Tuesday, September 19, 2006

 

Deja Vu All Over Again?



(The Burgh - September 19, 2006) - Well, as my Pops used to say: "if you ain't got nothin' good to say, then don't say anything". Oh, how true. However, Stillers Nation must give props to two defenses that played one helluva game last night. The Steelers win most games when the defense holds the opponent to 9 points. Unfortunately, that didn't hold true last night.

In the lowest scoring game in the history of Monday Night Football, fans were treated to a hard-hitting, smash-mouth football game that was won by the team that hit harder and wanted the victory more than the other guys. And so it will be written about the match-up between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Jacksonville Jaguars during Week 2 of the 2006 NFL Season.

However, it got us thinking.....How will the Steelers recover from this game? Especially considering their next opponent: the defending division champion Cincinnati Bengals are coming to town. On a more positive note, they are coming to Heinz Field this Sunday a bit banged up after a slugfest with their cross-state rivals last Sunday.

Some Black & Gold faithful have already hit the panic button, but here at Stillers Nation, we just reflect back to last season. More specifically, November 28, 2005 - another embarrassment on Monday Night Football when the Indianapolis Colts had their way on both offense and defense, humiliating the Steelers 26-7 in a game that had the Steelers complaining to the league office about "piped in noise" to make it more difficult for the Steelers to call plays.

The positives that night were: the Steelers got valuable game time experience in the dome they would play in again several weeks later; Big Ben realized he couldn't comminicate very well with his teammates at the line of scrimmage, thus the beginning of his silent snap count that has worked pretty darn well since that game; and most importantly, the Steelers were deemed the underdog when the teams met again in the playoffs, partially as a result of the lopsided loss during the regular season. And we all know how that second meeting turned out.

Which brings us to the positives from last night. Without question, the highlight of the night was Joey Porter's introduction of the Steelers defense, where he did his impersonation of David Chappelle's impersonation of Howard Dean during the 2004 Democratic primary. However, other positives we observed included: Santonio Holmes needs to practice his pass routes a little more leading up to a big game; Big Ben can take a hit, even after having his appendix removed only two weeks ago; and Troy Polamalu plays a lot better when he can actually use both arms.

The lesson that was learned on that Monday night in Indianapolis last November very well could be the lesson that repeats itself if the Steelers find themselves in a playoff game down at All-Teal stadium next Janaury. Stay tuned.

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