Somehow — in 40-plus years of only running the ball and stalwart defensive schemes — the Pittsburgh Steelers have always found room in their roster for magic. The Immaculate Reception. Lynn Swann’s catch. Mike Vanderjagt’s missed field goal. A ref that had it out for the Seattle Seahawks.
Big Ben is one of the magicians. His two Super Bowls have re-inserted Pittsburgh’s most beloved franchise into America’s memory. Sure, Terry Bradshaw has four, but two is decent. And, on Sunday, he’ll return to try and thrust the Steelers into the playoffs.
There’s only one problem: Charlie Batch is magic, too.
Last weekend — and coming off a terrible performance in Week 12 — Batch willed Pittsburgh to a vital victory against their only remaining rival, the Baltimore Ravens.
The Ravens could have easily clamped down and destroyed Pittsburgh’s hopes. That result would have greatly helped Baltimore, since they’re the only team in Steeltown’s way. (Cincinnati, too, but nobody takes them seriously.)
“Two sides to Stelers quarterback Charlie Batch — the back-up, the side that didn’t look all that great against Cleveland in a Week 12 loss, and the hero, the Pittsburgh native who’s been around the game and the team so long he knows their tendencies better than they do,” wrote SB Nation’s Behind the Steel Curtain.
“Batch threw a pick early in the fourth quarter after a bad decision led him to challenge Ravens free safety Ed Reed in short space in the back of the end zone… Batch was perfect after that, hitting eight consecutive passes, including a touchdown to Heath Miller and a 17-yard gain to Emmanuel Sanders, all as part of a comeback that will be remember in Pittsburgh for a very long time.”
That was magic, and Pittsburgh’s needs it again. They need it like they always need it. They normally come through, and nobody’s better at that than Big Ben.
Well, and (apparently) Charlie Batch.