Archive for October, 2023

Familiar foe downs the Steelers!

October 29th, 2023

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars 20-10, Sunday at Acrisure Stadium. It was a game of missed opportunity, unfortunate injury and a confluence of over officiating.

It is becoming a repetitive theme week in and week out, the offense does “enough” and the defense makes a couple of big plays to save the game. That was the formula yesterday but despite three turnovers the offense did next to nothing, and the defense had no more magic tricks in the bag to pull out a victory against Jacksonville.

The Steelers were without starting quarterback Kenny Pickett for most of the game after he suffered a hard hit in the second quarter. Pickett had an awful day, he was inaccurate and off with several miscues, including missing a wide-open Diontae Johnson in the end zone and fumbling out of bounds on the last drive of the first half. He was clobbered at the end of the first half to help parlay a rare and bizarre sequence of events. Pickett finished 10 of 16 for 73 yards. Backup quarterback Mitch Trubisky struggled in his absence, completing just 15 of 27 passes for 138 yards and an interception that sealed the defeat

What can you say about the offense anymore? There was no running room at all, Najee Harris rushed only seven times for 13 yards, Jaylen Warren had only five rushes for 19 yards and only 70 yards on the day.

Diontae Johnson had eight catches and recovered from an injury. George Pickens had only catch and it was the only touchdown of the day. Allen Robinson was a non-factor. The weapons are there but they just can’t seem to deploy them in any sort of competent game plan.

The defense was without Minkah Fitzpatrick and his absence was felt on the game sealing drive of the Jaguars, a 56-yard touchdown pass to Travis Etienne, that Joey Porter Jr. and Damontae Kazee seemed to miscommunicate on.

T.J Watt had a half sack with Alex Highsmith. Cole Holcomb had a big game with 11 tackles. Elandon Roberts had five tackles and 1.5 sacks. Nick Herbig forced a fumble. The front made half time adjustments and were able to slow the Jaguars running game down.

The special teams were a disaster again. Pressley Harvin had his worse game of the season, highlighted by a lame duck that went 29 yards and set the Jaguars up for their first touchdown. Chris Boswell was 1-2 on field goals after a ridiculous offsides call. It was a forgettable day all around.

The refs were way to involved and they had a direct effect on the outcome of the game. They called Keanu Neal for roughing passer it was questionable at best, then clearly missed the Jaguars roughing the passer on Adam Gotsis, that was after the whistle and Kenny Pickett was actually injured. The worst by far though was an offsides penalty on a 55-yard field goal that Bos absolutely drilled, the Steelers were backed up five yards and Bos missed the 61-yarder.  The refs clearly missed the call and then replays showed the Jaguars were actually offsides. It was a terrible turn of events in a bizarre ending of the first half.

It is a quick turn around and a turn the page game.


My “GAME BEER” goes to: Cole Holcomb who led the team in tackles and had a fumble recovery that kept the Steelers in the game. He could be a fan favorite with his style of play. Also Considered: Nick Herbig had a forced fumble and looks like a great teammate to have.

Beer of the Game: We stuck with the pumpkin theme and had Long Ireland Pumpkin. It is a Long Island beer that delivers! KGB did the maple sugar rim on the class.

“Steel the Snacks”: Deserved a better fate this week, usually the snacks are a harbinger of good things, it did not work out that way this week. KGB made Duval Surfwiches, which are like a cross between a Cheese Steak and a Sloppy Joe. They were phenomenal and were accompanied by all varieties of Heinz Ketchup.

My Stat of the week: The Jaguars have been a thorn in the Steelers side since they first entered the league as an expansion team. Yesterday was the Jags third straight win in Pittsburgh including the embarrassing loss in the playoffs in 2018.

My Thoughts on next week: As in three days, the Steelers host the Titans (who wore Oilers jersey’s yesterday) and will need to do a much better job getting the offense started to have any chance. It will be interesting to see if Kenny Pickett will get back in there this week on a short week.

Jersey of the Week: In honor of his induction to the Hall of Honor with the Steelers, James Harrison #92 the color rush. One of our favorite Steelers of all-time took his rightful place in the Steelers Hall of Honor alongside the most underrated Steeler ever in Aaron Smith, they were joined by offensive linemen “Moon” Mullins and the “Ranger” Ray Mansfield.

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Steelers hold on and beat the Rams!

October 22nd, 2023

For the first time since 1980 the Steelers pulled out the win against the Rams in Los Angeles!

It was a bend but don’t break defense, late game heroics and a controversial call that carried the Steelers to a 24-17 victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.

The Steelers trailed 17-10 but scored the game’s final 14 points behind a clutch performance in the fourth quarter by Kenny Pickett and team. It took nearly three quarters, but the Steelers offense finally got rolling. Pickett threw for 230 yards on the day with 130 coming in the fourth quarter. He seems to come up big in the needed moments including a QB sneak that iced the game. It was controversial because if he made the line of gain, it was by a centimeter. The Rams had no timeouts to challenge. Whatever is said about Pickett, he does struggle early but seems to thrive in the big moment.

The running game continues to struggle and only churned out 86 yards on 29 carries. That does not tell the whole story though, Najee Harris had his best game of the year and powered in the game winning touchdown on a tough run. He was grinding and punching all day finishing with 53 yards on the ground and three catches. Jaylen Warren banged in the game tying touchdown on a 13-yard run. The Steelers used the running game to control the line of scrimmage in the final frame of the day.

Having Diontae Johnson back is a huge boost. He finished with five catches for 79 yards. George Pickens had five for 107 yards and had more opportunity with Johnson’s return. It was his second straight 100-yard game. Johnson had a brutal penalty at the end of the game taunting former teammate Ahkello Witherspoon, it was unnecessary, and it negated a big first down. He did perform well though and his return opens up Pickens. Connor Heyward chipped in with two catches.

The defense struggled with the Rams but made the plays to stop them when needed. Rams’ offensive wunderkind Puka Nacua torched Levi Wallace for 154 yards. Matthew Stafford passed for 231 yards and a touchdown, he also converted on 3rd and long two times. He wasn’t helped by several key drops including two by Cooper Kupp but he was tough all day. Three guys who were on the couch last week gashed the Steelers front for 135 yards.

So how did the Rams only score 17 points? The answer very big plays. T.J. Watt had a huge interception that basically got the Steelers back on track to start the second half. Montravius Adams and Larry Ogunjobi stuffed the running game in the second half with the latter also garnishing a sack. The stats don’t reflect it but Alex Highsmith dominated against left tackle Aleric Jackson and forced Stafford to make several rushed plays. Nick Herbig had his first career sack. Joey Porter Jr. had a big stop on Nacua on third down to force a punt in the fourth quarter.

Lastly the special teams made a big difference as Brett Maher had a horrible game shanking two field goal tries and missing an extra point for the Rams. Meanwhile, Chris Boswell blasted a 53 yarder and made all three extra point tries. Pressley Harvin III average over 43 yards a punt and stuck two inside the 20. He did a nice job in his return.

The coaching staff made the necessary adjustments and were able to slow the Rams offense down in the second half.


My “GAME BEER” goes to: This was a tough one but going with the Offensive line as a whole unit, they made one of the best defensive players (Aaron Donald) in the game a non-factor, held up well in the second half and opened up the running lanes, albeit very late in the game. Honorable Mention: Like I have written T.J. Watt could win this every week. His interception really changed the tempo of the game. Kenny Pickett has late game magic.

Beer of the Game: October is Pumpkin season and Sunday was no different for the game. I had Graveyard Smash in a 16oz Pounder. KGB had Long Ireland’s version of the same brew. Both were outstanding and really had the pumpkin spirit going.

“Steel the Snacks”: Returned with a vengeance, KGB made Los Angeles signature French Dip Sliders on sweet potato rolls. We demolished 24 sandwiches in the third quarter.

My Stat of the week: Not really a stat but a historical fact, Sunday marked the first time the Steelers have beaten the Rams in Los Angeles, since January 20th, 1980, in Super Bowl XIV. Thought that was worth sharing.

My Thoughts on next week: For whatever reason, the Steelers have always struggled with the Jaguars and despite being home next week, there is a certain uneasiness about this game. If the offense could get started sooner they could run away with a victory here. They need to establish and stop the run in the first half to set the tone!

Jersey of the Week: Had to break out my own throwback, Kendrell Bell, #97 Home black, injuries derailed his promising career but always loved him as a player. This was my first time wearing it on game day in several years.

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Steelers pull the upset!!

October 8th, 2023

No idea how, but the Steelers are somehow in first place after a crazy win over Baltimore!


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Steelers are horrible in Houston!

October 2nd, 2023

The Houston Texans dominated the Pittsburgh Steelers 30-6 in a game that was never really in doubt. The Texans were led by their rookie quarterback, CJ Stroud. Stroud was efficient and accurate, and he made some big plays when the Texans needed him most.

While it wasn’t the worst loss of the Mike Tomlin era, it sure seemed like it, as the Steelers were absolutely dismantled and embarrassed in Houston, getting beaten down by the upstart Texans.

Adding insult was of course three starters getting injured including Kenny Pickett, Pat Freiermuth and Dan Moore. DeMarvin Leal also went out with an injury.

The offense is just bad. It is redundant to say it, but once again the play calling was atrocious including the 4th and 1 play that Pickett was injured on. Despite the fact the Steelers found some early success running the football, they elected some ill-conceived roll out play that forced Pickett into the jaws of the Texans defense, he was absolutely decimated by Jonathon Greenard.

Pickett’s line was horrendous finishing the game 15-23 with a paltry 114 yards. He threw no touchdowns. Najee Harris had a solid day and despite being down only 16 at the half, the Steelers abandoned the run. Najee Harris finished with 71 yards on 14 carries and one catch for 32 yards.

The defense was just plain bad, they had zero sacks for the first time this season and for the second time in almost two seasons. They were absolutely torched in the air by rookie C.J. Stroud for 306 yards and gutted on the ground for 139 yards by a committee of running backs, led by Dameon Pierce for 81 yards. They did all this while playing behind a Texans patchwork offense line.

Chris Boswell drilled his two field goal tries and Brad Wing had a very nice day averaging 47.6 yards per punt, returning to the NFL after six seasons. When the special teams were the lone bright spot, and bright spot might be an overstatement, you know it was a “bad day at the office”, as Mike Tomlin said.


My “GAME BEER” goes to: Najee Harris who did what he could when given the chance. Honorable Mention: Brad Wing, who returned to the Steelers after nine seasons and the NFL after six seasons.

Beer of the Game: Was at a business event which is always problematic when the Steelers play. I went with staple Miller Lite.

“Steel the Snacks”: No Steel the snacks this week. This might also have contributed to the poor play.

My Stat of the week: The offense did not score a touchdown for the first time this season and only the second time in 69 games. The defense didn’t produce a sack for the first time this season and the first time since Week 3 of the 2021 season.

My Thoughts on next week: Need a bounce back win and a big performance against a tough Ravens team. The Steelers need to improve in all phases of the game to have any chance of pulling off a victory. A win this week would put the Steelers back into first place by some miracle.

Jersey of the Week: A special gift for my birthday, Pomara #50 Home. It was in honor of my 50th birthday.

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