Ben may not be "Cool" or "Ice", but he wins.

Jim Wexell has a few things on his mind while awaiting another AFC Championship Game.

From the notebook of a sportswriter who just has to say that watching this playoff tape was easy, like Sunday morning:

* My, my. Hard to believe "Joe Cool" and "Matty Ice" were eliminated from the playoffs so quickly.

* Really, there's only one Joe Cool. Or maybe two. I forget. But I'm positive there are not three. This latest attempt was mere media flatulence.

* Why hasn't Ben Roethlisberger been given one of those cool media nicknames? Is it because he actually wins playoff games?

* In chronological order, the images I'll take from Saturday's game are Antonio Brown's David Tyree imitation, T.J. Houshmandzadeh crying on the bench, and James Harrison, in the locker room, looking – to use an old-school term – punked.

* I asked Harrison twice if he was all right. He looked completely gassed, perhaps dehydrated. And in looking back at the tape it's understandable. He was the most disruptive player on the field. Terrell Suggs had three sacks and two QB hits, but so did Harrison, who had one more tackle (7).

* On a late 3rd-and-11 play, Harrison worked his way into the backfield, dove and nearly sacked Flacco, and then got up, reversed field, and chased Flacco to the sideline where Flacco inexplicably ran out of bounds. Watch Harrison pursue on every other play just like that and it's easier to understand his exhaustion.

* Roethlisberger is now 9-2 in the playoffs, and that's worthy of praise. But where's the love for Heath Miller improving to 8-1?

* Miller was tremendous against the Ravens. He not only caught 5 passes, including a touchdown, but made several significant blocks. One of those blocks should've resulted in a touchdown had Mike Wallace run his reverse with more patience.

* The play before Miller's touchdown, he trapped Suggs in the backfield to spring Rashard Mendenhall for 14 yards. Miller was also out in front of a 17-yard screen, and during the game-winning drive he went toe-to-toe with Suggs on the edge and Suggs didn't gain an inch.

* I was going to make a crack that Miller should be playing left tackle, but Jonathan Scott actually did a solid job on Suggs. Scott appeared to have given up one of Suggs's three sacks, but that could've been the fault of Chris Kemoeatu, who didn't pick up the stunt.

* Granted, Chris was a bit busy with Ngata at the time.

* Remember the experts squawking all summer about how the Ravens made the best offseason acquisitions and were the only division team even trying to make progress? Yes, that big free-agent catch, a possession receiver, was held to 1 reception for -2 yards, and he dropped a pass in the end zone like he was Jackie Smith.

* In the biggest game of the season, Scott, the Steelers' main acquisition, played better than Anquan Boldin.

* Derrick Mason didn't catch a pass. And we all know why the Ravens' third veteran wide receiver, Houshmandzadeh, was sobbing on the sideline.

* Remember, Houshmandzadeh's a jinxed man. That game-winning touchdown catch in Ravens-Steelers One was just a set-up for a deeper and darker fall.

* Another priority in the Steelers' game plan was stopping Ray Rice on screens and checkdowns. I'll admit I was expecting a big game from Rice, but he only caught 2 screens for 7 yards and 4 checkdowns for 22 yards (and the fumble that flipped the momentum inside Heinz Field).

* Rice did score a touchdown Saturday, but take that 14-yard run away and he rushed for only 18 yards on his other 11 carries.

* I hate when people do that. But what the hey.

* JScott wasn't the only quiet-but-effective offseason acquisition. When I walked over to the far corner of the locker to join the mob surrounding Mr. Tyree-Brown, I looked at Antwaan Randle El – strategically placed between Brown and the other rookie receiver, Emmanuel Sanders – and asked Randle El what Brown was saying to the mass of microphones. Randle El said, "Don't worry. He's staying humble."

* Really, I wasn't worried. But I appreciate the leadership.

* The other re-acquired veteran locker room leader, Larry Foote, was saying how much the older players want to play the next game in New England. He was saying something about "to be the best you have to beat the best" but he is one of 13 players left from the embarrassing 2004 AFC title game loss to the Patriots.

* While Brown made the big play, and Sanders caught 4 passes for 54 yards, the Steelers' top rookie was once again Maurkice Pouncey. The "A" gap was alive and well against Haloti Ngata and Co. It wasn't until the Steelers' 15th run between the tackles that they lost yardage, and that tackle was made by a blitzing safety.

* The Steelers ran 21 times for 61 yards between the tackles, and those numbers include several goal-line plays and two quarterback sneaks.

* It wasn't the 3rd-and-19 heave by Roethlisberger that impressed me most. It was his 4th-and-1 sneak. Experience allowed him to toy with the Ravens into making them believe he was just looking to draw them offside. But he called for the snap and willed his way for the critical first down.

* Yes, they eventually settled for the field goal they probably should've kicked on 4th-and-1 anyway, but if Roethlisberger doesn't get the first down, they don't even get that.

* Ryan Clark and Ike Taylor were brilliant. And while I would normally criticize Taylor's head-butt of Houshmandzadeh early in the game, it was Houshmandzadeh.

* As for the officiating, that non-call – Taylor's head-butt – was the only real miss against the Ravens. I mean, the Ravens clearly grabbed jersey on the punt return, and the elbow did hit the ground on the kickoff return, and Mike Wallace was interfered with on the first possession. The defensive holding call at the goal line? I'm not sure that really mattered anyway. It would've still been third-and-goal from the 3 in a tie game.

* To the Ravens' credit, they didn't cry about the officiating, nor the poor timing of their minor infractions. I fear the city of Seattle would've fallen into the Pacific Ocean had the Seahawks been in their shoes.

* That's reason enough to want the Seahawks in the Super Bowl, but if the Steelers are fortunate enough to advance to the big game, it appears they'd play the Packers in a rematch of that "instant classic" from a year ago.

* That was the last time the press box shook the way it did during the third quarter Saturday night.

* I guess Flacco really didn't poop his pants Saturday. The fumbled center snap appeared to have been the fault of the center. And Flacco did avoid pressure to throw a strike to Houshmandzadeh on fourth-and-18. Houshmandzadeh just flatted dropped it.

* And that's another thing: Is it dropping birds? Or bird droppings?

* Thank you very much. I'll be here all week.

* And we'll all have a real good time.

(Talk about Jim's column here on the message board.)


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