PITTSBURGH - Midweek news and commentary:
n The Pittsburgh Steelers hold on to beat the Cincinnati Bengals 27-21.
That's all well and good, but they led the game 27-7 at one point. The Bengals' last offensive play was from the Steelers' 12 in the final minute.
Yes, it was that scary.
Even worse is the injury fallout.
After reading a long injury list at his weekly news conference, coach Mike Tomlin got worse news hours later.
Tackle Max Starks may be done for the season because of a neck injury. After the game, spies report that Starks looked good and was in good spirits, believing he'd dodged a bullet.
The Steelers' offensive line was so decimated that the coaches were preparing tight end Matt Spaeth for emergency duty at tackle.
The offensive line was less than a strength with everyone available and healthy; who knows what it will look like now.
Every team has injuries, making it impossible to find quality reinforcements at mid-season. In the unlikely event the Steelers would be willing to sacrifice a draft pick for a veteran, that's out of the question because the NFL trading deadline has passed.
Teams have two choices for player acquisitions at this point: Their practice squad and the waiver wire.
Beyond Starks' injury, three players sustained concussions at Cincinnati and it remains to be seen who might be available for Sunday night's home game against New England.
The Steelers are 6-2, which is where they were last year when the season fell apart with a five-game losing streak.
It was going to be a tough task no matter what happened; the physical toll from the Cincinnati game made it even more difficult.
n Joe Paterno won his 400th game.
Far be it from me to say anything favorable about Neil Rudel, but the book he and Cory Giger have written, "They Know Joe," is a must-have for any Nittany Lions fan.
Official disclaimer: The book is published by the Mirror, but the management of the paper didn't mandate any mention of it here.
In fact, I can hear teeth clenching as they read this, wondering where it's going.
The book is an entertaining collection of memories from a wide variety of people who have encountered Paterno during his long career.
It's priced right for holiday giving, and it will be well appreciated.
I could do without full-page color photos of Beano Cook and John Clayton, but that's just me.
Mehno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.