Right, so we pretty much covered this Sunday, I think, but a win is a much needed win, and we'll take 17-13 just as welcomingly as 30-13.
The reality is, with the Bengals somehow figuring out how to play football, and the Ravens continuing to put the NFL in its place (gotta admit, they're doing their jobs), every game is going to be a must-win.
Granted, every game is a must-win either way, particulary if you're a Steeler fan.
But as usual, the AFC North is shaping up to be a race to the finish.
The good news is 4-2 ain't half bad.
I mean, only four teams in the entire league have more than four wins right now.
So, never fear, Steeler nation.
Things might continue to seem chaotic for a little while, but as long as we keep finding ways, we'll keep finding wins.
If you will it, dude, it is no dream, as the great Walter Sobchak would say (if you don't know that reference, you should probably look it up).
Getting back to OFTOT's bread and butter here (ie - schadenfreude) - the three people in Jacksonville who are aware that city has a professional football team are probably really disappointed right now.
Rough ending for a team with one lonely win and a five year old starting at QB.
Honestly, how bad must David Garrard have been for the Jagoffs to let him go right before the season in favor of Luke McCown and a fetus?
Had to have been about money.
No other way to rationalize it.
In any case, no sense in prolonging the inevitable anymore than I have to, so let's just dive right in to the "Things That Were Awesome," and "Things That Were NOT Awesome," here.
Should the Jaguars have been within one score of winning that game?
Repeat after Tomlin...
The bottom line is they were. But in the end, we got the last laugh.
Again, I've said it about a thousand times in probably a thousand different ways - I can't remember a time recently when these Steelers were in the habit of handily beating teams on a consistent basis without a fight.
Convincing wins in the NFL are a relative rarity in general.
Exhibit A - a couple of weeks ago in Houston, the same thing basically happened, only the Steelers were the aggressors who eventually couldn't pull it out in time.
We'll take the W any way we can get it.
And hopefully by Week 10 my fingernails will have grown back.
So, on that note, let's accentuate the positive and recap some of today's awesome that you'll likely see in the full recap on Tuesday.
First up, Mike Wallace's 28 yard TD grab...
And why not follow that with the only other ball he caught today...
...which just so happened to be a 47 yarder over who else but Ben's old nemesis, Rasheen Mathis.
And what about Mendenhall's 68 yard haul, which was a large chunk of his 146 yard day?
Or my personal favorite, Mendy giving Rasheen Mathis the business for six points...
iPhone auto-corrects Mendenhall to "Mending all," by the way.
Then, there was Manny Sanders with the 32 yard grab...
Would've been nice if he had gotten more than one of the four balls thrown his way, but of course, not all of those were on him.
And at least that one was awesome.
Anyway, 4-2, keeping pace with the Bangles, and hopefully at least only staying a game behind the Ravens, pending what's happening in Baltimore right now.
Trip out west next week for a date with our old friends Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm's mustache.
Stay tuned for the real recap hopefully on Tuesday morning.
In the meantime, feel free to deposit all your initial thoughts in the comments.
Outside of the teams in their own division, the Steelers have few legit rivalries.
MAYBE the Colts.
And I'd venture to say Tennessee, probably left over from the old AFC Central days.
Over the last few meetings the Steelers have more or less owned these jokers (in terms of wins, anyway), the lone exception being the now-infamous towel stomping, bed shitting incident of 2008, when they got punked 31-14.
But this year's Titans team isn't last years, or the one from the year before (not sure if that's proper English, but don't bother to correct me in the comments, I don't care).
Even beginning with no Jeff Fisher.
Dude's mullet and trashy Oakleys were Tennessee staples for the NFL equivalent of a century.
Now, he's gone, the Vince Young experiment is over, Matt Hasselbeck is under center, and the Titans are off to a 3-1 start, having beaten their last three opponents - the Ravens, Broncos, and Cle-heave-land.
As for the Steelers, well, we all know where they stand.
It can't get much worse than last week in a lot of ways.
And so, I expect that win or lose, this week will hopefully look a lot better than the week prior.
Is Max Starks the answer to the team's biggest problem?
But one has to assume he's a better answer than Trai Essex, should it come to that again, or at least a solid addition in terms of veteran depth on what seems like the world's shakiest line.
Then again, with Legursky in for Kemo, who will not be playing, I think this is basically a roll of the dice.
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.