The Steelers answered the call with a victory over the Ravens that was one for the ages. But this answer has left 5 Burning Questions facing Steelers Nation.
1. Mike Tomlin defines "The Standard is the Standard" simply: If you're good enough to make an NFL roster, you're capable of a winning performance when a starter is injured. Strong words from a coach, but it is the players that breath meaning into them. In which game did the Pittsburgh Steelers live "The Standard" best?
a. October 2007 @ Seattle; (Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes, Casey Hampton, and Troy Polamalu injured)
b. October 2008 @ Jacksonville (with Willie Parker, Mendenhall, Kendall Simmons, Carey Davis, Casey Hampton, Brett Keisel, and Nick Eason injured and losing Marvel Smith during the game)
c. September 2010 @ Tennessee (Ben Roethlisberger suspended, Byron Leftwich, Casey Hampton, Max Starks, Emmanuel Sanders injured to start the game with Dennis Dixon and multiple offensive lineman lost during the game)
d. December 2012 @ Baltimore (Ben Roethlsiberger, Byron Leftwich, LaMarr Woodley, Willie Colon, Mike Adams out with injury, Maurkice Pouncey playing guard, and losing Ike Taylor during the game)
e. Nominate your own "Standard Game"
Defend your choice.
2. You are William Clay Ford, owner of the Detroit Lions. Kevin Colbert had a hand in drafting Charlie Batch when he worked for you, and on Sunday all of Kevin Colbert's first round draft picks, save for ‘Tone and Kendall Simmons were on the field in Baltimore. You last won a playoff game in January 1992 (shortly after you hired Colbert). How do you explain letting Kevin Colbert go to the guy staring back at you in the mirror?
3. Even before seeing Steel City Roller's must read article, I'd all but decided to name Kelvin Beachum as the Unsung Hero of the week (in my yet be published Steelers Report Card), however reading Seton Hall and the Steelers also must read article about Chris Rainey's return has given me second thoughts. Which player was the bigger Unsung Hero?
4. The "upside" to Ike Taylor injury is that Steelers Nation got its first extended look at Cortez Allen and Curtis Brown in "Live Fire" circumstances. What do you take away from their performance?
5. In 2005 the Pittsburgh Steelers were looking at a 7-5 record and a probable need to run the table to make the playoffs. Of course that Bus didn't stop until the Lombardi Trophy presentation in Detroit. Do you worry that comparisons to the Steelers current situation might "jinx things" or do you think the story just spurs inspiration?
There you go folks! Have at it!