Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Notes from Heinz Field: No Need for Renegade (Steelers-Bengals Recap)

Most newspapers, websites, etc. have already moved past Sunday's Pittsburgh Steelers-Cincinnati Bengals game and focused their attention on Thursday night's Steelers-Browns game. I haven't had the opportunity to share my thoughts about Sunday's game until now since I attended the game in Pittsburgh and then drove back to Northern Virginia. Therefore, enjoy my extremely random notes from the game and trip to Pittsburgh.

The game turned out to be like an Oprah episode for many individual Steelers players.

Hines Ward became the first Steelers receiver and the 19th player in NFL history to reach 12,000 yards receiving. You get a milestone!

With his 15 completions, Ben Roethlisberger passed Terry Bradshaw to become the team's all-time leader in completions. You get a milestone!

With his two touchdowns, Rashard Mendenhall passed John Henry Johnson and Barry Foster and moved into fifth place in Steelers history for rushing touchdowns. You get a milestone!

Antonio Brown had his first NFL punt return touchdown after scoring on a 60-yard punt return in the second quarter. You get a milestone!

The early turning point of the game was Cameron Heyward's blocked field goal after Cincinnati's first drive. Yes, this was Heyward's first blocked kick in the NFL. You know what that means? You get a milestone!

During the game, the Steelers announced some type of accomplishment for James Harrison (something like the third Steelers player since 1970 to have 3+ sacks in a game three times in a season), but I can't seem to find any information about this online. You get a milestone!

The Steelers also announced something about coach Mike Tomlin and wins, but again, I can't seem to find anything about this now. Regardless, you get a milestone! (Update: According to Behind the Steel Curtain, Tomlin is now one of six coaches in NFL history to have won at least nine games in each of his first five season as an NFL head coach.)

- The winner of the 12-13 year-old boy division of the Punt, Pass & Kick contest threw the ball at least 50 yards and looked like he was 17. I think he bought cigarettes and lottery tickets after the game.

- Jeremy Kapinos had an amazing game. Five punts with an average of 54.2 yards per kick. Sorry Mr. Sepulveda, but Mr. Kapinos is the new Steelers punter for the long-term future.

- Over the past few years, the Steelers have mixed together Styx's Renegade with Steelers highlights to pump up the crowd. It's awesome and extremely effective when the defense needs to make a big stop. However, the team wasted Renegade by playing it with approximately 8 minutes left in the fourth quarter with the team leading 35-7.

- Why wasn't Bryant McFadden in as a cornerback late in the fourth quarter with the Steelers winning comfortably? Does he need some reps?

- The negative of the weekend goes to The Original Hot Dog shop AKA The O, usually one of my favorite places to go in Pittsburgh. Amazingly, The O ran out of beef hot dogs. An employee told me this was the first time this happened in the five years he worked at the O. He also told me that there would be beef hot dogs tomorrow which didn't help me since I drove home to Northern Virginia directly after dinner. I actually considered going next door to Five Guys, but stayed for the fries.

(Chas at Pitt Blather actually wrote about the O yesterday.)

Finally, there's a brand new Sheetz in Breezewood that is quite impressive. This may be a completely separate post.

Oh, this is a recap of the game via ESPN and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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