LOL the Steelers are still mathematically alive as we turn to week 16. That's prettty much way better than anyone expected following the 0-4 start from hell.
That was us last week after winning in Cincy to keep this awkward 2013 season rolling. This week:
Aaaaannndddd…the same can be said for now as the calendar turns to week 17, with the Steelers still somehow playoff-eligible provided they win and have a host of teams lose. From 0-4 to this. Be proud of something this season, ya grinches.
Ben: Ben was one insane play by A.J. Hawk away from pretty much the perfect "Oh crap it's snowing and really cold at Lambeau but I can still win this thing" game. Only 16 completions on 28 attempts for 167 yards, but two TD tosses and one where he kept it hemself from THIRTEEN yards out. Old fat Ben can still hoof it. The Steelers were down at three separate moments early, with all three of Ben's TDs either tying the game or giving the lead back to Pittsburgh. His pick flung momentum right back at Green Bay when the Steelers were hoping to ice the game, but his counterpart Matt Flynn had already thrown a brutal pick-six which tremendously one-upped Ben's future blemish. 4 of 5 motorcycle helmets. Because Ben has this offense putting up point totals in the upper twenties and even upper thirties like yesterday to more than make up for each and every defensive fart.
Le'Veon Bell: He's here. Hi, Le'Veon Bell, good time to introduce yourself to the adoring public. Sure, most everyone knows you from some HD slo-mo of your unconscious body while nerds quarreled over your level of gripping a pigskin, but now everyone knows your name through pure football on-field success. 26 totes for 124 yards and a TD. That's a stat line I haven't seen from the Steelers backfield in a long time. You start to get complacent expecting yet another 50-some-yard game and then Le'Veon Bell busts out so you remember how bright the Steelers future really looks. Imagine where the Steelers would be now had Le'Veon not missed the first four games of the year. 5 of 5 motorcycle helmets.
Defense: There was good and there was bad, which is mostly a repeat of every game this season. But they have Ben crapping out points like I mentioned up in his section, and the team won so we'll stay merry and in the Christmas spirit. Troy Polamalu continues to turn back time and force turnovers. Which really makes you consider how bad the defense was at getting the ball back when he was injured over the past 2-3 seasons. Cortez Allen found a ball in his hands and took it all the way for six. Lawrence Timmons was again everywhere, and Cam Heyward or Steve McLendon or someone blocked a kick that magically ended up turning into seven Green Bay points, so…MAGIC DEFENSIVE GUYS! 3.5 of 5 helmets.
Receivers: I can't just pick out one guy. Sure, I could've easily just bestowed the traditional love on Antonio Brown for his six catches and 105 yards. That's now 5+ catches in every game this season. But then we'd forget Heath's penchant for moving the sticks, Manny's TD, Matt Spaeth's TD and even David Paulson's snag on the fake punt. Spaeth';s return is extremely evident in the blocking game as well. Will Johnson did his sure-handed Will Johnson thing on fourth down, too. 4.5 of 5 motorcycle helmets. They deserve it. Great complement to the running game.
Much love to Matt McBriar's 30-yard pass from the punter's spot. Big moment in the game.
Browns at Heinz to finish the regular season. And fall into hell, the Dolphins, Ravens and Chargers.