Week 11 Recap: Last Laugh On Jokes From Oakland

This is why you can’t have nice things…

The Pittsburgh Steelers laid a 35-3 beatdown on the outclassed Oakland Raiders yesterday afternoon.  However, instead of talking about the Black and Gold’s finest effort of the season, we’ll probably spend the week discussing the pathetic events which occurred between plays.  This game was a travesty, a sham, a complete mockery of what we as NFL fans expect.  And I hold Roger Goodell, the NFL, and the Raiders responsible for this utter travashamockery of football.

We should probably begin with Raiders DT and lead thug Richard Seymour, who sucker punched Ben Roethlisberger after a 22 yard touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders.  Seymour was ejected for his Rampage Jackson-style right cross but that is not enough.  This was a criminal act the likes of which I have never seen on an NFL field.  The Ginger Dictator loves fining players for legal yet vicious hits in the name of protecting their safety.  How safe is it when you have goons like Seymour physically assaulting defenseless men after a play?

Seymour should not only face the stiffest fine ever levied but suspended for 2 to 3 games for his reprehensible actions.  In fact, I DEMAND IT.

As if the lousy sportsmanship wasn’t bad enough, the officials did everything in their power to ruin the game.  The Steelers set a team record with 14 penalties for 163 yards.  The Raiders as a team only had 182 yards TOTAL.  Ordinarily, I’d lay blame for this fiasco on the players and Mike Tomlin.   But I really have nothing to admonish them for since only about half those calls were legitimate fouls.

There’s a phenomenon known locally as Pittsburgh Paranoia.   It’s a feeling Pittsburgh sports fans have where they constantly feel leagues, networks, and especially the media either ignore or attempt to diminish our teams.  Usually I laugh at these conspiracy nuts even though there is a kernel of truth to their argument.  However, after yesterday, I’m fully on board with anybody who wants to argue the NFL is attempting to sabotage the Steelers.

Even now, some 12 hours later, I can feel myself slipping into a boiling rage over the grossly inept display of officiating.  The Steelers were called for two personal fouls on absolutely clean sacks, one of which negated a pick-six.  James Harrison, after clocking Jason Campbell, was flagged for coming down “with his full weight on the QB.”  So that’s a penalty now?  What about 3/4 body weight?  Or 1/5?  How much weight is permitted to touch a precious QB before a flag is thrown in this increasingly pussified game of football?  It was a form-perfect hit.  What’s he supposed to do?

The Ginger Dictator should just issue a press release saying, “James Harrison is no longer permitted to touch any quarterbacks under penalty of fine and/or personal foul.  Sorry, I just don’t like him or the Steelers.  In fact, if he scowls at the QB in a threatening manner, I may penalize that, too.”  It’s pathetic.

When the Steelers weren’t being called for phantom personal fouls, they were getting flagged for phantom pass interferences.  Ike Taylor, who was the man denied his pick-six, got flagged for PI on a ball that overshot the receiver by about 20 yards.  I could go on and on and on but I don’t know what to say.  This was the most atrociously refereed football game I’ve ever seen.  The league should be embarrassed.

Let’s talk some positives.  Sean Kugler continues to work miracles with the offensive line.  The starting group of Flo-Foster (starting for a benched Trai Essex)-Pouncey-Kemo-Scott was fairly impressive, keeping Ben clean and providing a nice pocket.  Meanwhile, the vaunted run D the mouthbreathers from Oakland who invaded my blog raved about was getting gashed until injuries to our already banged up O-line started piling up.  If this group can get healthy come playoff time, we might have something.  That’s a big IF, though, as Scott and Kemo were both hobbled leading to super-sub Essex entering at various points.  Then there was Pouncey, who was replaced by Legursky after re-injuring his gimpy knee early in the second half.

Big Ben was brilliant.  Of course, a late scratch of Raiders star CB Nnamdi Asomugha helped.  But this was the Ben we expected once he returned from his unfair uncalled for suspension.  Quick, decisive, and pinpoint accurate, the offense was firing on all cylinders after a few rough drives to start the game.  Ben completed 18/29 for 275 with 3 passing TDs and one 16 yard TD scramble.  I particularly enjoyed the 16 yard FU touchdown to Issac Redman with a little over a minute left in the game.

What was most impressive about the passing game was the variety of targets utilized in the attack.  Ben hit eight different receivers, six of whom had multiple catches.  Naturally, Mike Wallace had the big game (3 catches but 116 yards!   52 of which came on his lone TD.) but rookies Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders (whose leaping 22 yard TD catch was sweet) finally made some plays.  Hines and Heath were dependable safety valves, as usual.

On the flip side, the run defense was fantastic.  They held the Raiders to only 61 total yards on the ground, lowering their yearly yards against average yet again.  At the rate they’re going, this may end up being statistically the best rush defense in NFL HISTORY.  Harrison, when he wasn’t being unfairly persecuted, had a monster game, posting five tackles, two sacks, picking off a pass and forcing a fumble.  Ike Taylor also forced a fumble in addition to the pick-six he was denied.

Shaun Suisham made all his extra points so I have nothing to comment on in that regard.  Got a good laugh at the crowd roaring on his first PAT.  Enjoy the love while you can, Suissy.  We’ll be ready to run you out of town as soon as you shank a 35 yarder with the Steelers up by 20 in the fourth quarter.

I’m torn on what to take from this game.   There is the positive of our team playing tremendously on both sides of the ball which is negated by the fact the Raiders are a pathetic team.  I’m sorry, I truly gave them too much credit in my preview as it’s clear they beat up on a bunch of bottom-feeders and in reality aren’t in the same class as the league’s top tier teams.  Then we have the positive of being able to wash the taste from last week’s debacle out of our mouths.  Which is countered by this game being a debacle of a different sort, albeit one which ended well.  I guess at the end of the day that’s all that matters.

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  • littleben

    Great blog, Chris! Don’t let the fact that the Raiders were overrated take anything away from what the Steelers did Sunday, which was put together their most complete game of the year by far. Being a great team means being able to take care of the games that you are supposed to win, and that’s something the Steelers werent able to do the last couple times we played the Raiders.

    It will be interesting to see what kind of punishment Dick Seymore gets handed this week. You’re right though, I think Roger Goodell is doing more harm to the league through his “pussification” policies than the goons that he’s been crusading against with his “protect the shield” morality campaign. At the risk of sounding like a Baltimore Raven fan, I can’t help but think that the NFL is trying to screw us at every turn this year.

    Even further evidence that the NFL doesn’t have anything better to do than harrass the Steeler organization:


    because it was the turf conditions that really marred that high-profile matchup Sunday….

    • http://nicepickcowher.com chris

      Actually, littleben, the field conditions were horrific yesterday. There were giant divots all over the field. Heinz is one of the lousiest fields in the NFL and there’s no defending it. But that’s not so much on the Rooneys as the city of Pittsburgh for refusing to build them a field unless the Steelers, Pitt, and WPIAL all share it.

      Oh, and I’m sorry if I made it sound like I was writing this win off as nothing. You’re right, taking care of business in overwhelming fashion is a positive sign no matter who the opponent.

  • http://facebook.com/holsten1 joe

    maybe we start fining the refs when they make those ludacris calls if they are not over turned. it’s easy bad call mabey $5k 1st offense then higher if repeat offender (bad calls) then expulsion after so many calls…just sayin!

  • Anon

    What’s even worse is you have someone like Brady whining and crying until he gets flags thrown in his favor. The Steelers just play hardnosed football and get punished for it.

  • Tom G

    I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears as I watched those ridiculous penaties being called. I’m all for player safety, but they are rapidly ruining the game, and targeting the Steelers in particular is disgusting.

    One thing I noticed about Suisham – he made all of the extra points, but it seemed like he was really hooking them to the right. I noticed two of them seemed to just squeak in there. That’s making me very nervous about how he’ll kick anything over 30 yards…

    • http://nicepickcowher.com chris

      I’ll wait to judge Suissy, Tom. I don’t pretend to understand the science of kicking but I’ve seen a lot of extra points hook like that and then ten minutes later the same guy is drilling a 46 yarder.

      Plus, I think the lousy field conditions probably have something to do with it…

  • zam

    Chris, another great recap. That head ref, by the way – is a native and life-long CALIFORNIAN. Clearly, either the NFL needs some sort of objectivity testing, or better criteria to apply to penalties. I went back and watched that sack Silverback had on Campbell, and he didn’t land on top of him – he tackled and rolled to the side.

    In a tighter game, against a better opponent – we might have LOST thanks to those penalties. That is BS.

  • RaiderHays37

    OH!!! GIVE ME A BREAK. Seymour’s “Sucker Punch” as you called it, while uncalled for, was hardly a “Rampage Jackson-style right cross”. And Ben did a great flop to make it look worse than it was. Rich got ejected as well he should have. But a criminal act? I thought Pittsburgh was a tough town? Reading your blog, you sound like the biggest candy ass wuss there ever was. It’s quite obvious the Steelers are a better team at the moment and they won handily. Which truthfully… Isn’t that the best revenge? Your team handed my team their asses on a platter. Now go soak your head you crybaby.

    • zam

      You chuckleheads are the ones who wear make-up on gameday. Who’s the real candy-ass?

  • RaiderHays37

    Your team won the game handily. And all you people can do is whine about the officiating? BOOHOO!!! It’s bad EVERYWHERE. Especially this year. Geez guys… Take off your diapers and bibs and just… Enjoy the Win!!!

  • Anon

    Seymour got a $25G fine. He assaulted a defenseless QB in the head AFTER THE PLAY. All this “protecting players’ safety” stuff is officially a joke.

  • CaptainAge

    Let’s be honest, there are different rules for different players. If Brady, Brees, or Manning were sucker punched by Seymour – Seymour would have been fined more than 25k and likely suspended.
    I typically do not buy into the hype that the refs are targeting one team – typically I don’t. They are not “professional” refs – because they have 9-5 jobs and officiate on game day and do their best under the circumstances. I think they handled the Seymour sucker punch correctly, and in previous years, maybe they don’t eject him. This year they do because of the crackdown. That being said – the roughing the passer call on Harrison AND the phantom helmet to helmet hit by Clark were incredibly bad judgment calls and I would expect the NFL to make a statement as such. Luckily neither of those calls turned the tide of the game.
    I disagree with your assessment of the pass interference calls on Taylor – I think both were legitimate calls, I was annoyed, but after watching the replays I think the refs made the right call.
    Now, onto the play of the Steelers, I was actually impressed with the play calling this weekend on both sides of the ball. They did quite a few different things on defense and the offense actually seemed to have some balance. I think that was BA’s best game he’s called to date. I also believe this was LeBeau’s best game of the year.
    Finally, I too am impressed with Sean Kugler efforts to mesh together this offensive line. He’s coaching a bunch of practice squad players, who are protecting Roethlisberger quite well – aside from last week, but that was too much to ask trying to mesh together those guys on the fly against the Pats.

  • squeelers show true colors

    All this whining about calls that resulted in 3 Raiders points?? Well there shouldn’t be a drought in Pitt after all these tears. The worst part of this whining crybaby fingerpointing article is that for every bad call against the squeelers, there was a missed call or bad call the other way. The steelers reverse on 3rd and long resulted in a 1st down thanks to a block in the back on the Raider DE at line of scrimmage. Result of the drive was TD, when it should have been 3rd and about 27. The squeeler center tackled DT Kelly on Ben’s TD run, reslting in 3 Raider D-line to hit the ground. The center wrapped his left arm around kelly as he ran past him and took him to the ground. Not sure how that isn’t a hold, but the result of that play was a TD….so now, 2 missed calls leading to 14 squeeler points and making raiders completely 1 dimensional with a 21-3 lead rather than a 7-3 lead it should have been. As if that isn’t enough, most of the after the whistle activity was from the squeelers….but the Raiders do 1 thing and get caught. Not saying it’s right, just saying it went both ways and you don’t hear any raider fans whining. So, for the Squeeler, whiner, tear soaked nation…..please stop by the presidents office so he can get his baby wipes out and change your diapers. You won the game and deserved it, but if you think the officials screwed you, try again. They gave the Raiders 3 points and the steelers 14.

  • raiderhays37

    @squeelers show true colors:

    And the guy writing the article has the BALLS to call Seymour a thug. Hello kettle? This is the pot… You’re black!!! At least when Seymour “assaults”(sic) someone it’s a big man on the field of play. Not some little drunk girl in a bathroom with his bodyguards outside holding the door shut. Who’s the real thug here? And did you all notice that “Big Ben” dropped like a sack of potatoes. WUSS!!!

  • WTF

    Speaking of defenseless what about all the college girls “big ben” has assaulted. Best 25 K Seymour’s ever spent.

  • Charles Landois

    Just wondering, if Ziggy Hood – not Harrison for obvious reasons – sucker punches Tom Brady in a Seymour fashion will he only get a 25k fine, he has no history of violent acts in and of the field. If that is the case then oh man go for it, do it at the fourth quarter, get ejected and we will all pay your fine.

  • Missy Daise

    The Steeler has a superior performance last Sunday, but this guys gives into the typical Steeler rant and then has to attempt to make his team look even better by denigrating the other team. Nobody outside Pittsburgh likes the Steelers because of fans like this. Ever heard of win graciously? I suggest a manners course for you.

    • littleben

      LoL are you serious…Nobody outside of Pittsburgh likes the Steelers? First of all, I live in Alaska and am a huge Steeler fan! Second of all, I’m not the only one…

      •According to a 2010 Harris Poll, America’s favorite football teams are the Cowboys, Colts, Packers, Steelers, and Saints.

      •In April 2010, NFLshop.com reported its top merchandise sellers as the Saints, Steelers, Cowboys, Vikings, and Colts.

  • Sonny

    Regarding Seymour I was told along with the slap on the wrest fine came a letter from the Commish telling Seymour, “good job” Seymour has been receiving so many gifts from across the country and letters of Thanks the Post Office has Trucks heading to the Raiders Headquarters in shifts.

    See only in Pittsburgh could a two time accused Rapist and molester of young women. That has been rumored to have bought his way out of be cheered as a Hero. To the rest of the country he is what he showed himself to be Sunday in the way he went down like a &^%$# and curled up on the ground like a baby, a perverted Punk.

    The only joke is the Steelers Head office that holds a double standard on how they deal with player. Get caught J Walking and you are gone unless your name is “Little Ben”, that is the name the young girls he was chasing around with his junk hanging out yelling, “you can do what you want with it, you can do what you want with it” have named him.

    The whole country hold Big Rich in much higher regard then they did in the past and the Raiders just awarded him their first ever Silver and Black award. The great part of it all it has drawn attention back to what is important and had went away, your QB is a punk child molester and reacted to Seymour and his *&^%$ slap like the PUNK he is.

  • madhatter73

    Guy gets ACCUSED of rape twice (last I knew rapist get throwed in jail, could it be a way for women trying to make a buck off a millionair?) and suddenly he is a child molester.
    As far as him getting knocked down from that sucker punch and that making him a wuss and or a candy a@%. Chances are he didnt see it coming, and we all know players make fouls look worse then they are and make sure they are seen so they get flagged. With that said, I would venture to guess the end result would be the same if not worse if it happened to any of you making that assumption. So I assume that would make you wusses and candy a@$es.

    Real story is that was the worst called game Ive ever seen. There were way to many missed and bad calls on both teams. The powers that be of the NFL should be ashamed