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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Steelers win a wild one on Monday Night Football.

November 9th, 2021
by admin

The Steelers edged the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football … MORE TO COME

The Steelers survived a 21-point fourth quarter onslaught and were able to edge the Bears 29-27 during a wild finish in Pittsburgh. It was Mike Tomlin’s 150th career win, passing Bill Cowher into second place on the all-time Steelers win list! Ben Roethlisberger led his 38th career Fourth Quarter comeback drive, with Chris Boswell sealing the victory with another clutch kick.

After three solid quarters, the defense all but fell apart in the fourth quarter, once the Bears figure out the pass rush. T.J. Watt and Cam Heyward had great games, but they had little help from their teammates. Watt had three sacks and was doubled and tripled team after the first half, Heyward added his second career interception and was all over the back field. The front seven struggled after midway through the 3rd quarter and rookie Justin Fields carved up the Steelers secondary passing for 291 yards and a fourth quarter touchdown.

Arthur Maulett was a consistent victim, giving up a huge play to set the Bears up and then he surrendered the game winning touchdown. The Bears had the worst passing offense in the league but that didn’t matter Monday night. Once Fields had time to pass he was able to shoot the ball down the field.

The special teams is back to being a huge liability again. After weeks in which they looked like they had become an asset, the unit has regressed significantly. Pressley Harvin III had another inconsistent night, shanking two of his five punts. Ray-Ray McCloud was non-existent in the return game, except for when he coughed the ball up on a questionable fumble the let the Bears right back in the game. Chris Boswell was the lone bright spot, and he had a terrific night, despite missing an extra point that almost proved fatal.

The offense had a tough night. There was very little running room, and the protection was atrocious. Najee Harris finished with a paltry 62 yards on 22 carries. The Steelers grinded out 100 yards on the ground through some trickery and some jet sweeps, but they had little to no push up front.

Pat Freiermuth had another breakout game, he raked in two touchdowns and did a tremendous job blocking in the passing game. Diontae Johnson once again came through with a big catch and run. The receiving core is finding its’ niche and they contribute last night with several clutch plays. James Washington had the longest reception of the night at 42 yards, and he contributed on the ground with 13 tough yards.

Ben Roethlisberger had another solid if unspectacular night. He finished with 205 yards and two touchdowns, he also nearly ran for a first down, but was jobbed on the spot. It was another fine performance by a lion in winter who led his 38th fourth quarter comeback drive.

I have been critical of the referees in the past and last night they were way to involved. The Bears got the worst of it, including a questionable low hit on T.J. Watt and a horrible call on Steelers alumni Cassius Marsh for taunting. To be clear though, Marsh was taunting but the call was questionable at best. The McCloud fumble was questionable as well.

They did a horrible job and were way to involved.

Of course Mike Tomlin passing Bill Cowher is a historic milestone that needs to be celebrated. It wasn’t a great night for coaching staff, but that can be discussed another day. In the end Mike Tomlin is now the second winningest coach in Steelers history and the Steelers are in second place.

While the Steelers got the win, they created more questions than answers in victory.

BEER WE GO STEELERS, BEER WE GO!   

My “GAME BEER” goes to: Tough choice, in the end we are going with Chris Boswell! He banged out three field goals, with two being over 50+ yards and the other being the game winner, he also recovered a fumble. This comes a week after having his clock cleaned against the Browns. He is often taken for granted, but he is a clutch kicker and a tough guy.  Also Considered: T.J. Watt who was on fire for most of the game, towards the end he was double and tripled team, Steelhead Heyward who had an interception and a great game and Pat Freiermuth who had two touchdowns, was tied for the team lead in catches and through a number of crushing blocks.

Beer of the Game: Because of the start time, I went with Yuengling Light Lager, very drinkable beer and it was ice cold! Even with 12 oz cans had great beverage management.

“Steel the Snacks”: Chicago Style Italian Beef, prior to the game. Homemade by KGB, perfectly cooked and seasoned, it was more a Steel the dinner, but awesome.

My Stat of the week:  Mike Tomlin with 150 wins has passed Bill Cowher as the second winningest coach behind Chuck Noll. His tenure is historic, and he never quite gets the credit he deserves, living in NY and seeing what the Jets and Giants have gone through and considering I am a Yankees fan and they had three managers in one season. Having three Coaches over 50+ years is something to cherish and celebrate.

My Thoughts on next week: We will be in the ‘Burgh for the first time since the pandemic! The Lions are very beatable, but this team tends to make every game way more interesting then they need to! This is the classic trap game with the Chargers looming. Look for the Steelers to edge it out again.

This week’s Jersey: Franco Harris, 32, Salute to Service, in honor of Veterans Day Week!

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Steelers beat the Browns!

October 31st, 2021
by admin

The Steelers came back and then held on to beat the Browns!

It was a throwback win, solid running game, timely throws by Ben Roethlisberger and a stout defense as the Steelers beat the Cleveland Browns 15-10 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland. There was some added drama with the injury to Chris Boswell, but the Steelers had enough to answer back and pull out the victory.

Najee Harris is settling into his role as the featured weapon on offense. He had a very strong game with 26 carries for 91-yards including a highlight reel touchdown, and he added three receptions for 29 more yards. With his success in running the football, the Steelers took pressure off Ben Roethlisberger who finished with a workman like 22 of 34 for 266 yards, making the clutch plays he needed to make, pulling out the victory.

One of those plays was the game winning touchdown to Pat Freiermuth, who made an outstanding catch. Muth finished with 44 yards and the one touchdown. Diontae Johnson was held in check for most of the day until he ripped off a 50-yarder that all but sealed the victory for the Steelers. Johnson contributed 98 yards and led the team in catches with six. Chase Claypool had four catches and Zach Gentry had a good game, as a blocker and catching three passes, filling in for Eric Ebron.

Give credit to the offensive line which got stronger as the game went on. Dan Moore Jr. held Myles Garret mostly in check when he had some help. They opened plenty of running lanes and the pass protection is getting better every week.

The Browns came into the game with the number one running attack in the NFL. The Steelers defense changed that quickly. They held the Browns to under 100 yards and Nick Chubb was a non-factor most of the game. The front seven lead by a patchwork defensive line and Cam Heyward pushed the Browns all over except for two opening scoring drives.

The linebackers had their most complete game of the season. T.J. Watt continued his outstanding play with 1.5 sacks, Alex Highsmith did a nice job pressuring Baker Mayfield and Joe Schobert played his best game of the season, leading the team in tackles. He also made the biggest defensive play of the day, a forced fumble on Jarvis Landry. Landry had one of the worst days of his career.

Minkah Fitzpatrick had his biggest day of the season. He was in on several big plays and anchored the secondary. Cam Sutton and Joe Haden locked down Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry.   The Browns never completed a pass longer than 24 yards and could never get the passing game going. It was the most complete performance of the season for the defense.

Special teams had another mediocre week. First the elephant in the room was the botched fake field goal where Chris Boswell was absolutely demolished by Jordan Elliot as he was trying to find an open receiver. Tomlin deserves credit for being aggressive, but it was a very risky play that nearly cost the Steelers the game. Without Boswell, Pressley Harvin was on kickoff duty and he struggled including booting one out of bound for a penalty on a kickoff. Harvin also had another uneven day as the punter. He shanked a 38-yarder in the fourth quarter. No big plays out of the return game.

Botched fake field goal aside, give the coaching staff credit, it was clear the Steelers had a solid plan and executed it, even without a kicker.

BEER WE GO STEELERS, BEER WE GO!

My “GAME BEER” goes to: Going with Najee Harris, who had 120 yards from scrimmage and a highlight film touchdown dive.  Also Considered: Pat Freiermuth who made a huge clutch catch, T.J. Watt who played great as usual and the defensive line specifically Chris Wormley and Isiah Loudermilk who each notched sacks.

Beer of the Game: Last day of Italian Heritage month, had to go with Peroni which we have A LOT of at the house. It was ice cold and I forgot how great a beer that is. Really refreshing and went great with the snack. KGB went with Leinenkugel Pumpkin Shandy.

“Steel the Snacks”: Polish Boy Sandwiches, a Cleveland delicacy of Polish Sausage, Slaw and Fries topped with BBQ sauce on a soft roll.

My Stat of the week:  All Ben on this category, going with two different stats… 50 wins against his native Ohio teams, and 12-2-1 against the Browns all time IN Cleveland, he no longer holds the wins record for the stadium, but he has over and .800% winning percentage all time there… remembering these words… “With the Six Pick of the 2004 NFL draft the Cleveland Browns select Kellen Winslow Jr.”.  The rest is history!

My Thoughts on next week: The Steelers have a chance to go on a mini-run here, Chicago is a very beatable team and this is a must win in Prime Time for MNF.

This week’s Jersey: Mike Webster, 52, Home Jersey, one of my favorite players of all-time and proud to rock his jersey.

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The BWG Snack lineup so far:

October 31st, 2021
by admin

Week 1 Buffalo Chicken Sliders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 2 Las Vegas Sliders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 3 Coney Dogs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 4 Brats and Cheese Curds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 5 Slider Buffet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 6 Homemade Sushi Rolls

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Steelers edge Seahawks…

October 18th, 2021
by admin

The Steelers edged the Seahawks after a bizarre finish.

It wasn’t a great performance in any facet of the game but in the end the Steelers did enough to edge out the Seahawks 23-20 on Sunday Night Football. The Steelers jumped out to a big early lead and then had to hold off the Seahawks and their second-string quarterback Geno Smith, and second string running back Alex Collins. No one played particularly well or poorly. It was a mediocre performance, but enough to get it done and get the Steelers back to .500.

The offense managed two touchdowns in the first half, the first a tough catch and run by Najee Harris and the second a nifty Tight End inside handoff to Eric Ebron. Then there was very little after that for the rest of the way. Ben Roethlisberger had a workman like effort and mustered only 224 yards on the day with a touchdown. He never seemed to be able to get the passing game fired up.

Despite playing one of the worst run defenses in the league, the Steelers struggled to move the ball early on the ground, but they stuck with it and eventually wore down the Seahawks defense. Harris rushed for 77-yards, 33 of them coming late in the second half. Harris also chipped in with six catches including the first touchdown of the game. His development continues to impress. The offensive line deserves credit for keeping the pass rush to a minimum, they had their best game this season and finally broke down the Seahawks front.

Diontae Johnson had nine catches but also recorded his first drop of the season, crowd favorite Pat Freiermuth had seven catches, no one else really contributed. The play calling was again lacking on third down. Ray-Ray McCloud is seeing an expanded role in the offense with JuJu being out. He needs to make more of his chances.

The defense looked unstoppable in the first half, but then fell apart after half time. The Seahawks banged out 129 yards on the ground in the second half and dominated up front, after being pushed around early in the game. The tackling was suspect and the coverage was lacking. Minkah Fitzpatrick, Cam Sutton and Terrell Edmunds all missed big tackles that helped keep the Seahawks in the game. Edmunds lost Will Dissly in goal line coverage for the Seahawks second touchdown. Joe Schobert and Devin Bush both had trouble getting off block in the running game and had trouble stopping the run.

The bright spots on defense were Cam Heyward, who had a great day and was dominant when the Steelers needed him to be, he finished with nine tackles and a sack. T. J. Watt all but saved the game in overtime, first recording a huge sack to knock the Seahawks out of field goal range and then punching the ball out on a Geno Smith scramble to set up the game winning field goal.

It was an uneven performance at best for the defense.

The Special teams also struggled and like the defense had its’ best player step up. The coverage units had their worst game of the year, Ray-Ray McCloud was unspectacular and Pressley Harvin III, was again inconsistent. Although the latter continues to flash signs of greatness blasting a monster 58-yard punt. The bright spot of course was Chris Boswell. Little Bos notched three field goals including the game winner.

The coaches had a good game plan but needed better execution and better tackling to make it work. When the Seahawks changed their approach, it took almost the whole second half to adjust and stop the running game.

The referees absolutely botched the last call of regulation and gave the Seahawks a chance to tie it up with no time left. It appeared the Seahawks ran out of time on a fumble, but the refs called for a review and gave the Seahawks the time they needed to kick the tying field goal. Give the coaching staff credit because they stayed mentally tough and were able to keep the team from melting down.

In the end the Steelers get back to .500 going into the Bye week…

BEER WE GO STEELERS, BEER WE GO!   

My “GAME BEER” goes to: Giving out two this week, originally it was going to Chris Boswell until the “gift” overtime was granted to the Seahawks. Boswell once again delivered in a clutch situation and drilled all three of his field goal attempts, he was 3-3 with the actual game winner and what should have been the game winner. Then came OT and T.J. Watt saved the game and the embarrassment of losing to the Seahawks backup quarterback Geno Smith.  Also Considered: Cam Heyward who is the anchor of the defense and Alex Highsmith who had his breakout game finally.

Beer of the Game: To be technical, the beer of the game was consumed before the game and went with Pabst Blue Ribbon again, 16 oz pounders. Because of the time of the game and being a Sunday night, we didn’t drink beer during the game…yes we are becoming more mature here.

“Steel the Snacks”: Again, we consumed before the game and “Steel the Snacks” were made by our friend Mike, he made homemade sushi and Captain Crunch Tuna in honor of Seattle, the Tuna was fresh from the ocean around the corner of my house. It was phenomenal and a great way to spend a Sunday evening.

My Stat of the week:  Since drafting Ben Roethlisberger in 2004, the Steelers stand 111-1-1 (I was at the tie) when leading by 14 points. That stat was in serious jeopardy last night. Also considered, Eric Ebron’s touchdown was the first rushing touchdown by a Steelers Tight End in team history.

My Thoughts on next week: The Steeler will have a bye-week, I will be posting the snacks so far this season AND I will do the Bye Week report.

This week’s Jersey: Jerome Bettis, 36, Home Black, the second jersey I ever purchased for myself in my life. It still fits and I thought it made sense for alumni weekend!

 

 

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Steelers snap the losing streak!

October 10th, 2021
by admin

The Steelers snapped a three-game losing streak beating the Denver Broncos 27-19, by playing solid defense and running the football. The Steelers got up early, never trailed and made the big plays when needed.

Despite facing a top five run defense, the Steelers ran the ball effectively, going for a season-high 147 yards and taking the air out of the football for most of the game. Najee Harris had the breakout game everyone was waiting for, grinding out 122 yards and averaging 5.3 yards per carry. He missed part of the fourth quarter with what looked like leg cramps, Benny Snell picked up the workload and added 20 more yards. It was the best performance by a Steelers running back tandem in well over a year.

Ben Roethlisberger had a solid if unspectacular game. He passed for 253 yards with two touchdowns. He managed the game well, hit most of the big passes he needed including an opening drive strike to Diontae Johnson that gave the Steelers the lead. The Steelers have now scored on the opening drive twice in two weeks. Johnson had only two catches but raked in 72 yards, and Chase Claypool continues to prove he is a big threat with five catches for 130 yards including a touchdown. With solid protection and running lanes being forced open by the offensive line, the Steelers played their most balance offensive game in over a year. The only negative Sunday is it looks like JuJu Smith-Schuster could be done for the season.

It was a tale of two halves for the defense. The first half, the Broncos had little room to operate and only managed two field goals, one of which was on a Roethlisberger turnover on the Steelers side of the field, the other was a busted running play that went for 49-yards by Javonte Williams late in the second quarter. The front seven held the Broncos to just 57 more yards on the ground and harassed Teddy Bridgewater, Devin Bush chipped in with a huge sack before leaving the game with an injury.

The defense however struggles when the pass rush struggles and in the second half, it was just a step too slow. Teddy Bridgewater racked up big second half numbers and put together a huge fourth quarter, he passed for 232 yards of his 288 yards in the game. In the fourth he connected on two touchdowns, one to Courtland Sutton on a 39-yard catch, where Sutton burned James Pierre and one to Kendall Hilton on a big fourth down conversion. The pass rush all but disappeared, none of the outside linebackers recorded a sack. Crowd favorite Henry Mondeaux recorded the only sack of the half.

The Broncos converted three of four, fourth down tries and were driving for the tying touchdown when James Pierre picked off Bridgewater, thwarting the comeback. It was a good effort by the defense, but they need to react better to adjustments and fix the ailing pass rush.

Give the special teams credit again, they had another good week. Pressley Harvin III had a great bounce back week, nailing two punts for 119 yards including a booming 63 yarder that flipped the field around. Chris Boswell continued his excellent 2021 campaign hitting two field goals. The coverage units were strong, the return units had some penalty issues, but all and all it was another good week.

This was the offensive performance that everyone has been looking for over the last two season. The Steelers need to run the football, play solid defense and take the pressure off Ben Roethlisberger.

Beer We Go Steelers, Beer We Go!

My “GAME BEER” goes to: Najee Harris, he had his first 100+ yard game and solidified the long dormant running game. Also Considered: Little Bos, who again drilled a clutch field goal and was 2-2 (48, 43) on the day and hit a 50+ that was taken off the board on a Broncos penalty.

Beer of the Game: Went with two different Beers this week, Pabst Blue Ribbon Pounders and went with Yuengling Lite from Pottsville Pennsylvania. Both are solid drinkable beers, much like the Steelers defense yesterday, not spectacular but good.

“Steel the Snacks”: KGB was on the shelf this week! I stepped in and made a few different kinds of sliders. Cheeseburger Sliders with American, Hot Sausage Sliders with Provolone and Turkey Burger Sliders with Cheddar. My Dad came for the game for the first time in several season. Hamburgers are a signature dish of Denver and quite frankly I was not interested in making Bull’s balls as a snack, the other Denver ‘favorite’.

My Stat of the week: Of course it is 122 yards for Najee Harris, making him the first Steelers running back to run for 100+ yards since week six last year (James Conner, 101-yards) and the first 100+ yard rushing game for a Steelers rookie since Jaylen Samuels did it against the Patriots in 2018.

My Thoughts on next week: This is a winnable primetime game. The Steelers need to run the ball and they can beat the Seahawks.

This week’s Jersey: L.C. Greenwood, 68, 1933 Throwback, while no one has any idea that it is a Steelers jersey it is one of my favorites and I wear it when we need a big win!

 

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Steelers go down again, this time in Green Bay!

October 3rd, 2021
by admin

The Steelers regression continued Sunday with another lousy performance across all facets of the game losing to the Green Bay Packers 27-17 and falling to 1-3 on the season.

Before everyone buries Ben Roethlisberger, keep in mind that it all starts up front and the offensive line is awful. What has happened to this unit? Last year they couldn’t run the ball, but the protection was solid, this year they can’t do either. The line was absolutely wrecked against a respectable but non-dominant pass rush of the Packers, including watching Trai Turner getting clobbered into Roethlisberger for a strip sack. Dan Moore has played admirably but is clearly not the answer at Left Tackle. They had created early running lanes but being down, allowed the Packers to tee off. Najee Harris had a nice game and was playing well. He racked up 60+ yards on the ground but the Steelers abandoned the running game during the third quarter.

Ben Roethlisberger had a rough game, missing two wide open touchdown passes to JuJu Smith-Schuster. Roethlisberger was harassed all day and could never get set. He clearly is having issues with the lack of protection and had some drive killing miscues in the pass game. The play calling is unoriginal and seems hauntingly similar to last year. Once again, the Steelers faced crucial fourth down conversions, once again they threw short of the sticks and didn’t convert. James Washington and Diontae Johnson both had solid performances in a tough loss. But the offense is simply just a mess.

The defense even with the return of T.J. Watt had a mediocre day. If it all starts up front on offense, the same can be said of the defense, it is clear the Steelers front is missing Stephon Tuitt and Tyson Alualu. Chris Wormley, Isaiah Buggs and Isiahh Loudermilk are not cutting it. The front was thrashed for 130+ yards on the ground. The pass rush was ineffective, T.J. Watt had trouble all game and was basically relegated as a non-factor, despite getting two sacks. Melvin Ingram and Alex Highsmith were also ineffective and were never a factor in the game. Devon Bush checked in with a sack but struggled in coverage.

The secondary without a pass rush, couldn’t hold up. Aaron Rogers carved up the Steelers for a tidy 248 yards but what was most disturbing was the inability to get off the field on third down. The Packers converted 60% of their third downs. The ineffective third down defense doomed any chance of a comeback.

The Special Teams had an uneven performance at best but there is some cause for optimism here. The good, Little Bos drilled a 52-yard field goal on wet grass, using the upright for an assist. Ray-Ray McCloud did a really nice job on returns. Christian Kuntz had a tackle and looks like a nice fit as the Long snapper. The bad; Pressley Harvin had a tough day, booting three punts including one for a paltry 20-yards, nearly guaranteeing a Packers score. Jordan Berry must be clearing his calendar. The Steelers were absolutely hosed by the referee on a blocked kick. Haden was clearly not offsides on the blocked field goal by Minkah Fitzpatrick and of course that isn’t a reviewable play.

The gameplan was terrible and one of Mike Tomlin’s achilleas heels is clock management. The Steelers were trailing by three scores and punted on fourth and short early in the fourth quarter. They also decided to kick deep despite the fact that the defense couldn’t get off the field all day. It sealed their fate. Matt Canada’s offense is strangely familiar to Randy Fichtner 2.0. There is little creativity and way too many pass plays. The Steelers need to figure out how to run the football and figure it out quickly. Forget the idea of Ben getting benched, he will undoubtedly get injured with the protection he is being afforded.

It is going to be a long season.

Beer We Go Steelers, Beer We Go!

My “GAME BEER” goes to: Najee Harris, he had a very good game and again you can see what the Steelers see in him. He was for the most part the lone bright spot in the game. Also considered: Diontae Johnson who had nine catches for 93 yards.

Beer of the Game: Went with IC Light hoping to bring some luck…not so much. KGB went with Corona Light with a lime. D-man had A&W Root Beer!

“Steel the Snacks”: We went with traditional Beer Brats (Grilled) and homemade Cheese Curds made by KGB. Outstanding stuff, we will provide a photo gallery during the bye week of all the “Steel the Snacks”

My Stat of the week: Despite a loss and the mainstream media and fans calling for his head, Ben Roethlisberger racked up his 400th Touchdown Pass in a Hall of Fame career. He is the eighth quarterback to do it. Roethlisberger is seventh all time with 61,149 career passing yards. Roethlisberger’s 170 total victories as a starter is fifth all-time, behind Brady (266 wins), Manning (200), Favre (199) and Brees (181). Between Terry Bradshaw and Ben Roethlisberger the Steelers wandered the quarterback desert, remember that when asking for his benching.

My Thoughts on next week: This team looks extremely mechanical and unoriginal. They need much better play calling and need to get some help on the offensive line. They can pull this out, but need a much better game plan.

This week’s Jersey: “Steelhead” Heyward, 97, Away Jersey, Hoping to spark some pass rush, again clearly didn’t work.

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Steelers drop second in a row!

September 27th, 2021
by admin

The Steelers fell behind and then couldn’t comeback against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Steelers dropped an important division game against the AFC North perennial doormat Bengals. It was a tough loss and despite being only in three games so far, the media is writing the epitaph on Ben Roethlisberger.

I won’t do a full game report, because it is so late in the week. I was traveling for business so this will be abbreviated. Just to be clear, the only reason, is because I was traveling. It is not because the Steelers lost as one of our subscribers suggested.

What I would also point out, I expected to be 2-2 after four games. If the Steelers can salvage next week, they are right where we expected, albeit not how we expected it.

Beer We Go Steelers, Beer We Go!

My “GAME BEER” goes to: Chris Boswell, who drilled the longest kick in the history of Heinz Field. Except for one season, he has been an absolute underappreciated star. Also Considered: Najee Harris who is starting to show signs of why he was a first round pick! Diontae Johnson pulling in 105 yards.

Beer of the Game: I was on the road, so I had a Sullivan Irish Red, real good beer. Because of timing, it was the first time I listened to a game on the radio without Tunch, it was definitely hard. Of course I love Wolf and Bill, but surely Tunch is missed. Tricky week for watching football for me, I was in Saratoga, for long time readers of the Blog, my go to bar was “The Stadium” it unfortunately looks like a victim of Covid. I had to watch in my Hotel on my Ipad.

“Steel the Snacks”: My wife KGB made Coney style dogs with Skyline Chili that looked fantastic. I was homesick for sure!

My Stat of the week: The Steelers NFL all-time leading sack streak finally ended; at 75 games! The Streak started in week 7 of the 2016 season. Keep in mind the Steelers were missing both Alex Highsmith and of course T.J. .

My Thoughts on next week: The Steelers will be huge underdogs, originally, we were slated for the game, with Brother Bill and some friends, but Covid hindered the plan. I wouldn’t sleep on the Steelers just yet, especially if they get back T.J. and Diontae.

This week’s Jersey: JuJu Smith-Schuster, 19, Color Rush, clearly this didn’t bring any luck at all.

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