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Written by Cotter   
November 29, 2010 13:45

I feel like I could say this every week, but if not every week, certainly every year. The thing about football (or anything for that matter) is, before the age of instant gratification, it was a lot easier to keep things in context (as Gerrimy mentioned recently). One play wasn't the end of the world. A win was a win, and we didn't always have to scrutinize every step a guy takes, every facial gesture, and every blade of grass. But now that we're used to getting what we want, when we want it, and how we want it, we (a lot of us, anyway) expect that out of every facet of our lives.

If football games always went perfectly, what would be the point of watching? Life isn't perfect, so why should a football game or season be? Let's not forget, it's hard to win eight games in today's NFL (in the AFC, at least), period (just ask the Buffalo Bills). The Steelers have already done that, and they still have five games left. Every throw isn't going to connect. Every run isn't going to break for 45 yards. And sometimes injuries, penalties and dropped passes happen. But like I said last week, it's the ability to play through those things and overcome them that separates the winners from the losers. 

Yesterday's Steelers performance wasn't going to win any beauty pageants. But the good news is, it didn't have to. All the Steelers needed to do was come away with a win. And that they did. 

Now, they didn't make it easy on themselves, although if they had maintained their momentum from the 1st half, they certainly could have...

That screenshot is in the dictionary next to the word, "dominance." 

Almost 24 minutes of possession to just over six. 18 first downs. 44 total plays. 75 yards rushing. The only thing that wasn't mind blowingly lopsided in the 1st half was the score, but at least the Steelers were winning 13-0 going into the half. 

And then, imagine this, the Bills came out ready to play...I mean, how dare a team actually try and beat the Steelers, right? 

But even though the Bills scored 13 unanswered points in the first 17 minutes of the 2nd half to tie the game up, and put up three more points to once again tie it with :02 left in the game, the Steelers ultimately prevailed, bringing them to 8-3.

And I'm sure the importance of the victory isn't lost on you guys, but the Steelers have been locked in a dead heat with the Ravens...had they lost yesterday AND the Ravens then won, they would've been a game back in the division, going into Baltimore, with the Ravens already holding the tiebreaker. Now, we're tied atop the division, and a win would mean the Steelers would hold the tiebreaker by virtue of their division record.  

I said it yesterday in the preliminary recap, and I'll say it again here - an all out war is on the horizon. 

I'm already fired up and it's only Monday afternoon. 

Anyways, I won't waste any more of your time with the intro, because I'd like to waste plenty of your time with the real thing below. So, without further ado, I give you, the "Things That Were Awesome" (aka, the "Things That Will Make Steve Johnson Not Want to Kill Himself" - for Corey at Three Rivers Burgh Blog) "Things That Were NOT Awesome," and "Things That Made Me Want to Waterboard Myself While Listening to Michael Bolton's Greatest Hits."

Check 'em out and feel free to give us all yours in the comments.

Things That Were Awesome, aka Things That Will Make Steve Johnson NOT Want to Kill Himself:

1. The Billdozer

Pretty sure Rashard had like 18 carries just in the 1st half, but he ended the game having toted the ball 36 times for 151 yards and the 1st quarter score you see above.

It's not exactly rocket science to run the shit out of the ball when you're facing the league's worst run defense, but rankings and numbers don't mean anything unless you execute.

This week, he executed the Bills.

Next week, it's the Gayvens turn. 

2. Hines Ward's 1st Half...

And even though he only added one more for 24 yards in the 2nd half, how about this stat - 7 catches on 8 targets. 

Steve Johnson? 7 catches on 15 targets. 

It's gotta be the shoes...

...or, the hyperbaric chamber.

3. The Magnificent Troy Polamalu and His Buddy James Harrissassin 

For the last few weeks people have been wondering where Troy went.

I doubt anyone is still wondering after yesterday. 

Four tackles, all solo, a fumble recovery and another sick highlight to go on his career reel.

Hopefully, he adds 10 more over the next five weeks.

Now, James Harrison. 

Six tackles, another sack (his 10th on the season), and another forced fumble (his SIXTH on the season). 

James Harrison, getting in that ass (totally NSFW at all, whatsoever)...

Joe Flacco's on notice.

4. The Nation

Actual image from Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo, NY. 


5. Steve Johnson's Dropped Pass

In reality, it's not exactly great to celebrate the fact that the other team's leading receiver had the game in his hands, but couldn't hold on. Because, after all, he had the game in his hands. That play goes differently and the same people cracking jokes are crying in their cereal this morning. And in all honesty, I respect the fact that Steve Johnson was so upset at himself, because that shows how much of a competitor he is. 

That all said...


Things That Were NOT Awesome:

1. Mendenfumble

That's two Home Alone clips in a matter of three days for me...

What can I say, 'tis the season.

2. I'm Scared. Hold Me, Chris Kemoeatu...

Can't really blame Kemo for the fact that Kyle Williams had an appetite for destruction yesterday. 

I'm not going to lie to you, though, when one of his four holding penalties negated that 42-yard Mendenhall run, I could've killed him. Then, I contemplated murder even longer after his next holding penalty annulled a 17-yard 1st down pass to Manny Sanders on 3rd and 7 with less than two minutes left in the game and the Steelers up by only three. 

If I was looking for the silver lining, I'd say that I'll take four holding penalties over four sacks every day of the week.

I'm not looking for the silver lining here. 


3. Somebody Fall on the G D Ball, Please?

How the Steelers didn't recover Leodis McKelvin's kickoff fumble is a mystery right up there with Pauly D's hair mold. 

Seriously, three Steelers right there with a chance - special teams ace Anthony Madison, Ryan Mundy, and Stevenson Sylvester.  

No one has had that great of odds in their favor and failed since the Patriots lost to the Giants in Super Bowl XLII. 

4. Keyaron Fox's Unnecessary Grabassing

The Bills were already getting the ball at their 41 yard line after Leodis McKelvin returned the thing 26 yards, 15 extra yards gave them the ball at our 44, with six minutes left in the 4th quarter, up by only a field goal. 

Thank God Troy is a freak of nature or that Bills drive could've ended really unfavorably for the Steelers.

Let's go to the tape one more time...

James Farrior's reaction is priceless (see about :09 in). 

5. Injuries

"My foot was in the ground and someone was driving me backwards and my foot couldn’t get out of the ground, so my knee just got bent sideway."

- Ben 

Your weekly list of casualties...

Ben Roethlisberger - sprained foot
Nick Eason - sprained MCL
Bryant McFadden - hamstring
Ryan Fitzpatrick - james harrison

Thing That Made Me Want to Waterboard Myself While Listening to Michael Bolton's Greatest Hits:

1. Solomon Wilcocks

Holy shit, dude.

Did he really spend a whole 30 seconds referring to Mike Wallace as Mike Williams?


Phil Simms would be proud.

2. The Bills Convert 4th and 2

10 yards to who else, Steve Johnson.

Not much you can really say besides - the Bills needed that 1st, and they got it.

The Steelers could've ended that drive right there and taken over from their 36, up by 3, with only a few minutes left. But, they didn't. 

By the way, the Bills were also like 4/4 on the first four 3rd downs of the 2nd half.

Whatevs, we know how this story ends.

3. Epic Drop

I'm glad there's no visual evidence of Manny Sanders trying to run before he had the ball in his hands, because I don't want that preserved for posterity. 

3rd and 9 at Buffalo's 30 yard line. Tied at 13 with like seven minutes left. Ben to Manny, who's at the Bills 21 yard line with a lot of daylight in front of him. 

It happens to the best of 'em. 

Keep ya head up, Manny. 

No, literally. 

4. Fred Jackson's 65-yard catch and run

Dude made a serious play, not even open to debate. 

5. Explain This to Me...

I only wish I had a picture of the sack I'm actually about to refer to (the Post-Gazette does)... 

Look, obviously I don't want to contribute to any conspiracy theories here, but tell me how on James Harrison's sack of Ryan Fitzpatrick, the play was whistled dead when Harrison had his arms around Fitzpatrick, before he even brought him down, but when Ben was down on his knees, another Bills defender could come in and clock him when he's already down, no whistle, no flag?


Anyway, time to close this bad boy out, Rashard Mendenhall style...

The NFL may have gone soft, but Yinz Luv Da Stillers won't stop hittin' like a ton of bricks...

This joke was old 10 minutes into yesterday's' game...

But how could I resist with that picture?

Most underrated play from yesterday...

Escapability, indeed. 18+ yard run on 3rd and 18 with a sprained foot. What a competitor. Just watch the sideline erupt! 

It has to be addressed...

God has forsaken Steve Johnson because he couldn't catch a game winning pass. Nevermind the fact that he's a 7th round draft pick who has become the Bills go-to receiver, or that he's sending this tweet from his iPad (God hasn't blessed me with an iPad, I don't know about you). 

Next time I'm hungover, I'm blaming God instead of the 15 beers I drank the night before.

Let's all watch it one more time, just for fun...

Epic fail. 

Oh no...

John Elway...SMH!

Caption this in the comments...

And, boom - 8-3. 

With the recap in the books, it is now officially Ravens week...

Bring it, cupcakes. 

Now, anyone care to share with us your "Things That Were Awesome," "NOT Awesome," and/or "Made You Want to Waterboard Yourself While Listening to Michael Bolton's Greatest Hits?"

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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