It's time to put the Terrible Towels away until next season. Start the season 0-4 and lose to an awful Oakland Raiders team and you really don't deserve to make the playoffs. Sure, the Steelers should have reached the playoffs based on the mediocre San Diego Chargers' performance against the replacement Kansas City Chiefs (more on this below), but that obviously didn't happen. Here are some of my thoughts about the Steelers-Browns game:
- Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell ran for 90 yards and a TD. He finished the season with 1163 total yards in 13 games. I'm excited to see how Bell progresses in the future.
- While drunk driving is extremely dangerous and drunk drivers certainly deserve the appropriate punishment, you would think that Robocop would do more than catch drunk drivers.
- After Troy Polamalu made a tackle CBS announcer Steve Beuerlein said "You see the way he throws his body around & just gives it up." That sounds a little dirty.
- J.J. Watt should enjoy being in all of these commercials now. On a 2-14 team, he won't be in many (or any) next year.
- At 3:34, Ziggy started knocking things off of the dining room table to get my attention since he wanted food. Doesn't he understand that the Steelers game was on (and that it was too early to eat)?
- Antonio Brown had another solid game (9 catches, 87 yards) as part of an incredible season where he became the first player in NFL history to have at least 5 receptions and 50 yards in all 16 regular season games. While I'm not going to compare Brown with Calvin Johnson, the best WR in the NFL, I do see some potential similarities in the other wide receivers around them. Johnson has never had a really good #2 receiver, though that hasn't stopped him. Meanwhile, with Emmanuel Sanders a free agent, Jerricho Cotchery a year older and Markus Wheaton unimpressive as a rookie, it will be interesting to see how the Steelers surround Brown next year.
I really don't have much more to write about the Steelers game. Jarvis Jones and Lawrence Timmons both played well. The offense played good enough to win, the special teams didn't make any mistakes and the defense played a solid game.
This brings us to the post game. With the Dolphins and Jets both losing, if the Chargers defeated Kansas City, they would be the #6 seed. If they lost to Kansas City, the Steelers would be in the playoffs. It would have been nice if Heinz Field stayed open to show the game on the scoreboard.
What would have been more fun was if the NFL had cameras in the Steelers locker room showing them watching the Chiefs-Chargers game. Better yet, maybe the team could have watched the game at Mike Tomlin's house. Imagine seeing Brett Keisel's reaction when one of Tomlin's kids stands in front of the TV!
- In the NBA, injured or inactive players tend to wear suits or at least dress nicely on the bench. In the NHL, scratched players dress nicely in the booth. Kansas City players such as Alex Smith and Jamaal Charles sure looked professional...wearing Chiefs T-shirts and shorts.
- KC running back Knile Davis is by far my favorite person named Knile.
- Ryan Succop missed a field goal at the end of regulation that would have put the Steelers in the playoffs. That sucked.
- The Chargers ran perhaps one of the dumbest plays in NFL history by doing a fake punt from their own 28 yard-line. If they were unsuccessful, the Chiefs would be in field goal range to try to win the game (again). Instead, the determination that the runner's forward progress was stopped even though there was no whistle or indication by a referee as to where to spot the ball. Oh, and the play couldn't be reviewed. Behind the Steel Curtain has more on this.
- There was also the penalty that should have been called that wasn't called during the final Succop field goal. For all of the complaints about this though, I didn't see anyone mention this during the broadcast or on Twitter when this happened.
Remember my first paragraph about the Steelers not deserving to make the playoffs? San Diego is not much better. They lost to Houston and Washington, the two worst teams in the NFL. Miami & Baltimore don't have any rightful claims to the final AFC Wild Card spot either. Oh well. Big off-season for the Steelers, but I'm optimistic about the team's future.