Archive for November, 2021

Steelers get clobbered in Cincinnati!

November 29th, 2021

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.


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

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.


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

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.


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

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.


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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