Archive for January, 2022

Big Ben calls it a career!

January 28th, 2022

Ben Roethlisberger has retired from the Pittsburgh Steelers. Since this blog started he has always been on the Steelers, it is a strange feeling!

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Season comes to an end as the Steelers fall in Kansas City!

January 17th, 2022

There would be no Hollywood ending for Ben Roethlisberger as the Chiefs dismantled the Steelers 42-21…

The Steelers hung in there for about 25 minutes and then the Chiefs hit the gas and left the Black and Gold in the dust for the game and the season, handily winning by 21 points and it wasn’t even that close. The gap in talent and innovation on offense between these two teams was on full display.

For the most part the Steelers star players, played well, and it was also apparent that they had so many holes that a handful of players were not going to beat the defending AFC champions. The Chiefs got on a roll and never looked back, scoring 21 points in the last five minutes of the half and then scoring 21 points on their first three possessions of the second half. The Steelers offense continued their embarrassing first half scoring drought. Once it got into a shootout you knew there would be no answer.

Not too much to write here. If you look back at the last half of the season, it reads the same. The offense is inept, the defense runs out of gas and is over exposed and the special teams does something lousy that jams the Steelers up. This weekend also felt like the changing of the guard in the AFC with the Patriots and Steelers both being beaten handily.

It is going to be a transitional offseason.


My “GAME BEER” goes to: Tough but I am going with Cam Heyward, who was a one-man wrecking crew, literally and figuratively. He played hard and deserved better, than what he got this year. Also Considered: T.J. Watt who made several big plays.

Beer of the Game: Had to go IC Light and Modello for the game. Always go back to your roots and dance with who brung you. KGB had the Modello. We also had a little Wyoming Rye Whiskey.

“Steel the Snacks”: Once again went big on the snacks, with everything from Capelini cakes, to Spinach dip bites, we also brought in two different kinds of wings, Boneless and Regular wings which I prefer.

My Stat of the week:  SEVEN punts in the first half, the offense has been a disaster the second half of the season and this sums it up perfectly. It was very clear from the beginning that they went with a similar game plan. Too many mistakes, not push from the offensive line and not enough innovation. It was a dismal performance for the offense.

My Thoughts on next week: It is going to be a long and difficult offseason. The feeling was this was a rebuilding year, but Ben was back, and the Steelers pulled a miracle to get in the playoffs. The Browns look like they are about to take another Cleveland swan dive, and they are getting ready to run Baker Mayfield out of town. The Ravens always put a good product on the field and have the least complicated effective offense in football the Bengals made the biggest strides this season and look like they will be the team to beat for the next few seasons. The Steelers will wander the wilderness for a few years now. I correctly predicted the Steelers would finish four and two in the division and most likely hit second place…I never saw the Bengals winning the division and the Browns finishing in last place.

This week’s Jersey: Ben Roethlisberger, 7, Home Black, ran this back again, knowing this would most likely be Ben’s last game. The Jersey will be retired for two seasons and then join the historic Jersey collection.

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Steelers find a way!

January 10th, 2022


The Steelers found a way to beat the Ravens in overtime. The Colts took the upset loss to the Jaguars and the Raiders and Chargers didn’t tie…despite their best efforts to do so, and suddenly all is right for one more week in the world of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

As the formula has been this season, the Steelers started slow, had trouble running the ball and then used another fourth quarter comeback to send their game to overtime. The defense held, Ben Roethlisberger drove down the field and Chris Boswell delivered a game winner! And T.J. Watt also tied the sack record two times…with only one time counting.

Was there even a doubt that this game would come down to the wire and that Ben Roethlisberger who is surely playing his last game at M&T stadium would lead the Steelers to victory over his most competitive and heated rival. The stats only partially tell the story, but he was clearly the difference maker in the game, making the throws that the younger, stronger Tyler Huntley didn’t. Roethlisberger finished his regular season finale 30-44 for 244 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

He nearly pulled the fourth quarter comeback, leading the Steelers on a 10-play touchdown drive with just under three minutes left, and a four play drive that fell a yard short, after the defense couldn’t hold the lead. Saving his best for last, Roethlisberger orchestrated a 15 play, 65-yard masterpiece converting two third downs and a big 4th-and-8 to setup the game winning field goal.

Also on the overtime drive, an injured Najee Harris, with help from Chase Claypool, busted his longest and most significant run of the day, a 15-yard scramble to make the field goal a no doubter. The running game never got going and the Steelers settled for just 79 yards on the ground, but they made the plays they needed to make.

The receivers were thin and Ray-Ray McCloud, Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson played the majority of the snaps. There were key drops but also key plays made. None bigger than McCloud’s 4th-and-8th catch that all but sealed the win. Diontae Johnson chipped in with a big catch on a third down conversion and Chase Claypool scored the only touchdown and was the teams leading rusher by yardage. Pat Freiermuth and Zach Gentry combined for 10 catches and 92 yards.

The defense was once against gashed for an insane 249 yards, with Latavius Murray ripping off 150 of the yards, scoring the only Baltimore touchdown. It was not a great game for the front seven, with the noted exception of Cam Heyward, who was a wrecking crew, registering six tackles and one of the three sacks collected. T.J. Watt made history with his record tying 22.5 sack of the season. Watt has been an absolute force this year and his play was unbelievable given he was doubled and tripled team the whole day.

The secondary chipped in with some big plays. Cam Sutton had a red zone interception and Terrell Edmunds grabbed an errant Huntley pass that was headed for Mark Andrews. Tyler Huntley never really tested the secondary after that and when he did, the plays were made. Minkah Fitzpatrick had a game saving breakup of a crisp pass to Marquise Brown late in the fourth quarter.

The Special teams had a positive impact. Ray-Ray McCloud had his best game of the season in the return game and helped the Steelers flip the field. Chris Boswell was borderline spectacular drilling three field goals including the game winner in overtime. Pressley Harvin’s return was mediocre and is becoming a huge liability.

As for the coaching, what can you say except it was an outstanding job with a team that is severely limited. The Steelers have trailed more minutes than any team in the NFL, except for the Texans, yet they are headed to the playoffs. Despite some horrendous losses, this team never lost focus and stayed on message and battled back in almost every game. That doesn’t happen with bad coaching. Also give credit as Tomlin was doing double duty as the defensive coordinator, with Keith Butler battling Covid.


My “GAME BEER” goes to: T.J. Watt, clearly he deserves it after a truly historic season. He was double and tripled teamed yesterday and even took a shot to his nuts from Huntley. He is a difference maker when he is on the field. Also Considered: Mike Tomlin, this team is a mess, and he kept the train on the tracks, all the fire Tomlin jabronis should stay silent now.…and just for fun, also considered Trevor Lawrence, who at some point will be a big-time opponent but yesterday saved our season and of course Daniel Carlson and his last second overtime field goal that propelled the Steelers into the playoffs!

Beer of the Game: We had Modello, a friend brought to me the night before. Awesome beer and it truly embodies the fighting Spirit as the ad says.

“Steel the Snacks”: We had a plethora of snacks, including Buffalo Chicken and Cheesesteak Empanadas, Risotto Rice Balls, all were made by KGB and were awesome. She had an outstanding snack season for us

My Stat of the week:  22.5 Sacks for T.J. Watt who did it in 14 games this season. He really had an extra sack that was negated when Tyler Huntley fumbled. Watt is now tied for the single season all-time lead with Michael Strahan.

My Thoughts on next week: The Steelers run into the buzz saw next week in Kansas City, it would be easy to write the Steelers off, but I believe they have a punchers chance in this game.

This week’s Jersey: Ben Roethlisberger, 7, Home Black, ran this back again, in honor of Ben’s possible last game.



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Steelers wreck the Browns, in Ben’s last home game!

January 4th, 2022

After a month of awful gut-wrenching performances, the Steelers turned back the clock last night, winning the old-fashioned Steelers’ way, running the football, good defense and timely passing. In what will most likely be Ben Roethlisberger’s last game at Heinz Field the Steelers saved their best performance of the last two months for a big win over familiar doormat the Cleveland Browns by a score of 26-14. That score doesn’t tell the story, the game was not that close, the Browns were gifted the last touchdown by a lousy referee crew.

After weeks of getting torched by the Chargers (159 Yards), Bengals (198 Yards), Vikings (242 Yards), Titans (201 Yards) and the Chiefs (127 Yards) on the ground, the Steelers defense slowed the Browns running game and kept Nick Chubb in check, holding him to just 58 yards (with 32 of them coming on one play). The vaunted Browns running game only mustered 93 yards on the ground on the day. It was a solid effort up front, led of course by Cam Heyward who heled set the point of attack. It was a nice effort by Montravius Adams who looks like a steal right now, cult hero Henry Mondeaux and Isiah Loudermilk. It was great effort by the linebackers led by Robert Spillane who had eight tackles, Marcus Allen filled in admirably playing in the middle subbing for Joe Schobert and Devin Bush.

With the running game stalled, the Steelers linebackers teed off on perennial pitch man Baker Mayfield, recording an astonishing NINE sacks. T.J. Watt led the way posting four sacks, followed by Alex Highsmith who had two.

The secondary had a very good day and again, numbers don’t tell the story, they had Mayfield’s number and he finished with a QBR of 14.8 and a net of 139-yards passing. It was a complete effort and Ahkello Witherspoon is making the most of his chances. He looks right now to be the possible heir apparent to Joe Haden.

The Special teams had an improved night, if not a respectable night, the good was Chris Boswell booted four field goals including another 50 in cold weather in the fourth quarter, it all but sealed the victory. Corliss Waitman had another terrific night, booting a monster punt with the Browns bearing down on him in the Steelers end zone, he averaged 48.8 yards. The bad Justin Layne had two penalties and Ray-Ray McCloud’s muffed punt is what trapped the Steelers down on their own goal line, leading to the Browns only legitimate score. Given the circumstances though, it was a good effort and a noticeable improvement.

With all that being written, the night belonged to Ben Roethlisberger. It was apparent how important this game was for him and for the team. There was a renewed sense of urgency, and his numbers really don’t do the night justice. The play calling is still head scratching, but want to keep it positive, and it was a night Roethlisberger made the plays he needed to win. He finished with only 123-yards and passed for the Steelers only touchdown. He had a meaningless interception at the end of the second half. Diontae Johnson is in a little bit of a slump but still led the team in receptions with eight.

If Roethlisberger is the face of the franchise, Najee Harris looks like at minimum to be the new face of the offense. Harris grinded out 188 very well-earned yards and the touchdown to absolutely seal the game. The offensive line put forth a great effort lead by backup J.C. Hassnauer. John Leglue is a road grader and looks like a very good find. Dan Moore Jr. held helmet wielding madman Myles Garrett to just one tackle. Garrett was banged up, but Moore’s play was solid.

Mike Tomlin deserves a lot of credit for the performance last night as well. It would have been easy to let emotions get the better of them, but the team was focused and had the perfect game plan. He also insured himself at minimum a non-losing season for a 15th season, a new NFL record. While we would never commit football blasphemy, not even Bill Belichick or Vince Lombardi has done what Tomlin has done. That doesn’t happen by accident, it happens because he is a great coach whose team never quits.


My “GAME BEER” goes to: Forget numbers…it is Ben Roethlisberger of course. What he has meant to this franchise is so much more than just wins and losses. His off the field shenanigans are a distant memory, and he has cemented his place in Pittsburgh history as one of the greatest athletes to grace this fine city. “With the sixth pick of the 2004 NFL draft, acquired from the Detroit Lions… the Cleveland Browns select… Kellen Winslow, Tight End, University of Miami” …and the rest is history. I remember thinking that Ben would fall to the Steelers, to be honest I botched his name, horrendously.

Beer of the Game: Iron City of course, an old school game deserves the original beer. Throw in we had Iron City Coffee at breakfast, and it was a solid beverage performance.

“Steel the Snacks”: Monday Night Football is always tricky, so we did Turkey Club Sandwiches made by KGB. Awesome sandwiches that like Roethlisberger’s numbers were unspectacular but damn good.

My Stat of the week:  Twenty-Six career wins by Ben Roethlisberger v. the Cleveland Browns. At one point he had the most wins in the history of Progressive Field as a quarterback (Mayfield holds it now). He has his highest winning percentage for ten or more games against the Browns.

My Thoughts on next week: AFC North football one more week. This year’s schedule was one of the best in recent memory and finishing with the Ravens is always something special. You can assure yourself Baltimore would love to be the team that snuffs the Steelers very slim playoff chances. Look for Ben Roethlisberger to go out with a bang! Baltimore will also do everything they can to make sure T.J. Watt doesn’t break the Michael Strahan’s sack record.

This week’s Jersey: Ben Roethlisberger, 7, ran back the fashion jersey from early in the season. Finally it worked!

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