In week eleven, the Pittsburgh Steelers suffered a disappointing loss to a major divisional opponent. As per usual, the game was a battle to the very end, but the Baltimore Ravens took no prisoners on their way to victory. In addition to the residual loss of pride, the Steelers lost their second string quarterback, Byron Leftwich. The Steelers were a little bit down in the dumps going into turkey week, but as the week concluded it was easy to see that they still have many things to be thankful for.
1. Charlie Batch – Having a third string quarterback like Charlie Batch may not mean much throughout the average season. Sure, he looks good standing on the sideline and is a great motivator to his teammates, but he rarely sees action. This season, however, the injuries suffered by Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich are changing everything. Batch will be thrown into action mid-season as the likely starter in week twelve. He is a veteran in the league and knows a thing or two about the Steeler’s playbook. He is exactly the type of player who can pick up the pieces in this situation, and the Steelers are lucky to have him.
2. Plaxico Burress – Plax is back in the ‘burgh! The wide receiver will be making his second debut in black and gold against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Whether you love or hate him after his brief stint in the slammer…and with the Jets…for most Steeler fans feelings of nostalgia about the good ‘ol days eventually wins out. Personal preferences aside, he is a solid addition to the team. He is tall and fast, an NFL veteran and a proven red-zone threat, in other words, exactly what the Steelers need.
3. The Cleveland Browns – Believe it or not, the Steelers should be thankful for the Cleveland browns. Better put, they should be thankful for their week seven matchup against the Browns. While no game is guaranteed, and the Steelers have been known to drop a few “easy” games, this is one match that they should be comfortable with. Since the 1970 NFL merger, the Steelers boast a 53-25 record versus Cleveland. Many teams in today’s NFL would tear apart a battered Steelers team, but Cleveland, they might just be able to handle.
4. Steeler Nation – No matter what the Steelers do, good or bad, they have Steeler Country behind them one hundred percent. Even when they are losing a game to Baltimore at home, there are still terrible towels waving in the air. Dedication like that cannot be faked. Every member of Steeler nation bleeds black and gold. Seriously.