12.28.2008

Panic Breaths! Panic Breaths!

Obviously, everything else - the first shutout of the year, another demolishing of the Browns, Hines getting 800 receptions and over 1,000 yards - is overshadowed by the severity of the concussion suffered by Roethlisberger.

There are those who will criticize Tomlin for playing Ben at all, but the starting unit needed to build some confidence coming off the debacle last week in Tennessee. And it didn't fare much better this week. Ben threw a bad pick early on on the Browns side of the field. They had a touchdown pass called back on a holding penalty. Even if Ben is physically able to play in two weeks, there have to be concerns about how the offense is going to establish any rhythm.

Byron Leftwich played well in his second relief appearance, though at times he was holding the ball much the same way Ben is criticized for it. Still, I think if a team has to gameplan for Byron, things won't turn out as swimmingly for him, though depending on the prognosis, that's what might happen.

Bruce Arians seemed awfully committed to running the ball off the right end, behind Willie Colon, and it was surprisingly (even against the Browns) effective. But this was less than competition. The Steelers could have lined up against tackling dummies and had a more difficult time. I'm not sure there's even a metric to measure how poor Bruce Gradkowski's line was for the day. I mean, 5/16 for 18 yards and two picks. Joshua Cribbs fared better going 1/2 for 8 yards. A fitting swan song for Romeo. It's been a pleasure beating him eight times.

6 comments:

Spatula said...

A lot of folks will blame Tomlin for playing his starters, but he was right to do so. The only Steelers game I've ever seen was the "meaningless" game against the Memphis Oilers in 1997 (Kordell was the normal starter that season). Most people believe that the Steelers were flat against the Patriots in the playoffs and this was one of the reasons we lost to the Broncos in the championship. In short, playing the starters was the right decision.

Buck said...

People get hurt, its part of the game. If Ben had been flat in the playoff game, people would have been bitching that he should have played in the browns game. I guess we will see what Byron and Dixon will do in the playoffs.

Paul said...

It was only a matter of time before Ben got hurt. We've all seen him take shot after shot all year long.

I'm surprised it didn't happen earlier.

The "We Hate The New England Patriots" San Diego Sports Fan Collective said...

I know you're not going to take up for the Patriots and their complaining about us getting into the playoffs at 8-8...you're rational and can accept that we are in...so who would the Steelers prefer to play, Chargers or Colts?

Christmas Ape said...

They both gave the Steelers close games at home. The Colts won, but the Steelers played very sloppily and could have taken that game. So it's a push between the two.

Buck said...

I would hope that we face either time in some 20 degree, snowing, blustery mess.