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Dead Men Walking

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Stick and Move... E-mail
Written by Cotter   
November 23, 2010 12:04

Some say boxing is just as much about how much you can take as it is about how much you can give out. The fighters in a heavyweight bout know they're going to get hit. That's why you gotta land your punches and stay nimble; you gotta stick and move. It isn't just about how hard you hit. It's about standing toe-to-toe with someone, taking what they give, and giving them back more than they can ultimately handle. 

The NFL season is the ultimate heavyweight fight. It's 16 games of guys giving each other everything they've got. Each week, you know you're either going to land a punch or get the wind knocked out of you. But at the end, it's about never letting your hands down, never giving in to the other guy. Keep moving and keep hitting, taking hits and not going down, and the teams that can do that week in and week out are usually the ones who win.

So far the Steelers have been doing just that. It doesn't matter if we're starting Charlie Batch. It doesn't matter if offensive linemen are dropping like flies. It doesn't matter if we get torched by New Orleans or New England.  

To be 7-3 with the Steelers schedule and injury problems, not to mention Ben's suspension, is fantastic. Sure, I could ask for 8-2 or 9-1, but that'd be like finding a $20 and being pissed that it wasn't a $100. 

The Steelers have six games to go to make their case for January. Obviously the Ravens haven't made things easy for them thus far, but we can't worry about anyone else but ourselves. Regardless of what the Ravens or the Jets or the Colts or the Patriots do, the Steelers need to play every game with the energy, effort and enthusiasm they displayed on Sunday. 

431 yards of total offense and 5 TDs. 

Less than 200 yards of total offense for the Raiders.

Three turnovers. 

SIX sacks. 

3 points allowed. 

I'm not going to pretend the Raiders are the Patriots, but they had been winning games, which makes them a winning team. 

The Steelers sent a message Sunday.

They will not go quietly. They will not allow embarrassment, nor injury, nor bad officiating to back them down. They will be aggressive and play their game. They are focused on winning. And every team on their schedule is standing on the tracks while a train is coming through.

I don't know about you, but I felt pretty good to be a Steeler fan on Sunday. 

We can't look beyond where the Steelers are right now, but I, for one, feel really good about how they responded in this game. 

A large part of winning is mental, whether it's football or any other sport. You will always have to face adversity at one point or another. If you are mentally tough, that adversity fuels you. If you're the Bengals, it defeats you (as do the Buffalo Bills). 

Watching the Steelers straight up violate the Raiders 35-3 two days ago was an amazing sight to behold, even amidst all the bullshit. 

Not unlike Heinz Field itself...
[image via Samantha]

So, I choose to enjoy 7-3.

Hopefully you do too.

And with that, I give you the "Things That Were Awesome" and the "Things That Were NOT Awesome." Yes, this is slightly abbreviated from the norm, because anytime you beat a team 35-3, the former will likely greatly outweigh the latter.

I doubt anyone cares.


Things That Were Awesome:

1. The Receiving End of Dick Seymour's Sissy Slap

18/29 for 295 yards and 3 TDs. Throwing. 

3 carries for 55 yards and a TD. Rushing.

If ever I was going to use a Big Ben rape joke, now would probably be a good time.

Sorry, too easy.  

In six games since returning from being put in timeout, Ben has thrown for almost 1600 yards, 12 TDs and only 4 INTs, despite having been sacked as many times as Tom Brady has all season. And the only game in which he's had less than a 60% completion percentage was his first game back against Cleveland. Even then, it was 59.3%. 

Big Ben has a message for everyone...

Cock of the walk, baby. 


Caution, Ben at work.

2. MR. Contract Year

Only two tackles for Ike, but who cares about that when all he did otherwise was force a fumble and rob Jason Campbell of his dignity for a pick six that got wiped out because of James Harrison getting penalized for doing his job. 

I can't think of too many people - myself included - that haven't made a joke about Ike Taylor's hands, but I hereby decree that from here on out, those jokes are off the table. 

I have nothing but respect for what Ike has done over his eight year career thus far, and I think we're finding out that without him, the Steelers might be in trouble. 


Someone needs to make this button, stat. 

3. James Harrissassin 

We already covered this in the preliminary recap, but as far as I'm concerned the NFL can keep fining James Harrison if this is how he's going to respond. 

That's NINE sacks for Silverback through 10 games resulting in 62 lost yards for opponents, as well as two INTs and five forced fumbles.  

If I'm Ryan Fitzpatrick, I'm keeping an extra pair of underwear on the sidelines Sunday. 

4. You're Only As Young As You Play 

We hit this in the preliminary recap as well, but James Farrior was just like a kid out there yesterday, bagging eight tackles (two for a loss) and a sack.

Before the game even started, Potsie was so fired up, he was yelling over the coaches

James Farrior. The definition of leadership. 

5. Not Having to Use This Guy's Leg for Anything Other Than PATs

I saved number 5 in honor of how many TDs the Steelers scored on Sunday. 

Plus, three red zone attempts, all successful.

This may be my favorite stat to come out of Sunday.  

5a. The Young Guns 

I should really give Mike Wallace some solo love, to be honest. But, hear me out...

Mike Wallace - 3 catches, 116 yards (his fourth 100 yard receiving game this season), including a 5 yard route that he turned into a 52-yard TD - his 8th on the year. 


Manny Sanders (who has now leap frogged Randle El on the depth chart) - 2 catches, 35 yards, and a TD for the 2nd straight week.


Antonio Brown - 1 TOUGH 21 yard catch that I thought was intercepted, and a punt return TD that got brought back for holding on Ryan Mundy.

I can't pretend that Santonio Holmes doesn't make any team he is on better, but if you're going to ship him off for a 5th round pick, you better be able to fill that hole.

Mike Wallace is doing that.

Sanders and Brown are just icing on the cake.  

5b. Sepulveda! 

Four out of seven punts inside the 20. Long of 54. 

Things That Were NOT Awesome:

1. The Raiders Scoring on Their 1st Drive 

Let's be honest, the only reason the Raiders got any points off this drive (and indeed in this game) was a roughing the passer penalty against LaMarr Woodley and holding on Ike Taylor. Those two penalties accounted for 20 of the 45 yards on that Raiders drive.  

2. Helmet-to-Helmet Penalty on Ryan Clark 

If the league doesn't apologize to Ryan and the Steelers, it's going to be a slap in the face. 

I'm still not sure in what universe the middle of a guy's back is anywhere near his head. 

I'm not even going to say another word about it.

I'm not trying to get fined.  

3. The Overall Penalty Situation  

14 penalties for 163 yards. 

Against many other teams who are not the Raiders, that makes it a different game. 

I don't think you need me to really say anything about it, because I'm sure anything I'd say you've already thought. Besides, I think Mike Tomlin said it all when he said, "it just got away from us, all parties involved."

Being a ref in the NFL probably isn't the easiest job in the world, but some of those calls on Sunday were downright shameful. 

Was someone penalized for pulling a guy off a pile at one point?

Let's hope we never see anything like that ever again.  

As for Richie Seymour's $25,000 fine - again, there isn't much to say. Does it seem logically correct to fine James Harrison for his play between the whistles while only fining Seymour $25,000 for something that happened after a whistle? No, of course not. But in case you hadn't guessed by now, logic has no place in the new NFL. The league says he got the maximum fine assessable for fighting. Until they sit down and set out actual guidelines on all this, don't expect the seeming injustice to stop.

Just gotta...

4. The Raiders Filing a Complaint about the Heinz Field Turf 

Seriously, get over it.

If you lose because of field conditions, you didn't deserve to win in the first place.

By the way, congratulations to the Heinz turf for its half a sack of Jason Campbell Sunday.

Obviously we couldn't have done it without you. 

5. Injuries

At this point, the Steelers might have to cut someone just to hire more trainers to attend to the walking wounded. 

We touched on the injury situation last week, and by all accounts, the injuries that sent Maurkice Pouncey, Chris Kemoeatu and Jonathan Scott to the sidelines on Sunday aren't anything about which we should be immediately concerned, so I'm not going to make a big deal out of this. But if the Steelers make it through a Sunday this season without any lineman being injured, I might shit myself.  

Cut 'em a break, God. Their job is hard enough as it is.

This all said, I'd like to wind this thing down with a moment of silence for the Bengals season, please...

Also, this is for Stoosh and Amanda...

And one last thing...

Sunday, we stuck.

Now, we move.

Right on to Buffalo. 

Now, what were YOUR "Things That Were Awesome" and/or "Things That Were NOT Awesome?"

If you haven't already, become a fan of OFTOT on Facebook, and follow Cotter on Twitter. Or don't. Your choice, really.

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