Skip to main content

steelers roll in cincy, move to 8-5

in the very first game of the season, the steelers demonstrated to the entire league that they would be a team capable of potent offense and powerful, if not dominant, defense, while also being capable of being nearly completely impotent and pedestrian.  i wrote about that very first game that they were like dr. jekyll and mr. hyde, and that was not only a fitting description of the first game (a tale of two halves), but also of this entire season.  they've lost to the jets, who only have one other win.  they've lost to the buccaneers, who only have one other win.  but they've steamrolled some of the better teams, like yesterday's solid win in cincinnati against the division-leading bengals.

once again, the defense wasn't all that great (a.j. green, yikes), and the offense had some moments where it looked like it just couldn't click, but then, when the fourth quarter came around, it looked like they could do no wrong.  much credit, of course, has to go super-human le'veon bell, who is really, really good.

i'm not going to look up all the numbers, but cbs showed a stat that he and walter payton are the only two players to rack up at least 200 yards from scrimmage in three consecutive games.  that's a pretty remarkable stat which speaks very clearly about his workload, his versatility, and the way he has delivered with strong performances when called upon.  and the steelers are calling on him.  early and often.  there were stretches in that game when it felt like if the play wasn't a handoff to bell, then it was a checkdown pass to bell.  everybody else could just go sit down and get some gatorade.  but of course, they didn't.  and all those runs and underneath passes opens up some other options....

like that 94-yard go route to martavis bryant, who flashed some impressive speed in getting past the cornerback and not relenting any ground all the way to the end zone.  that was a beautiful sight to behold, and i was happy to see ben lay it in perfectly in bryant's long stride.

but a go route like that only really works because the cornerback is cheating up just a bit, with his eye on le'veon bell.  bell's endurance, his ability to run routes and catch passes, and his ability to make anything happen any time he touches the ball is opening up other areas of the field for bryant and brown to get big chunks of yards.  if the o-line can continue to play like they did against the bengals, this offense can really shine.  or, they might go all mr. hyde on us and look like a team that wouldn't be able to beat a good high school team.  who will show up these last three games of the season?  who knows?  all we know is that they can't finish any worse than 8-8, and they have themselves poised to at least have a winning season this year, and maybe even get into the playoffs, which woudl be a miracle, given everything that has transpired this season.

here we go, steelers!


Popular posts from this blog


i made these comments and prayed the following prayer at one of our worship services at SPWF yesterday, and had a few folks asked if i would post them, so there they are: 
It has been a season of terrible tragedy.  And I have noticed in the news a trending phrase: thoughts and prayers.  It even has its own hashtag on twitter and other social media, but net necessarily in a good way.  People are understandably tired of hearing about others’ thoughts and prayers, when that is only a thinly-veiled way of saying that our only obligation to those who suffer is a brief moment of silence, or nothing more than a tweet or public statement.  The truth is that, for those of us who follow Jesus, much is required when our neighbors suffer.  We are called to do justice where we can, to love kindness and mercy, and to walk with God through it all.  But let us be careful not to throw out the proverbial baby with the bathwater.  We are, as people of faith, those who know that prayer is not simply an em…

a divided tree

there is a tree in my back yard.  i'm pretty sure it's an oak tree.  at least that's what i think Shannon told me.  i don't know my oaks from my maples, my elms from my locusts.  to me, it's a tree: a corinthian column bursting up into life and glory.  full of sap and pulp and rings and bugs and cells pulsing with water and always reaching for something.  it is full of rhythm, reach and flourish then fall and die, and repeat. 

this particular tree, though, isn't of one mind. 

half of it's rusted orange leaves have given up their grip and surrendered -gracefully or not - to the pull of gravity and the threat of winter.  the north side of this inauspicious oak is just about bare naked, all sticks and straight lines, a skeleton of itself.  but the side that looks south is stubbornly resisting change.  no longer green, the leaves have compromised their summer vibrancy, but they are clearly not ready to concede death just yet. 

i feel like i can relate to this …

thankful right now

"if the only prayer you ever say in your life is 'thank you,' it will be enough." -Meister Eckhart

"thanksgiving is inseparable from prayer." -John Wesley

i've been thinking about gratitude quite a bit this week, and how to foster a thankful spirit in the midst of the barrage of bad news that for me is punctuated by yet another "breaking news" notification on my phone, interrupting the busyness of my day to rudely remind me that the world's brokenness knows nothing of limits or boundaries, not to mention my schedule or sanity.  still, the bad news keeps coming. 

i just scrolled through my most recent notifications just from the last few days and they contain phrases like "crimes against humanity," "57 million users hacked, but not reported," "alleged pattern of sexual abuse," and "extremely disturbing," just to name a few.  how am i supposed to be present at a staff meeting when my phone is buzzing …