Archive for November, 2017

Steelers avoid the upset!

November 27th, 2017

The Steelers avoided a huge Packer upset, squeaking out a 31-28 victory over a game but outmanned team! Led by Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell and most of all Antonio Brown, the Steelers did enough to put themselves in position to win, with Chris Boswell kicking a career-long 53-yard field goal as time expired.

Antonio Brown put on an absolute show, making several clutch catches and leading the team with 10 receptions for 169 yards and two touchdowns. No catch was bigger than his fourth quarter sideline grab for 14 yards that all but won the game. The catch was unbelievable and it showed what a special player he is.

The offense turned the ball over three times, but for the most part moved the ball at will. Ben Roethlisberger put together a good game racking up his second four touchdown game in two weeks. He finished with a whopping 351 yards and 106.8 rating. The receivers didn’t help him with multiple drops by five different receivers. All the players somewhat redeemed themselves, but it was apparent that JuJu Smith-Schuster and Vance McDonald were missed. It was great to see Martavis Bryant make a big impact.

Le’Veon Bell had a terrific game with 183 yards from scrimmage. He banged out 95 yards on the ground and had plenty of room to run all day. He had 88 yards passing, taking every check down Ben needed.

The defense had a terrible game. Despite playing against a Quarterback who struggled in all his starts, he lit the Steelers defense up and they looked ordinary. Artie Burns was torched all game, blowing coverages and missing tackles. Ryan Shazier whiffed on the 54-yard screen play to Jamal Williams. The Packers marched down the field and tied the game with just over two minutes left.

The Steelers clearly miss Joe Haden, as the secondary has given up touchdown passes of 39, 54 and 55 yards in the first half, with nine of the 10 longest pass plays this season having come in Haden’s absence.

The front seven dialed up the pressure in the second half, registering four sacks, with T.J. Watt coming back from coverage to absolutely level Brett Hundley and keep the score tied. Cameron Heyward had a great second half and the Packers registered only 80 yards on the ground. But letting a backup march down the field and tie the game was very frustrating.

Little Bos missed an extra point for the first time at home, but drilled the game winning field goal for 53 yards to win the game. It was the longest field goal in Heinz Field history.

It looked a lot like another “Tomlin Letdown” but the Steelers recovered in time to push the record to 9-2!


My “GAME BEER” goes to: Antonio Brown, who absolutely saved the day. The Stats are impressive but that is like saying Rembrandt used to paint. He is a complete artist and a game changer, his last drive performance absolutely won the game. Also Considered: Little Bos, who rebounded to kick the longest field goal in Heinz Field history!

Where I watched the game: Back at the house in front of the TV and a great fire with KGB. The Janick was at the game with Captain Jr.! We didn’t have snacks because it was late and we went with old reliable Miller Lite. Because, of my business affiliations with Wisconsin, Bill and I had some text chains going! In the end it is an easier day at work today with a Steelers win!

My Stat of the week: Going with 4! Four Touchdowns thrown by Ben Roethlisberger for the second week in a row, despite two picks he was in command all game. He also had some mobility that the Packers had no answer for.

My Thoughts on next week: Very interesting game, the Packers were walloped by the Rabirds at home…which is why this game scares me! Without Aaron Rogers this is a different team clearly. Look for a much tougher contest with the Steelers pulling it out.

This week’s Jersey: Steelers Throwback 1967, Home #74, with ¾ sleeve.


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Steeler Demolish Titans!

November 17th, 2017

The Steelers absolutely unloaded on the Tennessee Titans Thursday night. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 299 yards and four touchdowns three of them to Antonio Brown. The patched up secondary had four interceptions and the front seven completely dominated the Titans running game.

The offensive game plan was about Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown and the Titans had no answer for either., Ben Roethlisberger hit Antonio Brown for 41 yards for a touchdown on the first series that set the tone. He engineered scoring drives of 75, 75 and 51 yards by completing 17 of 20 passes for 165 yards and three TDs on the first three possessions of the second half and pulled away from the Titans.

The defense had a big game, registering five sacks and holding the Titans running game to just 52 yards. The secondary put together a solid game with four interceptions including one by Coty Sensabaugh, who was filling in for the injured Joe Haden. Marcus Mariotta threw for 300 yards but he was never effective and he scored on a busted running play. The Titans running game never got on track, despite several missed tackles.

It was a great bounce back week for the Steelers coming off a terrible game in Indianapolis. The offensive game plan was changed to be more pass focused on the Steelers drop 40 points on a Dick LeBeau led defense which harassed Roethlisberger all day. It was a great victory in tough circumstances.


My “GAME BEER” goes to: Ben Roethlisberger, for showing that he still can get it done. He is now starting to kick it in gear! Also Considered: Antonio Brown, who had 10 catches for 144 yards! Mike Hilton and Coty Sensabaugh for each grabbing an interception!

Where I watched the game: Buckley’s for the first half with KGB! We had Wings and Buffalo Chicken‘Skins. Then my beloved Irish Pub turns into “amateur night” so we went across the street to Sea Cove, for the second half where we finished the game! KGB “won” the Steelers jersey giveaway #78 Villanueva! Beer of Choice was Miller Lite and Narraganset Lager. (If it is good enough for Captain Quint it’s good enough for you!)  KGB had Sam Winter and Harp!

My Stat of the week: Going with 4! Four Touchdowns thrown by Ben Roethlisberger and Four Interceptions by the Steelers rebuilt secondary! Both impressive, considering Ben was harassed all day by the Titans pass rush and the secondary was playing without Joe Haden.

My Thoughts on next week: Very interesting game, the Packers were walloped by the Rabirds at home…which is why this game scares me! Without Aaron Rogers this is a different team clearly. Look for a much tougher contest with the Steelers pulling it out.

This week’s Jersey: Because it was a Thursday Night Game I didn’t wear a jersey this week. Rocked a Steelers tie to work and of course Beer We Go 2017 Shirt to the Bar.



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Comeback Complete!

November 12th, 2017

The Steelers recovered from a terrible start, rallied back from a 14-point deficit and were able to walk away with a victory against a game but mediocre Colt’s team. The game was about as bad as the Steelers can play and still pull out a victory.

The offensive approach was pretty straight forward with running Le’Veon Bell and the Colts were clearly prepared for it. They loaded up the box and he rarely found running room. Bell gutted out 80 yards rushing on 26 attempts, with 40 coming on 17 rushes in the second half, for the day he finished with a mediocre average of 3.1 yards per carry.

With the running game nearly shut down, the Steelers relied on Ben Roethlisberger. He completed four passes for 66 yards, including a huge play to Antonio Brown for 32 yards that cemented the victory on the last drive. He also converted a two-point conversion to Martavis Bryant to tie the game, despite having serious issues with the play calling from Todd Haley. After missing several throws in the first half, he finished with 236 yards and two touchdown passes spreading the ball around hitting six different receivers. Ju-Ju Smith-Schister had another big game with five catches for 97 yards with one of the TDs.

With a week pass rush in the first half, the Steelers secondary had a second rough week in a row.  Artie Burns had a tough game and Joe Haden was injured and will miss significant time. In the past four games the Steelers have allowed completions of 43, 44, 57, 60 and 61 yards. This is beginning to become an area of concern.

The Special teams once again reared its ugly head. A delay of game penalty on the two-point conversion moved the Steelers back, they had to go for two, because they had an extra point block, which Jesse JAMES They also had two successive holding calls on a Jordan Berry punt, which cost over 20 yards. “Little Bos” missed a Field Goal and had an extra point blocked. It was another disastrous day for special teams.

In the end the Steelers played terrible, but a win is a win and they are now at 7-2!


My “GAME BEER” goes to: Ben Roethlisberger, who after an awful first half rallied and led a great comeback! Also Considered: Vance McDonald who had his first Steelers TD.

Where I watched the game: Back at the house for basically the last 1:00PM game of the season! We had pot stickers as the game snack and I could never find the “right” beer for the game. Went from Shock Top Pumpkin to Corona Light, to Natural Ice of all things! Only had to be warned once on my behavior, despite the game being awful. We had a great fire and KGB finished with Stuffed Peppers for dinner! It was a great way to spend our last 1PM game.

My Stat of the week: This is sort of game related, 15 as in 15 losses to teams with a massive 28-93 sub .500 record since 2009. Despite playing the team with the worst defense in football, the Steelers nearly were shutout in the first half? The Colts nearly pulled the upset. This has been the one TERRIBLE mark against Mike Tomlin’s career.

My Thoughts on next week: Extremely fast turnaround as the Steelers play the Titans on Thursday Night football. The Steelers lost the last meeting on Thursday night football as Bill and I went to the game. I think the Steelers play it close but win the game.

This week’s Jersey: Franco Harris, #32, Salute to Service which I wore in honor of Veterans Day!



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First Half Report

November 11th, 2017

Because of the Bye Week, this is literally the half way point in the season!

What has gone right? 

The Steelers sit atop the division and are tied for the best record in the AFC, with the interesting thing being, they haven’t played their best football yet! They also have a commanding division lead over the Bengals and the Ravens.

Antonio Brown is a legitimate superstar and has cemented his reputation as a big game player! T.J. Watt has been fun when healthy. Le’Veon Bell continues to get better after a lethargic start. Who doesn’t love Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster?

The pass defense has been excellent with great coverage provided by Joe Haden and a still developing Artie Burns. Sean Davis continues to develop. It doesn’t hurt having a great pass rush, provided by T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree.

Despite having the best record, it was a rough beginning of the season.

What has gone wrong?

Ben Roethlisberger has not played good football. While he tends to always have a meltdown game or two, this season he has not looked good, the Steelers are winning in spite of his play. He usually gives the Steelers a chance to win every week, this season he has struggled.

The offense has not clicked despite an excess of talent. The 30 points a game goal seems like a distant memory as they have not achieved it all season. Martavis Bryant went from being a HUGE weapon to a huge distraction. What happened to Eli Rogers? He has been terrible. Who is calling some of these plays? The offensive line has been without Marcus Gilbert almost the whole season.

Stop me if you have read this before, the Steelers lose to an inferior opponent on the road. They were gashed in Chicago by an under manned Bears team, easily. The Steelers run defense is leaky. While the stats don’t tell the story and the main stream media is making it worse than it is, it is a cause for concern. Getting gashed in Chicago and getting beat up by the Jaguars was scary.

I always try and keep this about football, but the Steelers completely botched the National Anthem protest in Chicago and then botched it even further trying to explain it away.


Reasons for Concern: The run defense is a little soft and this team isn’t going anywhere unless Ben Roethlisberger takes them there.

Offensive Game Beer: It has to be Antonio Brown again, he is such a huge factor for the Steelers offense and he has been awesome.

Defensive Game Beer: T.J. Watt, who has shown flashes of brilliance and is second on the team in sacks.

Disappointment of the first half: Eli Rogers, has completely disappeared and Martavis Bryant has been a complete jerk. Both need to step it up.

 Most Improved: I am going with Sean Davis who is anchoring the secondary.


QB: C+, Big Ben has not played well this season. He seems to have lost his feel. Still believe in Big Ben!

RB: B-, Le’Veon Bell is an outstanding back who really needed camp. He had a tough start but is starting to break out. James Conner is stepping up his game and continues to develop.

WR: B+, This crew is still the best in the league but had a rough start, they have a superstar in Antonio Brown, who is a game changer and they have a great rookie in Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster who has stepped up but they have gotten little production from anyone else. Martavis can still be a big play threat.

TE: C+, The Steelers haven’t gotten the production out of Vance McDonald that was expected. Jesse James is productive if unspectacular and Xavier Grimble is a good blocker.

OL: B+, This could have easily been an A, but they need to bully more teams on the run. The pass protection has been very solid. Once Gilbert gets back this will be the best unit in the league.

DL: B-, The Bears Game and the Jaguars game were dark spots. They need to put Stephon Tuitt, Javon Hargrave and Steelhead Heyward on the field and this will be a unit that is hard to beat. Tyson Alualu has done a nice job in Tuitt’s absence.

LB: B+, T.J Watt and Bud Dupree have both played well. Anthony Chickillo has been good when called upon. Vince Williams has been very good and Ryan Shazier is one of the best LBs in football. Where is James Harrison? Harrison should see more time in the second half.

DBs: B+, The Secondary has answered many questions in the first half. Joe Haden was a terrific addition, Artie Burns is developing nicely as is Sean Davis. William Gay and Mike Mitchell have been solid veterans. J.J. Wilcox and Robert Golden have been capable backups.

Specials: B, Little Bos has been terrific all season. Jordan Berry has struggled this year. Tyler Matakevich has been great on special teams as has Robert Golden. The return game is still a work in progress.

Coaching: B, The coaches are doing okay but the offense is an enigma right now. The record and where they are in the standings is why this is a B. They have not played great football. This team can clearly be better.

What does part two look like: The Steelers have the division well within sight and a first-round bye is well within reach if they can stay strong. They need to get Ben back on track and get the offensive line healthy again. They also need to not lose focus. This team has the opportunity to win anywhere from 11 to 13 games if they can stay focused and beat beatable teams. Most likely the Steelers should go 6-2 down the stretch putting them at 12-4, which would win the division by a mile and setup a first-round bye.


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