What We Learned in Week 10 in the NFL:
- Richie Incognito responds to reports that he’s a racist a-hole
- The Jags apparently no longer the worst team in the NFL
- Baltimore blows it against Cincy Hail Mary but survives in OT
- Ben Roethlisberger angrily refutes trade rumors
- Steelers defense rebounds against Buffalo
Steeler Nation is a much happier place after the Steelers win. Well, except for those grumpy Jagoffs who still find the need to complain about something. But, overall, it’s a hell of a lot better than after a loss. Let’s take some cheap shots.
The whole mess with the Miami Dolphins locker room is uglier than a group of Browns fans. It’s not getting any better. There are more text messages getting released and now that lawyers are involved, it’s going to get worse. The NFL has launched their investigation of the whole thing but that is probably going to take a long time. If it’s anything like the NCAA investigations, it could take anywhere from a few months to several years. Richie Incognito has been pegged from the very start as the instigator and main “bully” in the locker room that caused Jonathan Martin’s abrupt departure from the team. Sunday, Fox Sports released an interview he taped with Jay Glazer the day before. Incognito disputes claims that he’s a racist and that he bullied and/or maliciously attacked Jonathan Martin. He acknowledged that he used the n-word on several occasions but said it was done out of love. Okay. By all accounts across the NFL and with his own history it’s not a leap to say that Incognito, is a total a-hole. That being said, the entire Dolphins locker room spoke out in defense of Incognito and not Martin. The whole thing has pulled back the curtain on the vulgar and offensive behavior that is obviously commonplace inside NFL locker rooms. It seems to me that this Dolphins locker room was even more vulgar and offensive than the rest and on top of that there were more players who just went along with it rather than disrupt the norm.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are no longer the NFL’s worst team, leaving Tampa Bay in that spot for the time being now that they’ve gotten their first win of the season. The Jags never trailed against Tennessee and forced four turnovers that they converted into 17 points. The Jags also got a safety off of a holding penalty against the Titans, and that ended up being the difference in the game in their 29-27 victory. The Titans have lost QB Jake Locker for the remainder of the season to a foot injury. This is actually the fourth victory of the last six meetings between the two teams for the Jags. Unfortunately, the Jags do not get to play the Titans for every game the rest of their season.
To a Steelers fan, when you see the Bungles and Ratbirds playing each other you really wish for a way for both teams to lose. It actually benefitted the Steelers that the Ratbirds were able to hold on after blowing a 17-0 halftime lead to beat the Bungles in OT. The play that got them to OT was hilarious. With seconds left to play Andy Dalton threw up a Hail Mary to the end-zone and Ravens safety James Ihedigbo tipped the ball up instead of batting it down and ended up serving it up like volleyball to AJ Green for the game-tying touchdown. The Bengals weren’t able to convert a fourth down on their opening drive of overtime so the Ravens were able to get themselves within range for Justin Tucker to kick the game-winning 46 yarder. The Ravens still can’t seem to run the ball with Ray Rice only getting 30 yards on 18 carries. Now the Bungles have lost back-to-back OT games and it puts the Steelers within two games of the AFC North lead. Interesting.
What is also interesting is how gullible sports fans are sometimes. Sunday morning, ironically just before the NFL Network pregame show started, NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reported that “sources” revealed to him that Ben Roethlisberger was frustrated at the direction of the team and the team expects Roethlisberger to ask for a trade this offseason. You can read his report here where he never really comes out and confirms anything and it’s all just innuendo and speculation. Naturally, the yinzers starting yinzing all over this, sparking several debates on whether or not the Steelers will trade Ben, who they could get for him, and why he was so frustrated with the team. No one in the Pittsburgh media directly involved with the team actually bit on this piece but that didn’t stop the national media from taking it and running with it.
Last thing on this: If anyone thinks any shred of this, fiction or not, came from Ben, I can assure you it does NOT represent his stance.
— Dejan Kovacevic (@Dejan_Kovacevic) November 10, 2013
#Steelers refuse to look ahead one single game and you are telling me that they’ve had talks about Roethlisberger’s future?
— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly_Trib) November 10, 2013
By halftime, Art Rooney II had released a statement disputing the claims that the team would explore trade options for Roethlisberger. Early in the game, Ben’s own agent released several tweets with the same sentiment. Following the game, Ben addressed the rumors himself, calling them “one of the most B.S. stories” he’s ever heard. Just shows you how today’s NFL works now. A reporter tweets out a “report” based on “sources” that is nothing more than speculation and the rest of it is just overreaction from all angles. If you bit on this story and really thought for a second there was any validity to it, I have a bridge to sell you.
The Steelers defense called this week a “redemption week” following their historic loss to the Patriots last Sunday. They did a pretty good job at that redemption as they looked like the Dick LeBeau defense we know and love that gets after rookie quarterbacks, stops the run, and imposes their will. The Bills punted the ball eleventy billion times and if not for a false-start penalty the refs couldn’t be bothered to call to prolong the end of the game, they would have been kept out of the end-zone all day too. The Steelers are now 3-0 when holding opponents to under 100+ rushing yards. The Bills gained 95 on the ground. The strong winds affected the punting on both sides of the ball but Shaun Suisham was money once again for the Black & Gold as he connected from 36, 37, and 23 yards. Ben connected with Jerricho Cotchery in a side of the end-zone toss in the second quarter and Le’Veon Bell ran in from four yards off of a fantastic Mike Adams (yes that Mike Adams) block for the Steelers only touchdowns.
It’s a step in the right direction, obviously, because winning is way better than losing. The Steelers now have the task of keeping that momentum going as Megatron and the Lions head to town next week. The defense will need to keep this fire burning if they expect to keep winning games.
Here we go Steelers! Here we go!