Ok, here's the deal - what follows is not going to be what I'd typically refer to as a "preview."
For three reasons...
1) Didn't write a preview for Bengals, Browns (Round 1), or Rams, but did for 49ers, and look how that worked out 2) When you're reading this it will either be New Year's Eve day or New Year's day (if it gets read at all), and 3) This is the Browns
Now, in no way am I discounting the significance of the game itself.
It's not necessarily a must-win, but a win and a Ravens loss would hand the Steelers the two seed and a first round bye, which I don't think you need me to tell you would be a major coup for a team with key players injured all over the field.
But the reality is, in terms of internet usage this weekend, I'd expect it to be a fraction of the norm (ie - probably one person will read this instead of the normal three).
Following the path blazed not long ago by our boy, Mike Wallace, Brown eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark in just his second season, after becoming Ben's 2nd favorite target (maybe even overall favorite), and a starter about 2/3 of the way through the season.
[sidenote - do yourself a favor and click here to see who he's got more receiving yards than (spoiler - it's all but 15 guys in the league)]
Not to mention, he's on his way to Hawaii by virtue of the ~28 yards he averaged on kick returns (3rd in the league) and ~11 yards he averaged on punt returns (9th in the league).
And of course, he's got a top five TD celebration.
Definitely MVP level swag.
5) Roethlisberger's Revenge?
So, in conclusion - go Bengals.
As usual, if you get a chance before you drink yourself into a champagne coma later, turn the lights off and hit play on this...
There were many big contributions tonight, but arguably none bigger than Ben coming back after absorbing that hit I can't get out of my head in the 1st half, after which he could barely limp off the field.
16/21 for 280 yards and 2 TDs, with a broken thumb on his throwing hand, and a high sprain on his left ankle.
Heal up, dude, but what a machine.
Something that looks more like a recap to come.
In the meantime, good win...
Feel free to deposit any and all thoughts in the comments.
If this is what happens when I don't write a preview, I'm never writing another one again.
Last week, there was apparently much crying about how the Steelers only beat the Kansas City Chiefs by 4 points.
A blocked field goal, a punt return touchdown, a (forced and) recovered kickoff fumble, an Ike Taylor pick, Hines Ward over 12,000 career yards receiving, 2 Rashard Mendenhall TDs, 3 James Harrissassin sacks, a 9-3 record, and a partridge in a pear tree.
Sounds like a Pee Wee Herman tequila dance-worthy day to me...
I trust you all enjoyed your respective holidays to the fullest.
But put all that competitive eating and in-law wrangling behind you, because as of today, Steelers football is officially back in gameday action.
Now, about these Chiefs...
The Chiefs have been outscored in losses by an average margin of just under 25 points.
Their usual starting QB, Matt Cassel, was recently placed on IR.
Their would-be starting RB, Jamaal Charles, has been on IR since September.
They're 4-6, and have only scored more than three points in one of their last three games (when they hung a whopping 10 on Denver), all losses.
But this is professional football, not lingerie football.
Teams in the NFL don't just lay down and take it just because the chips are down.
What better way to get their fans re-enthused with all the shit going on in KC this season than to beat the Steelers at home on Sunday night, just days after getting spanked by Bill Belichick on Monday night?
So, once again, it's the Steelers' jobs to make sure that doesn't happen.
It's the Steelers' jobs to make sure the story is yet another L for a team that could be headed for the first pick next April.
As for the Steelers, not to belabor the point since I know it's already after 6PM on gameday, in case you've been living under a rock (like I basically have the last couple of weeks for a variety of reasons) - it bears mentioning that...