Saturday, November 28, 2009
Okay, it's Dennis Dixon time. Probably should have accepted that after Ben wobbily (yep, made it up) made his way off the field last Sunday and before Chaz took his first snap. It seemed clear that Ben had a concussion and it's only a matter of time (in this case, four snaps) until Batch is injured.
So here we are, season on the line, and the Steelers will trot out the 185-pound, second-year third-stringer to face the Ravens. Not the 2008 Ravens, but still not a team you want facing your backup to the backup in an important game.
But you know what? Touchdown Tommy started in Baltimore in 2005. The results were predictably awful, but here's the silver lining: pretty sure it won't be that bad tomorrow night. (Feel better? No? Moving on...) I went searching for some Dennis Dixon college footage and after watching the YouTubes above here's what came to me: Vince Young.
Don't laugh. I know VY has been a punchline for a year and a half, but he's dangerous when given a short script and managed properly. The Ravens' defense is banged up (they have no cornerbacks, Ray-Ray and Ed Reed are both questionable, Suggs is doubtful), and I wouldn't mind seeing some variation of the VY-CJ option with DD and Mendenhall. The problem, of course, is that if Dixon gets hurt the Steelers are in deeper shit than they already find themselves. Wex writes that Mewelde has been taking backup snaps which renders Mike Wallace useless, I think. (Then again, MeMo has a TD pass on a Byron Leftwich fastball to the back of the end zone, so maybe he can throw the deep ball, too.)
So while this game could decide Pittsburgh's playoff fate, in a sense, the pressure's off. Ben's out, Dixon's in, and the expectations have been lowered. Now it'll be up to Dennis' athleticism and Arians' coaching ability.
See, nothing to worry about.