* As fast as the Steelers were able to commit three costly turnovers and watch their offensive leader carried off the field Sunday, they still had a shot to win the game. After Morten Anderson missed a long field goal with seconds left in the 4th quarter, the Steelers drove the ball with Charlie Batch completing a pass to get the Steelers to the Falcosn 33. That would have meant a 50-yarder for Jeff Reed. With Batch coming up to spike the ball, the refs called WR Nate Washington for flinching at the line. The false start with :05 seconds left cost the Steelers five yards, but also a :10 second run off, meaning that the quarter was over. The replay was close, but looked as if Washington had jumped. Bill Cowher didn’t see it that way. “The only thing I will say to you in regards to the call at the end of the game, I am not going to be judgmental, I am just going to tell you he called a flinch on 85, Nate Washington. That was what was called. You take it from there. I am just telling you what was called. I don’t feel like giving Park Ave any of my money. So let’s just leave it at that.” The ball does not seem to want to bounce the Steelers way like last January when they reached the Super Bowl with a historic run. Plus they just can’t seem to be able to keep Ben Roethlisberger healthy, which is a shame considering he was having a huge game Sunday before being knocked out with a helmet to helmet hit. 473 total yards of offense and the Steelers lose? The defense, and a costly penalty has to be blamed for this latest loss.
* Two coaches that have to be on the hot seat right now are both Denny Green of the Cards and Nick Saban of the Dolphins. Both are at 1-6 following losses on Sunday. Both lost to teams that when looking at the schedule you would think these two teams would be beatable – the Packers and Raiders. Miami lost at home to the Pack, while Green and the Cards only scored 9 points in a loss to the Raiders. “I can’t believe that we’re sitting at 1-6. But we are,” Green said. “Absolutely this is my fault. It’s my job to make sure the ship is being ruddered the right way.” The Cards have not been able to get their running game going, nor have they made big stops on defense. When you think about the loss to the Bears last week that saw Arizona lead the game big in the third quarter, it may now have totally sent the Cardinals into a tailspin they can’t get out of. Running back Edgerrin James finally spoke of his frustration on Sunday. “I wasn’t prepared for this, man, I really wasn’t,” he said. “I don’t know what we’re doing now.” As for the Fins, they are done as well at 1-6. Things were so bad at Dolphins Stadium on Sunday you could hear louder chants for the Pack than that of the home Dolphins. “If you think getting angry will help, I’ll get plenty angry in a heartbeat,” Saban said. “I’m not sure that’s going to help.” At starters what might help is an offense in Miami that does not see quarterback Joey Harrington have to throw the ball 62 times. Just a thought.
* Clutch kick of the season went to Matt Bryant on Sunday, as he nailed a 62-yard field goal for Tampa Bay as they stunned the Eagles 23-21 in Tampa. Bryant got the shot after the Bucs allowed a late TD to the Eagles that gave them a 21-20 lead. The gutsy call was made by Jon Gruden, and it paid off in a big time way. “To tell you the truth, I wasn’t expecting even to be given a shot at 62,” said Bryant. “Just to be able to go out there and help the team win — just to try to do your job, but do it that way, it doesn’t get much better than that.” Give Tampa Bay credit for overcoming a tough start and beating the Bengals and Eagles at home over the last two weeks to salvage their season.
* Another tough week to pick the winners, but I did get my two upset picks in that everyone thought I was crazy for picking. The Bucs win at home and the Vikings shocker on the road in Seattle were my upsets of the week. For the week entering Monday night, I will sit at 7-6 with looking to wrap the week up at 8-6. This was another tough week for the most part, with the toss ups going to the Falcons, Bengals and Packers. I can’t think anyone saw the Jags losing to the Texans, and the Cardinals loss in Oakland was a shock as well. Let’s hope for a Cowboys win Monday to wrap up the week on a high note.