What We Learned in Week 7 in the NFL:
- Eli giving Giants solid start
- Flacco ain’t no elite quarterbacko
- Patriots outlast Jets in OT
- Steelers earn their first road win of the season
Aren’t Mondays so much better after a Steelers victory? The coffee tastes just a little bit better, the traffic isn’t quite so frustrating, and your boss isn’t that much of an idiot on a Monday morning following a Steelers victory. One thing is certain; this particular NFL Sunday had some great finishes and some entertaining games.
The NFC seems to be stacked this season with talent. Some surprising teams like the Vikings are showing themselves to not be a fluke and some perennial playoff teams like the defending Super Bowl Champion Giants, are having a solid start thanks to the 4th quarter efforts of one Eli “I’m totally elite now right?” Manning. Manning and the Giants found themselves behind with 1:13 left so all Manning did was hit Victor Cruz for a 77 yard touchdown to take the lead and secure the victory. That’s all, nothing special there or anything. Now the Steelers have no business looking ahead considering they haven’t put together back-to-back wins yet this season but right after the Redskins come to town this Sunday, the Giants will be waiting for them in New Jersey. If Carson Palmer can put together a 4th quarter comeback against the Steelers, can you imagine the damage Eli can do if the Steelers don’t put the game away if given the chance? You’re right, best not to think about that just yet.
So we all understand and are on the same page, we’re all supposed to be super sad that Ray Lewis can’t play anymore this season and totally amazed that Terrell Suggs is back on the field. Everyone got that straight? I know you might not have heard that a quarter of a billion times yesterday so I thought I’d remind you once again. That being said, Joe Flacco’s opportunity to take the reins of the Ratbirds and show them to be the offensive powerhouse he dreams of failed miserably in Houston. The Texans showed themselves to be the best team in the AFC with a complete and total domination of the Ravens which included holding Ray Rice to 42 rushing yards and completely took him out as a possible receiver. The Texans thumping of the Ratbirds also included sacking Flacco in the endzone for a safety and a pick six of the alleged “elite” quarterback. Suggs had himself a sack, and showcased about 50 extra pounds he put on while rehabbing his torn Achilles’, if by rehabbing he means eating his feelings.
In a game everyone thought the Patriots were going to totally dominate, the Jets had a lead late on the mighty Pats until Stephen Gostkowski tied the game to send it to overtime. At that point, Gostkowski put the Pats in the lead and then Mark Sanchez’s fumble sealed the victory. Unfortunately for the Jets, who pretty much dominated the game, they were sent home from Foxboro with a loss and the almighty Patriots get to be praised endlessly by the national media. The Pats actually went into this game at 3-3, but you wouldn’t have thought that if you heard several of my favorite “expert analysts” on ESPN say that the Patriots losses by less than 4 points should really be counted as victories. Oh really? Do the teams that have those victories on their records know that? So Arizona, Baltimore, and Seattle go ahead and adjust your records accordingly. You didn’t really beat the Patriots like you thought you did, ESPN said so.
So who else reached for their anti-anxiety meds during the first half of the Steelers game last night before Woodley sparked the team with his interception? Some horrible drops by Wallace, 2 turnovers by Ben, and holding penalties on every single kick return had the Steelers looking pretty awful for the majority of the first half. Finally, though, the Steelers were able to correct their mental errors and stop beating themselves with a little less than 2 minutes left in the first half. Ike Taylor had a tremendous game holding AJ Green to only 8 receiving yards and 1 td. The offensive line, which was missing both Maurkice Pouncey and Marcus Gilbert, put together some great blocking with the help of Heath Miller to allow the Steelers to run for 167 yards. Heath had not only a touchdown and the 2 point conversion catch, but blocked tremendously for the running game and remains the best indicator to tell just how many Steeler fans are in the crowd for a road game once he catches his first pass and you hear the chorus of “Heeeeeeeeeaaaaaath!” The Steelers were able to do what they haven’t done on the road yet all season; finish a game. Now they’ll need to do something else they haven’t done yet this season; win 2 in a row. Bring it on Week 8!
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