Monday, December 03, 2007

Steelers-Bengals Notes

I’m back from the 2007 hockey road trip, just in time to watch the Steelers-Bengals game. Here are my thoughts about the game:

- Are people going to think that it always rains in Pittsburgh? Last week’s monsoon and Sunday’s rain and muddy field were both shown on national television.

- I love watching Hines Ward. Eleven catches for 90 yards and two touchdowns and he passed John Stallworth for the most touchdown receptions in team history. He has such passion and enthusiasm and consistently makes tough catches.

- The primary focus on sports talk shows and the internets over the next few days is going to be Willie Parker’s fumbles. He had four overall with two either overturned or upheld by challenges. With Davenport out for who knows how long (hopefully not long), the team really does not have any viable alternatives if Parker continues to struggle (which I do not think he will). Will there be calls to bring in Kevan Barlow or Verron Haynes?

- Except for one poor Sepulveda punt, the special teams played well forcing a fumble and not giving up any big punt or kick-off returns. Of course, when I write that the special teams played well, I have low expectations. Allen Rossum seems to have mastered the art of returning punts by running completely across the field and then stepping out of bounds for a whopping three-yard gain.

- After the first drive when Cincinnati marched down the field for a touchdown, the defense also played great. Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh were held in check (especially after the first drive); although the team only had one sack, it seemed like the defense pressured Carson Palmer quite often; and Palmer was held to under 200 yards passing with a completion percentage less than 40%.

- The offensive line played much better than the previous two games against the Jets and Dolphins as the Bengals had no official sacks (the safety was erased due to a questionable penalty for holding by a Cincinnati defensive back). Parker had 87 yards rushing, but that was on 28 carries. The O-line has to perform even better next week against New England.

- NBC did a nice job of having Jerome Bettis visit a Steeler bar in New York City. Seeing Cris Collinsworth visit a “Bengal bar” was quite amusing. For those of you who missed it, Bettis went to a packed Steelers bar with hordes of fans wearing jerseys. NBC showed Collinsworth at an empty bar.

- Here is the game recap from the Post-Gazette and ESPN.

Expect complete details of the 2007 hockey road trip soon!


Anonymous said...

bettis was at scruffy duffy's!! i was so close to going there and i didn't, i feel like an ass.

as for the running back issues, with kreider done for the season look for davis and miller to play fullback sometimes. i also think it's time to let russell carry once or twice.

Mystery Man Nick said...

Wow, you missed the opportunity to see the bus. That was a cool bit though.