Steelers improve to 12-1

The charmed season continued yesterday with a 17-6 victory over the New York Jets who have never won in Pittsburgh. The win clinched the AFC North crown for the Steelers, guaranteeing them a trip to the playoffs. They also remained the top seed in the AFC, in line for home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

The game was close until the final minutes. It was 3-0 at halftime, and 3-3 going into the fourth quarter. Old school football!! Jerome Bettis took over in the fourth quarter with some key runs and a touchdown pass to Tuman on a great play call. The defense played another excellent game and came up with several turnovers. The team also kept the penalties to a minimum, unlike last week against the Jaguars. Lee Mays made some good plays, helping to offset the absence of Plaxico Burress.

The defense was simply awesome! James Farrior has a good chance of being named NFL defensive player of the year. Polamalu made another interception, and continues to hit hard and hustle on every play. I just love watching the hustle and hard hitting that this defense brings. I didn't notice an overabundance of blitzing, but the "neo steel curtain" sure seemed to be effective against the run. The Jets tried a few deep passes which were broken-up by the Steelers secondary.

I will concede that yesterday was the worst game that I have seen Roethisberger play. However, he still played like a veteran by making key plays when needed. He threw two interceptions, but one was on a Hail Mary at the end of the first half and the other was on a tipped ball in the secondary. The Jets have a great defense, so overall I think Ben did just fine against them. One thing is for sure: Ben is a fiery competitor, and he never gives up.

Best of all, the team does not appear to be overconfident or cocky. I don't think that they are getting ahead of themselves. This is a compliment to the coaching staff. The division win was not over-celebrated. The players realize that this is only the first step to the ultimate goal.

With the Patriots and the Eagles both winning yesterday, there are now three 12-1 teams for the first time ever. It's exciting that the Steelers have provided the "1" side of the record for the other two teams.

Like the Jaguars last week, I was impressed with the Jets, and there is a good possibility that the Steelers will face them in the playoffs.

Mom was in town and watched the game at Minksy's with Lynae, Dominic, Melissa and I. Hopefully Dad got a chance to see the game in Portland, OR, where he left for a business trip early Sunday morning. Dominic did not want to go to Minsky's, but once we were there he did just fine.

When we returned home from Minsky's we found a message on our answering machine from Chad Jurgenson. He was at the game in Pittsburgh!! I think that this was his first trip to Pittsburgh. I am going to try to call him later today. Hopefully he will be in Montrose the day after Christmas when the Steelers play the Ravens.

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A great Steeler victory in Jacksonville!!