Last week Charlie Batch was a punch line, this week he’s back to being the hometown hero. After contributing 3 interceptions to the Steelers dreadful 8 turnover day in Cleveland, all of Steeler Nation were hoping to see #7 come back this week for fear of what mistakes Batch could make against a tougher team like the Ravens. Instead, Batch led a signature Steelers clock-eating, 61 yard game-winning drive capped off by a 42 yard Shaun Suisham field goal as time expired. Batch outplayed Joe Flacco by throwing 25 for 36 and 276 yards as compared to Flacco’s 16 of 34 for 188. If this is the last time we see Batch on a football field there’s nothing else to say but thank you, Charlie!
On paper the Steelers had no business winning this game. The Ravens were going on a 15-game home winning streak along with a 13-game winning streak against the rest of the AFC North. On top of that, in spite of their offensive woes on the road, the Ravens have been offensively outstanding at home this season. Combine that with the Steelers less than stellar performance against the Browns last week, the shuffling of the offensive line that needed to happen to cover for injured players and still a 3rd string quarterback in Batch behind center and you wouldn’t think the Steelers had much of a chance to win this one. The Ravens were favored by 7 ½ at home for this game. None of that mattered when the game was on the line.
The Hometown Hero
Batch signed with the Steelers in 2002 as a backup to Kordell Stewart and Tommy Maddox. He’s remained with the team since then and has been called up to start in situations varying from Ben’s appendectomy in 2006 to Ben’s 4 game suspension in 2010. Charlie has been a hometown favorite since signing with the Steelers for his dependability and his charity work throughout the Burgh. Charlie helps improve local area football fields and basketball courts, which is just one portion of what his Best of the Batch Foundation contributes to the community. Batch, originally from Homestead, graduated from Steel Valley High School before heading to Eastern Michigan University. One of his most signature games (aside from today’s game of course) was a 38-13 win in Tampa Bay where he tied a career high three touchdown passes in 2010.
Last Week is on Tape
Realistic Steeler fans know that if it wasn’t for Byron Leftwich’s injury-prone ways, Batch might just be enjoying his second or third year of retirement right now. Instead, Batch is what he’s always been for the Steelers, a dependable veteran backup that is clearly not as bad as he showed last week in Cleveland. When Tomlin was asked post-game regarding how Charlie performed last week in compared to this game he said:
I don’t worry about last week. Last week is what it was. It’s on tape. Would’ve, should’ve, could’ve is not in our business. He did the job tonight along with his comrades and that is what is important as I stand here. Last week is on tape.
You have to have a short memory sometimes in the NFL and Batch showed his true veteran skills by completely shrugging off last week’s performance to pull out an important win this week.
Steeler Nation is Thankful, Let’s Hug it Out
Sure he’s old enough to have been high school buddies with Tomlin, but who doesn’t love Charlie Batch? Up until that catastrophe last week no one in all of Steeler Nation had a care in the world about the backup quarterback situation. In fact, most of us were complaining that Tomlin should have pulled Leftwich from the first Ravens game because Charlie could have clearly won it for us. That’s the confidence we all have in Batch. That’s why we all wanted to be hugging it out with him and Ben on the sidelines after Suisham’s kick went right through the uprights. Most likely both Ben or Byron will be healthy enough to return next week to be under center and Charlie will be back on the sidelines where he’s been since 2002, ready to report to duty when called upon. Steeler Nation thanks you Charlie Batch, you came through with what is the biggest win so far of the season, and you come through so much for the city we all love.
Pic shared by @dougkeklak