Forgive the lateness of the game recap, as I've been recovering from my shortened running of the Chicago Marathon. Yep, my run got curtailed with a pulled hamstring, which just further goes to show you running is for suckers. Better than suffering heat stroke, I suppose.
The bright side: making it to the bar in time for kickoff, for what was easily the most satisfying victory, since, oh, the last time the Steelers beat the Seahawks.
To be without the team's three best players and to dominate the second half as they did is owed in large part to masterful gameplanning by Mike Tomlin and Dick LeBeau. Early on in the game, I was frustrated that LeBeau was only sending three rushers on most passing downs against Hasselbeck, yet the secondary was giving him zero opportunities to fit anything in.
Credit as well is deserved to Cedrick Wilson and Ryan Clark, who stepped up admirably to fill what seemed to be huge gaps that had opened thanks to the injuries to Santonio, Hines and Troy. Ike Taylor, though he dropped what could have been second and third picks on the day, has nearly returned to his '05 playoff run form.
If anyone was endeavoring to capsize the team's towering effort, it was the heretofore solid Allen Rossum, who nearly gave the C-Hox a chance to get back into the game by mindlessly attempting to dive on a punt about to be downed at the Steelers' one, then putting the next return on the ground. Seriously, Allen, there's only room for one Colclough on this squad.
Rossum aside, this was a powerful statement by a team missing large parts of its core in what I considered a must-win game going into the bye. Given a week to get healthy, the Steelers are ready to cleave the meat of their schedule.