While it wasn't always easy to watch, Pittsburgh's 19-16 overtime victory over the Buffalo Bills still counts in the Steelers' win column. Let's take a look at some of the (in some cases unlikely) heroes that emerged late in this Sunday's win.
New place kicker
Clutchy McClutcherton Shaun Suisham.
Being "clutch" is a totally tired, completely unfalsifiable claim, but the fact is that the Steelers counted on this guy all afternoon, as Suisham connected on all four of his four field goal attempts, all of which were from at least 41 yards. I don't care if it's an overreaction, I love this guy. Totally, totally, totally dropping some mad flow on a stitched Suisham jersey, and you should, too. Although it has yet to be approved by Urban Dictionary's extremely discerning, Gordon Lish-ish editorial staff, I've taken the liberty of creating a flattering definition of "suisham" on their site:
suisham - v. to produce prolifically and accurately, esp. in the context of field goal kicking, helping your team to a win they probably didn't completely deserve, but hey.
Example: My friend Shaun totally suishamed at work today by landing the big account for his crappy employer.
Bills wideout Steve Johnson.
Sorry, fantasy owners. While this guy has been an unlikely stud for you all year (72.8 ypg, 9 TDs going into Sunday's game), he really let you - and Buffalo fans - down this afternoon. Johnson did his best Limas Sweed impression, dropping a jaw-dropping five passes in Ryan Fitzpatrick's spread attack. The last and most eggregious whiff took place in overtime on a beautiful bomb that should've resulted in another touchdown for his fantasy owners and a rare win for a struggling Buffalo squad. I don't want to dump on the guy - he seems like a really fun player - but Steelers fans should be grateful for Johnson's butterfingers.
The power rushing of Rashard Mendenhall and (to a much, much lesser degree) Issac Redman.
Mendenhall was an absolute terror this afternoon. Granted, his performance was far from explosive - if you discount his longest run (22 yards), his ypc is a mere 3.7 - but he toted the rock a career-high 36 times, putting the offense on his back. Despite occasionally suspect run blocking, Mendenhall displayed some truly beastly running, pushing the pile and falling forward. With the help of Redman (25 yards, 5 ypc), the Steelers rushing attack account for 12 of their 28 first downs. (Sidenote: I'd like to preemptively squelch any talk of Mendenhall being an f-word: fumbler. Yes, he lost one against the Bills, but this is a running back who had put the ball on the ground once every 127 touches going into today's overtime win. Ahman Green, he ain't.)
After squeaking out a narrow overtime victory this Sunday, Pittsburgh (now 8-3) will travel to Baltimore to take on the Ravens in an all-important divisional brawl.