The Steelers season is over. I mean, they're still going to play three more games, but the team has virtually no chance of making the playoffs. The Steelers have had moments this season where they looked amazing, but there have been more times when they have not looked good. Too many offensive turnovers early in the season. The inability for the defense to make big stops. Injuries. Questions about coaching and personnel. There's going to be a lot of talk in the next few days, weeks and months about where the team goes from here, but, as the title suggests, I want to share my thoughts about Sunday's game. As always, my recaps are different than any other Steelers recap you'll read.
- Let's start with the final play of the game. Here's what I think the Dolphins players were thinking during this play.
Oh, this is cute. The Steelers are going to try to lateral all over the field. Oh, an offensive lineman has the ball. Hilarious. Isn't this where they started at the beginning of the play? Back to Big Ben. Wait, is he allowed to throw it down the field again? Let's just tackle him anyway. He just flipped the ball to Antonio Brown. Was that a forward lateral? Hold on. Antonio Brown has the ball. Holy crap! Not Antonio Brown. He's really, really fast and really, really good. Uh oh. Uh oh. Ref called him out of bounds. He was out, right? Okay. Whew. That was close. Let's get out of the cold and get some Smiley Cookies.
- I'm always amazed at the number of players who do not wear long-sleeve shirts underneath their jerseys on cold games. What you usually don't see is the same players putting on heavy jackets on the sidelines. I think NFL players are sending the wrong message here. Basically, their actions are showing that it is okay to expose your arms in freezing temperatures. This could increase the number of potential frostbite cases among people trying to emulate their favorite players. WOULD SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!
- For the Steelers, you can't expect to win while giving up 181 rushing yards, especially when Daniel Thomas (!) runs for over 100 yards.
- Cameron Heyward has really played well this season. He had 10 tackles on Sunday, including a sack, and a batted-down pass. Heyward just needs to be careful to not go all Hulk Hogan and slam his opponents down on the turf.
- The Dolphins have an offensive lineman named John Jerry. I bet you didn't know this, but John Jerry Jingleheimer Schmidt; his name is my name too!
- This is the only truly serious part of the recap, so feel free to skip this section if you'd like to read my usual humorous banter. During the Thanksgiving game against the Ravens, Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell appeared to get knocked unconscious late in the game and was later diagnosed with a concussion. As the witty announcer Dan Fouts said, he got his Bell rung. Cute. Anyway, with all we have learned about concussions and brain injuries over the past few years, it seems, questionable, at best that Bell returned to the field only 10 days after his injury. I guess that the doctors cleared him to play, but his head injury has to be concerning.
- It seems like nearly every Steelers-Dolphins game is played in bad weather. There was the 3-0 Steelers win in a 2007 Monday Night game which started late due to a major thunderstorm. I also seem to remember a game in Miami where there was tropical storm rain.
- Grudge Match with Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone looks like a terrible movie. I hope that Alan Arkin is getting paid well to appear in this film.
- I was surprised that Troy Polamalu's interception return for a touchdown was only his 3rd pick-6 of his career. I thought he had more.
- Miami's Charles Clay is arguably the most successful Clay since former Congressman Henry Clay. You didn't expect to see a reference to the former Whig Party Presidential candidate as well the Speaker of the House and Senator from Kentucky in the Dolphins-Steelers recap, did you?
I'm guessing a live blog of next week's Sunday night game against the Bengals is unlikely.