Archive for December, 2019

Steelers hold on to beat the Cardinals!

December 9th, 2019

The Steelers put together their third win a row, beating the Arizona Cardinals. The formula for success is a tough defense and a timely offense and it has held up now for three weeks.

“Duck” Hodges outplayed 1st-Round pick Kyler Murray running a conservative offense without his two best playmakers again. Hodges finished with 152 Yards one touchdown and scrambled for 34 yards. He played mistake free football and when he needed to make a play he did it!

Diontae Johnson had the best game of his short career. He ran back an 85-Yard punt return that put the Steelers up by two scores. He also caught a touchdown on a quick 2- yard out route. He also reversed fields for fourteen yards and showed his play making ability. He also rushed for 16-yards on a reverse. It was a great day. Deon Cain made a tremendous catch when targeted and James Washington continues to be a big play threat.

The running game racked up 140 very tough yards. Benny Snell Jr. was the workhorse and made the tough yards, he grinded out 41 yards on some tough carries, he did have a very costly fumble. Kerrith Whyte has been a great find, he had the splash plays and flashed signs of brilliance with 41 yards also.

While the offense was sturdy, the defense was spectacular! The front seven contained Kyler Murray and forced three turnovers. There was never room to move and he never had time to set his feet and throw. Bud Dupree and T.J. Watt are becoming the best one-two punch in the league on the outside. They combined for a sack and interception and seven tackles! Cam Heyward’s stats will not show it, but he set the tone and was a force in the middle. The middle was solid with great performances by Vince Williams and Mark Barron. The Cardinals were held to just 71 yards on the ground and 165 net yards in the air!

That doesn’t happen without a tremendous performance by the secondary. Joe Haden continued his big game heroics. He had two interceptions including the game clincher. Minkah Fitzpatrick spied Murray and he never was able to get outside contain. Steve Nelson and Terrell Edmunds tied for the team lead in tackles.

The special teams was great…ahem… not counting some type of fake punt or something by Jordan Berry, which was a huge debacle. The coverage units were good. Little Bos’s comeback continues!

Great job by the Coaching who had the answers for Kyler Murray and didn’t get stuck in the classic Tomlin trap game! For the record Mike Tomlin will now be second behind Don Shula with the most consecutive non-losing seasons. Keep in mind that the Steelers are using an undrafted fourth string Quarterback and he has been without either of his best playmakers for almost a month, yet somehow the Steelers are in the playoff hunt!

The good news is, I watched the game film, so I didn’t see how bad the refs were!

BEER WE GO STEELERS, BEER WE GO!

My “GAME BEER” goes to: Diontae Johnson, who had a great bounce back game. It is a big game after a few weeks of mistake riddled performances. Also Considered: The outside linebacker duo of Bud Dupree and T.J. Watt are on fire right now. Joe Haden is having a Pro-Bowl caliber season and had the interception to seal the win.

Where I watched the game: Trick question this week. For the first time since 2006, I missed the majority of the game. We had a family party at a catering hall, I caught some of the game on the Sunday Ticket App and watched some of the play by play on Bleacher Report. I watched the game film this morning and got to review it. The Beer of choice was Peroni…yesterday! None this morning for the game film!

My Stat of the week: Thirteen seasons and Mike Tomlin has not had a losing record! The Steelers have a very good chance of returning to the playoffs and Coach Tomlin is a huge reason for that!

My Thoughts on next week: Going to be an old-fashioned defensive punch out! Every game has playoff implications. Look for a rough showdown and the Steelers out lasting the Bills!

This week’s Jersey: Mike Webster, #52, Home jersey, one of the greatest players of all time! God Bless Iron Mike!

 

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Steelers avenge Browns loss!

December 2nd, 2019

The Steelers used two rookies and made a big statement with a come from behind win over the loudmouth underperforming Cleveland Browns. Devlin “Duck” Hodges and Benny Snell led the Steelers offense and Bud Dupree and Joe Haden led the Steelers defense. It was a redemption game for Mike Tomlin who clearly out coached Freddie Kitchens.

The Browns started fast, scoring on two of the first three drives and then disappeared. The defense settled in and made the necessary adjustments, after giving up 91 yards in the first half on the ground, the Browns managed just 15 more yards for the rest of the game. Javon Hargrave and Cam Heyward set the tone. Hargrave had a huge sack of Baker Mayfield taking the Browns out of field goal range and Cam Heyward recovered a fumble that led to a Steelers score.

Bud Dupree and T.J. Watt gave the Browns all they could handle on the outside, Dupree had 1.5 sacks and Watt had a big sack and several pressures. The constant pressure from the outside kept Mayfield on the run and this time the whole defense did a better job of keeping Mayfield in the pocket, something that killed the Steelers in the first matchup.

The secondary played another top-notch game, holding Mayfield to less than two hundred yards. He never completed a pass of more than 23 yards and even that was controversial. The refs gave Jarvis Landry a gift catch on a play that should have never been overturned. Odell Beckham disappeared in the game and was never a factor. Joe Haden sealed the win with a big interception with about a minute left.

The offense looked better under Hodges. He played well after the first two series and made some nice throws. He still needs development and lacks pocket presence, but his first start was clearly a success. James Washington is beginning to develop into the big play threat the Steelers envisioned, he finished with four catches for 111 yards and a 44-yard touchdown that he was interfered with on. Vance McDonald finally got back into the passing game. Even Nick Vannett had a catch. Diontae Johnson had a tough day and made some key mistakes, including running the wrong route on Hodges only turnover.

Benny Snell did a workman like job carrying 16 times on the ground for 63 yards. He also had a very big 11-yard run that helped the Steelers escape their own goal line, after another botched call by the referees. Jaylen Samuels did a nice job as the third down back and the wildcat quarterback. The offensive line pushed the Browns front all over the field.

The Special teams had several key contributions including Chris Boswell hitting two field goals and Kerrith Whyte having the longest return of the season. He has carved a role for himself as the return man. The coverage units were tight and kept the Browns in check.

Hats off to Mike Tomlin, whose team was focused and ready for a tough game. They never panicked when down and had the answers for a talented yet undisciplined Browns team. The play calling is a little suspect, but when you beat your arch-rivals with your fourth string quarterback and without either of your best playmakers, you are a great coach.

The refs ARE HORRIBLE! This crew blew several calls and might be the slowest crew in the league. Another awful week.

It was two weeks late, but the Steelers have now put the Browns almost completely out of the playoff picture.

BEER WE GO STEELERS, BEER WE GO!

My “GAME BEER” goes to: Duck Hodges, who performed admirably and made the needed adjustments, he is clearly a work in progress, but did what was needed to win. Also Considered: Joe Haden, who had the game clinching interception. Mike Tomlin, who was clearly the difference between the two teams and Bud Dupree, who forced a fumble and had 1.5 sacks.

Where I watched the game: At the house in front of the fireplace, with the Tailgate kid D-Man and KGB! Little Miss Tailgate had to go back to college before the game. KGB made Thanksgiving Fritters out of the leftovers and Stuffing coated hot dogs with mustard gravy. The game turned when the snacks showed up! PHENOMENAL! KGB had Iron City and D-man had Barqs Root Beer, I had one of the last of my 16ounce IC Lights from the ‘Burgh trip!

My Stat of the week: 1-1 the Steelers split with the Browns for the first time since 2014 and the Browns have not swept the Steelers since 1988! After all the talk, their idiot coach wearing an obnoxious t-shirt, they came up empty again! It was the 16th straight home win for the Steelers against the Browns.

My Thoughts on next week: This is the classic Tomlin trap game, a road game against an inferior team, the Cardinals. The Steelers need a big win here to hold their playoff spot. Look for another tough close win!

This week’s Jersey: Dermonti Dawson, #63, Throwback 1968 Home jersey, I was hoping this would have been the throwback used this season. It was designed by Ambassador Rooney.

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