Monday, September 19, 2011

GTOPG: Steelers Dominate; We Wonder Why We Didn't Bet This Game

By Artistry

This was all very predictable. The 24-0 win (we predicted 29-3), Ron Cook following the win with a column praising the defense's "Golden Oldies" with no acknowledgment that the Seahawks are horrendous, and Ben Roethlisberger taking numerous vicious shots, staying in the game, then turning to face the camera as he stepped gingerly down the stairs to the locker room at halftime. Like clockwork, every bit of it. And, ultimately, it means as little in the context of an entire season as last weekend's embarrassment in Baltimore. In case you missed this, your Opening Day Super Bowl champion Ravens just got handled by Elisabeth Hasslebeck's brother-in-law. 

- Everybody is 1-1 here in AFC Central, and it's just as pointless to prognosticate about where we go from here as it was last week. Why? Mostly because we don't even know who's going to be walking in two weeks let alone playing. Two guys on the offensive line* went down last week, Brett Keisel got banged up against Seattle, and we've already entered Big Ben "I just need to play through the pain" territory. Ligaments are not being treated with respect out there, and we're sure people didn't stretch properly during the lockout. Dez Bryant is out with a quad. Stephen Jackson also has a quad. Reportedly, Santonio Holmes is dealing with a quad. And these are just the quads! Michael Vick is spitting up blood. Felix Jones has a shoulder. According to the Kansas City Chiefs, Jamaal Charles was "questionable" to return yesterday with what looked like a severed leg. It's rough all around, I'm telling you.

One of the best quads in the league
 - Fortunately, our quarterback is built like an oak tree. You really might need to remove Ben's legs to get him off the field, and even then, one suspects you'd find his torso back in the huddle after missing a single play. Then he would complete a pass and inch up the field, shaking his throwing hand and grimacing, momentarily distracting observers from the larger issue of him having no legs.

- The Steelers hit a fair amount of check-down passes. "It just proves that our guys can get it done even when you give them the ball short; you don't have to go deep every time." No you don't, but nor should you feel compelled to draw up multiple screen passes for Hines Ward every game. He's not exactly showing a lot of burst out of the gate these days. We still love him as a red zone option or a safety valve between the numbers, but are the Steelers obligated to get him the ball behind the line of scrimmage? Apparently, yes. A source provided GTOG with Ward's contract, which provides in pertinent part:

Section 7.1.4. Two (2) Mandatory Screen Passes: Club agrees that at least twice per game, with the first attempt coming no later than 25 minutes into the first half, Club's designated Quarterback must throw a wide receiver screen pass to Player. A "wide receiver screen pass" is defined as a pass to Player that is completed either at or behind the line of scrimmage and has less than a 5% chance of resulting in a first down. Such passes must be made regardless of the game situation, defensive coverage, or anticipated effectiveness. Club agrees that if the attempts are incomplete, Club will re-attempt said screen passes until two (2) are completed, regardless of whether Player or Quarterback is at fault for the pass being incomplete. If the pass is completed and results in a net gain of less than 2 yards, Club agrees that it will publicly deem such pass a "successful attempt to counter the defense's pass rush" whether or not the completion has any mitigating effect on opponent's pass rush. This provision must remain confidential at all times.

There you go.

Always sees the humor in 2nd-and-11
- If Willie Colon could stop incurring season-ending tricep popping and Achilles bursting injuries, we believe Rashard Mendenhall would be a much more effective running back, and perhaps the Steelers' offensive line** wouldn't be dominated by teams such as the Seahawks on the goal line. Willie Colon couldn't be on steroids, could he? Did I say that out loud?

- William Gay, credit where it's due. Granted, you weren't facing the Packers offense out there, but no Seahawk shall henceforth take for granted a relaxing stay on Gay Island. Also, early indications are the best deal the Steelers made this off-season was the one they made with Ike Taylor.

- Daniel Sepulveda. What a weapon.

Did someone say "weapon?"
- The Kerry Collins Colts don't scare anybody, but it's loud in that stadium, and Trai Essex had about 27 false starts last time the Steelers played in Indy. So beware. That's going to be Dwight Freeney coming off the edge and accidentally on purpose taking out Ben's knees on Sunday night. Still, the prediction is Steelers 28, Colts 17. And we're not betting this one either.

*Band of Brothers
**Band of Brothers

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