Late afternoon games suck. Not only was the general Pittsburgh viewing area subjected to Cleveland's high-flying 6-3 win over Seattle, but by the time it was over you were so disillusioned with football that you almost weren't interested in the Steeler game. But let's be real, it's a Steeler game, and all Steeler games are a good thing.
*Disclaimer: I assume the Cardinals are made up entirely of Kevin Kolb, Larry Fitzgerald, and people who were last relevant in like 2006, like Joey Porter, Clark Haggans, and Todd Heap, because the time zone difference makes them think it's four years ago there.
Steeler fans might outnumber Cardinals fans in Arizona. Troy Polamalu is announced to have a concussion, and he will start.
Ryan Clark cleans up a tackle and hip-checks Polamalu in the head. Come on, man. Lawrence Timmons blitzes from the outside and gets to Kolb unblocked. His throw gets tipped into the waiting arms of Ryan Clark. Fast start for the defense.
Lawyer Milloy clotheslines Rashard Mendenhall. Ouch. The running game can't do anything so Ben just makes the right play and throws to Heath Miller in the end zone. 7-0.
James Farrior tries to make a tackle with one hand from flat on his back. Kolb still feels the pressure and throws too high for Fitzgerald. The ball hits Polamalu in the chest but his concussion makes him drop it. Punt.
Apparently some Steeler lineman I've never heard of facemasked someone. Blood Type goes all Hines Ward on some pass. Heath Miller gets about half the field stuck in his facemask. Chris Kemoeatu tries to body slam someone after tackling Hines Ward. Stupid penalty. Antonio Brown can't overcome a 3rd & 18. Sepulveda puts the ball on the 5 yard line.
Larry Fitzgerald makes some amazing catch over Ike Taylor. No way you can defend that. The ref makes an annoying call when Fitz and Taylor are slap-fighting and Kolb hits Ike in the back with it. Yeah, that's gonna get called interference but he didn't really do much.
Kolb rolls out, can't find anyone open, and throws it into the stands. Fitzgerald is looking for a penalty. No idea how he thinks that's going to happen. The Wood takes down Kolb. Dave Zastudil punts it away to the 5 yard line.
Dan Dierdorf starts talking how wrapping up a tackle is a lost art. Despite this being how every single play in the NFL ends. The Steelers don't do anything and punt.
Every time Kolb overthrows Fitzgerald, one of them complains for a flag. The Steelers get the ball back.
Hey, remember Mike Wallace? The Cardinals don't. He burns two DBs for a 95 yard touchdown. He had a step on the first guy. That's all he needs to shift gears and take off. You ain't catching him. 14-0.
Polamalu's concussion misses a tackle on Fitzgerald. Surprised Fitz didn't ask for a flag over it. Ike Taylor misses a tackle on Jerame Tuman or someone. Kolb throws a ball away and wants a penalty. He gets one when Fitz and Taylor get into another slap-fight. That's getting called today.
Kolb rolls out and misses his receiver by 25 yards again. The defense gets called for holding again. Andre Rison or whoever gets up and asks for a penalty anyway. Guess it's just automatic after every play. Dierdorf makes a rare correct observation in that Ike Taylor is going to have to stop playing press coverage because apparently it's against the rules.
James Farrior is on the sideline for some reason. Kolb completes a ball over the middle to Bubba Franks. The ball is at the one yard line and TJ Duckett punches it in. 14-7. That drive was about 85% penalty yardage.
Jerricho Cotchery drops a pass. Larry Fitzgerald might have called for a penalty from the sideline. Ben extends a play and has Emmanuel Sanders wide open but he overthrows him by 15 yards. Credit the refs: Hines Ward gets into a grab-match with some DB just like Fitz and Taylor earlier, and they still call it a penalty on the defender. At least they're being consistent. Fitzgerald looks like he's about to cry.
Dre Bly interferes with Blood Type. Then Ty Law takes a hands-to-the-face penalty. It takes Ben like 45 seconds to spike a football. The Steelers run a halfback draw on 3rd & 2 and it doesn't work. Suisham kicks a 30 yard field goal as the half ends. 17-7
Hey, ESPN. Stop sending me this guy's stat line every 25 minutes. He's a terrible quarterback and I don't care what he does.
Blood Type makes plays. Mendenhall runs around the edge for his first real gain of the day. John Lynch lights up Hines Ward. The Steelers end up punting.
Woodley eats somebody. Then he gets held but still brings down Kolb. Kolb finds Dominic Rhodes on an underneath route. Polamalu's concussion falls down and he gets through the whole defense. 17-14.
Hines Ward gets carted off the sideline for some reason. Heath Miller makes an awesome catch and another DB takes another penalty.
Troy Vincent misses a tackle on Miller and he converts a 2nd & 12. Blood Type makes a fantastic one-handed catch on the sideline. Someone gets their feet lysol'd or something on the bench. Manny Sanders finally makes a catch and gets down to the 2. Mendenhall loses some yards. Ben jukes Clark Haggans out of his shoes and Sanders gets wide open in the end zone. 24-14.
This game is so long that the offense forgot it's the second half. They already think it's first half next week.
Dante Hall has a nice return, but since it's this game, there's a penalty on the play. Kolb drops back into the end zone and LaMarr Woodley charges him. Kolb dumps the ball into one of his tackles. That's grounding. In the end zone. 26-14.
Mike Wallace catches a pass. Then Heath. Soemone on the ground grabs Ben's ankle and he still stands perfectly upright and throws a pass. John Parry decides that's a sack. That's a really annoying rule. Cris McAlister jumps offsides on the field goal and knows he can't get back onside in time. Tries to call a timeout. Good try, but the flags are already down.
Suisham boots it with the 5-yard aid. 29-14.
Some pass to Keenan McCardell almost gets picked off. Then three guys get a free rush on Kolb and he throws it away. Then he misses another pass. It's like he doesn't even care anymore. Punt. Brown runs forward. Maybe he watched some film this week.
Isaac Redman converts a short third down. Mendenhall can't get anywhere though. Ben tries to hurry to the line on 4th & 2 and draw the defense offside. The Cardinals jump twice but they don't snap the ball. Suisham boots another field goal. 32-14.
The Steelers go into prevent defense and Fitz catches an underneath pass. Taylor tackles him and Fitz keeps shoving him down after the play. I remember when James Harrison did that to someone in the Superbowl and Cardinals fans were calling for fines, suspensions, and for the Superbowl to be re-awarded to Arizona. No Cardinals superstar would ever do something dirty like that.
The Cardinals start chipping away down the field. Jerramy Stevens scores. The two-point conversion fails. 32-20.
Everyone lost interest in the game. CBS starts showing that commercial we posted about. Moore has some run and like 30 flags go up. No one listens to what the call is. Sanders takes a bunch of big hits and gets up like a champ.
The Steelers are finally in a position to just sit on the ball and end the game. Finally.
- Seriously, Larry Fitzgerald needs to get over himself. It's not a penalty every time you don't catch a pass.
- It was nice to see the offense keep moving in the second half.
- If we never played at 4:00 again that would be okay.
- This post, drinking game edition: Take a drink every time you think, "Oh yeah, what ever happened to that guy?"
- Heads up: The Ravens lost. King of the hill at least for this week.