I don't think anyone can argue that the Texans have one of the least creative monikers in the game.
Oh, you play in Texas and you're the Texans?
So, it's not just a clever name?
But of course who really cares what they're called as long as we're calling them losers on Monday, right?
The thing is, I think I'm the most nervous for tomorrow's game out of any Steelers game thus far this season.
Week 1, I felt good.
Week 2, I felt pretty good.
Last week, I felt relatively good.
This week, I'm more nervous than a virgin on prom night.
Ok, I'm exaggerating. But I'm definitely not as confident as I'd like to be.
Typically, that's when a Steelers team that's headed anywhere will surprise me and serve up a beat down on someone. But the key part of that statement is "a Steelers team that's headed anywhere," which of course remains to be seen.
I'm not saying playing Houston is any kind of test or anything, but what I am saying is that barring another pastry fest, this should be a winnable game for the Steelers. Of course, they're technically all winnable, but I think you get the point.
It doesn't help that we're down to what equates to human traffic cones on the offensive line. In case you haven't heard, J Scott and The Big Legursky are both out this week. Meaning this week's Steelers starting offensive line, left to right, will be Trai of Essex (yes, you heard me right), Kemo, Pouncey, Ramon Foster, and Marcus Gilbert.
Yep, pretty much.
Keisel is also out, which isn't necessarily all bad, since Ziggy Hood is my homeboy, but it is one less veteran presence along a line that really needs to generate pressure on Matt Schaub.
So, I'd have had butterflies even if all these guys were playing, but clearly the fact that they're not ain't helping.
Anyway, the Texans have only beaten a bag of oreo cookies and a coke zero this season (ie, the Colts and the Dolphins), having lost last week to Drew Breesus and the Saints. And I read somewhere this week that they haven't gained or lost a yard in something like 21 of their 51 red zone snaps this season, which isn't exactly what I'd call fear-inducing (then again, they've had 51 red zone snaps).
So, we've got that going for us, which is nice.
But I'm still not going to sit here and act like I think the Steelers are gonna go down to Houston and have their way with Gary Kubiak's daughter or something.
Gotta earn this one.
So, with that, I'd like to get right down to business, here.
The fact remains that when the wins are tallied in December, winning by 35 points doesn't get you any further than winning by 3 points.
Stop me if I'm blowing your mind here.
So, I'm certainly not going to blow smoke up your ass like I wasn't storming around my apartment in a fit of rage while Jospeh Addai was running over the Steelers at an average of five yards a clip.
But the result is still the same.
And that is another notch in the win column, which keeps the Steelers at the top of the division along with the Browns, who were off revealing how bad Dolphins fans really have it, and the Ravens, who were committing what might be classified as a felony in the state of Missouri (a concept not unfamiliar to some of them).
IE - just take it easy, man.
2-1 is a lot better than 1-2.
So, what if it had to come down to the final two minutes?
I'd like the Steelers to start regularly spanking teams by 30 points myself, but I'm a realist.
A win is a win is a win.
You be thankful you got it, and you get the hell out of town like you stole something.
So, notwithstanding the fact that there are indeed several major issues that really need to be addressed, it is going to be ok.
Just take your pills, and we'll all get through this whole winning thing together.
Anyway, getting down to the business we discuss here each week, I've only got "Things That Were Awesome," and "Things That Were NOT Awesome," below.
My sincerest apologies for not offering a more expanded array of bad memories, as I would normally otherwise.
"Being 0-2, it hasn’t been this way, not in my career. I couldn’t figure out a better time to go out there and show the world that we are who we are. That’s the Indianapolis Colts. That’s the same team that’s been in the playoffs for how many ever consecutive years in a row. I feel like we are on pace to do that."
0-2, no Peyton Manning for the foreseeable future, ranking in the bottom 10 in the NFL in terms of rushing yards, rushing yards allowed, and passing yards, and you're talking about playoffs?!?!?
YOU LOST TO THE BROWNS LAST WEEK!
Either way, I bet when whoever does the NFL's scheduling spotted a Sunday evening in late September that was ripe for a matchup of top tier franchises, it never expected to end up with this game.
Look, no one is going to deny the fact that without Peyton Manning, the Colts are a different team, and heretofore, not looking like a very good one.
But just like last week against the Seacocks, do not let appearances fool you. Any NFL team can beat any other NFL team on any given Sunday, as they say. Even if that team is quarterbacked by [a sober] Kerry Collins.
Keisel is obviously a pretty sizable loss - both in actual body mass and contribution to the defense, but McFadden, again, I'm not so sure we care. However, here's to hoping they try and give Keenan Lewis or anyone else born after 1981 (besides Bill Gay, see below) a chance to see what they can do at Corner.
Ok, so I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that you all feel a little bit better after this Sunday than you did after last Sunday.
Yes, this was the Seacocks, who look about as dangerous as a chia pet, but shutting any other NFL team out completely is not an easy thing to do.
Perhaps you noticed, but the Steelers had ZERO penalties enforced against them in the first half.
Not only that, but the Chickens of the Sea didn't even start a play from the Steelers side of the field until 10:00 left in the 4th quarter!
I think one of my favorite parts was when Manny Sanders trolled Seacock fans with that eerily-familiar gadget play to Hines Ward...
Any way you slice it, 24-0 is a whole lot more inspiring than whatever you call last Sunday in Baltimore.
So, what, do we not celebrate it because it was against what many perceive to be an inferior and outmatched opponent?
Hell no, I say we celebrate it until we fall down.
But first, can I get a moment of silence in honor of what the Titans did to the Ravens yesterday?
Thank you, Tennessee for making sure that this victory put us back tied with the axis of evil in our division (notwithstanding the fact that they hold the tie breaker).
Personally, I thought Matt Hasslebeck passing for over 350 yards was a nice touch.
But the reality is, while we should celebrate this win, we should continue to let the spectre of Week 1 remind us that every game is precious, and to stay focused and hungry.
It's only week 3 now, and we've got a long road to haul.
Let's hope this is just the first of many wins we get to celebrate this season.
Now, with that said, let's get to the breakdown of "Things That Were Awesome," and "Things That Were NOT Awesome."
There will usually be a level lower than "Things That Were NOT Awesome," but I have a strict rule here that whenever the Steelers shut another team out completely, I don't get too nitpicky. So, I'm just holding up my end of the bargain.
Either way, feel free to chime in with your own votes/ideas in the comments.
Welcome to the NFL, Marcus Gilbert. Time to put your big boy pants on and play like a champion. Lightning struck last season with Maurkice Pouncey starting, here's to hoping the Steelers are lucky enough for it to strike twice.
As for other injuries, besides pretty much everyone being listed as probable with hurt feelings, Bryant McFadden and Chris Kemoeatu are questionable for Sunday. McFadden's injury might actually be a blessing in disguise, given the way he was abused by Joe Flacco last week, but Kemo, that's a seahorse of a different color. We had no idea how the starting o-line was going to hold up last week when it at least had three veterans starting (Scott, Kemo, Colon...four if you count Pouncey, which coincidentally was exactly how many times Ben was sacked for the game). Now, if it's J Scott, Ramon Foster(?), Pouncey, Legursky, and Marcus Gilbert, well, we can only hope for the best.
As for the 'Hocks, well, we only play these bitches once every four years, and I can categorically say this is a team I want the Steelers to murder.
They too got off to a less than impressive start last week, losing to the 49ers due to two 4th quarter Ted Ginn returns for TDs. But as any real sports fan can tell you, past performance does not dictate future success (or lack thereof).
I know how this game looks, and I think that's what slightly worries me.
Both teams got embarrassed last week by division rivals. Both should be looking for redemption this week.
Meaning we've got a thunderdome situation on our hands.
Do I think this is a clash of titans?
Probably not, but before I get into full-on hater mode, I feel it's my duty to point out that just because it's the Seacocks doesn't mean it can't be a battle.
Anyway, as usual, this thing is pretty dense, so I'm not going to belabor shit any further.
So, at this point, I direct you to hit the jump and let's do this!