Super thoughts

1. The refereeing was poor, but not terrible and it didn’t significantly affect the game. The three bad calls were on the Rothlisberger TD run, the ticky-tack hold on the long Seattle punt return and the bizarre cut-blocking call on Hasselbeck while he was trying to make a tackle. But overturning Hasselbeck’s fumble was the right call, and something that Seattle fans inclined to whine should keep in mind. Also, while the first Stevens drop was probably a correct call, it could easily have gone the other way. Overall, call it a two on a 5-point scale of Ref Bias, three being neutral. Annoying, but nothing to seriously complain about.

As for the penalty that negated Seattle’s first touchdown, that was an excellent call. Jackson was covered closely, he pushed off and created separation while the ball was in the air; without that separation he would not have been open. You could see Jackson’s arms at full extension and the covering Steeler stumble back two steps as a result, so it was a clear-cut penalty. No doubt about it. While watching, I called penalty before Jackson even caught the ball.

2. Rothlisberger was awful statistically, but I’ll still take his overall performance over Hasselbeck’s superficially better one. Rothlisberger stayed calm even when things weren’t going well and made plays to keep the Steelers in it early and clinch it late, while Seattle’s total meltdown during both two-minute drills was downright hysterical. While Hasselbeck was plagued by Steven’s butterfingers, but he threw big three interceptions even if only two of them were caught. He also gave up some very crucial sacks that knocked Seattle out of easy field goal range.

Rothlisberger did keep Seattle in it with that horrible pass in the red zone, but give the big guy credit for getting back and preventing it from becoming a touchdown… again. Stats are important, but so is leadership on the field.

3. Still want to argue about Seattle’s running game being better than Pittsburgh’s? I didn’t think so. Fast Willie’s been in my backfield roster since the second week of preseason… and 12 rushes for 95 yards, one TD is his game. Alexander is a very solid and talented running back with speed and power, but he isn’t a dominant RB the way Priest Holmes and Marshall Faulk were in their great years.

4. I love the way the Steelers use Randle-El. That pass was beautiful.

5. Dick LeBeau was surprisingly conservative in his defensive calls, which is why both Polamolu and Porter were so “quiet”. And is it just me, or is there a secret conspiracy to overturn every turnover that Polamolu picks off or recovers?

6. Apparently Mike Holmgren attended the Herm Edwards school of clock management over the summer. That was pathetic. I’ve seen random guys playing touch football who manage the two-minute drill better, and to blow it twice in one game is amazing.

7. Those Steelers’ fans at the game were idiots. You don’t scream when your team has the ball deep in its own end. Those two false starts didn’t exactly help Pittsburgh’s offense get untracked. Apparently, the fans at the game weren’t those with season tickets at Heinz field.

8. Overall, it was an entertaining game, at least for a Super Bowl.