgh vs Jacksonville – Recap
Going into this game, I was personally a little concerned. Not that we could beat the Jaguars but in that we have a tendency to play down to our opponents. After the first half I was like, okay these boys are going to throttle the Jags and maybe come out in the second and score 10-14 more points and probably give up a cheap TD as we will probably pull all the starters shortly in the fourth…bartender another round for the boys please! So much for my predictions…thankfully I went to college versus pursuing a career in fortune telling as I suck. And speaking of S-U-C-K-I-N-G did you see the Steelers 2nd half performance? Let me first point out, that a win is a win and I will always take an ugly win versus a horrible loss any day of the week. This was clearly a tale of two halves, as the Steelers manhandled the Jags in the 1st – only allowing 3 measly points and gave up a total of 73yds. Second half doesn’t look that bad on paper but considering we committed a majority of the 65yds in penalties in the second half, gave up 3 sacks, committed stupid penalties, basically abandoned the play book and resorted back to homerun football, had a total of 45yds of offense, and gave me acid reflux that made a rather “stress free” afternoon into a surprising 10 round underdog fight it wasn’t our best effort for sure. With every week there is some Good, some Not so Good, a Hero, and a Goat so without further delay lets jump in.
The Good –
Welcome back Mendy! Man, I can not tell you how many articles, Steeler Blog’s, websites, etc I read looking for Mendy to be benched for Redman or Dwyer after the Titan’s game. I mean come on brethren, it was one game and isn’t that the expectation from the team and doesn’t Tomlin say the “standard is the standard”. I have also seen fan’s calling Mendy overrated, not starting RB material, and a fumbling machine???? Really? Last year he had 2 fumbles for the entire year, and the one in the SB is more on a blown David Johnson block then Mendy’s abilities. Go ahead and YouTube the video…I’ll wait and after you are done YouTube the Raven’s game fumble you might experience some déjà vu. Anyway, good game Mendy and welcome back. On the defensive side the Beard was on fire! 6 total T-A with 2 sacks and a patent Keisel batted pass that was close to being intercepted. The Beard was a disruptive force and was causing havoc most of the day. On the LB front, Woodley is also starting to kick it into gear with 2 sacks for the game and 4-4 on the T-A chart. All in all, the defensive stats do not look that bad on paper giving up a little over 200yds total for the game and only 13 points.
The Not So Good -
Can you say 2nd half? Holy Hell was that tough to watch. The whole team seemed out of sync, a little lethargic, lack-luster, uninspired, and did not play with a sense of urgency. Penalties started to pile up but none greater then the roughing the punter call at roughly the 9:00 minute mark of the 3rd While I am all for aggressiveness, I have to question why? We were up 17-3, Jags were completely struggling to move the ball against us and there was no need for a block in that situation. That one play completely changed the momentum of the game and gave the cardiac Jags much needed life support that they were close to pulling out. Situational football went out the window as it seemed like we panicked after that scoring drive and abandoned the play book and went to the homerun pass play book. Next thing you know Ben is sacked three times, damn near gave up another fumble, and we only managed to muster a measly 45yds for the entire second half. Another “not so good” is fundamental football in the second half, the tackling or lack there of was more irritating to me then bone head penalties and lack of offensive production. But a win is a win, and they don’t draw pictures on the win-loss column (thankfully).
Keisel: This week’s award goes to my man Keisel. He was a disruptive force yesterday with 2 sacks and his patented pass knock down that the big man has a knack of doing. This one almost resorted in an INT by Hood but let’s face it that is not Hood’s strength. Great job Keisel…make the Beard proud!
Honorable Mention: I could easily go with Mendy and his strong performance but there was one play that irked me and that was after his long run in the 2nd quarter. After that run, to which he was chased down and was a little winded we immediately went back to him on 1st and goal for a gain of -1yd. I don’t know if it was play calling or trying to give Mendy a chance for the TD after that effort but he was clearly winded and spelling him for a fresh Redman or Dwyer might have been the better play. I am all for awarding the player that got you there if he is ready to go but this is also a team game and the better play would have been to bring in some fresh legs in that situation. The end result was we didn’t finish the drive off and had to settle for 3.
You know I could easily go with Mundy here for his roughing the punter penalty that changed the momentum of the game and got me pacing for the rest of the game versus enjoying the free flowing alcohol and heaping pile of hot wings my table of Steelers faithful was enjoying. Or I could easily put Max Starks on this list for his 2nd half performance. But this week’s award goes to the “Mr Hyde” Steelers. I don’t know what they put in the Gatorade at half but this team morphed into a mistaken prone, non tackling, their own worst enemy version that gave much Steeler faithful heartburn. Come on guys, 60 minutes please not 30. Do this crap against even a mediocre team and we are probably looking at a “horrible loss”. There is no way this lowly Jags team with a rookie QB should come into our house and make a game of it. Smell the blood in the water and finish them off. Stop playing down to opponents; we are almost at the half way mark and it is time to start stomping on throats when we have a team down.
OT Side Note – In the Sh!t House!!!:
I am also a huge Pen’s fan and believe that we clearly gave that game away last week to the Crapitals (in honor of my man Mechem). For those of you who didn’t see the game it was overshadowed by a fight between Pen’s Aaron Asham and Crap’s Jay Beagle to which Asham got the better of that fight. As Asham was skating off he gave the “safe” signal and a classic CM Punk (for those of you who watch wrastlin’) go to sleep sign. Mr. Cook took exception to the Pen’s fans in attendance and scolded them publicly on his weekly column on the Post-Gazette (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11287/1182016-87-0.stm). Mr. Cook said that we Pen’s fans should be embarrassed, disgraced the city of Pittsburgh, questioned how we basically live with ourselves, and that we didn’t deserve to have star players like Malkin, Crosby, and Neal. Name one hockey arena in the NHL that fan’s don’t cheer when there is a fight? Again I will wait…better yet why don’t you get into your time machine and zap your silly ass back to last year’s Winter Classic in which Sid got leveled by Steckel and see all the Crapital’s fan’s reactions from down here in the DC Metro area where I live. Mr. Cook should not weigh the actions of a few rowdy fans to the whole fan base. The Pittsburgh fan base is one of the best, and I for one stopped cheering when Beagle was clearly injured. As a matter of fact I turned to my girlfriend and said, “Damn, I hope he is okay” and cheered for him when he skated off. If you would like a more football comparison, how about last years Brown’s game at Heinz Field when Harrison was delivering devastation that put player’s safety under the microscope. I was there; the fans were going bananas over some of those hits to Cribs and Massaquoi. Considering the outcome with players being injured and the fines levied by the good ole Commish, are we too classless and don’t deserve the star players and effort our beloved Steelers provide for us? There might have been a few fans that went overboard, I really don’t know, but I know the “fan base” that I hang out with is full of class and we have displayed this character inside and outside of stadiums and arena’s.