Random Thoughts on Steelers @ Jaguars

Sorry for the lateness. Once again I’m in the Land of Enchantment [this is a reason, if not an excuse.] Two points if you know, without Googling, which state that is. Five points if you can name the State Bird. 10 Points if you can name the State Cookie. (Yes, they have one.) 20 points if you can name the State Song, and 100 points if you can sing it. Answers may be given in the comments below, and you may post a video of yourself singing the state song if you want to go for the Big Kahuna. It will probably go viral. But back to business:

This article was supposed to be titled “Random Thoughts on the Steelers’ Major Collapse Epic Comeback,” but the title box doesn’t allow for strikethroughs. And perhaps it’s best to dwell on the positive. So let’s begin, and I will endeavor to do so. No promises, though…

I guess Stephon Tuitt was even more important than I thought. And Daniel McCullers was even less ready than anyone thought. (Which in many cases was already not much.)

James Conner’s haircut is, I gather, one of a class termed “business in the front, party in the back.” Perhaps it is time for Conner to be all business. [Low blow, I know, but stay with me…]

Good Ben is unbelievable. Bad Ben isn’t even “decent, at best.” If only Bad Ben could be completely exorcised.

Watching the “Mic’d Up” version of the Panthers game (you can find it on NFL.com—I’m in too much of a hurry to post a link) is wayyyy more fun than watching anything but the last five minutes or so of Sunday’s game. (Actually, it’s way more fun than an awful lot of things which are way more fun than most of Sunday’s game. It was MT and Ben who were mic’d up, and it’s definitely worth the trouble to find it.)

Er, I’m not doing a very good job at staying positive. Let me reset and try again.

Positive Takeaway No. 1:

This team finds a way to win. That’s huge. Kevin Gorman, one of the local writers, had predicted the Steelers would lose this game, because he thought it was a bad matchup. It clearly was, and yet they pulled a win out of a game in which they had been held scoreless for almost three full quarters of football. Wow.

Positive Takeaway No. 2:

The epic comeback at the end was possible because the defense, while bloodied, was unbowed, in the sense that they managed to hold the Jaguars to three field goals in the first half, thus meaning that the deficit was nine points to begin the third quarter, instead of the forty or so points it felt like it ought to be. When the defense is willing to keep fighting when your offense can barely muster a first down, let alone a point, that means they believe.

Positive Takeaway No. 3:

Painful as it was, I think this game gives us more to be hopeful about than the Panthers game did. Last year they would have lost this one. In fact, last year they lost this matchup—twice.

Positive Takeaway No. 4:

I’m not as certain now as I was before yesterday’s game that the Steelers are going to lose the Raiders game. (They still might, of course…)

Positive Takeaway No. 5:

Your Pittsburgh Steelers are currently the No. 2 seed! All the Steelers have to do is win out to keep it that way. They might even end up No. 1 if the Chiefs should by some chance falter down the stretch. Of course, there is the small matter of playing the Saints, who at this point are the consensus Best Team in the League, and for that matter the Pats…

Positive Takeaway No. 6:

Gravedigger, as Homer J. calls him (Javon Hargrave) had what I hope is a breakout game.

Positive Takeaway No. 7:

I’m guessing that James Conner won’t be taking his eye off the ball just before he catches it anymore. And honestly, it is worth speculating whether he came back a little too soon from the concussion. The problem with the whole concussion protocol thing is that at the moment it is almost entirely based on self-reporting. When you are hard working and driven, I’m guessing there is considerable temptation to keep minor symptoms to yourself.

Would the Steelers have lost the game without Conner? On paper, before the game, one might think so. But the games aren’t played on paper, and there appeared to be little respect amongst the Jaguar D for pretty much anyone in a Steelers uniform. I don’t know that putting Ridley or Samuels in the backfield would have made much difference.

Positive Takeaway No. 8:

Six sacks. Gotta love it. The defense sacked Blake Bortles once for every four times he attempted a pass.

T.J. Watt now has double digit sacks on the season, which is the first time since 2010 any defensive player has that many—for the season.

Postive Takeaway No. 9:

How sweet it must have been to see the faces of the Jaguars’ defensive players, (or Jags, as I prefer to call them,) who had been trash-talking the whole time, one gathers. I would love to know whether Ben sought out Telvin Smith, who had been following Ben off the field and enumerating the total number of interceptions, to give him a hearty handshake, or whatever. He did land a little jab during his press conference, to the effect that a lot of talking was going on during the game, but he (Ben) was taking the game ball home.

Well, that’s all I’ve got. Add your own thoughts, positive or negative, in the comments. But as you can see we prefer to look on the sunny side of life here…

14 comments

  • Positive take away 10……….

    MT looked like a genius when it was over but when he let 20-25 seconds run off the clock before the 2 minute warning, I was questioning his strategy. Good job Coach! I won’t expect the call to serve on your staff anytime soon.

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    • Good 10th point. And certainly true about the Steelers being better off without our input. Of course it could have blown up in his face had they run out of time before they scored – perhaps the fact that a field goal would tie it gave him some level of comfort. But Tomlin was gambling, and won. Reminds me of the Lev Bell TD in San Diego…

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  • Land of Enchantment sounds like something you would expect from a mostly empty state with little going for it… I will guess North Dakota though Wyoming and South Dakota would be in the running.

    If it is North Dakota then I think whatever bird that was chosen would be covered in oil (lots of oil extraction there atm) so I will say the oily grouse.

    State cookie?… Oatmeal?

    No idea about the state song but since I cannot carry a tune, regardless of the bucket size, I will pass.

    Now I will check my answers: Opps…. I was very wrong.

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    • I believe the proper response is “thank you for playing” : ) If you get the chance listen to the state song. It has to be one of the dumber such things ever composed. I had to memorize it as a child so clearly I am bitter.

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      • The bird made sense. The cookie sounds good. I only listened to a few seconds of the state song and, though I didn’t really listen to the lyrics, I didn’t mind the version of the music that I listened to (first on my google search).

        p.s. forgot to add my name on previous post

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        • cold_old_steelers_fan

          opps again. That is a name I use for pc games…

          COSF

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          • I think since you’re Canadian you should be excused from knowing this stuff : ). BTW met a Steelers fan in Colorado Springs last week, sitting at the same hibachi table as Adrian and his family and I. He’s from Ontario, and says there are a lot of Steelers fans where he lives…

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  • Positive takeaways: Only three penalties and the two minute offense.

    I turned it off with about 10 minutes left in the game which I never do. My brother then texted me asking if I was watching the game and he said to turn it back on. Man, am I glad I did!

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    • I was pretty sure the Steelers would lose late in the third quarter, but I never quit on watching them, Ben has a way with working his magic. Exciting to watch but I do prefer games like the Panthers.

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  • Coaching adjustments. I dont have the stats in front of me, but Jax had a ton of rushing yards in the first half and next to nothing in the 2nd.

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  • that’s gotta be New Mexico

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