Monday, October 8, 2012

GTOPG: Mildly Above-Average Steelers Defeat More Mildly Above-Average Eagles 16-14

By GTOG Staff

The Steelers are capable of winning any game on the schedule, but Sunday's come-from-behind win over the mildly above-average Eagles solidified in our minds that this is at best a 10-6 team destined for something far short of greatness.  How do we know this?  Let's look at three key pieces of evidence.  First, here's what Finesse tweeted just prior to the Steelers' game-winning drive:

It would be easy to second-guess us and point out that the chances were actually closer to 208%, and you'd be right.  We forgot to factor in that Willie Colon was still out there.

Second, here's what a disappointed Shady McCoy had to say after the game:  "I don't know how I can say this humble...we felt like we could drive on them."  You can't say that humble, Shady, and you shouldn't have to.  We actually owe you an apology, because, really, you could drive on them.  We have no idea how that didn't happen to the proper degree.  So sorry, man.

And, at the risk of bringing you down in the wake of a win that will probably end up propelling the Steelers to a wildcard playoff berth, check out the third and most critical piece of evidence after the jump...

Here is a list of the top dozen names on the Steelers' current payroll (thanks to

See that name at the top?  Ben Roethlisberger is the reason we're not wearing paper bags over our heads right now.  Think about that statement, people.  BECAUSE BEN ROETHLISBERGER IS REALLY EMBARRASSING MOST OF THE TIME.  We're just so grateful for his immense talent and unintentional comedy, we don't even care.  Thank you, Ben!  (Double finger point to the sky.)

Let's focus on the performance of some of the other names on this list.

- LaMarr Woodley, Mike Tomlin tells us, has a hamstring.  As do we all.  But Woodley's hamstring should be held up as a hamstring that, along with Troy's calf, James's knee, and Casey's buttocks, exemplifies the most overrated and brittle defense in the league.  Woodley's great when he's on his game.  Someone should send him the team schedule.

- James Harrison was a force against Philadelphia, but he's also an under-sized 35-year-old linebacker with bad knees who maybe isn't very nice to people.  We're not saying that we have a friend who lives in close proximity to him and who is terrified to say hello.  We're not saying that at all.  Just that before you know it James will simply be a 38-year-old unemployed person with bad knees who maybe isn't very nice to people.

Welcome to the neighborhood!
- Forget that Lawrence Timmons played well against the Eagles and focus on the fact that it's so notable he played well against the Eagles.  We were surprised by this.  Lawrence Timmons has a $50 million contract!

- Antonio Brown, so reliable when he caught everything thrown his way last season, almost cost us this game by dropping a sure touchdown pass Ben laid right in his hands.  This comes on the heels of his crucial fumble in Oakland.  Yet 'Tone remains Roethlisberger's most dangerous weapon.  This is in no small part because he was out there Sunday with Mike Wallace's hands and Jericho Cotchery legs.

- There's a lot of concern about Troy Polamalu's calf-injury, or re-injured calf, or perpetually injured leg region, or whatever else you want to call it. Even Ron Cook is writing full paragraphs foreshadowing Troy's hastened demise.  We don't really know the extent of the injury yet, but we know two things: it's bad when you hurt yourself walking around after the whistle, and when a football player nears the end it means he's already at the end. There's really know reason, though, to make a proclamation one way or the other about whether he's done because when he is done, it will be obvious.

The better question for discussion now is why is this happening, and IS THERE SOMEONE WE CAN BLAME?!?!?! The answer to these questions is far from being as simple as bad luck. Troy's style is incredibly reckless; he's been concussed so many times he thinks you get a 15-yard penalty for not tackling the other guy helmet first. He also has insisted at various times during his career, with the Steelers' blessing, that he train on his own. His unconventional training methods may certainly be responsible for making him into one of the most unique talents in NFL history, but are they also responsible for him popping calf muscles while standing still? Impossible to say, but what if we told you his trainer was Todd Marinovich's dad?

"Sure, Troy.  Go train with this guy's dad."
- Willie Colon reportedly blacked out for a minute and held his own child as she descended from his wife's birth canal.  Luckily, Ben stepped in and whispered soothingly, "It's ok, Lieutenant, I'm safe. Just let go."

- Although it would seem that opposing running backs have little room to maneuver between Leader of the Defense Brett Keisel and Casey Hampton's ass, they don't seem to be having much of a problem.

- Maurkice Pouncey appeared to decide at one point Sunday to try out for the long-snapper role.  Also, we're pretty sure you could fit two Maurkice Pouncey's inside Willie Colon.

- Would B.A. have handed the ball off to Ike Redman twice in the final thirty seconds already in field goal range so that Second-and-9 could pirouette for 2 yards while giving an entire stadium flashbacks of Bussy fumbling at the goal line in Indy?

"Did someone say B.A.?"
- Rashard Mendenhall's surprisingly effective return exposed Ike Redman for what he is.  Ike Redman.

- Must-win Thursday night game in Tennessee this week.  Troy is definitely out, but the "door [is] ajar" for Woodley to play.  It shouldn't matter.  Chris Johnson isn't getting through any openings anyway.

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