Monday, December 13, 2010

GTOPG: Steelers Win; Jonathan Scott Holds; and Carson Palmer Embarrasses Himself

By Artistry

Few things in life are certain, but you can always count on death, taxes, Shaun Suisham, and football writers pointing out that Troy Polamalu and Carson Palmer were roommates at USC the morning after Polamalu picks off a Palmer pass, returns it for a touchdown, and inspires the Steelers to victory.  Happens every time.  If you didn't think the Steelers would come out flat on Sunday after the escape in Baltimore and next week's game with the Jets looming, you may be biased.

Not Completely Objective
That's OK.  But don't kid yourself regarding how important this win was for Pittsburgh.  When the Bengals took a 7-0 lead and then promptly drove deep into Steelers territory looking for more, it almost got away.  But the defense clamped down, knocked the Bengals out of field goal range, and completely took over.  The Steelers should handle the Jets next week, given that Mark Sanchez isn't very good and the Jets can't run on us, but, as Finesse points out, there is a chance that an extra-motivated Santonio Holmes will "look like Malkin circa 2009 against Carolina - galloping like a Budweiser Clydesdale" all over our secondary.  In any event, the Steelers should win at least two out of the final three games (Carolina and Cleveland are next) and secure a first round bye.  We've considered several times in this space whether any of that matters if we can't beat New England.  The answer is still "no."  But given how the media is now practically handing to the AFC to the Patriots actually makes me like the Steelers' chances more.  Premature coronations are never a good thing for a team peaking early.  Some things to consider going forward:

- Our offensive line is a catastrophe.  Jonathan Scott continued to grab passing defensive players and hold on to them like he was trying to wrestle steers to the ground at a rodeo.  Scott is right at the top of the league in holding penalties, and he's only started 6 games.  It's hard to view this as a Super Bowl-worthy offense right now.

1st and 30.
- Ben Roethlisberger continues to take a pounding.  He doesn't talk about injuries except when he's talking about how he doesn't talk about injuries, but he's operating at 70% tops.  And he got hit on multiple occasion Sunday well after releasing the ball.  No flags.  At this rate, there is a very real possibility he doesn't make it through the entire game next Sunday.

- Rashard Mendenhall should be getting the ball at least 25 times a game right now.  He ran it 16 times on Sunday.

- Finesse writes in, "Carson Palmer is the Benjamin Button of NFL quarterbacks -- a peak early on, followed by significant regression.  Last season Palmer regressed to his high school years, and I will  not be surprised if by the end of the season, he is curled in the fetal position wearing a diaper and crying in the arms of Cate Blanchett (or Marvin Lewis)." 

- Ben Roethlisberger made a comment before the game Sunday that he spoke with Mario Lemieux and Mario said, "you finally look like a hockey player."  Is anyone else as troubled by the fact that Mario and Ben seem to be legitimate friends?  I think I can come to accept Mario's friendship with Ben, so long as I can get a guarantee that Mario will not allow Sid, Geno, and/or Fleury to be around Roethlisberger.  That's all I ask.  Oh, and Mario ... maybe you could tell Ben that when the stereotype of you is as a dumb redneck who may be a little "aggressive" in certain instances (to put it mildly), it may not be such a good idea to wear a camouflage hat in your press picture.  Just a thought.

- In other news, the Caps are mired in a 6-game losing streak after getting spanked by the Rangers 7-0 last night.  If we've said the Pens' winning streak is not a big deal, then, by rule, we have to say the same thing about the Caps' losing streak.


  1. Quoting Artistry--"I think I can come to accept Mario's friendship with Ben, so long as I can get a guarantee that Mario will not allow Sid, Geno, and/or Fleury to be around Roethlisberger."

    Hope he keeps his daughters away from him as well!

    Not everyone has forgiven or forgotten the mud you dragged yourself and the Steeler organization through the past couple of off-seasons just because you're playing tough and winning right now, Ben.

  2. Well said, rockhopper. I think the rule of thumb for connecting with Ben Roethsliberger, whether physically or emotionally speaking, needs to be "arms length."