Steelers 24, Jets 19: My Top 10 Observer-ations
10. Some of us said all week that with the way the Jets celebrated wildly in New England, it was if they'd already won their Super Bowl. Proved astute right out of the gate as the Steelers set the tone with a 15-play, 66-yard touchdown drive to open the game. The Jets weren't emotionally primed.
9. I fondly -- yet barely -- remember a time when Marion Barber ran as hard as Rashard Mendenhall.
8. I can stomach the Terrible Towel in Cowboys Stadium without its creator and noted Cowboys antagonist Myron Cope not around to wave one.
7. Steelers win despite Ben Roethlisberger's quarterback rating of 35.5. Kind of how they won the Super Bowl over Seattle despite his 22.6 rating. You spell that explanation d-e-f-e-n-s-e.
6. Not often does a team win an AFC Championship Game when its leading receiver has two catches for 38 yards, as tight end Heath Miller did for Pittsburgh.
5. One of the most underrated coaches of our time is Steelers' defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau.The names change, but the results produced by his defense remain consistently awesome. His contract expires after this season.
4. Two of the Steelers' biggest offensive plays came courtesy of unheralded Antonio Brown. Nursing a five-point lead, his 27-yard kickoff return gave Pittsburgh some breathing room and, of course, his diving 14-yard catch on third down sealed the deal.
3. A lot of the Cowboys' angle during Super Bowl XLV week will focus on Flozell Adams. But after watching how woeful kicker Shaun Suisham was a year ago -- the missed field goal in the playoff game at Minnesota helped set the tone -- who'da thunk he would be perched for a ring in 2011?
2. Felt bad for TCU-ex LaDanian Tomlinson. At the end of a 17-play, 88-yard drive in the fourth quarter, he couldn't squeeze past Casey Hampton and Brett Keisel on fourth-and-goal from the one. Game. Over.
1. My early gut says the Steelers will beat the Packers. My instincts also tell me that it's impossible to root for Roethlisberger. Remember, this is the guy who sat out the season's first four games for allegedly assaulting the Georgia college chick last March. Great player. Grimy person.
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