What We Learned in Week 11 in the NFL:
- Three games end in overtime
- Patriots open up a can on Luck
- Eagles still suck without Vick
- Norv Turner’s seat should be on fire by now
- The Jets manage a victory but are still a mess
- Steelers remain winless against Ravens without Big Ben
We haven’t had a Monday morning like this in a while have we? Nothing can ruin the start of the week worse than a Steelers loss. That little extra sprinkle of suck on top of your sucky Monday morning is because this loss was at the hands of the Ratbirds, who have won 3 straight against the Steelers going back to last season. There were some positives to take away from the game but we’ll get into that later, there’s some cheap shots we need to take first.
Three of Sunday’s early games had to go into extra minutes forcing everyone to wonder if there was going to be another tie this week. The Texans needed an offensive explosion by Matt Shaub and Andre Johnson to get past the Chad Henne-led Jaguars in a game where defense was apparently an afterthought. The Cowboys needed extra time to take down the Browns in what was described as one of the worst played games of the year, and Tampa Bay proved again that they play till the final whistle by coming back and beating the Panthers in OT.
The build up for the Colts vs Patriots matchup in Foxborough was a little ridiculous considering the Colts, although have been surprising so far this season, do not have the players to matchup against the Patriots and stand a chance. The Patriots picked off Luck three times, running two back for touch downs and the Patriots offense packed on the points racking up 59 and remaining the league’s highest scoring team by a landslide. The Pats did suffer a loss in the game; however, everyone’s favorite meathead Rob Gronkowski broke his forearm late in the game and will miss some significant time. Moral of the story: I still hate the Patriots.
Here’s a shocker; the Eagles still suck without Michael Vick. That pretty much sums it up. In other news of sucking, Philip Rivers turned in a signature performance against the Broncos to further prove his case as an incredibly average quarterback and not elite in the least bit. Of all the unemployed people out there it seems a bit unfair that Norv Turner is not one of them considering how completely unimpressive he is at his job.
While the Jets managed to put together a solid victory, they still manage to attract ridiculous attention to themselves anyway. Following the Jets win over the Rams, LB Bart Scott apparently tried to initiate a media boycott in the Jets locker room by encouraging his teammates to not speak to reporters, blaming them for the “Anonymous Jets player thinks Tebow is terrible” story that came out last week. As a fan of the NFL I couldn’t appreciate Bart Scott’s efforts more. Obviously it ended up getting more attention than if they would have just answered questions normally and went on with their business but I would encourage more Jets players to boycott the media, as well as their coach but it’s the idea behind it that I’m appreciative of. Here’s the thing, no one gives a crap what they have to say besides the media anyway. In spite of the BS that ESPN tries to feed to us about this national interest in anything related to Tebow, it’s just not true. No one friggin cares. I’m fairly certain I speak for everyone when I say we’re tired of hearing about this train wreck of a team and their backup qb. Enough already. There are plenty of more interesting stories going on in the NFL without this crap.
There were those who said the Steelers weren’t going to be able to beat the Ravens without Big Ben because they’ve never done it before. Apparently they were right. Although Todd Haley tried his best to reassure, saying that he was going to tailor the game to Dougie Fresh’s strengths and not try to fit a square peg in a round hole the offense was just not effective at all last night. Aside from Dougie’s 31 yard touchdown run that surprised everyone in the stadium including Dougie, the offense couldn’t convert a 3rd down to save their friggin lives last night. Dougie appeared to have injured his shoulder on that touchdown dive but stayed in the entire game. The offense started off with a completely healthy crew of running backs but saw Isaac Redman leave the game early with a concussion. The Ravens defense, who came into the game ranked 27th overall and is a shell of their former selves, allowed a total 311 yards and 134 rushing yards by the Steelers but some costly turnovers along with a punt returned for a touchdown proved to be too much for the Steelers offense to overcome.
The positives that can be taken away from a game like this is the fact that the Steelers defense kept Flacco, Smith, and Rice out of the endzone all night. They only gave up 40 rushing yards to Rice on 20 touches and Flacco was an unimpressive 20 for 32 with 164 yards. This Steelers defense, I believe, is proving people wrong game after game. Keenan Lewis lead the team in tackles last night and Ryan Clark played another stellar game with 4 tackles and a forced fumble. Unfortunately this loss puts the Ratbirds directly in the driver’s seat for the AFC North. With a 2 game lead on us, the road to a division championship and a home playoff game is not an easy one by any means. However, the Steelers still remain one of the few teams in the AFC with fewer than 5 losses so a playoff spot is definitely more likely than not. It’s time to take out our aggressions on the Brownies before having to travel to Baltimore in two weeks for the rematch. I expect some payback by the Steelers defense on Ratbirds RB who was pictured walking to the locker room following the game with a Terrible Towel draped over his head. Not cool. Rice best be careful before he finds himself under the Curse of the Terrible Towel. There are conflicting reports as to how long Ben will be out, some say 3 weeks, some say as few as 1 more. With or without Ben, this offense needs to get back their 3rd down efficiency and get back to controlling the game. The future of the season depends upon it. Bring it on Week 12!
On a side note I’d like to take this opportunity to be a little indulgent and wish my niece Mackenzie a happy 4th birthday today. She’s by far the best niece I could ever ask for and I’m proud to be her Auntie Kimmy and the one responsible for passing on the tradition of being a part of Steeler Nation to her. She’s got the best Mommy in the world (she happens to be my identical twin). She loves her “Malumalu” and has me point him out to her on the screen whenever the Steelers are playing. Happy Birthday Bushz! Your Auntie Kimmy loves you very much!
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