The site seems to be back up and running. Apologies for the difficulties. Now, a few random thoughts about the game, some positive, some negative...
Let's start with something positive. Hines Ward is still the man. Did anyone notice his clutch catches late in the game? He got absolutely drilled right as he caught the ball, yet hung on both times. Incredible hands, incredible toughness, incredible player.
*Penalties are hurting us almost as much as turnovers. Yesterday, we were penalized 6 times for 70 yards, including 30 yards of unsportsmanlike penalties. As schnifin pointed out in the comments section, Bill Cowher looked perturbed, but not his usual pissed-off self. He does seem to lack some of the fire and intensity of previous years. More on this later.
*What the fu$ happened when it was 1st and goal at the Oakland 1 yard line. It appeared as if we had regained momentum and were poised to tie the game up at 20. Obviously they were having a hard time moving the ball, meaning we would have had a great chance to set up a Jeff Reed FG had we gotten to the extra period. On 1st down Willie Parker was stopped for no gain; on 2nd, Dookie loses 4 yards. 3rd down? False start. Suddenly its 3rd and goal from the 10. Two incomplete passes and the game's all but over. You don't deserve to win if you can't punch it in from the 1.
*I wanted to briefly comment on Big Ben's decision on 4th and goal from the 5. In years past, I think Roethlisberger would have tried to run it in. I rewatched the play several times and came to the conclusion that he could have got in had he put his head down and gone for it. He would have needed to make one hesitation move to freeze the defender who was spying him, but it looked to me as if that would have been the better decision. Ben looks hesitant out there. He's not an upper echelon pocket passer, so I feel he needs to make plays with his feet in order to be a successful quarterback in this league. If he's not healthy enough both physically and mentally to make that type of play, he should sit down for the good of the team until he's ready to do so.