Following last week’s game, in a result that was largely decided in an executive building in New York by Al Riveron, many members of the Pittsburgh Steelers took the loss hard. While some, particularly Jesse James, at the center of the controversy, felt sick about how it all went down, the prevailing emotion was anger and a desire for a rematch.
It was a miserable way to lose a game, and it affected players over the course of the week. James questioned what he even knows about the game. David DeCastro said that it was the toughest loss that he has ever been through playing football because of the way it was decided.
But they all got over it. James said before the game that they wouldn’t let what happen affect them. They proceeded to go out there and blow out the Texans…admittedly a bad team, but in their home stadium. It certainly was not a hangover.
“People thought we were going to have a letdown because of what happened last week, but we took that and ran with it and came out with a win”, cornerback Mike Hilton told Missi Matthews on the field after the game was over. Hilton recorded three sacks in the game.
“Guys came to play,” DeCastro later added. “Especially after that tough game last week, emotionally that was one of the hardest ones I’ve been a part of”, a comment that reiterates what he said last week when speaking about the previous result.
Regarded as one of the more cerebral players on the team, the Pro-Bowler also observed a pall over the practice field. “You could tell at practice a little bit, guys were down”, he admitted. “But nevertheless they came out to pay after a three-hour flight, on Christmas, all the variables, came out and found a way to win”.
Of course, they did a little more than find a way to win. They dominated Houston, scoring 34 points while only surrendering a meaningless six on a touchdown that included some pass interference that was not called.
The Steelers recorded two turnovers, one an interception in the end zone and another a fumble on a strip sack that set up a short field. The defense recorded seven sacks in all, while the offensive line failed to relinquish any—though one was negated by a facemask penalty.
I think it is fair to say that Pittsburgh got whatever was in their system from the Patriots game out on the field in Houston. That win also secured for themselves a week off following Sunday’s game as they prepare for another potential deep run into the postseason. When all is said and done, Riveron will be a blip on the radar as long as they do what they are supposed to do, ending the season holding number seven.