IX - Dale Lolley files some post-game thoughts about the Steelers win over Cincinnati and the state of the roster heading into the bye week. Particularly interesting to me was his tidbit about Mike Tomlin keeping Hines Ward out of the game despite No. 86 probably being physically healthy enough to contribute. Also interesting was his solid point about the lack of turnovers partly being attributable to their best ball hawk, Troy Polamalu, playing so many snaps in the box for run-support purposes.
X - The Baltimore Sun elaborates on five things learned from the Ravens' head-scratching 22-17 road loss to the Seattle Seahawks. No. 1 on their list? 'Players don't cross a magic threshold and suddenly become "elite." That, of course, would be a reference to Joe Flacco, who so many were ready to ordain as the rightful winner of the AFC North's best quarterback discussion following his admittedly outstanding 92-yard game-winning drive over the Steelers just one short week ago. Look, Flacco can make all the throws, he's got a short memory, and he's going to give the Ravens a shot to win more often than he's going to cost them a chance at being competitive. He's won big games in January on the road, and he's gotten overwhelmed by the moment in big spots on several occasions as well. Like almost everything else in life, the conversation is much more nuanced than sports writers would lend you to believe.
XIII - Homre de Acero hands out grades by position on Steel Curtain Rising following the Steelers' 24-17 winning performance against the Steelers. Can't say I disagree much with any of his assessments, though I think special teams was better than he perhaps gave credit for.
XIV - I'll be posting it separately in a stand alone post for archiving purposes, but you can check out Episode 14 of Terrible Towel Talk, recorded Monday night at its usual time. Bill Priatko and Dave Villiotti joined me as they've done every Monday this past month to talk about the Steelers latest performance. We also discussed the Penn State sex scandal to hear Priatko's take on the whole sordid situation. Priatko, as it turns out, is close friends with longtime defensive coach Tom Bradley, and has been around the program a fair amount, including this season. It was interesting to get his take on the matter.
XL - Dick LeBeau, and for that matter every last member of Steeler Nation, is anxious to see James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley suit up and start opposite each other for the first time since Pittsburgh's Week 4 loss in Houston at the outset of October.
"It's going to be a very new experience," said LeBeau, following the Steelers' 24-17 win at Cincinnati on Sunday. "We haven't had 'em for so long I forget what it feels like, but we're looking forward to it."
After a three-sack performance in his first game back from injury, Harrison was kept in check for the most part and finished with a sack for the afternoon.
XLIII - Yikes, an already bad football team just got that much worse when it was discovered that Matt Cassel's hand injury would preclude him from playing anytime soon for the Kansas City Chiefs. That means former Pitt Panthers QB, Tyler Palko, will be handed the reigns of KC's offense for the immediate future, including most likely when Pittsburgh travels to Arrowhead to play the Chiefs on Sunday Night Football in Week 12. Should be quite the feast for Dick LeBeau's defense.