Steelers find a way!

January 10th, 2022
by admin

         

The Steelers found a way to beat the Ravens in overtime. The Colts took the upset loss to the Jaguars and the Raiders and Chargers didn’t tie…despite their best efforts to do so, and suddenly all is right for one more week in the world of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

As the formula has been this season, the Steelers started slow, had trouble running the ball and then used another fourth quarter comeback to send their game to overtime. The defense held, Ben Roethlisberger drove down the field and Chris Boswell delivered a game winner! And T.J. Watt also tied the sack record two times…with only one time counting.

Was there even a doubt that this game would come down to the wire and that Ben Roethlisberger who is surely playing his last game at M&T stadium would lead the Steelers to victory over his most competitive and heated rival. The stats only partially tell the story, but he was clearly the difference maker in the game, making the throws that the younger, stronger Tyler Huntley didn’t. Roethlisberger finished his regular season finale 30-44 for 244 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

He nearly pulled the fourth quarter comeback, leading the Steelers on a 10-play touchdown drive with just under three minutes left, and a four play drive that fell a yard short, after the defense couldn’t hold the lead. Saving his best for last, Roethlisberger orchestrated a 15 play, 65-yard masterpiece converting two third downs and a big 4th-and-8 to setup the game winning field goal.

Also on the overtime drive, an injured Najee Harris, with help from Chase Claypool, busted his longest and most significant run of the day, a 15-yard scramble to make the field goal a no doubter. The running game never got going and the Steelers settled for just 79 yards on the ground, but they made the plays they needed to make.

The receivers were thin and Ray-Ray McCloud, Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson played the majority of the snaps. There were key drops but also key plays made. None bigger than McCloud’s 4th-and-8th catch that all but sealed the win. Diontae Johnson chipped in with a big catch on a third down conversion and Chase Claypool scored the only touchdown and was the teams leading rusher by yardage. Pat Freiermuth and Zach Gentry combined for 10 catches and 92 yards.

The defense was once against gashed for an insane 249 yards, with Latavius Murray ripping off 150 of the yards, scoring the only Baltimore touchdown. It was not a great game for the front seven, with the noted exception of Cam Heyward, who was a wrecking crew, registering six tackles and one of the three sacks collected. T.J. Watt made history with his record tying 22.5 sack of the season. Watt has been an absolute force this year and his play was unbelievable given he was doubled and tripled team the whole day.

The secondary chipped in with some big plays. Cam Sutton had a red zone interception and Terrell Edmunds grabbed an errant Huntley pass that was headed for Mark Andrews. Tyler Huntley never really tested the secondary after that and when he did, the plays were made. Minkah Fitzpatrick had a game saving breakup of a crisp pass to Marquise Brown late in the fourth quarter.

The Special teams had a positive impact. Ray-Ray McCloud had his best game of the season in the return game and helped the Steelers flip the field. Chris Boswell was borderline spectacular drilling three field goals including the game winner in overtime. Pressley Harvin’s return was mediocre and is becoming a huge liability.

As for the coaching, what can you say except it was an outstanding job with a team that is severely limited. The Steelers have trailed more minutes than any team in the NFL, except for the Texans, yet they are headed to the playoffs. Despite some horrendous losses, this team never lost focus and stayed on message and battled back in almost every game. That doesn’t happen with bad coaching. Also give credit as Tomlin was doing double duty as the defensive coordinator, with Keith Butler battling Covid.

BEER WE GO STEELERS, BEER WE GO!   

My “GAME BEER” goes to: T.J. Watt, clearly he deserves it after a truly historic season. He was double and tripled teamed yesterday and even took a shot to his nuts from Huntley. He is a difference maker when he is on the field. Also Considered: Mike Tomlin, this team is a mess, and he kept the train on the tracks, all the fire Tomlin jabronis should stay silent now.…and just for fun, also considered Trevor Lawrence, who at some point will be a big-time opponent but yesterday saved our season and of course Daniel Carlson and his last second overtime field goal that propelled the Steelers into the playoffs!

Beer of the Game: We had Modello, a friend brought to me the night before. Awesome beer and it truly embodies the fighting Spirit as the ad says.

“Steel the Snacks”: We had a plethora of snacks, including Buffalo Chicken and Cheesesteak Empanadas, Risotto Rice Balls, all were made by KGB and were awesome. She had an outstanding snack season for us

My Stat of the week:  22.5 Sacks for T.J. Watt who did it in 14 games this season. He really had an extra sack that was negated when Tyler Huntley fumbled. Watt is now tied for the single season all-time lead with Michael Strahan.

My Thoughts on next week: The Steelers run into the buzz saw next week in Kansas City, it would be easy to write the Steelers off, but I believe they have a punchers chance in this game.

This week’s Jersey: Ben Roethlisberger, 7, Home Black, ran this back again, in honor of Ben’s possible last game.

 

 

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Steelers wreck the Browns, in Ben’s last home game!

January 4th, 2022
by admin

After a month of awful gut-wrenching performances, the Steelers turned back the clock last night, winning the old-fashioned Steelers’ way, running the football, good defense and timely passing. In what will most likely be Ben Roethlisberger’s last game at Heinz Field the Steelers saved their best performance of the last two months for a big win over familiar doormat the Cleveland Browns by a score of 26-14. That score doesn’t tell the story, the game was not that close, the Browns were gifted the last touchdown by a lousy referee crew.

After weeks of getting torched by the Chargers (159 Yards), Bengals (198 Yards), Vikings (242 Yards), Titans (201 Yards) and the Chiefs (127 Yards) on the ground, the Steelers defense slowed the Browns running game and kept Nick Chubb in check, holding him to just 58 yards (with 32 of them coming on one play). The vaunted Browns running game only mustered 93 yards on the ground on the day. It was a solid effort up front, led of course by Cam Heyward who heled set the point of attack. It was a nice effort by Montravius Adams who looks like a steal right now, cult hero Henry Mondeaux and Isiah Loudermilk. It was great effort by the linebackers led by Robert Spillane who had eight tackles, Marcus Allen filled in admirably playing in the middle subbing for Joe Schobert and Devin Bush.

With the running game stalled, the Steelers linebackers teed off on perennial pitch man Baker Mayfield, recording an astonishing NINE sacks. T.J. Watt led the way posting four sacks, followed by Alex Highsmith who had two.

The secondary had a very good day and again, numbers don’t tell the story, they had Mayfield’s number and he finished with a QBR of 14.8 and a net of 139-yards passing. It was a complete effort and Ahkello Witherspoon is making the most of his chances. He looks right now to be the possible heir apparent to Joe Haden.

The Special teams had an improved night, if not a respectable night, the good was Chris Boswell booted four field goals including another 50 in cold weather in the fourth quarter, it all but sealed the victory. Corliss Waitman had another terrific night, booting a monster punt with the Browns bearing down on him in the Steelers end zone, he averaged 48.8 yards. The bad Justin Layne had two penalties and Ray-Ray McCloud’s muffed punt is what trapped the Steelers down on their own goal line, leading to the Browns only legitimate score. Given the circumstances though, it was a good effort and a noticeable improvement.

With all that being written, the night belonged to Ben Roethlisberger. It was apparent how important this game was for him and for the team. There was a renewed sense of urgency, and his numbers really don’t do the night justice. The play calling is still head scratching, but want to keep it positive, and it was a night Roethlisberger made the plays he needed to win. He finished with only 123-yards and passed for the Steelers only touchdown. He had a meaningless interception at the end of the second half. Diontae Johnson is in a little bit of a slump but still led the team in receptions with eight.

If Roethlisberger is the face of the franchise, Najee Harris looks like at minimum to be the new face of the offense. Harris grinded out 188 very well-earned yards and the touchdown to absolutely seal the game. The offensive line put forth a great effort lead by backup J.C. Hassnauer. John Leglue is a road grader and looks like a very good find. Dan Moore Jr. held helmet wielding madman Myles Garrett to just one tackle. Garrett was banged up, but Moore’s play was solid.

Mike Tomlin deserves a lot of credit for the performance last night as well. It would have been easy to let emotions get the better of them, but the team was focused and had the perfect game plan. He also insured himself at minimum a non-losing season for a 15th season, a new NFL record. While we would never commit football blasphemy, not even Bill Belichick or Vince Lombardi has done what Tomlin has done. That doesn’t happen by accident, it happens because he is a great coach whose team never quits.

BEER WE GO STEELERS, BEER WE GO!   

My “GAME BEER” goes to: Forget numbers…it is Ben Roethlisberger of course. What he has meant to this franchise is so much more than just wins and losses. His off the field shenanigans are a distant memory, and he has cemented his place in Pittsburgh history as one of the greatest athletes to grace this fine city. “With the sixth pick of the 2004 NFL draft, acquired from the Detroit Lions… the Cleveland Browns select… Kellen Winslow, Tight End, University of Miami” …and the rest is history. I remember thinking that Ben would fall to the Steelers, to be honest I botched his name, horrendously.

Beer of the Game: Iron City of course, an old school game deserves the original beer. Throw in we had Iron City Coffee at breakfast, and it was a solid beverage performance.

“Steel the Snacks”: Monday Night Football is always tricky, so we did Turkey Club Sandwiches made by KGB. Awesome sandwiches that like Roethlisberger’s numbers were unspectacular but damn good.

My Stat of the week:  Twenty-Six career wins by Ben Roethlisberger v. the Cleveland Browns. At one point he had the most wins in the history of Progressive Field as a quarterback (Mayfield holds it now). He has his highest winning percentage for ten or more games against the Browns.

My Thoughts on next week: AFC North football one more week. This year’s schedule was one of the best in recent memory and finishing with the Ravens is always something special. You can assure yourself Baltimore would love to be the team that snuffs the Steelers very slim playoff chances. Look for Ben Roethlisberger to go out with a bang! Baltimore will also do everything they can to make sure T.J. Watt doesn’t break the Michael Strahan’s sack record.

This week’s Jersey: Ben Roethlisberger, 7, ran back the fashion jersey from early in the season. Finally it worked!

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Steelers get crushed in KC…playoffs in doubt.

December 27th, 2021
by admin

It was the familiar formula of getting behind early, but there would be no frantic comeback this time, as the Steelers were absolutely dominated by the Kansas City Chiefs…

What has happened to the Steelers? Three weeks after one of the worst losses in team history, the Steelers were once again dominated against a shorthanded Kansas City Chiefs team. When you get kicked off national television, for the Raiders, you have really reached a new low. The Steelers absolutely lost every facet of the game. The offense was horrendous, the defense was leaky and the special teams are an actual liability. 

It is near impossible to put into words how bad this team played. When your second string punter is the lone bright spot, Corliss Waitman, bombed two great punts, you know it was a bad day.

There is no way Matt Canada can come back next season. BWG never advocates for anyone to lose their job, but his play calling is horrendous and the execution is worst. Kansas City has arguably the best quarterback in the league and one of the best playmakers in football in Tyreek Hill, they were inside the 10, they ran the ball all three times. The Steelers have done nothing to build a better running game. I w

Najee Harris has been solid given what he has had to play with, he gets eviscerated every week when they try the four or five running plays to start the game. Of course they fall behind and then it is chuck it 50 times.

The Chiefs offense was a blueprint on how to play with some limitations, they executed every play well and nothing required an exceptional playmaker, something the Steelers do have.

It starts up front and the Steelers up front are terrible on both sides of the ball. What has happened to Kendrick Green? He is now a huge liability. On the defensive side of the ball, Cam Heyward is eating double and triple teams all game while everyone else gets dominated.

Here is the bright side, whether they make the playoffs or not, these next two weeks are must wins, they still have an outside shot at the division, but what is important is sweeping both the Ravens and the Browns now.

BEER WE GO STEELERS, BEER WE GO!   

My “GAME BEER” goes to: No one, literally no one played well yesterday. Only person I would have considered was Cam Heyward, who deserves so much better than this.

Beer of the Game: Sam Adams, Winter Lager, despite having a refrigerator full of beer, I went out and bought this, one of my favorites for this time of year, unfortunately the game was horrible, and you know what that means for this great beer…

“Steel the Snacks”: KGB’s snacks deserved better. In honor of KC, she made Burnt Ends Crostinis with mashed potatoes on the crostini, also homemade Cole Slaw. Absolutely phenomenal and one of our best snacks of the season.  

My Stat of the week:  ZERO, touchdowns in the 1st half in the last five games, that is the first time that has happened since 1940… let that sink in a little, not only the first time in my lifetime, but the first in my father’s freakin’ lifetime. HORRIBLE, also a side note, 1st team all-time to trail by 23+ points at halftime in three straight road games. (SOURCE: NBC Posted during the game)

My Thoughts on next week: Both the Steelers and Browns are reeling, and this had every bit the feeling of a playoff game. The Browns who were the media darling at the beginning of the season, have been an absolute disappointment. The Steelers can get a modicum of revenge because a Browns loss sends them home for the year. Every game is a must win now.

This week’s Jersey: Jack Ham, 59, Throwback (The Bumblebee), went with the legend to bring in some luck…again EPIC fail.

 

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On this day in 1991, Chuck Noll coaches his last game!

December 22nd, 2021
by admin

Thought this would be cool for readers, 30 Year’s ago today, the Emperor coaches his last game.

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199112220pit.htm

Beating Bill Bellichick and figured I would share when he faced off with Lombardi.

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/196910260pit.htm

 

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Steelers rally, then hold off the Titans!

December 19th, 2021
by admin

The Steelers fell behind early, came back, then held off a Titan’s comeback! It was a familiar script, this time with a happy ending as the Steelers rallied back from a slow start and beat the Tennessee Titans 19-13. 

The defense was run over once again, and the Titans were able to control the clock and the line of scrimmage. Tennessee banged out 201 yards on the ground, led by D’Onta Foreman’s 108 yards. But they never broke and oddly enough pitched a second half shutout led by four turnovers, despite the atrocious run defense. 

T.J. Watt, playing with an injury and being held all game, managed to break the Steelers sack record. Cam Heyward also registered a sack while being doubled and tripled team. Taco Charlton had a huge play with a tip that was intercepted by Joe Schobert. Derek Tuszka chipped in with his first sack of the season, a game changing 8-yard sack late in the fourth quarter. For two weeks now, Devin Bush looks like he is finally coming around and chipped in with five tackles and a near interception.

It was a very big day for the secondary led by the return of Joe Haden and the excellent play of Minkah Fitzpatrick and Terrell Edmunds. Haden made the biggest tackle of the day ending the Titans’ final drive and recovered a fumble. Minkah Fitzpatrick continues his reemergence with a monstrous 14 tackles and a fumble recovery. In what is likely his swan song with the Steelers, Terrell Edmunds had 10 tackles two for a loss on the day. Ryan Tannehill was held to 153 yards in the air.

The first half offense is non-existent, and the Steelers managed just three points in the first half and only 12 points off turnovers. The stats weren’t there in any aspect and it was pure grit that they were able to eek out the victory. Ben Roethlisberger had a gutsy and tough performance. He finished with a paltry 148 yards but he QB sneaked the Steelers only touchdown. Diontae Johnson led the team in catches with only five and he was nearly invisible all day. Pat Friermuth made a terrific catch while being knocked unconscious and was forced to leave the game with a concussion. Zack Gentry made a great catch and steam rolled the Titans for 17-yards, something the Steelers should employ again. The Steelers were only able to grab 35 yards on the ground.  

The special teams descent is horrific to watch. Pressley Harvin III is running out of runway here. He had a horrendous day including a 27 yarder and was never able to flip the field on the Titans. Chester Rogers ran back a punt back for 55 yards and the Steelers coverage unit was called for holding on the play. It was a debacle. Chris Boswell is still the lone bright spot as he hammered home four field goals and he nearly hit a bomb at the end of the first half with one second left.

As for coaching, the first half of the last slate of games has been dreadful, but something is happening at halftime that has helped Pittsburgh to second-half surges. That is a testament to strong coaching. The defensive staff made big adjustments and were able to shut out the Titans in the second half. The clock management is still lousy, and it cost the Steelers a first half score, as the Titans chewed the clock for almost the entire second quarter. A victory is a victory. 

Beer We Go Steelers, Beer We Go!

My “GAME BEER” goes to: Ben Roethlisberger and T.J. Watt, both had historic days. Also Considered; Joe Haden, who made the game saving play, Taco Charlton who helped create a turnover, Chris Boswell who drilled four field goals, Derrek Tuszka who had a huge timely sack.

Beer of the Game: Went with Music City Light, which is the Nashville version of IC Light. Will explain later the choice. KGB went with Peroni which is a standby in our beer refrigerator. 

“Steel the Snacks”: We are swamped with the holidays “Steel the Snacks” was supposed to be Nashville Hot Chicken, one of KGB’s best and historically great snacks. We went with White Castle Hamburgers and pigs in the blanket with three kinds of mustard. Instead of stealing the snack, we stole their beer!  

My Stat of the week: Have to go with two this week… 63,562 for Ben Roethlisberger who passed Philip Rivers into 5th place on the all-time list. He will finish his career nestled comfortably there. The other is a Steelers record 17.5 sacks, the new Steelers record now held by T.J. Watt, eclipsing BWG all-time favorite James Harrison. Harrison posted a classy video congratulating Watt. 

My Thoughts on next week: Very tall order against Patrick Mahomes and the resurgent Chiefs. This is a very tough game on the road. The good news, the Steelers match up well and have had success against the division leaders. Every game is now a playoff game, and this is going to take a much bigger effort than the Steelers have shown so far.  

This week’s Jersey: Jerome Bettie, 36, Home Black, hoping to get the running game going. It didn’t work again, but we will take the win!

 

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Steelers late game heroics fall short.

December 10th, 2021
by admin

The Steelers frantic fourth quarter comeback fell short, as the Steelers fell to the Vikings.

The Steelers were absolutely dominated for 42 minutes and pushed around the field. It is hard to describe how poorly this team is playing right now. The score didn’t tell the story as the Steelers were smashed and gashed for the majority of the game, while Minnesota held off another spectacular late game if unfulfilled Steelers’ comeback.

The Steelers had no answers up front on either side of the ball. Led by Dalvin Cook and his bad shoulder, the Vikings cranked out an astounding 242 yards (144 by Cook in the first half) on the ground and a mind numbing 458 total yards while scoring 36 points (29 Points in the first half). The offensive line gave up five sacks two of which were legitimately scary for Ben Roethlisberger’s health and had created no room for the the bottled up Steelers running game.

Ben Roethlisberger had a solid game when he had time to throw and he spread the ball around hitting six different receivers for 308 yards, throwing three touchdowns. Roethlisberger was clobbered in the first three quarters, then put together a monster fourth quarter, and came within one pass to Pat Freiermuth, in the end zone as time expired, from authoring the greatest comeback in NFL history. The team needs to get off to a faster start, but Roethlisberger’s effort shouldn’t be lost.

The receivers had big games however, this will not be the story. Chase Claypool had a great game as far as performance, but he had a costly 15-yard penalty, and he was preening after a huge fourth down conversion that cost the Steelers valuable time in the fourth quarter. He also was sent to the bench by Tomlin after the penalty. Claypool led the team in catches with eight and yards with 93. Diontae Johnson is emerging into a world class receiver. He also made a huge play giving the Steelers one more chance at tying the game, getting out of bounds on a big catch. Johnson finished with five catches for 76 yards. James Washington benefited from Claypool’s indiscretion racking up a touchdown and 65 yards while substituting.

Najee Harris had 94 yards on the ground most of which came in the second half and 10 yards in the air and a touchdown. In a dismal season, he looks like a franchise running back.

The defensive front seven once the heart and strength of the Steelers, is now it’s greatest liability. The Steelers were without T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith for most of the game, and for the second time this season, the defense was held without a sack. Cam Heyward had to eat several double teams and Chris Wormley and Montravius Adams were pushed all over the field, after both having big games against the Ravens a week earlier.

The secondary struggled for the most part. Kirk Cousins put up 216 yards and two touchdowns on only 14 passes. Cam Sutton was roasted for a 62-Yard Touchdown to K.J. Osborn, which would be the deciding score. Ahkello Witherspoon had a solid performance with two interceptions in his second start of the year. The reemergence of Minkah Fitzpatrick continues.

The special teams are just plain terrible again. Chris Boswell missed a field goal attempt, his second of the season, Pressley Harvin had another mediocre night, including an absolute 31-yard stinker and there was a penalty on almost every single return last night. Awful night.

The season is all but over and now the Steelers need to figure out what rebuilding looks like. Both sides of the ball have talent, but seem to lack any consistency. The Steelers need to improve up front first and foremost, with ten days between games, this is the week to find out what they have.

Beer We Go Steelers, Beer We Go!

My “GAME BEER” goes to: Ahkello Witherspoon, who chipped in with two interceptions and is finally seeing the field after being acquired in a trade early September. Also Considered; Najee Harris who looks like a franchise running back, putting up good numbers with a banged up line.

Beer of the Game: Went with Boxer Ale again, good beer like I said last week, lousy result this time. D-man had A&W Root Beer! KGB went with wine.

“Steel the Snacks”: The plan was Juicy Lucey Burgers to “Steel the Snacks” but we had Sausage and Peppers for dinner and a side of pasta made by KGB, food was delicious and filling.

My Stat of the week: Najee Harris’104 yards from scrimmage on Thursday night broke the Steelers rookie record for a season. Harris has 873 rushing yards and 397 receiving yards for 1,270 yards for scrimmage in 2021, bettering the 1,259 that Le’Veon Bell had for Pittsburgh in 2013, with four games to go.

My Thoughts on next week: The Steelers will have ten days and Mike Tomlin assured everyone that “We’ll turn over every stone…” as they battle the Titans. There are so many holes in this team right now.

This week’s Jersey: Ernie Stautner, 70 Home Black, the Father of Steelers toughness, it wasn’t much help.

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Steelers keep the season alive with win over Ravens!

December 6th, 2021
by admin

The Steelers had to have it and they got it, beating the hated rival Ravens in a classic Pittsburgh -Baltimore matchup that featured John Harbaugh trying to pull the win out of the jaws of defeat with a late two point try that came up short. The offense and defense both struggled and also looked brilliant at times.

If this is indeed Ben Roethlisberger’s last home game against the Ravens, he went out in style. Roethlisberger led the Steelers to a huge fourth quarter garnishing 17 points. He orchestrated the no huddle offense and kept the Ravens off balance and delivered when it was needed most. He finished with 236 yards and two touchdowns including the game winning five-yard strike to Diontae Johnson and the two-point conversion to Pat Freiermuth. It was a great bounce back during a week where it was leaked that he will be retiring at the end of the season.

Diontae Johnson is becoming the Steelers best offensive weapon. After dropping a touchdown on a perfectly placed Roethlisberger pass, he rebounded and finished with 105 yards and two touchdowns in the second half. He led the team in catches with eight. Najee Harris also had a solid game, grinding out 71 very tough yards and contributing with five catches. Chase Claypool continues to be a big play threat and hauled in a forty-yard catch.

The defense had an uneven day. The bad news is they gave up a ton of yards including letting Baltimore dominate the clock with a 99-yard, 16 play drive that ate up 10+ minutes. The Ravens converted 8-16 third downs including a 3rd and 14 on the final drive. Their offense is plodding and slow, but they seemed to have the Steelers number most of the day. The good news though the defense seemed to have a good plan against Lamar Jackson.

Chris Wormley saved the best game of his career for his former team, registering 2.5 sacks and he helped generate a ton of pressure. T.J.Watt posted a monster day of 3.5 sacks after being on the Covid list earlier in the week. He also was key in stopping the would be game winning two- point conversion. It was clear that despite his success, Jackson was nervous about Watt. Alex Highsmith continues to evolve and made two tackles for losses. The unsung star of the game was Montravius Adams, who became a Steeler less than a week ago, Adams set the point of attack and gave everyone more room to work. He finished with two tackles and will absolutely see more playing time.

The secondary played well, Minkah Fitzpatrick is starting to become a playmaker again and he ended the Ravens first drive of the game with an interception in the red zone. Fitzpatrick led the team in tackles. Ahkello Witherspoon did a very nice job as Joe Haden’s replacement and should supplant James Pierre for good. He chipped in five tackles and nearly picked off Jackson on a long play to Mark Andrews, who had been roasting the Steelers all day.

The Special teams continued their up and down season. You can write the same thing every week, except for Chris Boswell, who for the first time had a terrible game Sunday. He did drill a 50+ yard field goal, but inexplicably missed a game tying extra point by a mile and then blasted the final kickoff of the game out of bounds setting the Ravens up on the 40-Yard line for their last drive. He also pooched a kick after missing the extra point that Devin Duvernay ran back for 38-yards setting the Ravens up for a field goal. Pressley Harvin bombed a textbook 64-yard punt that pinned the Ravens on their own goal line…then stunk up the field the rest of the day, including a 25-yard disaster when the Steelers needed him. There is no return game to speak of with this team.

The game was terribly over officiated, and the bad calls were rampant. The good news was it didn’t affect the outcome of the game.

Give Mike Tomlin and the coaching staff credit. This was a must win game and they had the game plan to make that happen. Keith Butler rebounded nicely after being torched two weeks in a row, they made some good adjustments to keep Lamar Jackson in check. The coaching staff seemed to have found some much needed help on both sides of the ball.

BEER WE GO STEELERS, BEER WE GO!

My “GAME BEER” goes to: Going with the upset here and picking John Leglue the fourth string guard who was a road grader yesterday. It was the most push I have seen the line get in three years and he had the answer in almost every protection scheme. Also Considered: Chris Wormley who showed up big against his former team. T.J. Watt who had a huge game and Diontae Johnson who scored the game winner.

Beer of the Game: Boxer Ice, “The beer of champions” KGB and I brought this back from Pittsburgh where we bought it at a sketchy Beer Distributor. It is brewed in Wisconsin and despite being a cheap beer, it was good and heartily drinkable.

“Steel the Snacks”: When you play Baltimore, you have to “Steel” crab cakes. We went with Crab Cake sliders on a pretzel roll. One of KGB’s best snacks, we grabbed the crab cakes from our local pub and KGB fried them up and served them on fresh baked pretzel rolls.

My Stat of the week:  30- Matchups between Mike Tomlin’s v. John Harbaugh the third most in NFL history. Tomlin now holds the edge 16-14. It is also the most matchups of two head coaches during the Super Bowl Era. (Also considered Ben Roethlisberger is now 16-10 all time against the Ravens!)

My Thoughts on next week: VERY SHORT TURNAROUND. The Steelers play the Minnesota Vikings Thursday night. Of the Steelers remaining games, this is the most winnable, the Vikings will be gunning for blood after losing to the Lions.

This week’s Jersey: Jack Lambert, 58, Home Black, had to go back to the legends to bring in some luck!

 

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Steelers get clobbered in Cincinnati!

November 29th, 2021
by admin

The Steelers played one of their worst games in over 30 years and were completely dismantled by the AFC North rival Bengals.

The Steelers were decimated in every facet of the game. “We stunk it up today,” summarized Coach Tomlin and that basically tells the story of yesterday’s game. I can’t remember a worst Steelers loss where they were so thoroughly dominated in EVERY facet of the game within the last 30 years.

The defense is an absolute wreck right now. Cam Heyward got pushed into the Nose spot and clearly it didn’t help, he has gotten very little help from his teammates on the line and the Bengals demolished the Steelers up front. Devin Bush’s descent into irrelevance continued and he was replaced by Robert Spillane, until Spillane was injured. Joe Mixon rushed for 165 yards and was nearly unstoppable. He had almost 100 yards rushing before the half.

Minkah Fitzpatrick had a solid game, but he was the lone highlight in the secondary. His first interception of the season was squandered. James Pierre had no answers for Tee Higgins and he scorched the secondary for 114 yards. Cam Sutton struggled with tackling.

Ben Roethlisberger had a tough game against the Bengals coughing up the ball three times including two interceptions that led to 10 points, a pick six to Mike Hilton that was basically the backbreaker. Roethlisberger also fumbled twice losing one. He has played well these last five weeks, yesterday that came crashing down. The offensive line is terrible and it is showing more and more, that a change needs to happen. Najee Harris was a non-factor for the second week in a row.

The special teams had an uneven performance, coverage units were mediocre. No Ray-Ray McCloud led to Anthony McFarland returning kicks and he did okay, given the circumstances. Pressley Harvin III had another tough game, netting only 34.6 yards per attempt. He never capitalized. Chris Boswell his his only field goal attempt.

What else can you say, the Steelers were never really in the game, and they looked unprepared. This loss isn’t terminal, and a win next week gets the Steelers right back in it, but something has to change. That is on the coaching staff.

BEER WE GO STEELERS, BEER WE GO!   

My “GAME BEER” goes to: NO ONE, this was the worst Steelers game I have seen in 30+ years. Only person I would consider is Cam Heyward who deserves a lot better than this.

Beer of the Game: Iron City Original. Always a great beer and I was hoping it would break the streak.

“Steel the Snacks”: We helped my father decorate for Christmas, so we had homemade turkey soup. That was the only highlight of the day.

My Stat of the week:  The 31-point margin of defeat was the biggest defeat in the Tomlin era, and it tied second most in team history, also a 41-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in 1989. It also stands as tied for the second-worst loss in team history, the worst being a 51-0 loss to the Cleveland Browns in 1989.

My Thoughts on next week: RAVENS WEEK, The Steelers over the last few weeks have shown they don’t have an answer for the run. The Ravens are the worst team that could happen against as they just absolutely pound the football. Not sure how this version of the Steelers could stop them.

This week’s Jersey: T.J. Watt, 90, Home Black, I wore it hoping to bring some luck…not so much.

 

 

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Steelers lose a wild one in Los Angeles!

November 22nd, 2021
by admin

It was ugly, it was rough, it was valiant, it was heartbreaking, and, in the end, it was a loss and the end of a five-game undefeated streak as the Steelers fell to the Chargers. Ben Roethlisberger came off the Covid-19 list and engineered twenty-seven fourth quarter points, but the Steelers fell 41-37 to Los Angeles.

The makeshift defense had few answers for Justin Herbert who torched the secondary for 382 touchdowns and three touchdowns, he also ran for 90 yards. The front seven were gashed for 159 yards on the ground and never were able to contain Herbet when he was blitzed. In the absence of T.J. Watt, Cam Heyward is playing alone out there right now.

He ran down Herbet on a mad scramble, 40 yards down the field and then punched him out for good measure. He also generated the biggest turnover of the game with a tipped pass to Cam Sutton. Isaiah Buggs and Joe Schobert combined for a big fourth quarter, fourth down stop. These were the only two defensive highlights of the game. Alex Highsmith came along after a slow start. What has happened to Devin Bush? He seems lost right now. The secondary was torched without Joe Haden and Minkah Fitzpatrick.

After spiraling for weeks, the special teams contributed to the effort. Miles Killebrew had his second blocked punt of the season, and it got the Steelers back in the game. Chris Boswell once again delivered a big game, with three field goals. Ray-Ray McCloud stepped up on the return game, averaging 31.5 on the returns.

The play calling is still very suspect on offense, against the team with the worst run defense in football, the Steelers abandoned the run early. What was worse was that they abandoned the run on the goal line. With Roethlisberger misfiring on a wide-open Chase Claypool, the Steelers couldn’t punch it in on the goal line…absolutely horrendous and the last pay was well short. Clock management continues to be the achilleas heel as well and there were two glaring incidents where the Steelers needed to manage the clock better.

It was a renaissance performance by Ben Roethlisberger, passing for 273 yards and three touchdowns. After a solid game, the offensive line essentially broke down on the last series, otherwise those numbers would be even better. Diontae Johnson had a big game again, he hauled in seven catches for 101 yards, Chase Claypool had 93 yards on five catches and played great. Najee Harris grabbed five catches as well. Pat Freiermuth hauled in a touchdown.

In the end the Steelers fell to a touch Chargers team, victory was in their grasp, and they let it slip away.

BEER WE GO STEELERS, BEER WE GO!

My “GAME BEER” goes to: Cam “Steelhead” Heyward is the personification of Steelers toughness, he deserved a better fate than last night, he played his heart out. Also considered: Chris Boswell who drilled three field goals, Ben Rothlisberger, who is whistling past the graveyard, but put up 273 yards and led the comeback efforts.

Beer of the Game: IC Light 12 Oz, cans that we brought back from the Burgh. KGB went with a local Long Island White Wine, Mattebella, Chardonay. We took it easy as we now do during Sunday Night and Monday Night Football.

“Steel the Snacks”: No “Steel the Snacks” because of the start time of the game. We had traditional Italian fare as out Sunday dinner, meatballs that simmered all day and pesto pasta made by KGB. When we don’t have a day game, we try and do standard dinner.

My Stat of the week:  The Steelers scored 27 fourth quarter points the most in franchise history, eclipsing 25 points against the Cincinnati Bengals in 2014. It was a shame that it was a losing effort. The team never gave up and fought ‘til the end.

My Thoughts on next week: This is the make-or-break game of the season for the Steelers. This is a must win on enemy territory. They need T.J. back AND Minkah to have any sort of chance. The Steelers need to run the ball and keep the ball away from Joe Burrow.

This week’s Jersey: Ben Roethlisberger 7, Home Black, in honor of his getting off the Covid-19 List. One of my staple jerseys.

 

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Steelers and Lions ends in a draw.

November 15th, 2021
by admin

The Steelers and Lions finished in a tie….

The Steelers and Lions ended in a draw on Sunday, in a cold rainy/snowy environment at Heinz Field. Without Ben Roethlisberger, it was an uneven performance against the worst team in the NFL and were very fortunate to not lose this game.

Saturday night it was posted that Ben Roethlisberger went on the voluntary Covid list. Mason Rudolph was tapped with the start, and he had his struggles and some flashes of capability, Rudolph finished 30 for 50 with 242 yards, he led the Steelers down the field on the first series and looked very capable, but then fell off considerably the rest of the way. He missed some key throws, a wide-open Ray-Ray McCloud in the end zone that would have put the Lions away and a wide open Diontae Johnson on a 3rd down conversion, he didn’t exploit the worst red zone defense in the NFL and it is fair to say he is still a work in progress, the Sunday effort showed that.

Despite a solid performance by Najee Harris, who was grinding it out all day, the Steelers threw the ball an astounding 50 times against a team that was on the ropes. Diontae Johnson led the team with 83 yards on seven catches, but he had a costly fumble in overtime. As did Pat Friermuth, on what would be the Steelers last drive of the game, “Muth” finished with five catches. James Washington had a touchdown and then disappeared from the stat sheet the rest of the game. Ray-Ray McCloud led the team in catches with nine and looks like he could contribute outside the return game. The offensive line did not allow a sack despite 50 drop backs and missing two starters, they also opened some running room. Give credit to Joe Haeg and J.C. Hassenauer for good efforts filling in. Kendrick Green struggled in the weather with the Shotgun snap.

The defense was a bona fide disaster against the worst team in football. The Lions blasted the Steelers with 229 yards on the ground and were ripping off huge chunks at a time, with longs of 21, 28 and 42 yards. Cam Heyward is playing the defensive line almost by himself. T.J. Watt had one sack but was injured. Devin Bush looks lost out there right now, he was once again fooled badly on a cutback by Godwin Igwebuike allowing a 42-yard touchdown run. Bush also negated a much-needed turnover by Minkah Fitzpatrick in overtime that nearly cost the Steelers the game.

The secondary has struggled all year forcing turnovers, Sunday was no different, there were several missed opportunities, with the Lions running the ball at will, Jared Goff never really tested the secondary. James Pierre came in for an injured Joe Haden and played well. Terrell Edmunds had his best game of the season, helping in run support and making several key plays.

The special teams continue to go backwards, the return game was non-existent and never made an impact. The Punt coverage unit allowed a 48-yard return to Khalif Raymond that setup the Lions first touchdown. Chris Boswell had another good day banging out three field goals. Pressley Harvin III had a good if uneven performance, he booted three inside the 20 but also had a crucial misfire on a touchback late in the fourth quarter.

Why did the Steelers with their second-string quarterback throw the ball 50 times on a day that the weather was horrendous?  Why did they have Rudolph in the shotgun when Kendrick Green had trouble with the snap in the elements? With the way the offensive line performed the Steelers should have run them over all day. It was a lousy day by the offensive coaching staff.

A tie is better than a loss and the Steelers were the only North team to win this weekend, so that has to be written, but once again, there are more questions then answers.

BEER WE GO STEELERS, BEER WE GO!   

My “GAME BEER” goes to: Najee Harris, continues to come into his own, he put up 105 yards on the ground, averaging four yards a carry and caught four passes for another 28 yards. #RocktoTheNaj Also considered: Cam “Steelhead” Heyward who had two sacks and was a one-man wrecking crew.

Beer of the Game: When in the ‘Burgh… IC Light Pounders at both the Tailgate and inside the game. KGB went with IC Mango and IC Light.

“Steel the Snacks”: No “Steel the Snacks” this week. After a year hiatus we returned to the Burgh… We tailgated with Steel City Mafia and The Terrible Bra and Grille. We had Pittsburgh Pepperoni rolls and Soup because of the temperature.

My Stat of the week*:  A damn tie game… Mike Tomlin now has two ties over the course of his coaching career passing Chuck Noll and Bill Cowher in total ties, tying literally and figuratively Forrest Douds with two, but well behind, Steelers all-time tie leader Buddy Parker with six and behind Walt Kiesling with five. On a side note, this was the second tie game in the history of Heinz Field and I was at both of them.

My Thoughts on next week: On any given Sunday it seems any team can beat anyone… So, the Steelers could pull this one out, the Chargers are reeling as well and ripe to get beaten, these are the games that will separate the contenders and the pretenders. Right now, it is hard to tell what either team is.

This week’s Jersey: “Mean” Joe Greene 75, Home Black, my gamer, for most of the Steelers games I have attended this is the jersey I have worn, from Jacksonville Fla to London England, to the Meadowlands, to Pittsburgh Pa!

*Source: List of Pittsburgh Steelers head coaches – Wikipedia

“Reflections on the trip” – Little Miss Tailgate (unedited)

Hello Everyone! I am so happy that my school schedule this semester allowed me to go to Pittsburgh this year. This year was a rather odd year. After missing a year due to the pandemic, we were all very eager to go again this year. Although, it wasn’t the results that we wanted we still had a lot of fun as a family. Out of all 10 years, I have been going to Pittsburgh, I want to say that this was the first trip where the way in was quicker than the way out. Traveling into Pittsburgh the trip was about 6-7 hours and the way out was about 8 hours. This year we stayed at the Hampton Inn on Smallman Street. After dropping our stuff off and changing out of our traveling clothes, we headed to Primanti Brothers in the Strip District and took in everything that had changed since we had last been to Pittsburgh pre-pandemic. I had a Kielbasa and Cheese which was very good!

On Saturday we hit our regular stops in the Strip District and shopped around most of the day. We had lunch at Peppi’s where I had a cheesesteak which was very delicious. We also went to Peace Love and Little Donuts which we hadn’t had before. We got a half dozen with different flavors. I had a pumpkin cheesecake douut which I loved. This year KGB and I got our matching mother-daughter shirt and I also got a new winter hat. After shopping, we went to church at St. Stanislaus which is always great. Later on, we went back to the hotel and warmed up before heading back out to get dinner. Of course, we went to Primatni’s for dinner but this time we went to the one in Market Square. I had a corn beef and cheese sandwich which was very delicious!

 

To kick off gameday, we started tailgating with the Terrible Bra and Grille where we had a special appearance from the one and only Captain Tailgate! Seeing him was great and overall we had a great tailgate experience after not being able to last year. KGB is never one to disappoint us, this year she got tickets for us to sit in the PNC Champions Club. We watched as the Steelers warmed up from very close and I was amazed at how huge the Offensive Line was. My brothers and I got to stand outside the tunnel and cheer the Steelers on as they exited which was so cool. Since the game was cold and rainy it was nice to have the luxury of sitting inside as well as outside. Food was also very good we had pretzels, pizza, peanuts, and nachos!

 

This game was very different from the previous ones I had been to. We started off strong by getting a touchdown in the first few minutes. My dad said it best, he had a wave of calm over him and I couldn’t agree more. I was so calm the whole game thinking we had this as a win, little did I know what was coming next. We had many careless mistakes and with Big Ben out with Covid, it didn’t help our case at all. In the 3rd quarter when renegade played was when everyone started to get amped up. That’s one of my favorite traditions at Heinz Field. Seeing the Terrible Towels in the air and everyone yelling the words is always so fun to witness. However, Renegade didn’t help our case, unfortunately. Going into overtime, I was very nervous and very amped up on adrenaline. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. I had lost my voice leaving the Stadium because of how much I was yelling. After the game, I had a mix of emotions. I wasn’t happy because they didn’t win but I wasn’t sad because they didn’t lose. Overall, it was really weird. We then headed back to our tailgate for a little bit then walked home. After showering and getting warm, we ate our final meal at Primanti Bros and I had a Pittsburgher which was very good!

 

Finally we left the next morning and I arrived back at school in the evening. Overall, this was a good trip. It was great to be back since we haven’t been for 2 years. The trip was one I will never forget and I’m so lucky I got to go even with my crazy college schedule.

 

Until next time,

Root Beer We Go Steelers Captain – Little Miss Tailgate

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