IX-Tonight's match-up against the Bronco's has me incredibly nervous and it should shake out to be a good game regardless of the outcome. Denver plays ugly so I see this being a close game that comes down to the wire or I see Pittsburgh handing Denver a beat down. I'm much more inclined to think this will be a close game with a few defensive scores and possibly some Big Ben heroics late in the game. We haven't seen too much of that since week one, and it's always fun to watch Ben create something out of nothing. In terms of what the media thinks; Peter King thinks the Bronco's hand Pittsburgh a loss, James Walker thinks that Pittsburgh is too physical for Denver and he also gives his five keys for a Pittsburgh victory, while Gary Dulac of the Post Gazette thinks the Steelers will find a way to pull through.
X-The Steelers and Broncos always seem to have great matchups throughout the years especially in Denver. The Post Gazette chronicles some of the most important games in the series, including my favorite game which was the 2005 AFC Championship game where the Steelers and specifically Ben Roethlisberger played out of their minds. Ben threw two touchdowns and ran for another in a dominating performance, after that win in Denver I think every Steeler fan thought it was our destiny to win Super Bowl XL.
XIII-Jerome Bettis is promoting a contest with Monster.com where a fan can call a play at the pro-bowl, announce a pick at the 2010 NFL draft, and win 100,000 dollars among other prizes. During is promotional tour he called into my favorite morning show in the D.C. area, The Sports Junkies last week. Two interesting parts of the interview and one is at the very beginning when the hosts don't realize that Jerome is no longer part of the NBC football broadcast (akward). The other interesting part is at the end of the interview where Bettis gushes over the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts, and neglects to talk about the Steelers. Between the Sports Illustrated article earlier in the season and examples like this interview it seems that Jerome is making a point to distance himself from the organization with his new profession.
XIV-I know this whole issue has been beaten to death, but my only comment is that you can stomp on someone's face, you can take cheap shots at a quarterback's knees but Hines Ward is the dirtiest player in the NFL? In my mind Hines Ward is what you want any receiver to be; a complete player that makes everyone around him better by his intensity and thirst for the game. I wonder how many times Ed Reed and Keith Rivers got to vote. Hines did respond to the label and he seems to just be as confused as me by the honor.
XL-One For The Other Thumb has a their awesome preview for tonight's game, including a ridiculous photo-shop of Big Ben turning into the unstoppable force, Chuck Norris. And don't forget to check out Pittsburgh Sports and Mini Ponnies and my second contribution to his Great Moments in Unlicensed Pittsburgh Sports Merchandise series.
XLIII-Tonight's game combined with next weeks huge match-up against the Bengals could end up being the difference between a third consecutive AFC North title and either a wild card birth or a nice couch seat to watch the 2009 Playoffs. If the Bengals are able to beat the Steelers next week they would hold tie breakers over both the Raven's and the Steelers and it would be incredibly hard to overcome them for a the division title. Bob Smizic mentions some of the same topics in his blog, and the Sporting News go over each division at the half way point of the season.