Christmas Eve and Charlie Batch Deliver One Special Gift for This Steelers Fan

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The defense did their job.  They shut out the Rams, but only because Josh Brown couldn’t kick his way out of a kung fu movie.  His two missed field goals kept six points off the board.  Neither of them were rushed or by poor snaps – he just plain ol’ missed from the open end of the field.  They allowed over 100 yards from Jackson and blew enough coverages for my tastes.  If it wasn’t for Clemens’ inaccuracy, the Rams certainly would have put more points on the board.  Surprisingly, the Rams line did well with rush and pass blocking.  Even though Clemens was sacked three times, he was rarely ever rushed with his throws – not a problem looking ahead to the Browns, but a big problem when looking at potential first and second rounders the team may face in the playoffs.  Part of the success of the Steelers’ pass defense has been from the aid of pressure on the QB.  Ike Taylor had an off day on Saturday.  He had his usual two to three passes defended (all that should have been intercepted by him), but he also blew some coverages and left some guys open enough for some good gains.  Not his ‘shut down’ self I would say.

With the game winding down and the Steelers up 20-0, the team was able to pin back the Rams deep in their own end.  It was time for Renegade.  Even with a 20 point lead, there’s something about that moment at Heinz Field that causes everyone to stop gabbin’ about what’s for Christmas dinner and start yelling for the Black & Gold.  The Terrible Towels were waving, and Heinz was as loud as it had been all day long.  I don’t know how other teams can perform once that song comes on.  It truly is a game changer for the fans and for the defense.

Sadly, it was time to leave shortly after that.  Redman tacked on another 6 with his touchdown run – it was nice to see the Steelers not let off the pedal in the fourth quarter.  It was easy enough to do with that poor run defense.  I think everyone felt good walking away from this game.  The defense was probably the weakest link of the day with all the potential scores and big plays that could have come from the Rams.  But our hearts were lifted a bit seeing that Charlie Batch can still run the Steelers offense with efficiency and even a bit of explosiveness here and there.  Ben should sit against the Browns.  Charlie’s got this one covered.

It was sad to leave Heinz.  We had a long and cold walk to and across the Roberto Clemente Bridge, but it would take hours before I came off the high of being at that game.  I’m really glad that I got to go with my wife and dad – the perfect pair to share this experience with.  My dad and I have watched football and the Steelers together since I can remember.  My wife and I have watched football and the Steelers since we were dating back in the mid-2000’s.  (She was an easy convert from the Vikes)  This moment came together for the three of us, and it was truly special.  Hopefully it won’t be another 10 years before we all see another home game!

Below are some pics from the game.  Click for larger image.