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November 28, 2010 - Ray Eckenrode
BLEEDING BLACK AND GOLD
Bills bobble upset, Suisham’s FG saves Steelers
It was over when:
+ Those who believe in the football gods would say it was over when Bills’ emerging star Stevie Johnson dropped a game-winning touchdown pass midway through the overtime period. (Speaking of football and God, check out Johnson’s alleged postgame tweet below.) But it actually ended when dainty kicker Shaun Suisham, who didn’t flinch in burying three previous 40-plus-yard field goals, hit a 41-yarder to end it with just a little over two minutes left.
Play of the day:
+ The Ben Roethlisberger-to-Mike Wallace completion on the third play of the game-winning drive was huge, but Rashard Mendenhall’s second-effort 9-yard run to get Pittsburgh into field goal range was huger.
+ Will the Steelers have James Harrison when they face the Raven’s next week? We think that’s a valid question after #92 was flagged again for helmet contact on a quarterback. Harrison has been the whipping boy for Roger Goodell and Merton Hanks so far so why wouldn’t he get the first suspension under the new rules, er, points of emphasis? Harrison hit Ryan Fitzpatrick chest-high with his shoulder, forearm and helmet, a play that was legal six weeks ago, but definitely is not now.
+ LaMarr Woodley, who’s always been a streaky player, continues to be AWOL on defense as far as sacks or really any kind of splash plays. In fact, it was Woodley’s blown assignment that allowed the Fred Jackson screen pass to go for a touchdown.
+ A Sports Illustrated blogger reported Sunday that “a source” told him Troy Polamalu’s sore Achilles “could pop on any play.” Let’s hope that’s not true.
+ Flozell Adams is playing at a Pro Bowl level for the Steelers. The vast majority of Mendenhall’s yards Sunday came on runs to the right.
Paralysis by analysis:
+ Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots turned in one of the all-time stinkers Sunday, miscalling plays, mishearing officials’ calls and generally broadcasting a different game than the one taking place on the field.
+ Both failed to notice Ben Roethlisberger was limping for nearly the entire first half after he was hit on an early pass play. Wilcots finally was forced to notice it with :08 left in the half when Roethlisberger went to the locker room early, no doubt to have an xray and treatment.
+ Wilcots continues to mispronounce MendINGhall and ROTlisberger and added Moyatu to his repertoire. He also called Mike Wallace “Mike Williams” not once, not twice, but three times.
+ There’s no doubt Chris Kemoeatu was struggling mightily with Bills’ noseguard/manchild Kyle Williams, but was the Bills offensive line so dominant against one of the best pass-rushing teams in the league that it didn’t merit a single holding call? Rhetorial. We’ll tell you one thing: John Parry is not the best referee in the NFL and the Steelers are clearly in all the officials’ crosshairs. Wait, that’s two things.
And now a word from our sponsors :
+ Are we the only ones who don’t want Domino’s to change a thing about their pizzas?
@CdrEck: How many times has 86 fumbled like that, fighting for useless yards? (Blogger’s note: Too many.)
@PatrickMoranBSD: If Gailey takes that penalty, the Steelers face a first-and-20 from their own 8 with 1:37 to play. They then try to run out clock. BRUTAL. (Blogger’s note: He’s right. Crazy decision.)
@McShay13 (Todd McShay): Emmanuel Sanders having a productive day on OFF/ST's for Steelers. Loved that draft pick for Pitt. Not many better than GM Colbert and staff.
@sjflynn: Screw Jeff Reed! Suisham for President!! (Blogger’s note: Ms. Flynn is backing a Suisham/McGloin ticket.)
@RoxanneShaunte: Did y’all just see the Bills mascot fall down after that field goal?!! Bwahahaaa!!! (Blogger’s note: If you didn’t, watch for it under the left upright (from viewer’s perspective). Priceless.)
@DawnMurray-Metzgar on Facebook: No paper towel dispensers were harmed in the making of that field goal! (Blogger’s note: C’mon Dawn, Twitter is where it’s at during a Steelers game.)
@StevieJohnson13: I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!!! AND THIS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS??? HOW???!!! ILL NEVER FORGET THIS!! EVER!!! THX THO... (Blogger’s note: This is not a verified account, but all indications are that is really THAT Stevie Johnson.)
We were right:
+ Go back and read our prediction as to how the Steelers could fall into a trap in this game and they followed the script almost to the letter: Field goals instead of touchdowns, no pressure on Fitzpatrick, lack of simple execution.
We were wrong:
+ We blasted the Suisham signing (though we noted it was possible he’d catch lightning in a bottle and hit 10 in a row) but we have to admit he looked very Jeff Reed-like (pre-2010, of course) on Sunday.
Next Sunday night’s showdown/bloodbath with the Ravens could be influence dramatically by injuries for both teams. Obviously, Nick Eason and Bryant McFadden were added today to the Steelers’ long list of injuries and Michael Oher, La’Ron McLain and Dawan Landry all left the game against Tampa after being hurt.