Nice catch, 'Tonio... but... fuck.
What an ugly - and thoroughly convincing - beatdown. The O-Line on both sides of the ball in the Steelers' 31-14 loss to the AFC South champion Titans was truly the story of the game. The Titans' line, No. 1 in the NFL, pushed, pulled and did their thing to allow Chris Johnson to run all over what was going to be the Greatest Defense of All Time.
Three critical turnovers by Roethlisberger - I'm not counting the pile-it-on INT return for a touchdown by Mike Griffin - and yet another Lorena-Bobbitt-style, cock-chopping penalty at a crucial moment by Willie Colon certainly didn't help things, but Kerry Collins (let me repeat that... Kerry Collins) went 20 for 29 all day against the secondary.
I'm probably being too harsh on two fronts here. First of all, this game was not crucial. Homefield throughout the playoffs would have been nice, but it doesn't change the fact that the Steelers will probably end up facing the Colts, which is going to be a rough go.
Second of all, Kerry Collins is actually a really good quarterback. You look at the draft class that he came out of (where Ki-Jana Carter went No. 1), and he's one of its few stars still in the league. He's led three different teams into the playoffs.
The main thing is that the Steelers' whole offensive scheme is suspect at this point. The O-Line is gaaaaaaarbage, and when they're not letting the blocking scheme get shattered like 30-year-old drywall, Roethlisberger is hanging onto the ball too long. They're relying on a Willie Parker, who is, much as I hate to admit it, a shadow of his former self, through no fault of his own. He's just been injured too much.
Now... I've been pushing Mewelde Moore since before he even got to the Steelers. He may look like motherfuckin' Muggsy Bogues out there on the field (a Hornet in the proper colors, so to speak), but my girlfriend has rolled her eyes plenty of times this season while I'm doing the Awkward White Man Shuffle in the living room and singing "Meweeelde Mooooooore!" Small as he is, he can grind out hard yards, he bounces off first tacklers and has the speed to break big plays.
But all the moves in the world aren't going to help when the guys who are supposed to be opening blocks are getting steamrolled and giving up more sacks in one game than the fucking Titans have given up ALL SEASON.
I was hoping to see the Steelers go out and put together a nice solid 7-10 point win today, rather than post wins where they got a few calls from the refs or some help from Tony Romo. Instead I got what might be a preview of the AFC championship game.
If the Steelers make it that far...