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Monday, November 12, 2007

What we learned, Cleveland (again)

Some things just seem to be destined to happen.

The sun rises. The seasons change. The Steelers beat the Browns.

That's why, even when the Browns were up 21-6 against the Steelers Sunday, there was little doubt Pittsburgh was going to win the game.

Cleveland is, well, Cleveland. You knew the Browns would find a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

© I liked seeing big Chris Kemoeatu in there at fullback down by the goal line.

What I didn't like was the pass Willie Parker threw on second and goal with Kemoeatu in there.

With Max Starks at tight end and Kemoeatu at fullback, there were precious few options for Parker to throw to on that play.

© Once again, Ben Roethlisberger proves why he's one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, even though he doesn't get credit for it.

The Steelers are winning games because of him this season, just as they did down the stretch in 2005 and in the second half of last season.

© Alan Faneca spoke up in the huddle when the Steelers needed a score to go ahead, yelling at his teammates to get them going. Most of what Faneca said is unprintable, but the message was received.

So much for all the bozos out there who thought Faneca would be mailing it in this season, his final one in Pittsburgh.

© Heath Miller is a better tight end than Kellen Winslow, even though it will be Winslow who joins Antonio Gates in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl.

Unforuntately, the Pro Bowl voters only look at catches as the measure of a tight end. Milller may be the best all-around tight end in the AFC, if not the NFL.

© Braylon Edwards' TD catch in the second quarter was an outstanding play. But if Edwards hadn't made it, you wouldn't have known he played Sunday.

He did nothing else.

© James Harrison continues to be a force. That's two more fumbles he forced against the Browns, giving him five in the past two games.

Joey Porter will be coming back to town later this season. Steelers fans should cheer him. Had he not declined so much in the past couple of seasons, Mike Tomlin may not have cut him and Harrison would not be starting right now.

© I usually don't comment on things that happen in other games, but I did watch the San Diego-Indianapolis game Sunday night.

First, Antonio Cromartie's second quarter one-handed interception of Peyton Manning was perhaps the best defensive play I've seen in some years.

Second, people who were giving Indianapolis the No. 2 seed in the playoffs may have been a bit premature.

If the playoffs began right now, the Steelers would be No. 2 based on a better conference record than Indianapolis.

The Steelers will be favored in all but one of their final six games this season. Indianapolis will be favored in all of its final six games. But you never know.


Mapod said...

The colt are hit with the injury bug latly. Like any good team take 2 or more weapons away and you just have an average team. Steeler show alot of class and heart yesterday. Have to agree with Miller, he is the best TE around, but Hawaiia will have to wait until the rest of the league see him play.

Anonymous said...

"So much for all the bozos out there who thought Faneca would be mailing it in this season, his final one in Pittsburgh."

Bozos? In that case, Faneca himself is the #1 bozo, considering it was he who started this whole mess by mouthing off about not wanting to be here, how he won't play through injury, refusing to be a captain, etc.

It's good to know that was just talk, and he has more integrity than he came off as having. But why did he have to talk in the first place? I have to imagine it hurt his chances of getting re-signed, since the Rooneys couldn't have possibly appreciated being criticized publicly.

(I still think Faneca mailed in the Arizona game, as a favor to his future employers.)

Dale Lolley said...

I guess my bozo comment meant you.

Anonymous said...

Yep, that's me!

Wieters said...

Hey, Faneca himself implied that he would mail it in, so why shouldn't we have believed him? He could have easily made the whole thing a non-issue by instead saying something like, "I'm disappointed by my contract situation, but make no mistake, I will play my heart out this year."

Dale, just because you knew Faneca didn't mean what he said, how does that make the rest of us "bozos" for taking the man's words at face value?

Dale Lolley said...

I was there every time Faneca talked about the situation. At no time did I ever think he was going to "mail it in." Nor did he ever say anything like that.
The only thing he ever said was that if he had a serious injury, he might have to think about his future when deciding if he would try to play through it. That's not "mailing it in." That's a question all these guys have to ask themselves every time they are injured. This isn't baseball where contracts are guaranteed and you get paid whether you play out your contract or not. If an NFL player suffers a serious injury and is released, he doesn't get paid.

adamg said...

On the OL play, it is much improved from last year when it seemed defensive linemen and LBs were just able to steamroll Pgh's OL at will.

Even though Ben has been sacked, pressured and is scrambling around, IMHO, that is a reflection of his unwillingness to throw the ball away as much as it is of OL play. Like Brett Favre, he seems not to want to leave any pass option unexplored on any given play. He takes a lot of time in the pocket looking around. Brady, otoh, takes a short drop and as soon as he feels heat, wings the ball. Ben's style demands the OL get and hold blocks for a long time.

Dale Lolley said...

I would agree with that in a lot of situations, Adam. He does hold the ball and continue to look downfield a lot.