The Steelers Achieve a Hollow Victory

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The headline may seem overblown. Congratulations to the guys for overcoming a 17-point deficit to win the game on a Chris Boswell field goal in the final seconds an ‘at. This may seem strangely familiar, as the Steelers are making a habit of this. But what isn’t familiar is one of the players being taken out on a board after an injury that looked really serious. Like possibly life-altering serious. Quite honestly, I barely had the stomach to watch the game afterwards. I probably wouldn’t have, but I have a job to do.

Which is, I’m guessing, pretty much how it went down for the Steelers. They had to have been in shock, especially the defense. Injuries happen in football, but there’s a difference between the usual sort of one-to-two weeks sorts of things and something this terrifying. As sad as it would be if Ryan Shazier never plays another down for the Steelers, I’ll take it if he escapes permanent harm.

As far as the game goes, I hardly need to write it up, other than to commend AB for his toughness in playing with a toe which was clearly hampering him, and to remind JuJu that he may be all funny and cute but the officials aren’t impressed, apparently. I really don’t know what to think, speaking of that block, about the whole Vontaze Burfict having himself taken off on a stretcher thing, given that he apparently jumped right off the board as soon as they would undo the straps when they got down the tunnel. This is the same guy who still believes AB faked the concussion, all the way through the Denver playoff game. So I suppose he figures everyone fakes it, why shouldn’t he?

I also didn’t appreciate the officials calling a bunch of ticky tacky penalties, (on both teams—I think the JJ Wilcox holding call on Martavis Bryant’s kickoff return for a touchdown was a make-up call for a rather phantom holding call on Cinci on the previous series.) And then they inexplicably didn’t call a PI on Cinci when JuJu was mugged in the end zone.

But in the end, I just feel sick. I’m going to stop now, because none of this will matter if Ryan Shazier isn’t okay. The body count tonight (on mostly legal hits) is sticking in my craw. Hopefully tomorrow (well, actually, later today) will bring good news about Ryan, and we can all go back to complaining that the Steelers didn’t win the way we wanted them to. Please God, let it be so…


  • Amen.

    Liked by 1 person

  • cold_old_steelers_fan

    There have been some modestly optimistic tweets suggesting that Shazier has the same type of injury that Tommy Maddox suffered. Maddox missed one game. I cannot remember what it was now. Ed Bouchette had a tweet about it if you care to look.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Well, since it sounds like Shazier should recover from the injury and it is a spinal cord contusion, here are my thoughts on the game.

    The officiating was abysmal on both sides of the ball. Both the Steelers and the Bengals had touchdowns negated by phantom calls. Other ticky tack calls were made, yet egregious calls were missed. Amazing considering the amount all penalties and yards combined at the end of the game.

    JJSS’s hit on burfict was illegal, though barely. Had he hit 3 inches lower on the block, no contact to the head or neck would have occurred. Now, his taunting is a no-no and Tomlin will take him to task over that. burfict again showed how much of a class act he was by laying on the field to get carted off on a board before jumping off said board once in the tunnel. What a %$*&%#%^&**(^%. (add any insult in there you all want.)

    The team showed a lot of resilience after the half to come back from the deficit they did. The defense especially after Shazier went down. Throughout the remainder of the first half they were understandably flat and distracted.

    It was a bittersweet victory. I am glad it wasn’t just bitter.

    Any news on Metakevich’s shoulder injury?

    Liked by 1 person

    • cold_old_steelers_fan

      When I heard about Burfict’s performance in the tunnel, once he was out of sight, I wondered just how hurt he was. If he was laying it on thick for effect, then the joke was on him because it meant the Steelers had an easier time marching down the field.

      If he was truly injured then I am sorry and wish him a complete a speedy recover. I like Juju but I did not like that hit and even worse was the apparent taunting after the hit. Thankfully, DeCastro dragged him away before that Cincy d-lineman got to him.


      • Not a big fan of “stupid” so I have a hard time with personal foul penalties that hurt the team. Juju’s taunting penalty would seem to qualify. However, I also remember a guy that wore #58 who through a certain cowboy to the ground for shooting off his mouth to our kicker.

        In retrospect, Lambert’s penalty was the right action at the right time. It showed Steeler pride and toughness and sent a message that the Steelers wont be intimidated, by anyone.

        Because of the injury to Ryan, it was hard to watch last night, but I’m not sure I don’t put that taunting penalty in similar category to Lambert’s.

        Fingers crossed that the late reports on #50 are accurate and he makes a full recovery!


  • Coty Sensabaugh looked severely over matched last night. Why was he on Green so much instead of Artie? And why wasn’t Green flagged for offensive PI on his first touchdown when he blatantly threw Coty aside to get open in the end zone?

    I love Ben and Bell but AB is the MVP of this team IMO.


    • These recent come-from-behind victories are games the Steelers used to lose. That tells me this defense has evolved to the point they are ready to compete for another SB.

      Shazier’s injury is another example of why players have to stop leading with their helmets. I hope he has a full recovery and hangs up his cleats.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That was going through my head when they replayed it, though i didn’t want to think it out loud since he was severely injured, at least as it seemed at the time. He does have a history of dropping his head. Hopefully, this will be a lesson to him to stop dropping his head when he hits.


  • Real doctors in the real world often need time to properly diagnose the extent of spinal cord injuries. That’s because they are often like concussions, in that you can’t determine the extent of the damage until the swelling begins to abate. The hope here is that it is a spinal concussion, and there’s reason to believe that may well be the case. Tommy Maddox had one of those, had to be carried off the field, and was back after a week’s rest (though he stunk up the joint on his return). It would be an oversimplification to call a spinal concussion a giant stinger on steroids, but that’s how it affects you, and how it abates.

    It is still far too early to determine anything specific about Ryan Shazier’s prognosis, except there are many more reasons to be hopeful today than there were yesterday. And it says plenty that Art II and Kevin Colbert stayed behind to be with him. It’s all about family, and taking care of one another.

    As far as Burfict is concerned, Karma can be a nasty mistress, and he has been tempting her for years. But let”s get this straight. He was knocked out, or something like it, had to be strapped to the gurney and carried off the field. And yet, when he got into the tunnel, Our Lady of Lourdes effected some miraculous recovery and he jumped off the gurney as soon as they unhooked the safety restraints.

    Well, folks, maybe that explains how this helpless and unconscious victim of senseless violence was able to grab Juju’s leg and trip him up as DeCastro pushed him off Burfict’s defeated body. Certainly, he would never fake an injury or accuse anyone else of faking an injury, would he? Nor would he feel any shame getting the stuffings knocked out of him by a mere wide receiver? Would he?


  • Whether Burfict was really hurt or not matters not a bit to me. JuJu’s hit was illegal and borderline vicious. Had JuJu laid that hit on almost anyone else, I would be very critical of him. Burfict is, however, an outlaw. He has injured our players and has recklessly, if not intentionally, tried to inflict INJURY, as opposed to pain. To me, this was a beautiful hit. Hurt or not, JuJu laid him out and he had it coming. I could do without the taunt. It was not classy, but hey, it was a kid who did a nice piece of sherrifing (is that even a word?). Ryan will hopefully be okay.

    Can’t imagine what the next Bengals encounter will be like.


    • You have said a lot of what I am sure many are thinking but won’t say…..and I agree whole heartedly. If only JJSS would have hit just a bit lower and not hit his head, it would be a vicious, but legal block. Burfict is such a chump. Thankfully, now their playoff chances are terrible, so I guess next year we will see them? Here is to hoping that is the case.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t applaud JuJu lightly. I hate dirty play, though I don’t consider his hit dirty, even if illegal. That exact hit would have been within the rules just a few years ago. Hines Ward made many such hits in his career. I stand by my position on Burfict. I have to go way back in my memory to recall a player as dirty as him. In fact, he may be the dirtiest player I have ever seen, topping a list which includes Jack Tatum, Ben Davidson and Turkey Joe Jones.


        • I think Conrad Dobler is widely considered to be the dirtiest player in NFL history. Most of his dirty, cheap tactics were committed in the scrum at the line of scrimmage. The array of cameras back in the day was far less than now so his tactics were rarely seen.


  • Oh, and Iloka’s hit on Brown was the epitome of targeting. Does he have a history of hits like that? I have always been so focused on Burfict’s dirty play that I may have missed it.


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