Friday, December 11, 2009

From Super Bowl Champion to Homecoming Opponent

A few salient facts from last night’s Steelers game, where the defending Super Bowl champions lost 13-6 to the previously 1-11 Cleveland Browns:

It was the first time since 1997 a team ten games under .500 had beaten a defending champion. The last time it happened, a young Peyton Manning was the winning quarterback. Brady Quinn completed 6 of 19 passes for 90 yards last night. He ain’t no Peyton Manning.

The Steelers offense scored six points and allowed eight sacks. More yards were lost on sacks than were gained rushing.

The temperature at kickoff was 15 degrees, with winds of 25-48 mph. (Source: NFL Game Book.) Perfect weather for running the ball 40 times. Bruce Ariens called 21 rushes and 41 passes (including the sacks and one run by Ben Roethlisberger that was intended to be a pass).

Cleveland rushed for 171 yards, the highest total allowed by a Pittsburgh defense against Cleveland since 1972. Pittsburgh’s total offense was 216 yards.

It was clear from the outset the Steelers thought they could just throw their jerseys on the field and win. “We’re Super Bowl champions! Cleveland is 1-11! We’ve beaten them twelve times in a row!” No one appeared to remember the Steelers had lost four games in a row, bowing to such juggernauts as Kansas City and Oakland.

The offensive line didn’t block. In addition to the eight sacks, ball carriers were routinely contacted at or behind the line of scrimmage.

The defense didn’t tackle. Josh Cribbs ran through them like he was wearing a Teflon uniform.

The special teams were at least consistent: they still stink. A punt return of over forty yards was allowed. The Steelers made no returns worth mentioning. The only two bright spots were Jeff Reed’s two field goals and the team finally figuring out how to prevent long kickoff returns: If you don’t score, you never have to kickoff.

A truly disgraceful display. Thank God for hockey.


Charlieopera said...

Quit your whining, brother. Imagine my angst (a Buffalo Bills fan) ... not only do we suck and have a certifiable moron for an owner, we play our "home field advantage games" (like the weather last night) against division rivals (we've now lost both games --Dolphins and Yets)) in a dome in another country!

And the Iron Ores from Pittsfield at least have a bunch of rings ... we have the only unbeatable record in all of sports (4 consecutive chokes at the dance).

You won it all last year, you don't get to complain this year.

Or maybe you'll permit me to transfer the Bills logo tattood on my left arm to one of your arms when our owner croaks and the team is moved to Toronto (a country, by the way, I'm not speaking to).

And that (tattoo) was the singular dumbest macho asshole thing I've ever done ... including having wife #2's name tattood on my other arm, which had to be covered with BIG double roses just prior to marrying #3).

Vey iz mir ...

Dana King said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dana King said...

I can live with them sucking. I'm still a loyal Pirates fan, and no one in history has sucked longer or harder than them. (17 consecutive losing seasons and counting.) It's the not showing up part that killed me from last night. They get paid good money; make an effort.

Charlieopera said...

I would be a Mets fan if I were talking to baseball ... but a long time ago I was at a Mets game against YOUR Pirates and a bloop single was hit by a Met into right-center and one of YOUR guys loafed so badly, OUR guy took second without a thought. That was it. Like you I'd had it. I haven't been back to a major league baseball game since (and this was back when one didn't need a loanshark to attend a game with his kids).

At least the National League still plays major league rules (no DH), but the shortened fences and diluted pitching doesn't do it for me anymore. Baseball has become something I ignore ... except to poke fun at.

I do remember Bill Maz and Clemente and even Vernon Law ... Strat-O-Matic is probably the only thing I remember from those days but even that game is more legit than what they're selling today.