Sunday, October 26, 2014


Ben Roethlisberger was on the money all day long.
To say Ben Roethlisberger was at the top of his game is an understatement, if that's possible.

Six touchdown passes; 40-49 for 522 yards passing; a whopping 25 first downs passing; a staggering 639 total net yards offense; 51 points on the board; and Roethlisberger would have had even better stats if not for at least three drops by receivers he hit in stride and on the money. Roethlisberger was spot on from the jump, and he just kept clicking. He took no sacks and threw no interceptions.

Give Todd Haley credit, too. Whatever Haley called worked, and Roethlisberger didn't miss. The Steelers toyed with a Colts' defense that shut out the Cincinnati Bengals just one week before.

Not only did Roethlisberger become the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for more than 500 yards in two separate games, he joined Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana and Tom Brady as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to win 100 games in 150 or fewer starts.

Big Play William Gay, scoring on his interception.
Although the Colts put 34 points on the board, the defense played with intensity. William Gay's pick-six was arguably the key defensive play of the day. Also encouraging was the welcome presence and activity of the linebackers: Jason Worilds, James Harrison, Lawrence Timmons, Ryan Shazier, Vince Williams and Arthur Moats made their presence felt the entire game. They were visible.

The only blemishes for the Steelers were self-inflicted -- penalties, a couple of fumbles and the ill-conceived pooch punt before the end of the first half. Cortez Allen was exploited for some big plays, but, really, there's not much to complain about in the Steelers' 51-34 win over the Colts.

Before the game, Joey Porter's Pit Bulls said this game would reveal what this team is made of; that this would be a defining game for the 2014 Steelers. The team answered the challenge emphatically. Now they'll want to replicate that intensity and quality of performance, and make it consistent.

Next up: Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field, next Sunday night.

Game Day 8: Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers

After today, the season's half done.  

After today, we will have a much clearer sense of just what sort of team the Steelers have. Or will we? Last year, the Steelers were reeling at the halfway mark but went 6-2 against a fairly soft schedule in the second half of the season.

People talked about that 6-2 record as if it should have augured well for this season -- but what sticks in Joey Porter's Pit Bulls' craw is that abysmal loss at home vs. the Miami Dolphins in the December cold and swirling snow. That was a low point, as was the Week 8 loss to the Raiders in Oakland.

Now, here we are in Week 8 of the 2014 season, with the stench from losses to Cleveland, Tampa Bay and Baltimore still fouling the air and the Steelers facing a major challenge today from a very good Colts squad.

Which Steelers' team will show up today? It's not a stretch to say this will be a defining game for the 2014 Steelers.

Win, and Steeler Nation can feel reasonably upbeat about the second half of the season, starting with the Baltimore Ravens next week at Heinz Field. If the Steelers lose today, however, question marks will continue to swirl around this team. Lose by 20 points or more, as the Steelers did to the Browns and Ravens earlier this year ... well, if that happens, buckle your seat belts, fellas, 'cause it's going to be a bumpy ride the rest of the way.

It's time to step up and put on the Big Boy Pads, starting today vs. the Indianapolis Colts.