Monday, November 9, 2009

Royal Rumble: Steelers Win


Before the game starts, the NFL advertises a new "customizable jersey" feature from

That could be dangerous.

You have to believe someone is going to make a Ray Lewis "Murderer" jersey.

John Gruden gets on his knees and get some old man balls on his face while talking about the "experience" of the Broncos secondary. In the NFL, "experience" means you have a bunch of old men. They also talked about the "leadership" present in Denver's secondary. Pierre McGuire shit himself when he realized Mike Richards didn't play in Denver's secondary.

Denver's fans have orange pom-poms to try and counter-act the towel. Myron laughs.

Game Recap

Steelers win the toss and defer.

Randy Orton comes out to lead Denver's offense. He zips two throws to Eddie Royal to move the Broncos out across the 50. After another throw to Royal, the Steelers defense clamps down. Willie Gay almost comes up with a pick on 3rd down, but collides with Troy and the ball falls to the ground. Denver gets on the board with a field goal.


007 comes out to lead the troops. The Steelers get things rolling on the ground, and pick up a first down with a throw to Holmes. Ben overthrows Hines after a good run on first down, then gets sacked on 3rd down. Coverage sack, not the line's fault. No one was open. Superman gets a nice bounce and winds up with a 55-yarder to put the Ponies back inside the 20.

Orton comes out with the "heavy set" with 6 linemen and goes play-action to Brandon Marshall. Marshall picks up another grab on 3rd down on a quick-slant to keep the drive going. Ike steps up and pulls down Marshall in single-coverage short of the sticks 3 plays later. Mitch "Lob Wedge" Berger, who we got to know very well last year, comes out and blasts one into the end zone.

The Steelers look poised to go 3-and-out, but Ben zips one to Tone across the middle to convert a 3rd and 7. The Broncos bring an overload blitz on first down, and Ben goes down again. Once again, not the line's fault. When you have 6 blockers and they bring 7, you can't block everyone. Ben dumps one down to Mendenhall on 2nd and forever to get halfway, then can't connect with Wallace on 3rd down. Superman.

Second Quarter

Denver comes out with two runs, then Orton converts another 3rd down. The Steelers bring some heat on Orton and Ziggy sets him up for a clothesline off the ropes. Orton flings the ball up and right into the hands of Tyrone Carter who takes it outside and doooooown the sidelines TO THE HOUSE.

It's been so long since the last game, so I almost forgot this: our last 21 points have been scored by the defense. I typed that during the commercial before the announcers said it. Keenan Lewis makes his second special teams tackle of the game. He's really making himself heard from in only the second game he's dressed for.

The Diesel comes up with a sack on 2nd down, but Deshea can't pull down Marshall on 3rd down in the flat, and Marshall turns it back and picks up a first down. The Steelers force another 3rd and long, and Orton stands in under some pressure and hits the tight end over the middle to move the chains. After a false start, Denver works their way into a 3rd and 5. Orton hits Gaffney on the sideline and Gay knocks the ball out. The Boy Wonder challenges and fails. McDaniels opts to go for it, and Orton zips one for a first down, but the refs actually call a hold against Harrison. Lob Wedge scoffs a 27-yarder. Hahahahaha.

Mendenhall gets two carries and picks up 8. Ben hits Wallace on an out-route to move the chains. A false start penalty sets the Steelers back, and Ben tries to drop one off to Heath in the face of a blitz, but Heath gets taken down. Superman pins them back to the 15.

Denver comes out with two runs to take the clock down to two minutes.

Two Minute Warning

Orton goes play-action on 3rd and 1 and hits Marshall down the field for some big yards. Key Fox gets some pressure, and the Diesel steps in to put Orton in the pile-driver. Denver opts to run the ball on 3rd down to try to run out the clock. The Steelers give McDaniels the finger and take a timeout.

The Steelers dodge a bullet on a potential roughing the kicker, but luck out with only getting a 5-yarder that doesn't give Denver a first down. The Steelers kneel the ball to end the half.


Keisel has two sacks in the first half. That's more than he had all last season.

Third Quarter

Hines and Mendenhall take turns by air and ground, moving the Steelers out across the 50 with the no-huddle. Ben keeps the nickel package on the field with the no-huddle and rips one to Tone on a post. Ben drops back to throw and Kemoeatu gets killed by a Bronco. Ben never sees him coming and the ball gets knocked out. Visions of the last Monday night game in Denver flash through your head as Denver scoops up the fumble and takes it back for the touchdown.


Ben goes play-action and rips one to Wallace on a come-back on the sidelines. The Steelers come with their bread-and-butter running play and Raise Some rips off a huge 22-yarder. Ben zips one over Champ Bailey and Tone catches it in stride to take it down to the 4. 007 stands in the pocket and cannons a throw to Ward in the back of the end zone.

What. A. Drive.
4 plays, 80 yards, 2:07
Ben and the boys have a message for John Gruden

Reed pops a short kickoff to keep it out of Royal's hands. The Steelers defense holds after Ziggy gets pressure on 3rd down and forces an incompletion. Lob Wedge sticks it inside the 5.

Raise Some gets a few to get us out of the shadow of the end zone, then 007 goes play-action to Heath in the seam. RAISE SOME rips off another big gain for 28 to get near midfield. Denver takes a timeout before 3rd down, but that doesn't slow down Ben. He rips one to Wallace over the middle to move the chains. Raise Some takes a draw play for 8 then Ben hits Tone across the middle. With the ball at the 15, Ben looks for the end zone, but throws the ball badly behind Hines and it gets picked off.

Marshall pulls one in on a slant, but the defense stands strong. KFox makes a tackle in the flat then stuffs the run. Ryan Mundy makes a great tackle on a check-down to force a punt.

Fourth Quarter

Wallace gets a reverse to get things going then Mendenhall gets stuffed in the hole. Ben overthrows Wallace down the sidelines on 3rd down and the Steelers go 3-and-out.

Denver comes out and craps on themselves. 3 and out. Lob Wedge puts some back spin on the ball and winds up with a 24-yarder. Hahahahahahaha.

The Steelers look poised to go 3-and-out, but Tone reels one in on a hitch route in front of Bailey to move the chains. Ben throws it just out of Heath's grasp on 3rd down, and Superman pins Denver inside the 10.

Troy does his Troy thing and blows up a run play on first down then makes his team-leading third pick of the year on an overthrow by Randy Orton. Huge, huge HUGE turnover in Broncos territory.

Raise Some gets two carries that nullify each other, then 007 rolls out to escape pressure and fires his Walther PPK to the 60 Minute Man Mike Wallace at the goal line for the touchdown.

Denver resumes their Mr. Hankey impression, and goes 3-and-out. The refs make a terrible call on 3rd down saying that Orton fumbled the ball, prompting Denver to use their last challenge of the game. Works for us. Moore rips off a great return, but it comes back on a block in the back call.

Mendenhall loses 3, then gets a false start penalty. How does he follow it up?
A 36-yard dash off the left side to take the ball out across midfield. Mendenhall is out of gas, and Moore comes in and takes the same weak-side counter for 11 yards. Moore gets two more, then Ben hits Hines on the sidelines to move the chains. Raise Some goes right up the gut for 18 yards and spins down to the 3 yard line.

Two-Minute Warning

This is a home game now. All the bitchy Denver fans have gone home to hide their heads in the snow, leaving a bowl of Terrible Towels. Gotta love how Steelers fans just take over opposing stadiums.

Mendenhall trips on the first play, and barely gets the handoff. He gets hit in the hole and almost fumbles. They call him down, and review it. Somehow the call stands. Mendenhall takes it up the gut for 2 yards and Denver uses their last time out. On 3rd and goal, Ben throws a bubble-screen to Hines who hurdles Champ Bailey and skips into the end zone.
Chump got schooled son.


Denver comes out throwing. James Harrison absolutely destroys Buckhalter across the middle. Tyrone Carter reverses Orton's RKO and comes up with his second pick of the game. The refs come in and count Orton out.


Players of the Game:
Offensive Game Ball: Hines Ward
Defensive Game Ball: Tyrone Carter
Honorable Mentions:
Troy Polamalu
Brett Keisel
Ben Roethlisberger
Rashard Mendenhall
Mike Wallace
Max Starks
Ryan Clark
Keyaron Fox

Mr. Yuck Sticker of the Game
Champ Bailey
007 turned Champ into a Chump. Holmes found ways to get open all night, and the icing on the cake came in the final minute when Hines hurdled Bailey, who was mailing it in from the AARP meeting, to get to the end zone.

Final Thoughts
  • Big win by the Steelers. Beat the Bungles next week and we're in control.
  • There were a lot of similarities between this game and the Redskins game from last season. Don't be shocked if Denver collapses down the stretch.
  • Keyaron Fox. What a player. He needs to be on the field more. He is the replacement-in-waiting for when Farrior retires.
  • Max Starks. What can we say about him? Jared Allen and Elvis Dumervil in consecutive games that he totally shut down. Hell of a player. He deserves to go to the Pro Bowl.
  • Steelers defense held Denver's offense to 3 points.
  • 007 came back in a fury after the fumble.
  • Total domination in the second half.
  • What was up with Gruden totally switching teams in the 4th quarter?
  • If the difference between Berger and Sepulveda wasn't already apparent...
  • Would a Mike Wallace for Rookie of the Year campaign really be out of line?
  • How good has Rashard Mendenhall been this year? He looks like the back we drafted out of Illinois.
  • Hines finds the end zone twice tonight, giving him the team lead in TDs.
  • Great game for Tone, he caught everything thrown his way.
  • Denver's secondary was almost off geriatrics long enough to matter in this game.
  • Good decision by Ryan Clark not to play. Not worth that risk.
  • Excellent job by Ty Carter in replacement. He looked better in coverage and run support tonight than in any other game this year.
  • Big test next week, get yourselves ready.

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