As I watched the events unfold during Monday Night Football one thought kept permeating through my mind.”We Got Ben.” As the 50 Crew was commenting or texting about the sloppy play, penalties for cursing at the ref, turnovers and stupid decisions by the Head Coach that one thought kept me positive and calm. “We Got Ben.”
You see, as long as the Steelers have Ben Roethlisberger, they are in the hunt. Doesn’t matter if Redman or Dwyer or Rainey is the running back. Doesn’t matter if Ryan Mundy or Will Allen is in at safety. “We Got Ben.” The Steelers will find a way to win.
On this Tuesday morning we don’t got Ben. His shoulder injury was serious enough to keep Roethlisberger from returning to the game. It sent him to the hospital while his teammates stayed to find a way. Through the misty rain the Steelers persevered to slog out a “W” versus a 1-7 team that would not accept the gift wrapped road victory.
Early reports on Big Ben hint at a strain versus a separated shoulder. But these reports all caution that more will be known later at the severity. ESPN reports Steeler sources say the injury could take a while to heal. We have no clue at present on a timeframe for Roethlisberger’s return. He most certainly will miss the game Sunday night against the Ravens. Time to warm up Lefty and Charlie. We may need to add a QB to the roster or practice squad as well.
The Steelers “at their worst” was on display last night and the black and gold were lucky to get out of the Confluence with a win. While penalties were down to 2-19 they came on the same play. Willie Colon was flagged for a penalty and then a personal foul for beefing at the refs. Dumb. Put the Steelers in an early hole. In Colon’s defense, he did play semi possessed in the 3 quarters afterward, recovering a fumble to prevent a turnover and laying several key blocks. Mike Tomlin chipped in with his worst…a crucial 4th and 2 call late in a tie game to an inferior team on a wet night at home. From midfield in a field position game the correct call was to punt and pin KC deep. Especially with KC playing possessed defensively and in the hunt for a victory for the first time since September. The Steeler defense which has risen to the occasion the last three weeks even reverted to its September self giving up a 4th quarter lead. Shamefully enough on 4th and 15 with seconds remaining KC converted for 27 yards and set up the tying field goal as time expired.
The Steeler defense redeemed. Lawrence Timmons, who played a monster game (along with Keisel and Woodley) made an athletic play in OT snagging an INT and returning to the 5 yard line. Lewis continues to impress as a CB. Clark and Taylor are consistent. As long as Polamalu is unhealthy Ryan Clark has been defensive MVP. He was concussed late in the 4th quarter and his return for next week is uncertain.
The Steeler Defense is the key to this team today. Polamalu may be ready to go soon. They need Ryan Clark healthy. Woodley and Harrison too. The Steelers have 2 games in 3 weeks with the BrownRavens. The Steelers stand at 6-3. If the Steelers can limp to 2-2 over the next month or 3-3 late into December, Pittsburgh could be in position for an AFC wildcard spot. Plus we may be looking at Roethlisberger’s return by then? But the defense holds the key. That and Byron Leftwich and Charlie Batch shaking off some cobwebs. And the running game.
As long as “we got Ben” the Steelers are a perennial Super Bowl contender. Here We Go Steelers! Without Ben be prepared to bring your lunch pail and plenty of Pepto. It’s root canal. Even more so than usual. All the cliché’s are now in play…Winning ugly. No style points. Next man up. Steelers 3 BrownRavens 2. When you run the ball…good things happen.