Crunch Time: Bad Moon Rising

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Pittsburgh’s late great bluesman Leroy K. Wofford used to sing a medley of the songs, such as “room with a view” and “bad moon rising.” From that particular room you could get a perfect view of a “blood moon.” No one could figure out what to do when that surrealistic moon appeared over the horizon.

Protest
INJURED STEELER—Members of the Pittsburgh Steelers training staff tend to running back Isaac Redman (33) during the second half of the game against the Tennessee Titans last night in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

I am still trying to figure out what the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers was thinking about when they decided to attempt a 54-yard field goal with approximately a minute left on the clock in the football game against the Tennessee Titans. The Steelers allowed the Titans to infiltrate their “space” a total of six times, scoring two touchdowns. Titans placekicker Rob Bironas also kicked four field goals including the 40-yard game winner as time expired, to beat the Steelers 26-23.

Titans coach Mike Munchak was all smiles saying; “It’s only one win, we know that, but it’s a great win for us at this point in the season when we needed a win to show people what we’re all about.” Why didn’t the Steelers “coffin corner” punt the ball out of bounds and insist that the Titans save their energy and play for overtime? Were the Steelers fearful of a bad moon or another special team’s miscue based on an earlier breakdown that allowed the attempt by Steelers punter Drew Butler to be blocked?

Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin shared this observation with us. “That’s just the reality right now. Hopefully, it’s just right now. We didn’t do the job tonight. We defeated ourselves in some areas. We’ll go back to work. Needless to say it’s disappointing. We tip our caps to those guys.”

Coach “T” pointed out that Suisham hit the 52-yarder pretty good so he decided to give his kicker the chance to win a second straight game.”I take full responsibility for the miss,” he said. Don’t forget boys and girls that Suisham is the same kicker who had to compete fiercely just to keep his job.

Ben Roethlisberger tried to be the ultimate team player. He said; “we’re not scoring enough points and we’re not making the play when we need to.” Hey Ben, I have to say it loud again. This loss is not your fault.

Big Ben kept the Black and Gold competitive even though his O-Line looked like a serious M.A.S.H unit early in the game. Center Maurkice Pouncey injured his right leg on the Steelers’ first and never returned. Right tackle Marcus Gilbert hurt his right ankle in the second quarter.

One of the few bright spots was running Steelers running back Issac Redman who had a very unlikely 105 receiving yards. Now if only the defense could have stepped up and did what they were supposed to do. The Steelers have approximately ten days to get healthy before they have to stumble into Paul Brown stadium and face the newly swaggering Cincy Bengals on Oct. 21. Well, as newsman Walter Cronkite used to say; goodnight, good luck and good news tomorrow [uh, maybe].” Well it was a good night until I saw that “bad moon rising.”

Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: abruce@newpittsburghcourier.com or 412.583.6741. Bruce can also be heard on the ‘Odd Couple Sports Show’ where he is the AFC North and NFL analyst. The show is hosted by Adam Ragle and streams live on the WCWA Fox Sports Toledo 1230AM. Bruce is featured on Tuesdays from 10-11 a.m. during the NFL season.

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