With the Pittsburgh Steelers 13-10 win over the Tennessee Titans last night, the 2009 NFL season has officially lifted off. Pittsburgh was able to use their stingy defense, some timely playmaking by QB Ben Roethlisberger and a raucous home crowd to fend off a pesky Titans team in overtime.
Not to get too overdramatic here, but last night’s game had a big-time feel to it (I hesitate to say “playoff feel” since it’s just Week 1), mostly because the game featured 2 big-time defenses, Roethlisberger’s adept playmaking, hard hits, solid officiating and plenty of late-game drama.
If you didn’t get a chance to see the Steelers opening their season at home, don’t worry. The Vikings travel to Pittsburgh on October 25 for a Week 7 showdown, one week after hosting another nasty AFC North team – the Baltimore Ravens. To that end, there was a development in last night’s game that could impact the Vikings.
Steelers All-Pro S Troy Polamalu injured his knee and head coach Mike Tomlin classified it as an MCL sprain, speculating that the hard-hitting, playmaking defender could be out anywhere from 3-6 weeks. It’s likely that Polamalu will not be out for the maximum length of time as he recovers from his injury – he’s too much of a gamer for that. But, if the prognosis Polamalu receives today from doctors is slightly worse than what Tomlin said it could be, there’s a chance he’ll miss the game on October 25.
I certainly hope Polamalu can return as quickly as possible. It’s unfortunate when any player is injured and it’s better for the sport when its stars are in the lineup. But there might be a few people in the locker room down the hall from me who wouldn’t mind not having to deal with Polamalu in the Steelers secondary on the last Sunday in October.
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