Last night made me feel a little like a proud mama.Â I remember watching tape of Dixon from college and seeing him scramble and run outside the pocket, but in reality, I am not sure what I expected last night.Â Maybe it wasn’t a win, but there were a lot of good things about that game – Dennis should be proud of the work he put in on the field. (I’d like to poll Steeler Nation on how many times you think he threw up between Saturday when he found out he was starting and Sunday night kick-off.Â I’m guessing at least 4 times.)
Keep in mind, this kid hasn’t even been taking reps with the first team until this week.Â That said, he threw 26 times for 12 completions including a 33-yard TD pass to Santonio.Â He also ran 24 yards for his own TD.
Rashard Mendenhall tried to spin move his way down the field, but the Baltimore defense knew we were going to run, especially with the QB situation.Â Mewelde and FWP had a few yards rushing also, but not enough big plays.
This was a hard fought defensive battle, not unlike any match up between the Steelers and the Ravens.Â The lone take away, and only glaring rookie mistake Dixon made, was the game changing interception in OT by Paul Kruger.Â The Ravens disguised their blitz and Kruger looked like he was gonna rush right before he dropped back in coverage, it’s a mistake any QB could make.Â Unfortunately, this mistake happened at preceisely the wrong moment in time and set the Ravens up for the 29 yard FG by their “kicker-of-the-week” (kidding Ravens fans, I know his name is Bill Cundiff and bet you do now too!!) ending the game with the Ravens in the lead 20-17.
The defense held their own, in fact, they were able to keep the game tight in a lot of instances.Â Woodley, Farrior and Kirschke each had a sack and Timmons, who kicked butt for the entire game had two.Â I think the weak point of our game (other than special teams) was the secondary.Â Will Gay got beat quite a few times as well as missed a couple tackles.Â And Ike Taylor, you need to step up your “swaggin’” because I didn’t see too much of that last night.Â Every single time Ray Rice got the ball I think I held my breath.Â I really need to send the Rooney’s a bill for the massage therapy and yoga I’m going to be needing to keep Sunday stress out of my life.Â And people think watching football is FUN!Â (Same people also probably wear pink jerseys)
The best part of the game for me, actually,Â was the support Dixon received from his teammates…In fact, Ben said, “We are so proud of the way he played. He did everything that Coach Tomlin asked him to do-and more.Â He played with fire and the intensity we’ve seen from him in practice every day.Â He played his heart out. The Ravens found out what we’ve known all along. He’s a very good quarterback.”
I’m sure the leadership Ben, along with the rest of the team,Â showed and the support he provided in getting ready for one of the biggest games – and one that had potential playoff implications – meant a lot to Dixon.Â The kid felt the pressure I am sure, and his nerves were noticeable but he did play hard.
In fact, Hines said, “We tried to keep things very basic. As far as I am concerned, he played his tail off. He should walk around with his head held high because he gave us his best. He’ll continue to grow.”
That doesn’t necessarily change the fact that last night’s game was the third straight loss for the Steelers, but clearly, there is work to do for the remainder of the season.Â December is now a month in which the Steelers need to win every game or end up watching the rest of the season from the comfort of their own couches.Â Not something I really want to think about, but a reality never the less.
Coach Tomlin said, “We will not go gently.Â We will unleash hell here in December because we have to.”
We sure do.Â And if we can pull the passion the Steelers showed last night every single Sunday the rest of the year then I’m saying right here, right now, that a wildcard slot will be ours.Â I’m ready to witness some attack mode.
(and by the way, if anyone in Steeler Nation is looking for a gift for me, I would like a Coach Tomlin Steelers vest-see pic-Â kthxbai)
Let’s go Steelers!! Bring the Attack Mode!!