This weekend I was treated to gifts from under the tree to inside my TV. I even had an upset stomach from eating too much or watching the 3rd quarter of the Pittsburgh Steelers verse the Baltimore Ravens.
This game really summed up the Steelers season. It opened with a drive that made you believe they couldn’t be stopped. Then it felt like they couldn’t do anything right. The offense and defense went from making plays to being lost.
Then the 4th quarter came around just like the 4th quarter of their season. The offense got on the same page and started to click. It went back to the players that they needed to lean on during critical moments. All of the sudden the 30 point per game offense showed up and took over.
Yes, the defense didn’t stop the Ravens on their 2nd to last possession but they did however, stop the Ravens enough for that potent offense to take control. The most important thing the Steelers’ defense can do is give the ball to the offense one more time.
I haven’t felt like we had seen the Ben Roethlisberger who can take control of a game for a couple of seasons. We had a brief glimpse in the Dallas Cowboys’ game. Let’s be honest though, the Cowboys are not the same team as the Ravens. The division matchup, history and what was at stake helped to make the Ravens game that much tougher. Yet Big Ben came alive.
Raise your hand if you thought the Steelers and Big Ben were done after the 2nd pick in the 3rd quarter? I stated that the game was over if the defense didn’t wake up. I was wrong. It was the offense that needed to wake up and it did.
In the 4th quarter, Big Ben looked like the player was saw against the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII. Ben was moving in the pocket and pointing to the open spot. He was as accurate as you would expect and when he wasn’t, his wide receivers made the plays.
I also want to single out one other player who barely showed in the stats sheet. DeMarcus Ayers had never seen a regular season game. Most people said he would be another wasted pick. Maybe he still will be…
In a game the Steelers were trying to crawl back into, he played a big part on a big stage. He got the pass interference call that setup a touchdown. On Bell’s touchdown run, I saw him not only attempt to block but come back and make the block. Bell might have gotten in the endzone without the block but it did make it easier and also showed the effort of Ayers. I have a soft spot for watching wide receivers block like it matters.
How will I remember this season? I will remember it for Cam Heyward going down and the defense stepping up. I will remember it for 5 rookies that played an important role in the game of the year. I will remember it for Big Ben reminding us what he can do when the game is on the line. I will remember it for an out stretched arm of the best receiver in the game across a goal line despite the uncalled facemask.
I will remember it as a season that could have very well gone bad really quick but the team persevered through it. Now I ask, how will you remember this season so far?
Picture courtesy of Pittsburgh Steelers Twitter feed