The Steelers hope to swim freely against the Browns defense as we get underway tonight, but as we start, I just have to note, as a Broncos fan:

1) We shouldn’t have had a chance to win that game. Eddie Guns blew that call big time; that was a fumble and he admitted it.
2) Mike Shanahan, knowing this, had balls the size of watermelons with that 2-point call.

Eminently enjoyable game. Let’s get started on this one. I’ve got Steelers by 13 points, let’s say 34-21. What do you say?

Andrea’s telling us about the wind conditions with the wind blowing her hair all over the place. Expect a lot of running today, no matter what Steelers O-coordinator Bruce Arians told Ms. Kremer. (At least I hope so: I started Jamal Lewis in the News League this week.) Anyway, Jeff Reed’s going to kick it to Joshua Cribbs — or, kick it away from Josh Cribbs, as he is the AFC version of Devin Hester. Goes right back into the end zone for a touchback.

Did Faith Hill ask Jerry Seinfeld for that Pirate Shirt? – tiny350z

+1. Lewis gets stopped up behind the line, Winslow catches a short one on 2nd, and we’ve got third down.

“We’re still trying to figure out how you get a degree from Swagger.” – AM, responding to one of the Steelers’ D player identifying his school as “Swagger.” I suspect that is the Agent Zero school of choice, too. Horse Balls Anderson throws incomplete on third, punt is downed at the 19 when Mewelde Moore has issues judging it.

Big Ben’s starting with two quick outs to Santonio and Hines, respectively. 3rd and short upcoming, toss down the sideline to Holmes for the first down right over the receiver’s back shoulder. Nicely done.

Ben is wearing a black glove on his right hand, and whenever a QB wears only one glove, I want him to bust a Michael Jackson move or something out there. After two Willie Parker rushes, Ben gets nailed on the sack on a safety blitz. Punt to Josh Cribbs, he gets back to the Browns’ 20. Scoreless game, and we’re taken to break by P-Funk.

Shots of the Dog Pound with Jane’s Addiction’s “Been Caught Stealing.” Nicely done, NBC audio guy. Plus, John and Al barking only tops off the fun. Jamal Lewis bumps up 3 yards after an incomplete pass, and we get 3rd and 7.

“I would bet there has never been a man with a size 15 shoe that can scramble.” – JM

Braylon Edwards drops a pass he really should have had, despite the wind not helping. Steelers will be back out at their own 37.

Do I really HAVE to love a QB who wears a size 15 shoe? I mean, maybe Brady Quinn does… you know what they say about guys with big feet… – Rob in WI


Knight Rider is going to suck. Profoundly. There’s no way around this. Val Kilmer should be ashamed for even lending his voice to this show.

Parker rushes it up to the 40, but two straight incompletes make for another three and out. The Steelers down the punt at the Cleveland 7.

I hate watching ads for fast food that isn’t close to me. Wendy’s (25 minutes away), Sonic (2 hours), KFC (20 minutes)….it all makes me hungry. It’s not half as bad as watching Chik-fil-A ads during college football, though.

You know your prime-time schedule is in trouble if you’re banking on Christian Slater to save you. Yikes.

Lewis gets the first two carries and we’ve got third down at the 11 or 12. Time out, Browns.

…having just seen that Val Kilmer is working straight to DVD movies… I think it’s safe to say that no, he’s not above voicing Knight Rider. And yes, it is going to suck. Val Kilmer needs to eat. – Rob in WI

I understand. At least it’s an easy check that doesn’t involve actually being on screen. I suspect that would be worse. I have to suspect that NBC flies some of the “guests” like Michael Phelps in, although he and Edwards do have that Michigan connection.

“I’d like to be him for a day, just swim one lap like he does.” – JM, as we prepare for another punt, as Anderson to Winslow is incomplete. Punt downed at the 31, we go to break with Gorillaz’ “Feel Good Inc.”

John, you’re not swimming in anything unless it’s gravy with your turducken.

Exotic Looks what does that mean? – KR

That’s what announcers say when coaches put out more defensive backs or linebackers on the field, but they can’t call it “nickel” or “dime.”

Ben hits Ward at midfield after Al does his “mocking” tone, which I can’t say I’ve ever heard before — then again, I never heard him bark on air before either.

Smell the Glove, Ben. Smell the Glove. In fact, that’s what I’ll be calling him the rest of the night. The Glove has all day and bombs it to Willie Parker, who gets sandwiched and the pass is incomplete. Ward can’t reel in the third down pass and we’ve got our sixth straight possession ending in a punt.

I honestly think we’re witnessing Al Michaels cracking up. We’re going to read a press release saying that Al’s going on an “Extended Vacation” and that Tom Hammond will be doing next week’s Colts-Packers game. – Rob in WI

But who will be there to kiss Notre Dame’s ass next Saturday and help Charlie Weis with the rehab for his torn ACL and MCL?

Browns go first down when Anderson hits Edwards, who is tackled in the middle. Jamal Lewis gets two by going to his right. Vickers catches the next pass short of the first, but that’s coming back thanks to Sedrick Steptoe getting flagged for offensive pass interference. Ryan Clark almost came up with the 2nd and 18 pass.

Clark is playing without a spleen or gallbladder. Ouch. 3rd down pass also incomplete, but we’re going for punt #7 after John admonishes the Browns on a lousy play call. We see a lot of these every week: really conservative and silly third down plays that don’t accomplish much in the way of field position or anything else.

“Look at the penetration the Steelers defense gets.” – Madden (via SSreporters)

…if y’know what I mean. Now, we get encroachment on a punt, which doesn’t matter because it’s now 4th and 13. This one rolls back to the 25. PUNTING IS WINNING!

Parker rushes twice, gets a first down, first quarter’s done.

I believe you guys mean Packers/Cowboys game.. unless my tickets are completely wrong… – Anonymous


BTW we got these winds in Cincinnati this afternoon. It knocked out the satellite dishes in the bar I was at, and knocked power out in my apartment for at least 5 hours. It actually took some serious effort to walk home into the wind. – Jay

It’s gotta be a pain in the ass to try and throw and catch passes in that.

Madden – “Ben loves Ohio and Ohio loves Ben.” No Madden, Browns and Bengals fans do not love Ben. – Captain Redbeard

Yeah, that seemed a little questionable as far as blanket assertions go. It’s all Willie, all the time right now, until the Browns stop him. The Glove sneaks to try for the first, and is short. Punt #8 is upon us.

I got a feeling the Steelers will win 3-2. – SSReporters

This isn’t Auburn-Mississippi State from last night (I hope.) That game was comical. If you watched the repeat late on ESPN2 last night, it probably was worth it.

Anderson’s pass just stayed up forever and the safety McFadden just picked it off. Short field for the Steelers now.

This is kinda like that Steelers/Dolphins game last season… but without the mud. – tiny350Z

At least that was entertaining. This is just…well….dull, or was, until the pick. On 2nd and 5, Shaun Rogers falls on Willie Parker and somehow manages not to suffocate him. Would someone on the Steeler sideline make sure to perform some CPR? Rogers eats Willie Parkers for breakfast. The Glove slings it to Santonio for a first down.

The Glove got enveloped by Shawn Smith on the sack, but he grabbed the face mask and that’s 15 plus an auto first down. Romeo Crennel’s facial expression has not changed, but he is wishing bad vibes Smith’s way. Parker gets to the Browns’ 47 after hitting his own guy in the backfield.

Holy crap, you can’t even hear the ref’s calls. It’s like he’s reporting from Cape Hatteras for the Weather Channel. – Jay

Did Tropical Storm Ike make it all the way to Cleveland or something while I wasn’t paying attention? The Glove throws it away with Shaun Rogers ready to smother him with his giant belly. That’s wrecked by Rogers being called offside.

“No wonder he got such a good jump.” – JM

“Half a feet too early”, John? Excuse me? Rodney Poole sneaks up from the secondary to grab Willie Parker by the legs behind the line of scrimmage on 3rd and 1. Tomlin and the Glove try to draw Cleveland offsides (and they get Willie McGinest), but there was a time out called beforehand by the Steelers!

Parker picks up the 4th down conversion by getting to the Browns’ 26. Santonio reels in a big one at the 12 yard line from the Glove. Hines Ward gets the gun from the Glove, but he’s double covered and drops it.

“Sometimes what you hear in your helmet can sound like radio-free Burkina Faso.” – Al Michaels (via Jay)

Al should think twice about using “Santonio Holmes” and “Deepest Penetration” in the same sentence again… – Rob in WI

I was wondering how long it would take one of you to reference wide receiver dong. The Steelers have a lot of dong pictures showing up online. First Jeff Reed, then Santonio. Next up: we’re betting on LaMarr Woodley.

The Glove smokes one to Ward for the six. Kick is up and good, 7-0 Steelers.

Finally, some scoring. Cribbs brings it out to the 19. Lewis gets stuffed in the backfield. Anderson throws to Steptoe for about six or seven. Cribbs gets the carry and gets the 4 yards necessary for a first, while John thinks Cribbs is Steptoe.

Vickers gets another first with a barreling run through an unbalanced line (and it’s nice to see that concept explained with regard to who moves where.) Anderson hits Lewis on the dump-off for 13 and a first down, with the two minute warning approaching. Steelers get more defensive penetration on the next play and catch Lewis behind the line of scrimmage. At least the Browns are finally on the Steeler side of the field.

Horse Balls hits the Soldier at the 29; the Browns take a time out. Next play is a 6 yard run and Bryant McFadden gets nailed for illegal contact added on top of that — and it looks like the Soldier got away with one on McFadden. Winslow brings in another catch, followed by a clusterfuck on the ground from a bad snap and a flag — which is a false start.

Bungled clock management. Horse Balls sneaks for a first down, resulting in Crennel rushing to call a time out — when it should have been called before that play. Eight seconds left — and Polamalu picks off Anderson, with the boo birds letting the Browns have it.

We got halftime, folks. See you in the second half thread.