FanPost

Halftime; Steelers lead 5-3


Welcome to the 2012 Steelers Championship Season Halftime Show, brought to you by BTSC.

If you've been with us from the beginning, you've been along for one, wild ride. For those who joined us late, we will walk through the highlights. Let's start at the beginning of the first quarter.

  • The Steelers started their first drive deep in Denver territory. While the running game contradicted itself, Ben Roethlisberger and Todd Haley found open receivers around the Bronco defense, until Big Ben found an open Bronco defender around his receiver and gave him a touchdown. Steelers trail 0-1.

  • The offense sputtered went 3 and out; but the defense shut down the Jets thoroughly, outside of that time Tebow walked over our defense like it was water....through sprinklers... Regardless, Mark and Tim prove futile. The offense gets the ball back, and Mike Wallace provides a little fuel to the fan fires by making an amazing catch, completely punking Antonio Cromartie and bailing out his Quarterback. Touchdown Steelers. Tied score. 1-1.

  • The Raiders responded on their next drive, scoring with every weapon in its arsenal: Running game, Passing game, Special Teams, Defense, Cheap Shots, etc... The Steelers defense was unable to stop the Raider offensive, and the Steeler offense kept giving the ball back to the Raiders. Raiders win the war of attrition, Steelers trail again, 1-2.

  • The broadcast went into a medical delay, as Heyward-Bay was assisted off the field by Ryan Mundy; although the Steelers were in need of an injury timeout anyways, as several of their big Stars were already ailing. By the time the action resumed, the cloudy weather proved prophetic, although it was Michael Vick that began raining footballs. Rushhard Mendthenhaul got his first carries of the night, and made the best of each one; even the one he bowled out of bounds. The Eagles eventually caved, allowing the Steelers in close enough for Shaun Suisham to kick a Field Goal as the period expired, tying the score once more, at 2-2.

Coach Cowher:

I thought the Steelers looked rusty when this matchup started. Special Teams, Offensive line, and Defensive penalties really spoiled some opportunities for the Steelers to maintain or secure leads. Speaking of securing things; you have to secure the football. It's the careless mistakes that topple the mighty, not their opponents.

Terry Bradshaw:

Coach? Would you excuse an ol' QB for going against his better judgment for a sec? What is up with the Steelers' running game. Outside of a few splashes by Mendenhall, they haven't been able to move the ball. As a 4-time championship quarterback-ahem-, I'm all for passin' the ball to your playmakers; but you got to run the ball or defenses are gonna blitz the hair off your head.

Shannon Sharpe:

blah blah blah, Ravens are awesome. Blah blah blah, which is funny because people know me for what I did with the Broncos, blah blah blah. Ravens are awesome, blah blah blah; depite the fact our defense produces more rushing yards than our offense, blah blah blah...

Hines Ward:

I agree with everything those guys said, except for Sharpe. I couldn't understand half of what he said, but I only agreed with half of what I could make out. I thought his breakdown of the Raven's defense was spot on, but the rest was pure nonsense, as usual. {Insert Smile}

Jerome Bettis:

Injuries are killing us right now. Too many guys goin down on other guys, in my opinion.

...um...with that; Let's dive back into the action as the second quarter begins.

  • The Steelers, penalized for benefiting from the Raiders' injury timeout, were not allowed to take a break between periods, and were forced to retake the field with no rest; and Tennessee took advantage of their fatigue. Rashard Mendenhall left the game soon after the action resumed, leaving the game in the hands or Isaac Redman. To say the offense didn't take a step backwards, would not infer optimism. Redman had some nice plays in the passing game, but was injured himself soon after. The Steelers D looked flat and uninspired, allowing the Titans to move down the field and put points on the board, putting the Steelers behind once again, now trailing 2-3.

  • You can tell by this point, frustration is beginning to boil over on the Steelers sidelines. Ian Rapaport was beaten down by his source for flinging spitballs at Coach Haley and Ben Roethlisberger, as they went over the photos together, trying to figure out how to turn things around. Vontaze Burfict had a giant number 74 tattooed into his gut in the middle of the field, courtesy of Willie Colon, much to the Bus's chagrin. However, the team began to thrive on that anger; and turned it into points on their next drive, that went deep into Bengal territory. The Bengals had no answer when they had the ball, as the Red Green show was completely blacked out in Cincinnati. Steelers pull back to even, tying the score at 3-3.

  • Jonathan Dwyer, who found some success in the previous drive, continued that success in the Steelers' next drive. He and the offensive line did their part to maintain a newfound offensive balance. There were some rumblings prior to this drive, as our cameras caught Mike Wallace working with the Redskins receivers. He was teaching them some of the techniques that have made him the amazing receiver that he is. However, it turned out to be a Mike Tomlin ploy; and it worked brilliantly. The Redskins receivers took Wallace's instruction to heart, and put it into action dropping every other pass thrown their way. The Steeler defense held "The Abbreviation" and Bruce Wayne's butler in check on the other half of their plays; while the Steeler offense shredded the Redskins Redzone defense, putting Pittsburgh into it's first lead of the contest, winning 4-3.

  • With time winding down on the first half, the Steelers were now primed and firing on all cylinders. The defense played like its former self, forcing Eli Manning to spend most of the Giants' ensuing drive either on the sideline, or on the ground. Dwyer who suffered an injury during the last drive, was replaced by a recovered Isaac Redman; and Redman picked up where Dwyer left off. In dominating fashion, the Steelers took an early morning flight from Pittsburgh all the way, deep into Giant territory, and closed out the first half on a Redman rushing TD. That puts the score as it stands now, 5-3.

Coach Cowher:

The second quarter was a much better effort by the Steelers. We still saw some of the unnecessary penalties that haunted the special teams, but overall they played with much better focus and discipline. Well, everybody except for Antonio Brown. This kid is amazing, but I didn't care for the 20 yard Moonwalk. I'd've drowned him in spittle, and buried him at the bottom of the depth chart for that. I'm sure Coach Tomlin will have plenty to say to him in the locker room. I tweeted him plenty of suggestions.

Terry Bradshaw:

Looks like Coach Tomlin was taking suggestions from this old man, as he got his running backs more involved. It's a shame they weren't moving the ball like this when all those guys were healthy. At least they were able to keep it going as they took turns over sick leave. And, how about Big Ben. He looks cool out there, and he's hitting his guys on some seriously tight throws. If he'd stop trying to force it sometimes, he'd probably have zero interceptions tainting all those points and yards.

Shannon Sharpe:

blah blah blah, Ravens are awesome; blah blah blah. We have an elite quarterback, blah blah blah. I love guys named Ray, blah blah blah.

Hines Ward:

I agree with everything those guys said; except for the weirdo in the purple jersey, again. We, I mean the Steelers, really got back to some smashmouth football. My teammates, I mean the Steelers receivers, are really making me proud out there. Ben is playing phenomenally, getting the ball to every single person eligible to touch the ball; and almost everyone is making the most of those opportunities.

Jerome Bettis:

I love the physical identity the Steelers are taking on in this half. It's nice to see a fullback, that can block like a fullback; while also providing yet another passing option. Heath Miller is getting to play his game, and the game is getting to showcase Heath Miller. Big props to mini-me. Dwyer makes me want to strap the pads back on. Redman, too. Watching these guys pound the ball, brings tears to my eyes. Speaking of tear jerking ball poundings, I wasn't as opposed to the Colon incident as you may think. It's a good thing in that instance, as sometimes in the jungle you have to dominate the lesser species. I was mostly dismayed by the number of times guys like Marcus Gilbert was falling on his fellow linemen. You can't go down on your teammates like that; they're you're brother. That's just wrong.

Wow...OK...[and you wonder why they don't let you on TV anymore]....Well, the teams are preparing to take the field. What do you guys expect to see here in the second half?

Coach Cowher:

I made a career out of winning games when I held a lead at halftime, but my leads were usually a bit bigger than what Coach Tomlin is dealing with here. I would expect to see the offense keep their foot on the gas pedal, especially with so many division opponents waiting on the sidelines to take their crack. If the Steelers can put a few more points on the board, then I would take the air out of the ball and run it down their throats. The Steelers will want to keep their defense rested and ready to make some game-changing plays; running the ball gives them the best chance to do that.

Terry Bradshaw:

I'll be interested to see how the defense plays in this second half. Some of the big name guys the Steelers lost in the first half, have been seen stretching and patrolling the sidelines. I expect to see them return before its all said-and-done. If the young men playing now can continue to improve, this defense will end another season at the top of the rankings. Offensively, I expect to see stuff we ain't seen yet, and bunches of what we've seen already. I love what Haley is doing, and look forward to seeing what he has in store.

Shannon Sharpe:

blah blah blah Broncos are awesome. Blah, blah blah, Ravens don't stand a chance against this team blah blah blah. Wonder if Peyton would change his name to Rayton, blah blah blah. I love the Broncos, blah blah blah.

Hines Ward:

I agree with everything those guys already said. We, I mean the Steelers, are going to come out on offense and continue to throw the ball. When Ben doesn't throw it, we'll run it with our backs. If we do those things well, we will find ourselves in good positions to score points, like the Red Zone. Ben is getting the ball to everybody, in fact I expect to see him audible to me a couple times. If he continues to throw passes, we will continue to have opportunities for catches. Antonio Brown looked like he was hurting pretty good. I'm going to go get suited up in case they need me.

Jerome Bettis:

I think the Steelers need to keep running the ball. That's been the hot hand so far. They need to drive it like they stole it, and ride the wheels off it. Ben will continue to be Ben. The passing game will continue to take care of itself. Defensively, big shout-out to Keenan Lewis. He's looking like the best player in that secondary, and I would vote for him to go to the Pro Bowl, if it wasn't for the fact that he'll be prepping for the Super Bowl that week. Guess I'll just have to blog about him instead. When Troy gets healthy this defense will get even better against the pass, no matter how much Roger Goodell tries to screw us when we're not looking. Maybe they should let Willie Colon or Marcus Gilbert go down on him for once. Then he would see what it's like to be on the receiving end of someone trying to throw their weight around. Maybe that double team would open him up a little bit.

OK, thanks again, Bus, for that colorful commentary. Well, the experts seem to be in agreement. The Steelers were finally putting it all together in the waning moments of the opening half. Only time will tell if they will be able to keep the level of performance equal with the level of expectations blossoming in Pittsburgh. The Steelers have some favorable matchups that they will seek to exploit in the second half; and they will need to rack up some easy scores to put this contest away, and allow the Front Office to begin making the travel arrangements for Overtime.

The players are on the field, ready to kick it off and get the second half underway. Will the Steelers running game continue its recent success? Will the improving Offensive Line continue to keep Ben upright, and uninjured? Will the defense, who played inconsistently early in the first half, find consistency and dominance; or do more growing pains and physical pains await? Who will be the season MVP when we reach the end of regulation? Current front runners include: Ben Roethlisberger, Willie Colon, Antonio Brown, Mike Wallace, Lawrence Timmons, Keenan Lewis, [write-in]?

Let's find out together. Suisham's hand is in the air. The Chiefs returner has signaled he is ready. Down comes the arm. The second half is about to get started. How do you think it's going to play out?

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