The Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1) won big-time against the Seattle Seahawks (0-2), routing them 24-0 at their home opener. The Steelers have officially proven themselves the wine drinkers, not the grape stompers, today. Thank you for that analogy, Mike Tomlin. You really are a lord among press conferences.
In even better news for us Steelers fans, the Baltimore Ravens, who kicked the Steelers' asses so soundly last week, lost to the Tennessee Titans, and I would just like one tiny opportunity to revel in this moment.
Okay. Thanks for that. The football universe is now back to normal.
The Seahawks couldn't produce a single point against the stingy Steelers defense, who bounced back after a round of criticism about how old and decrepit and elderly and senile they looked last week. Although there were a few missed tackles and the defense was unable to commit any turnovers... come on, let's take this a week at a time. Go ahead and revel in the fact that, after the Steelers allowed 7,000 points and rushing and passing yards last week (I'm exaggerating but that's certainly what it felt like!), they didn't let their opponent score once the entire game.
The biggest news from the game, minus the fact that Bill Leavy officiated this one, who caused so much controversy during the Steelers vs. Seahawks Super Bowl XL (yikes, was that the only way to drum up interest in this game?), was that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger seemed to suffer a right knee injury during the second quarter. But all seems okay as Ben put up big numbers: 298 yards and a touchdown, going 22 for 30, shaking off his turnover-happy performance from last week. He played the entire game and wasn't pulled when the Steelers were up by so many points, hopefully allowing fans to rest easy that the injury wasn't as bad as it looked. Of course, Ben had to grimace and limp around a lot to make sure we were still paying attention, but so far, it doesn't appear as if we'll have to rely on Charlie Batch for the rest of the season.
Seahawks QB Tarvaris Jackson completed 20 for 29 and threw for 159 yards, with no TDs or interceptions. However, he's the one who rushed for the most yards (12!) out of anybody on his team, which is never a good sign. The runner-up was Marshawn Lynch, who rushed 6 times for 11 yards. Eep. He's no Ray Rice, I get that, but the Steelers did make a statement on defense today, and it certainly was refreshing to see. The Seahawks didn't take an offensive snap in Pittsburgh territory until midway through the fourth quarter. It was the first time they failed to score in a game since October 7, 2007. They only had eight first downs. Think the media will pounce all over the Steelers aging defense again this week?
And a huge thank-you to Fox for zooming in on Troy Polamalu's shiny, thick, curly locks during the last quarter of the game. In slow motion. Even though he dropped what would have certainly been an end zone-bound interception. Like I said, we'll take it a week at a time.
Offensively, the Steelers rushed for 124 yards, with Rashard Mendenhall racking up 66 yards and a TD, and Isaac Redman, who had a standout game, coming up with 49 yards and a pretty fantastic touchdown run. And this was all without starting right tackle Willie Colon, who was placed on IR for the rest of the season. Again, let's hope this shuts the critics up over the Steelers inefficient offensive line, even though I was part of that group last week. Sorry, I was really worried! Anyway, Mike Wallace, who I think is just building up to have an awesome season, also caught eight passes for 126 yards. They were nothing but productive on both sides during this rout. The Steelers were able to hold the ball for 20 minutes, 8 seconds compared to the Seahawks' 9:52 in the first half alone. Regardless of your opponent, that's pretty impressive.
Where were these guys last week? Were the Steelers really that bad, the Ravens really that good, or the Seahawks really that bad? Well, it could be a combination of all three, but we've got the next few weeks to figure that out.
Yes, football nation, I hear what you're saying: It's the Seattle Seahawks. Doesn't really "mean" all that much. But this could be the ego boost the Steelers need to help them power through the next couple of weeks. They play the beleaguered Indianapolis Colts next Sunday night, and every game counts, especially competing for wins against a rival like the Ravens in the AFC North. It's nice to win, and it's nice to win at home. Let's hope the Steelers will continue to bounce back from such a humiliating loss in week 1.
Follow Jill Baughman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jayboff