Well, I've finally calmed down enough to post about the Steelers game yesterday. Jenn & I were on the edge of our seats. I think it's a real a shame that the game was even close at the end, because the Steelers completely dominated the Colts and the officiating was horrendous. I won't harp on that though. I will say, it's games like that when I understand why there are people who are convinced the games are fixed. I don't believe that, but that game was very poorly officiated.
Jenn & I were really on the edge of our seats for the finally 2 minutes of the game. We went from total exhuberation when the Steelers sacked Manning on 4th and 16 on the 2 yard line, to the complete and udder disbelief when Bettis fumbled the ball. Cowher absolutely made the right call, it was just a fluke result. The Colts still had 3 timeouts left at that point. The correct call was trying to put the game out of reach by putting up a 10 point diferential. Anyway, it took Jenn & I both a good 3 hours to really calm down. Jenn was still telling me later that night that she was still feeling the results of the game. This was the first time she's ever felt this kind of emotion over watching a sporting event. I'm so lucky she's enjoying watching Steeler football with me (although she'd probably argue how "enjoyable" it was once Bettis fumbled.) However, the emotional swing you feel as you go from knowing you've won the game, to thinking you've lost it, to watching Vanderjagt miss a FG he makes 99 out of 100 times to give you the win is something you just don't experience in any other spectator event. I love football.
I can't say enough about how well Cowher had that team prepared to play that game. He came out throwing the ball when the Colts were expecting us to run and the Defense had the Colts completely on their heels. Lebeau had a beautiful game called. For those that don't watch the Steelers on a weekly basis, you wouldn't have noticed this, but the Steelers tend to use a lot of motion with their Defensive Backs to try and confuse the QB. Generally speaking though, Manning is good at adjusting to that. Lebeau used very little movement before the snap—which I think Manning was relying on to try and figure out the blitz schemes. If you notice, it wasn't until very late in the game that you saw Manning started to call more audibles on the line. Heck, I even heard Archie, Peyton's father, on NFL Radio this morning and he admitted that Peyton had to resort to "drawing plays in the dirt--playground style" in order to counter the things Pittsburgh was doing do them.
Anyway, that was one of the best prepared Steeler teams I've seen hit the field. The final score really does not reflect the actual tone of that game. However, that's the problem with playing the Colts. They can score in bundles—which is why they're always dangerous.