What We Learned in Week 6 in the NFL:
- Patriots last minute win gives the Saints their first loss
- Bengals outlast Bills in OT
- Old Browns and New Browns play very Browns-like
- Bob Costas is back up on his high horse
- Steelers finally get first turnovers and win of the season
The skies over Western Pennsylvania may be their typical gray-like color this morning but that doesn’t stop Steeler Nation from feeling the sunshine that can only come from a Steelers victory. Sure, it’s only one victory out of five games but it’s a hell of a lot better than 0-5!
The Patriots served the New Orleans Saints their first loss of the season in dramatic fashion as Tom Brady led a game-winning drive with just over a minute left capped by a 17-yard touchdown pass to WR Kenbrell Thompkins. But, most Patriots fans had to watch that drive and pass on Sports Center since the stadium emptied like there was a fire drill well before that. So much for those Pats fans being so knowledgeable and supportive huh?
The Bengals managed to jump ahead in the AFC North on Sunday winning their game in OT against the Bills. Buffalo had managed to come back from a 24-10 deficit in the third quarter to force and overtime. Ginger Spice had to put the team on his back after the defense all but ruined his impressive first half by letting the Bills back into a game that was leaning towards a blowout. Clearly the way the other three teams have played, the division is Cincy’s for the taking but they haven’t been consistent enough to take it outright yet. That and, they’d probably lose again the playoffs once they make it again anyway so why bother?
The Old Browns and New Browns put together some very Browns-like losses on Sunday right as all signs were pointing up for the New Browns, in spite of the fact that they have Brandon Weeden behind center again. The Browns looked the part of the Cleveland Browns allowing the Lions to come into town and handle their business decidedly, even with a hobbled Calvin Johnson. Meanwhile in Baltimore, the Old Browns found that the old saying “Hey diddle diddle, Ray Rice up the middle” meant he was going to get stuffed at the line by the Packers line. They held the Ravens to 47 rushing yards and sacked Flacco five times, with one sack causing a fumble. The Ravens lost 19-17, snapping their streak of 13 consecutive home victories against NFC teams.
With the Cowboys playing in Washington DC last night on Sunday Night Football and all the controversy this year surrounding Washington’s team name it was time for Bob Costas break out his step ladder and climb up on his high horse again to scold us all for our awful ways. Costas went on a rant about how wrong it is for the Redskins to continue using a name that people find insulting and offensive, citing how other pro and college teams have either changed their names or gotten official acceptance from the appropriate tribes when their names came into question. Now I may agree in part with Costas but I’m never a fan of his pretentious showboating of his opinions on the SNF stage. Every time he does it it feels like you’re a kid again getting a lecture for something you already said you were sorry for. I don’t know how the Redskins name debate is going to end up. I think eventually the name will be changed, although I don’t see that change coming this season or any time soon by any means. The team’s owner, Dan Snyder, is just as stubborn as Bob Costas is arrogant so there’s no telling when he’ll finally give in.
Was it the banning of the locker room games? Was it the demotion of Mike Adams at LT? Or was it the presence of Bill Cowher in the broadcasting booth? Who cares? The Steelers finally won a game Sunday and hopefully realized themselves that when you take care of the ball and take the ball away from the other team, it can result in a victory. That simple. I can tell you what change made in the offseason that had no impact on the Steelers victory yesterday, the acquisition of Levi Brown. Brown injured his triceps, the same injury that kept him out the entire 2012 season, in pregame warm-ups and was unavailable for his first game as a Pittsburgh Steeler. It all looked very bleak and dangerous when it was released minutes before kickoff that the Steelers had just lost the lineman they traded for to replace Mike Adams, who was already designated as “inactive” and couldn’t come in for backup if necessary. Who gets injured like that for pregame warm-ups anyway? I mean how strenuous are you going at that point? You have to really try hard to get injured that badly. What’s the refund policy on mid-season trades?
The Steelers finally have a reason to feel good because winning is awesome and losing sucks. The offense looked to be starting slow, and was stifled by the Jets defense, forcing Shaun Suisham to come out and be a perfect 4-4 on field goals but Ben was able to connect with Emmanuel Sanders on a 3rd and short play-action pass that turned into a 55-yard touchdown, the game’s only touchdown. The defense, on the other hand, found their groove by grabbing two Geno Smith interceptions in the redzone and holding the Jets scoreless in the second half. They weren’t perfect and it is only one victory but then again we all knew going into it that there wasn’t a chance to win 4 games yesterday. One is enough to build on for now.