Fantasy fallout: This game featured (and didn't feature) some of this season's biggest fantasy football disappointments not named Tom Brady. Willie Parker is injured and out indefinitely (or "day-to-day" in NFL parlance). Ben Roethlisberger -- who last season was second overall in QB rating (104.1) and third in touchdowns (32) -- has been spending so much time on the turf I'm starting to think he developed narcolepsy in the offseason (or, as my buddy Mr. P calls it, narcosleepy). As a consequence Santonio Holmes, Hines Ward and Heath Miller have been nearly useless. Rashard Mendenhall, who was supposed to be Pittsburgh's next big running back, fractured his left shoulder last night and is out for the season.

On the other side of the ball, Willis McGahee has 106 yards and 1 TD in only two games this season, and he injured both his knee and chest last night...and thus had to leave the game early. Meanwhile, rookie QB Joe Flacco isn't exactly lighting it up: He has exactly one TD on the year (compared to 2 interceptions, 3 fumbles and 6 sacks) and he's averaging a craptastic 150 YPG. I keep hearing the term "game manager" every time he's discussed, and that rarely leads to good things for young QBs. And mind you, this is a guy who's had games against both Cincinnati and Cleveland already. (Random aside: Is it just me, or does anybody else think "Flaccid" when they hear "Flacco"? Yeah, it's probably just me.)

Pittsburgh Steelers through two-and-a-half quarters: By midway through the third quarter, they had exactly one first down. One. In a semi-must-win home game. And, natch, the Pittsburgh crowd booed their team. Happy times in the Iron City. Fortunately for the Steelers, they were playing...

The Baltimore Ravens: Talk about retching up a game they should have won. Late in the third quarter, Baltimore had a 10-point lead that felt more like 30. Pittsburgh's passing game was MIA and they were down to their fourth and last running back. Then, Roethlisberger shocked the world by tossing a 38-yard TD pass to Santonio Holmes -- it was Holmes' first of the season -- to bring the Steelers to within three. Less than 20 seconds later, Joe Flacco coughed up a fumble that LaMarr Woodley returned for a TD. And just like that, the Steelers were up by four. How do you hold a team to 3 points for more than half-an-hour and then give up 14 points in half a minute? That's like a prom date who won't even hold your hand for most of the night suddenly tearing off her clothes, dousing herself in baby oil, and...what was I talking about again?

Mike Tomlin, quote machine: In addition to Mendenhall, the Steelers also lost right guard Kendall Simmons (right Achilles) for the season, which drills yet another hole into their Swiss cheese of an offensive line. But Tomlin is staying strangely optimistic. "It is only devastating if you allow it to be." That's a great sentiment, coach. And it's sort of easy for you to say, since you don't have to stand behind that line while a half-dozen 300-pound monsters are trying to run you down and break you in half. That's like me telling somebody that a bullet can only tear through your insides like butter if you let it.

Meaningless stats: Did you know that Pittsburgh won its 14th consecutive Monday night home game last night, a streak that dates to a 1991 loss to the New York Giants at Three Rivers Stadium? Did you care? Yeah. I didn't think so.

Tony Kornheiser: You can read more about the exploits of Kandy Korn over at Awful Announcing, but I was particularly amused by this gem, in which Tony channeled his inner John Madden. Regarding Big Ben Roethlisberger: "At some point, you are what you are as a quarterback." Maybe he figured if he sounded more like Madden, people would stop pointing out how out of place he is on MNF.

Update! Special note from futuremrsrickankiel: "Please don't forget to call Willis McGahee a tubby piece of shit and Rashard Mendenhall an overrated rookie bust." Consider it done.

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I'll never be able to muster up the hate for Tony Toni Tone that you, and many other, indulge... frankly, I've always kind of loved that he talks about football in that giddy, excited way. If you'd ever watched a football game with me, you'd know that I do the exact same thing... eep!

HATE Heath Miller, though. I needed ONE LOUSY POINT from him to win my most important league this week, and NOTHING. NADA. Wound up with a freaking tie. I HATE TIES.

Blogger BeWry said...
Can I mention that Mason caught that TD that was ruled out of bounds, and Baltimore probably should've challenged it, because it looked to me like he was definitely inbounds with both feet down and possession, but instead they decided to let Joe Flacco (FlacNOOOOO!) try again and he almost threw an interception and they settled for a field goal? I'm just saying is all...