Monday, November 29, 2010

Suisham for Mayor (Steelers-Bills Recap)

Yesterday’s Pittsburgh Steelers-Buffalo Bills game likely took several months off of my life. I’m sure that it took several years off of the lives of Buffalo Bills fans. Here are my thoughts from the game:

- The Steelers dominated every possible statistic in the first half, but I’m sure that I wasn’t the only one who was nervous since the team only led 13-0 at halftime. I guess I saw too much football over the weekend with Alabama crushing Auburn early before Auburn rallied to win.

- As a Steelers fan, I realize that I’m biased in that I feel like James Harrison plays the game hard and is one of the best linebackers in the NFL. With that written, I guess I can see how opponents feel like Harrison is a dirty player, and it doesn’t help that the league fines him for anything. Therefore, anytime Harrison makes any play, folks see it as dirty. For the second consecutive week, Harrison was charged with a roughing the passer penalty that I’m convinced would not have been called if the defensive player was anyone other than Harrison.

- Stevie Johnson had a breakout game last Sunday with three touchdowns against the Cincinnati and the “Why So Serious” shirt to counter the Bengals’ “star” receivers.” Johnson’s Q-rating continues to rise among football fans thanks to his drop on what should have been a game winning touchdown. I feel a little bad for Johnson since he seems like a likable guy. I hope he bounces back, particularly in weeks 16 and 17 against the Patriots and Jets respectively.

- By the way, we need a ruling. Is the Buffalo WR going to go as Steve or Stevie?

- Of course, Steve/Stevie’s drop wouldn’t have happened if Leodis McKelvin didn’t run into his teammate during the overtime kickoff return. The game really should have ended on that play.

- While Hines Ward had a nice statistics with 7 receptions for 107 yards, he disappeared after the first half. In the second half and overtime, Ward had only 1 catch for 24 yards.

- We interrupt this recap for another Steelers holding penalty.

- Even though he spells his name incorrectly, Shaun Suisham had a great game going 4 for 4 in field goal attempts, all over 40 yards. If he decided to run today, I think Suisham could win an election to become Pittsburgh’s mayor. Just look how happy he made Daniel Sepulveda!

- When I lived in San Diego, I regularly watched games at a Steelers bar where one guy yelled “Get some pressure on him” during nearly ever pass play when the Steelers were on defense. While I applaud the passion, it got a little unoriginal after a while. On Sunday, a guy yelled “Get off the field” every time Buffalo had a third down. This got old quick.

- I’m not an NFL General Manager, but I’ll play one on the internet. Why did the Bills draft running back CJ Spiller with their first round draft pick? Fred Jackson is a really good running back and the team also had Marshawn Lynch, a former first round draft pick, at the start of the season before trading him to Seattle for two undisclosed picks. With so many needs at other positions, that seems like a wasted opportunity for the Bills.

- I'm also not an NFL coach, but I'll play one here. Why didn't Bills Coach Chan Gailey challenge Troy Polamalu's interception late in the fourth quarter? Sure, Polamalu caught the ball cleanly, but he was down by contact at the one yard line. However, Troy got up and advanced the ball to about the six yard line. Although it didn't end up making a difference, pinning the Steelers extremely deep inside their own territory could have had an impact.

- Mike Wallace scored only a 2.5 on the judges’ scorecards for his overtime dive.

- Remember when Lee Evans was a decent wide receiver for Buffalo? Now all he does is recover a teammate’s fumble and go out for coin tosses.

- Did you happen to see Rian Lindell wearing sweatpants over his uniform pants on the sidelines? I’ve seen baseball pitchers put on a jacket to keep their arm warm, but I’ve never seen a kicker put on sweatpants to keep their legs warm.

- I’ll take a 151-yard rushing performance, even if it was on 36 carries, from Rashard Mendenhall any day.

- I really do appreciate the fact that CBS provides player statistics for other games during its telecasts. (Fox, you are welcome to do this as well instead of spending money on the ridiculous jumping robot.) This is huge help when I’m watching the game at a bar/restaurant and don’t have internet access. However, was it really necessary to include players from the Thursday night games in your fantasy leaders? If you didn’t know that Tom Brady had four TD passes on Thursday, you should stop playing fantasy football.

It was an ugly win, but a win nonetheless. The Steelers are now 8-3, and just as important, are 6-2 in the conference. Next week is the monster Sunday night game against Baltimore, who is also 8-3. Fortunately, unlike the Steelers previous Sunday night appearances this season, the Ravens did not lose to (or even play) the Cleveland Browns the week before the primetime game.

For more about yesterday's game, check out the game story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and ESPN.

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