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Postgame Notebook: Thoughts and Ramblings After Pittsburgh's Week 12 Win Over Kansas City

Not many examples of great football in Pittsburgh's 13-9 win over Kansas City. Anyone will take a win at any time, and here's to hope the Steelers don't have to play another Sunday Night game on the road this year. 

As always, here are my connected and disconnected thoughts on the game. 

  • I hate Sunday Night Football now. I hear the music and I start to get nervous. I saw Antonio Brown wearing a tuxedo in a pre-taped interview before the game I got nervous. I see a fight during the coin flip and I got nervous. 
  • It was like Polamalu was driving a Ferrari for the first time. He was operating at a speed much higher than everyone else, but he wasn't running with his head attached. Overran two plays, KC recognized that Polamalu was in his Beast Mode - you know, where it's like he guessed the play right in Tecmo Bowl? - and started double-teamming him every time he was close to the line. 
  • Timmons had a bit of that Tecmo-like speed in him too, and he overran three or four tackles in the process. Gotta calm down, Law Dog. 
  • Say what you will about Tyler Palko, that 3rd-and-5 pass to Dwayne Bowe was a nice throw. 
  • Polamalu was injured trying to take down a back-up offensive tackle on a tackle-eligible play. Who the hell runs that on 2nd-and-7 from an opponent's 25 yard line. Frustrating...
  • With Troy, nine plays, 57 yards. Without him, 54 plays, 195 yards. Polamalu's injury gave them some time to adjust to the unexpected hurry-up offense the Chiefs were running. They really just did not move the ball the rest of the game (3.6 yards per play? Seriously, KC?). 
  • Roethlisberger can play possum about his thumb all he wants to the media. That 3rd-and-12 completion to Brown was a big play, but a poorly thrown, wobbly pass. Don't think Cincinnati's secondary isn't watching that right now, starting to salivate. 
  • Kudos to NBC for thinking outside the box. Showing a split-screen of the replay while the official is explaining the penalty is a genius idea. We have no reason to stare at the official while he fumbled out an explanation, and all we really want to do is watch it again. Unfortunately, it showed the lack of interference on Brown in the end zone. 
  • Needless to say, good offenses score touchdowns in the red zone. They don't drop touchdown passes (Wallace) and fumble (Moore). That's probably the main issue holding this team back right now. Not scoring off turnovers is something different. You gotta do that, but the offense was so perplexed with having the ball given back to them so often, they misfired. 
  • Mendenhall ran a good, strong game. Take out the run where he jumped backward when he approached the hole as if he saw a pile of dog crap in front of him, he did as well as his offensive line let him do. 
  • Some offenses on 4th-and-2 simply run the ball behind it's LT/LG. Bruce Arians' offense? Five-step drop, let the QB avoid a rush, dance around for a solid six seconds, get creamed while throwing the ball to the back-up running back who runs where the LT and LG would have been if protection didn't break collapse and surge ahead for the first down. Whatever works, I suppose...
  • Not to whip a deceased equine, but Tyler Palko's first interception was quite possibly the worst throw I've seen a pro QB make. But then I saw the second one. I don't think it's possible to hyerbolize how poorly he played in the first half. 
  • I further do not want to punch a flatlined foal, but it's 1st and goal from the seven, Mendenhall runs hard for three yards off right tackle. Nice blocking from Miller and Ward on the outside. Then, the JV team comes in. Redman goes for a yard off Gilbert and Saunders, both of whom fail to move their guy at all. Foster gets whipped, and the play dies. If you're going to attack the same gap, why lessen the personnel that's over there? (Ward should on that side, and Miller should be blocking over Saunders.) It gets better though. Third down, five wide, not even trying to act as if they MIGHT run, it's a snap-and-release to...Emmanuel Sanders? Whaaaaa....? I'm not calling for anyone's job here, but isn't Pittsburgh's offense predicated on other plays and other personnel? Is using the non-core offensive players going to improve their current red zone slump? 
  • Hali's a helluva player and all, but c'mon, Max...he made you look like a rookie. And if Miller was supposed to figure into the passing game and leave Starks to block one of the best pass rushers in the game, he should have gotten that fifth reception to break Nickel's team record, doncha think? 
  • Ryan Mundy look prepared Sunday night. Not "great" or "dominant," but "prepared." Solid play, few (if any) mistakes, aggressive run support. I'll take that from a guy who looked decidedly UNprepared the last time he stepped foot on the grass at Arrowhead Stadium. A very solid game, after being put in a really tough spot. 
  • Let's add Ben's block of ILB Jovan Belcher to his Plays My Peers Won't Make Hall of Fame, shall we? Right up there with The Tackle, 3rd-And-20 Conversion Against The Jets and Banging His Head Off A Car From A Motorcycle. It's settled, then. 
  • p.s. Great play by Ben, but I don't ever want to see that play called again. It doesn't seem like much good can come consistently from a play that requires a receiver to throw a ball on the run and the quarterback to block. Judging by the bass-ackwardness of it, I'd guess Legursky was the intended receiver. 
  • Now, to slam Ben...that interception was caused by two things: Laziness and arrogance. He saw what he thought was single coverage on Brown on the outside, so all he needed to do was give a grossly exaggerated ball fake to the left, then, without even looking back to the right, throws it off his back foot, putting no strength into the throw. It hangs up with more than enough air under it for the safety to calmly move over to catch it as if it was thrown during warm-ups. If Pittsburgh wishes to adopt Baltimore's-Heave-And-Pray passing offense, Ben should at least throw it 50 yards down the field. 
  • I'm happy Dwayne Bowe isn't on the Steelers. Go up and make a play on the ball, for cripessake. Your QB is battling his tail off, at least get your arms up and knock it down. 
  • On to the home version of the Bengals game...Eight wins is all that matters.