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Monday Night Observations
I thought I had sufficient equanimity in the face of the Travis Etienne injury for the double rainbow to pay off, but apparently that wasn't the case. The difference, of course, is when I had equanimity at the poker table I didn't know the Royal Flush was coming, but now I expected something, and I was only practicing fake-equanimity for a prospective reward. It's like someone who posts on social media about his charity work -- the spirit of virtue is absent when it's used as an instrument for reward rather than as an end in itself.
It wasn't all bad, though. The Steelers covered, putting me at 3-2 in the Circa Millions, and I won my Primetime matchup easily. But what really hurt was losing another key NFFC game by a fraction of a point due to George Pickens' two-point conversion late in the fourth quarter. And all the Steelers TDs were of the rushing variety, undermining my Kenny Pickett play in the Steak League (I should have used White Lotus instead.)
Kenny Pickett was better in the first half than the second. He looks okay to me so far, though nothing special.
Najee Harris (10-35-1) left the game with an abdominal injury. It looks like Benny Snell (12-62-1, 1-1-6-0) was the main backup, though even if Harris were out next week, you'd have to be desperate to use him or Anthony McFarland (6-30-0, 2-2-11-0). That said, the Steelers offensive line run-blocked better than in recent seasons.
Pickens (6-3-57-0), Diontae Johnson (8-5-49-0) and Pat Freiermuth (4-3-39-0) are a perfect combination of weapons. Pickens is the deep threat with speed and catch radius, Johnson the unguardable lightning-quick short and intermediate guy and Freiermuth an elite pass-catching tight end. The Steelers just need a competent quarterback and offensive line.
It sure took the Colts a long time to commit to Jonathan Taylor (20-86-1, 4-3-12-0). I also expected more screens to him, especially on third and long, but it doesn't seem to be in the playbook.
Jelani Woods (9-8-98-0) was a surprise to lead the team in receiving. Parris Campbell and Alec Pierce did next to nothing.
Matt Ryan is bad, but he doesn't fail the eye test for me. You see him make some throws when he has time, and he's not even that slow when he has to scramble. Something's obviously off, but I'm not sure exactly what it is.
The Colts really took their time on that final drive and lost the game with two timeouts on the table.