September 07, 2008

Rule the Day

THE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM has it that the Pittsburgh Steelers face a meat-grinder of a schedule, an impossible hill to climb in their pursuit of post-season glory. Today, the Steelers delivered a message with their 38-17 win over the Houston Texans. That message is this: it is not a case of Pittsburgh having to play many of the league's greatest teams. It is a case of the league's greatest teams having to play Pittsburgh, and hoping they survive.

I haven't seen the Steelers look that good in years. I mean, in the third quarter, the score was Pittsburgh 35 - Houston 3, and then Pittsburgh put in its backups. Houston, as football fans know, isn't that bad of a team. They are certainly not an excellent team, perhaps even not a good one, but certainly they are middle of the pack. Pittsburgh steamrolled over the Texans like a Hummer over an armadillo. Willie Parker had three touchdowns and 138 rushing yards. Hines Ward had two touchdown receptions. Ben Roethlisberger had a outstanding quarterback rating. And LaMarr Woodley was ... well, LaMarr Woodley. Everyone played great -- even the offensive line. You couldn't have asked for a better game from the Steelers. My reaction to the game can be summed up in three words: oh, hell yeah.

Pittsburgh's message to the league? In two words -- fear us.

Sadly, the Cleveland Browns did NOT do nearly as well as Pittsburgh. True, this was not entirely a bad thing -- the Browns' loss means Pittsburgh is now up a game on the alleged Smart Pick to win the AFC North. But I hate Dallas and watching Dallas win is annoying to say the least. Also, Dallas was unclassy as usual. So it was disappointing to see Cleveland fall 28-10 to the Cowboys. But we learned from the game that Cleveland still does not have, to use the technical term, a "defense." Mom was disappointed; my brother Jesse, who was at the game, was undoubtedly not happy at all. See you next week!

Jerome Bettis just smacked Cris Collinsworth on NBC's "Football Night in America." Verbally smacked, I mean. Made a crack about Collinsworth's work with the Bengals. And with good reason. Hoo boy did Cincinnati stink up the joint against the Baltimore Ravens today. This was pleasing, as I had predicted the Ravens' win over Cincinnati. Also, the Bengals apparently don't have a defense either. I am starting to like the Steelers's chances this year.

Of course, the big story of the day is Tom Brady. I have no idea what happened to Brady, although it certainly seemed to me Brady had the Kimo von Oelhoffen treatment applied to his knee. I've heard everything from "knee blown out" to "broken tibia" to "ACL torn" today -- this from my fellow football fans -- so I don't have any idea what might be wrong with the best quarterback in the league. My guess, however, is the ACL or some other ligament. If that's the case, Brady would probably be gone for the season. But we'll find out Monday, when the Patriots are forced to tell the world the news. I would not put it past them, however, to disguise the injury, thus paving the way for a mid-season Brady comeback, because one cannot underestimate the evil genius of Evil Genius Hobo Coach.

On an interesting observational note, a lot of football fans really don't like the Patriots. When the lowly Kansas City Chiefs pulled off a 68-yard pass play in the closing minutes of the game, bringing them within yards of tying the game, everyone in the room cheered. The Patriots fans, in the main portion of the bar, were silent. But the Pats pulled out the game, 17-10. They may need that win.

In other news: San Diego lost. Jacksonville lost. Now, only if Indianapolis would lose. But it's a long season and there are a lot of weeks ahead!

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at September 7, 2008 06:57 PM | TrackBack
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