Archive for September, 2020

Steelers improve to 3-0

September 27th, 2020

Once again, it was a tale of two halves for the Steelers, as they rebounded from a slow start and dominated the Texans for the last 30 minutes of the game. The Steelers ran 75 plays to the Texans 47 plays, beat them in time of possession 36:51 to 23:09 and out gained them by 127 yards. They also had no turnovers for the first time in the last two seasons

The Steelers coaching staff made several important adjustments during the game. After getting torched in the first half by DeShaun Watson for 200+ yards, Keith Butler figured out the right combination of blitzes and coverages to shut out the Texans in the second half. Watson was never able to find his rhythm again and he was harassed all day. Mike Tomlin kept everyone focused and never panicked as the Steelers fell behind early. It was a great effort and it looked like Tomlin was finally going to win a challenge, he didn’t, the Steelers clearly got jobbed on a ball spot, for a first down. Even Gene Steratore agreed with Tomlin.

The defense looked dominant again up front and David Johnson had no room to run. He finished with 23 yards on 13 carries. Tyson Alualu set the point of attack and had an outstanding game, Stephon Tuitt and Cam Heyward have done a tremendous job working together and setting the tone up front. Tuitt put a thumping on Deshaun Watson.

The linebackers had a big game as well, particularly after a mediocre first half. T.J. Watt shined in the spotlight. He played within himself and was able to take what he needed in big moments, including the hit which setup Mike Hilton’s interception. The pressure on Watt was huge and he delivered in a big way. He finished with four tackles and one sack. Vince Williams put together a complete effort, even contributing in coverage. Bud Dupree continues his ascent as one of the best linebackers in football.

The offense is still a work in progress and Ben Roethlisberger still looks rusty. That being written, when they needed to make plays they did. The offensive line decimated Houston as the game went on. Chuks Okarofor handled J.J. Watt all day, the elder Watt recorded four tackles and never sniffed Roethlisberger in the pass rush. James Conner’s resurrection looks to be progressing nicely. He rushed for 109 yards and iced the game in the fourth quarter gaining massive chunks of yards.

Special teams again contributed nicely. The coverage units were spot on and held Houston in check all day. Little Bos banged out two field goals and Ray-Ray McCloud looks like a huge find.

It was the best performance for the Steelers of the season so far.


My “GAME BEER” goes to: Going with T.J. Watt, he dominated the “Watt Bowl” and really stepped up in the second half. Also Considered; Chuks Okorafor who nearly shut out J.J. Watt in a game that garnered national attention, James Conner who imposed his will in the second half, and Keith Butler who made the adjustments to shut out the Texans in the second half.

Where I watched the game: We got up at 6:30AM and caught a ferry back from Connecticut so we could watch at the house with Dante. KGB made Buffalo Chicken Pastries, again the snacks proved timely and they were outrageous! The beer of choice was Montauk Pumpkin Ale. Stayed in the pumpkin theme and the beer was okay, KGB made her Cinnamon Sugar Ring

My Stat of the week: 221st Regular season game, the most in Franchise history, he has had his ups and downs off the field, he gives the Steelers a chance to win every game and is the face of the franchise. I actually was trying to think about it and I believe except for his first game when he relieved Tommy Maddox, I think I have seen EVERY game that Ben has played! Also want to say a prayer for Mike Webster, who Ben passed. Iron Mike deserved a better fate, say a prayer for his family and for him!

My Thoughts on next week: (EDITORS NOTE) The Steelers- Titans game was moved due to Covid-19.

This week’s Jersey: Heath Miller, #83 Black Out, was thinking about the Steelers TE situation and both stepped up in different ways this week. One of my favorite Steelers of all time.


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Steelers survive second half mistakes…beat Broncos!

September 20th, 2020

It was a tale of two halves, the Steelers dominated the first two quarters and then made several key mistakes to almost blow a 14-point lead and the game to the Denver Broncos! The Steelers had the Broncos on the ropes all day but made several key mistakes that nearly cost them victory.

It was an uneven performance for the defense on Sunday. The stats don’t tell the story of the performance either way. The defensive front played well and after some early success shut down Melvin Gordon III. T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree dominated the Broncos rookie tackles and were all over the backfield.  Watt had 2.5 sacks and disrupted several plays. Dupree had a huge game with a sack and a turnover that changed the momentum of the game. He sent Bronco’s starter Drew Lock to the bench with a legal hit. The defensive line had a very good game and Tyson Alualu recorded his first sack and looks to be fitting in well as the Nose Tackle. The front got caught a few times with misdirection, but any straight up running was all but shut down after the first quarter. Devin Bush and Vince Williams teamed up to stifle the run, but both men had tough days in coverage. Bush was targeted on the Broncos first touchdown to Noah Fant and Vince Williams gave up a touchdown to Gordon.

The secondary kept the Broncos passing game in wraps but made several key mistakes and penalties. The referees were overly involved, and it was at the point that every passed thrown resulted in some type of penalty. The biggest of which was a questionable call on Terrell Edmunds that converted a 3rd and 11. Mike Hilton had a great day but was also called on a questionable roughing the passer. The secondary held the Broncos playmakers but never looked totally in synch on the day. Joe Haden and Steven Nelson held Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton to only seven catches. Haden also had an interception that led to a Steelers field goal at the end of the half.

When the Steelers were about to drop the hammer on offense, they made two near fatal mistakes. Ben Roethlisberger had an ill-advised throw on the opening drive of the second half wasting great field position. Roethlisberger again looked rusty, but his numbers were solid passing for 311 yards and two touchdowns, but he missed some needed throws that would have sealed the Broncos fate. He hit nine different receivers including an 84-yard touchdown pass to rookie Chase Claypool. The entire receiving contributed, and each looks like they are settling into key roles. James Washington banged out some tough yards, JuJu Smith-Schuster had seven catches and looks like the possession receiver, Diontae Johnson is settling in as the playmaker. Claypool takes the top off the defense.

The other costly mistake was Benny Snell fumbling in the fourth quarter after the Steelers recorded a safety. It once again revived the Broncos from the dead and kept them in the game, they converted the fumble into a touchdown. Snell had a rough game and wasn’t the force he was just one week earlier.  James Conner came back after a first week injury and grinded out 106 very tough yards. He found very little running room most of the game, but then finally exploded for the game clinching run; a 59-yarder that finally snuffed out the Broncos.

Mark this down as well, the Special Teams contributed and were a key contributor to the Steelers victory yesterday. Ray-Ray McCloud had a 49-yard return and finished with 64 yards, proving again why he beat out the beloved Ryan Switzer. Derek Watt recorded a safety when Broncos Punter dropped a snap. The coverage units were great all day and Diontae Johnson almost had an 81-yard return when it was called back after a questionable clipping penalty on Cam Sutton. Johnson had a 24-yard kick return. The kicking game once again was a positive, with Chris Boswell hitting his only field goal attempt and Dustin Colquitt averaged 41.8 yards per punt and trapped the Broncos twice inside the 20.

It wouldn’t be a Steelers season without Mike Tomlin losing a costly and obvious challenge. The Steelers had the right game plan but just had several lapses that nearly cost them.

In the end the Steelers did enough to push their record to 2-0.


My “GAME BEER” goes to: Bud Dupree, while he only had one sack, his forced fumble set the tone and kept the Broncos on their heels all game. Also Considered; Terrell Edmunds who had the game winning sack. Chase Claypool for his first touchdown pass. James Conner for a great bounce back week.

Where I watched the game: At the house with the KGB and Dante. KGB made Chicken Fritters which were perfect and timely, (Steelers made a huge play when they came out.) The beer of choice was Westhampton Beach Pumpkin Ale. The whole pumpkin thing is lost on me but the beer was good! KGB made hers with a cinnamon/sugar ring.

My Stat of the week: 57,085 total career yards passing for Ben Roethlisberger eclipsing Eli Manning and moving into SEVENTH place on the All-Time list. Manning, Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers will forever be linked together, and they sit 6-7-8 on the list. Roethlisberger is still starting for his original team!

My Thoughts on next week: The Steelers struggle with Mobile Quarterbacks so that is a concern. The key is to contain Dashaun Watson and the Steelers will win handily.

This week’s Jersey: Alejandro Villanueva, #78 Color Rush, this is the ONLY comment we are going to make about NFL Social Justice initiatives. We are 100% behind social justice and we hope systematic racism is ended in our lifetime. We back Big Al all the way and whatever he feels is the best way to affect that, we support. This is a blog about football and drinking beer and we are going to keep it that way.


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Steelers beat the Giants to open 2020!

September 15th, 2020

It was a familiar formula from days past, play stout defense and wait for the offense to make the plays, it worked then, and it worked last night. The Steelers played tough punishing defense, Ben Roethlisberger made timely plays in his triumphant return and Benny Snell provided the power running game.

Ben Roethlisberger looked a little out of synch in his first few series but then turned it up at the end of the second half, leading an eight play 78-yard drive that ended with a 13-yard touchdown pass to James Washington. Roethlisberger was playing in his first game in 365 days and finished 21 for 32 with 229 yards passing. He hit eight different receivers and threw three touchdowns.  JuJu Smith-Schuster had six catches with 69 yards and two touchdown passes. Diontae Johnson had six catches for 57 yards.

Benny Snell filled in for the injured James Conner, who went out in the second quarter. Snell started slowly as well but also turned it up finishing with 113 yards on the ground. He broke the Giants back with a 30-yard fourth quarter run. Setting up the final touchdown to seal the victory.

While the offense played well, the defense played outstanding and absolutely decimated the Giants running game. The Steelers front seven set the tone, holding the Giants to a field goal after a special teams fumble by Diontae Johnson. Saquon Barkley had no room to run and finished with SIX yards on 15 carries. The Giants could only muster 29 yards on 20 carries overall and were never able to get going. Once again Stephon Tuitt proved why he is so valuable. He was a difference maker and had a sack in his return after missing ten weeks last year. Tyson Alualu and Isiah Buggs acquitted themselves nicely in replacing the departed Javon Hargrave. “Steel Head” Heyward had a big interception that ended a 19 play 87 yard drive that saw the Giants come away with no points.

T.J. Watt created a huge turnover that helped setup the Steelers first touchdown. It took pressure off the offense and kept the Giants on their heels. Bud Dupree hammered Daniel Jones all night, causing the Cam Interception. When he was double teamed, the Steelers sent Mike Hilton off the corner. Dupree disrupted the Giants all game. Vince Williams was a run stuffer in the middle and Devin Bush led the team in tackles. The secondary played well for the most part and except for one lapse kept the Giants in check.

The Special teams like EVERY season is a work in progress. Diontae Johnson had a crucial fumble to start the game, Little Bos Chris Boswell missed a PAT the coverages were okay. Dustin Colquitt who recently joined the team, did a nice job booting four punts for over 180 yards. Ray-Ray McCloud had a nice return for 33 yards.

The Steelers had a very good game plan and were ready for everything the Giants threw at them!


My “GAME BEER” goes to: Ben Roethlisberger, when you have a Hall Of Fame Quarterback you have a chance to win every week. It was great to see Ben out there. Also Considered: Everyone of the players who contributed to the front seven. They were unstoppable.

Where I watched the game: At the house with the family and my best friend who is a Giants fan. KGB made Primanti Brothers sandwiches which were outstanding. The beer of choice was Iron City to kick it off but we switched over to Miller High Life….not a typo.

My Stat of the week: It has to be; SIX yards by all world running back Saquon Barkley. He had no room to run and was snuffed out all day.

My Thoughts on next week: The Steelers roll into the most unusual opening game in the history of Heinz Field. Covid-19 will leave Heinz Field barren. The Broncos are coming to down after a tough loss. Look for the same formula as this week, with the Steelers pressing Drew Lock into a mistake.

This week’s Jersey: Ben Roethlisberger, #7 Home, It was a tribute to a player the Steelers desperately missed.



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Your 2020 Pittsburgh Steelers…for now!

September 8th, 2020
Pittsburgh Steelers 2020 Roster
5 Joshua Dobbs QB 25 6′ 3″ 216 lbs 4 Reunited, an upgrade over the Duck
7 Ben Roethlisberge QB 38 6′ 5″ 240 lbs 17 Gives the Steelers the best chance to win
2 Mason Rudolph QB 25 6′ 5″ 235 lbs 3 Acquitted himself nicely before the concussion
30 James Conner RB 25 6′ 1″ 233 lbs 4 If he stays healthy gives the Steelers a great RB
26 Anthony McFarland Jr. RB 21 5′ 8″ 193 lbs R Change of base back with explosive tools
38 Jaylen Samuels RB 24 6′ 0″ 225 lbs 3 Capable back and solid receiver our of the backfield
24 Benny Snell Jr. RB 22 5′ 10″ 224 lbs 2 Had some flashes in 2019, solid backup
44 Derek Watt FB 27 6′ 2″ 234 lbs 5 Classic throwback fullback, who will open up running game
11 Chase Claypool WR 22 6′ 4″ 238 lbs R Has all the tools and intangibles to be a superstar
18 Diontae Johnson WR 24 5′ 10″ 183 lbs 2 Had a breakout year and special teams ace
X Ray-Ray McCloud III WR 23 5′ 9″ 190 lbs 3 Will get a chance on special teams
19 JuJu Smith-Schuster WR 23 6′ 1″ 215 lbs 4 Still only 23 and his best football is ahead of him
13 James Washington WR 24 5′ 11″ 213 lbs 3 Shows flashes but needs to be consistent, make or break year
85 Eric Ebron TE 27 6′ 4″ 253 lbs 7 Finally gives the Steelers a second TE option
81 Zach Gentry TE 23 6′ 8″ 265 lbs 2 Classic big body, blocking TE
89 Vance McDonald TE 30 6′ 4″ 267 lbs 8 Can be an elite TE if he stays healthy
60 J.C. Hassenauer C 26 6′ 2″ 295 lbs 1 Not sure he will stick the whole season
53 Maurkice Pouncey C 31 6′ 4″ 304 lbs 11 One of the best Centers in football,
66 David DeCastro G 30 6′ 5″ 316 lbs 9 One of the best guards in football
69 Kevin Dotson G 23 6′ 4″ 321 lbs R Blue collar classic Steelers lineman prospect
61 Stefen Wisniewski G 31 6′ 3″ 305 lbs 10 Veteran Lineman who can play inside
72 Zach Banner OT 26 6′ 8″ 360 lbs 4 Will get a chance to start on the Right side, Burgh cult hero
71 Matt Feiler OT 28 6′ 6″ 330 lbs 4 Will move inside to G and be a road grater, GO HUSKIES
76 Chukwuma Okorafor OT 23 6′ 6″ 320 lbs 3 Could see significant playing time if Banner doesn’t produce
78 Alejandro Villanueva OT 31 6′ 9″ 320 lbs 6 Needs a return to pro-bowl form after tough 2019 campaign
95 Chris Wormley NT 26 6′ 5″ 300 lbs 4 Will get the first shot at being the Nose in the 3-4 Alignment
94 Tyson Alualu DE 33 6′ 3″ 304 lbs 11 Great find and plays well when called upon
96 Isaiah Buggs DE 24 6′ 3″ 295 lbs 2 Will see more action this year, great tool set
91 Stephon Tuitt DE 27 6′ 6″ 303 lbs 7 A difference maker on defense, needs to stay healthy
73 Carlos Davis DT 24 6′ 2″ 320 lbs R Solid run stopper, will push for playing time
97 Cameron Heyward DT 31 6′ 5″ 295 lbs 10 Steel Head is the heart and should of the defense, elite performer
92 Olasunkanmi Adeniyi OLB 22 6′ 1″ 248 lbs 3 Pass rush specialist will fill the Chickillo role
55 Devin Bush ILB 22 5′ 11″ 224 lbs 2 Had a very solid year last year, needs to keep getting better
48 Bud Dupree OLB 27 6′ 4″ 269 lbs 6 Breakout year and 1/2 of the best OLB tandem in the NFL
54 Ulysees Gilbert III ILB 23 6′ 0″ 230 lbs 2 Will have a chance to start next to Bush this year
56 Alex Highsmith OLB 23 6′ 4″ 242 lbs R High character, good hustle edge rushing prospect
41 Robert Spillane ILB 24 6′ 1″ 229 lbs 2 Backup and special teams player
90 T.J. Watt OLB 25 6′ 4″ 252 lbs 4 Outstanding talent, who forms the other 1/2 of the best OLB tandem in the league
98 Vince Williams ILB 30 6′ 1″ 233 lbs 8 Still strong against the run, but struggles in coverage
23 Joe Haden CB 31 5′ 11″ 195 lbs 11 Great CB and great locker room presence
28 Mike Hilton CB 26 5′ 9″ 184 lbs 4 Solid Nickel and does what he is asked in any formation
31 Justin Layne CB 22 6′ 2″ 192 lbs 2 Exciting prospect who will have a bigger role this year
22 Steven Nelson CB 27 5′ 11″ 194 lbs 6 Quietly had a tremendous performance last year.
X James Pierre CB 23 6′ 2″ 185 lbs R Developmental prospect who opened eyes in camp
20 Cameron Sutton CB 25 5′ 11″ 188 lbs 4 Make or break year for a solid contributor
27 Marcus Allen S 24 6′ 2″ 215 lbs 2 Big hitting Safety who will play the Box ILB/Safety spot
37 Jordan Dangerfield S 29 5′ 11′ 199 lbs 4 Quietly has contributed over his tenure
21 Sean Davis S 26 6′ 1″ 202 lbs 5 Back in the Black and Gold, injuries sidelined a promising career
34 Terrell Edmunds S 23 6′ 1″ 217 lbs 3 Needs to play more consistent football
39 Minkah Fitzpatrick S 23 6′ 1″ 207 lbs 3 The definition of a game changing player, outstanding season
Special Teams
9 Chris Boswell K 29 6′ 2″ 185 lbs 6 Bounced back last year to form, after rough 18
X Dustin Colquitt P 38 6′ 3″ 210 lbs 16 Legacy player who replaced the inconsistent Jordan Berry
57 Kameron Canaday LS 28 6′ 4″ 245 lbs 4 Steady if unspectacular player

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