Monday, December 01, 2008

9-3

ahh, yes. we have now entered into a little place i like to call december football. four weeks in december and four regular season games left. but wait, i'm getting ahead of myself.
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yesterday was still november football. on the last day of november, a cold, rainy, just put your pj's on and cuddle up in front of the fire kind of day, the steelers found themselves playing an outside game in a place where they've ended up outside the winners circle for the last 11 years. but not this time. this time, this team showed up and left the city of boston (apparently the inspiration for dante's "inferno") with a victory. clearly one reason for the sudden ability to win in foxboro was the absence of one tom brady, the steelers nemesis. however, this patriots team has still been able to compete, particularly offensively, as they've picked up over 500 yards their last two games, with brady's replacement throwing for over 400 of those yards in each game. not the patriots of yesteryear, to be sure, but still the belicheck-led patriots, and a team that the steelers have just been unable to beat.


that is, until yesterday when the last day of november brought in from the west both some wintry cold rain and an epic steelers defense, both of which seemed to confuse and frustrate the pats. 2 interceptions (c'mon timmons, how about a little aerobic exercise?). 2 strip sacks by james harrison who continues to campaign in swing states for defensive player of the year. 5 total sacks, and under 300 yards allowed. this defense is stifling and is clearly the steelers strength as they head into december football.
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the offense was nice, particularly in the second half. it appeared that the offensive line made some improvements, ben played very well, the coaching staff tried a new running philosophy (running by committee), and the steelers held onto the football (over ten minutes more than the pats). when you add to that the third down conversions (50%), it was a satisfying offensive performance to compliment an incredible defensive performance (the pats were 7.7% on third down conversions!).
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we held onto our lead in the division, and improved our standing in the conference. now we begin to look at next week and the dallas cowboys, more than likely a greater test than these brady-less pats were. most people know that steelers fans tend to dislike the cowboys very much (whoever decided that the cowboys are "america's team" hasn't watched very many steelers away games, where other team's stadiums are 50% or more steelers fans), and want to beat them badly. we don't get to play them very often, and so each time is an opportunity to express our dislike. i'm looking forward to this classic matchup.

1 comment:

Mary said...

i only got to watch the second half...but man...it was awesome :) how about when we scored three drives in a row? that was some sweet action....