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AFC Championship, Jets Vs. Steelers: New York Puts Up A Fight In The Third Quarter, Pittsburgh Trying To Secure Super Bowl Berth

Be sure to check out my first and second quarter notes, too.

  • I really love when receivers - and it's always receivers - get up and posture after a first down in a game when their team is down by a million. What are you bragging about, exactly? Look at the scoreboard. That's what ex-Steeler Santonio Holmes did after a 16-yard gain, and the Pittsburgh crowd let him have it with the boos. One play afterwards, however, Holmes did something truly brag-worthy, hauling in a 45-yard score. Cornerback Ike Taylor slipped in man coverage, and Troy Polamalu was up in the box in run support, so Holmes tore down the field and was a good five or seven yards ahead of safety Ryan Clark, who was the only man back. The touchdown narrowed the score to 24-10, Pittsburgh. The Jets now have ten unanswered points.
  • Former Steelers coach Bill Cowher (he who picked the Jets to win) said during halftime that if New York wanted to mount a comeback, their defense would need to make a play. Well, the Jets delivered; granted, Ben Roethlisberger pitched them a fastball right over the plate, all New York had to do was hit it out of the park. The quarterback evaded pass rushers at midfield, then chucked the ball deep into a two-safety look. Brodney Pool easily picked it off, ensuring the Steelers wouldn't build on their lead. I said in my second quarter notes that I was hesitant to call this one at the half - that's why. Fortunately, the Jets' ensuing drive was a three-and-out.
  • Phil Simms tried to make the point that it's okay to throw interceptions every once and a while, that Roethlisberger's proneness for risk-taking sometimes results in blemishes on the stat sheet, sure, but it often produces big plays, too. Fair enough. But it was just Chapter Eight Million in Simms's treatise against statistics. (I don't know what his exact words were, but the thrust was that "statistics don't matter.") When will Simms give this a rest? He seems like the jock in high school who's still sore about getting placed in remedial math. Sometimes statistics are deceptive, yes, but they're hardly meaningless. Rather, they're the best tool we have for understanding football. Simms is the kind of guy who thinks Vince Young is a good quarterback because he just "knows how to win games." Give me a break.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.