Some night to debut your ads for a sleep remedy, Ocho. If Chad didn't make his biggest impact on Monday night's game by yelling at his quarterback, you might be excused for forgetting that he was even on the field. Way to backup that "team of girls" bullshit you were spewing months back. Then again, let's just be glad Ocho isn't anywhere as good as his tard tandem buddy T.O. or that could have gone more worse.
I could have used some sleeping pills myself after that nerve-wracking finish. Thankfully Jordan Shipley is a little less trustworthy on 4th down than Brian Leonard or I'd be harping about one of the most agonizing collapses in Steelers' history. Even though the Bengals got quite a bit of help on questionable calls in their last touchdown drive, the Steelers have no one to blame but themselves for failing to put that game away before it got too dramatic for anyone's liking.
Jeff Reed missed another huge field goal. Yeah, he hit one from 53 yards, but the way he's been performing this season, who actually thought he would hit the one that counted most? I doubt the team will dump him before the season is out, unless he turns in some 0-for-4 performance at some point in the year, and that's a cause for concern going forward. The Steelers can't keep having to cover for him missing big kicks and hope to win. They just can't. It cost them against Baltimore. It cost them against New Orleans. They were fortunate that it didn't against Atlanta.
Bryant McFadden had an epically shitty night. I'm still glad to team reacquired him in the offseason, because without him the team might be in even worse straits in the secondary. But McFadden has been inconsistent at best this year. He's been good at times, but was burned by Houshmandzadeh at the end of the Ravens game and multiple times last night. I would include William Gay on the list of the burninated as well, but at least Gay made a handful of good plays to offset the stink of getting torched repeatedly by T.O. in coverage.
Roethlisberger deserves blame for a bad pick on an attempt to Miller when the Steelers still had a 27-13 lead in the 4th. You can bitch about Arians deciding to throw the ball in that situation, but it wasn't a bad playcall and Miller was open. Just a bad throw. I think Ben was fairly solid otherwise, but that error proved costly.
Where you can bitch about Arians is the pointless and maddening dependence on a never effective bubble screen. Yes, the offensive line was banged up last night and so the Steelers needed quick release plays to counteract the pass rush, but they have to come up with something else. It was one thing when they had Santonio, who is absolutely brilliant in the open field. Hines is a great player, but he's simply not quick and nimble enough at this point in his career to make that work. I really just assume they throw him one per game just to ensure that he maintains his consecutive games with a reception streak, but they went with bubble screens on consecutive plays to Hines and he fumbled the second when Leon Hall got his helmet in on Hines' hands. Even had Hines not fumbled, that play was going nowhere. At least try them at Wallace or don't even bother with them. Better yet, don't even bother with them.
I'm willing to excuse the fumble as a good play by the defender, but Hines can cut out that John Wall dance shit he did after he scored. It's old and brings too much joy to irritating D.C. fans. Cut it out.
Mike Wallace has great instincts to get jump balls. For someone of his size, he seems incredibly good at it. The TD pass from Randle El really wasn't that well thrown, but as was the case twice against the Buccaneers, Wallace just went up and got it. His four receptions were a season high, which seems odd for a guy now on pace for a thousand year season. I'll never get tired of the big plays, but I'd still like to see Wallace used for a few other functions than just fly routes.
Though the Steelers sustained more than a few injuries going into a short week - Will Allen, Mewelde Moore and Isaac Redman suffered concussions while Starks, Pouncey and Kemoeatu were all dinged up on the line. Of the O-line guys, only Kemo's seems to be at-all serious, though it looks like he'll only be limited in practice in advance of the game against the Patriots on Sunday.
I was a mess by the end, but the Steelers got a key win on the road over a division opponent that might just now check out for the season. The pass defense is going to have to step it up for Brady and the Pats, but I like the match-up with the running game going against the weak New England defense. Hopefully the line is in decent shape by the time Sunday rolls around. Should be a fun one.