I have that itch. I'm guessing it's in you to. It's in almost every sports fan.
Somewhere inside you, you hear Al Michaels exclaiming late Sunday night, "can you believe it?! One of the greatest shocks in Super Bowl history. The Arizona Cardinals have defeated the mighty Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl 43!!!!!"
Everybody wants to say, "I told you so." After all, all signs point to the Steelers. They won a tough division battle. They finished second in a much tougher conference and they have a premier defense, an effective offense and a rich tradition of postseason success.
The Cardinals have a history that's a well-documented mess, but they're on a roll. Being on a roll means a lot, just ask Prisco .
But the Steelers are on their own little roll. And their type of roll is impressive enough to quell my itch.
Since their bye week the Steelers have had the leading receiver in every game except one (Sproles' meaningless fourth quarter 61-yard reception three weeks ago is the exception).
Think about that. The Steelers, incorrectly known as a run-heavy team, have featured the leading receiver in a game since week six.
The impressive part isn't that names like Hines, Santonio or Heath led these games in yards. It's that names like Moss, Owens, Gates (in Nov.), Wayne or Burress didn't. The Steelers faced some pretty darn good passing games in New England, Dallas, San Diego, Indianapolis and the Giants since their bye week and stifled them all.
People remember their two playoff games vs. pass-aversion clubs like the Titans and Ravens and think, "heck, the Pitt Panthers could play solid pass defense vs. those two." But the Steelers shut down everybody. And they do it with a relatively unheralded secondary. Troy Polamalu is world class, but after that it's a bunch of somewhat-familiar names like Ike Taylor, Ryan Clark and Deshea Townsend.
One of those somewhat-familiar names is going to be the reason a familiar name like Hines or Santonio ends up leading this game in receiving yards.
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