Archive for November, 2023

Steelers beat the Bengals!

November 26th, 2023

The Steelers defeated the Joe Burrow-less, declawed Cincinnati Bengals Sunday 16-10. Steelers Nation finally breathed a sigh of relief as the offense for the first time in nearly two years showed signs of life and cracked the elusive 400-yard total offense mark.

The Steelers outgained their opponent for the first time this season, led by Kenny Pickett throwing for 278 yards. He was 24-33 and looked significantly better than he has in previous weeks. The running game which has improved steadily over the last few weeks cranked out 153 yards on 33 carries, led by Najee Harris, who finished with 99 yards and the only touchdown for the Steelers.

Eight different receivers caught passes, led by the triumphant return of Pat Freiermuth who had NINE catches for 120 yards. He opened up the offense in the middle. George Pickens and Diontae Johnson combined for seven catches and 108 yards. It was a good showing for the passing game, just one week after Johnson’s meltdown on the sideline. Johnson was deprived of a touchdown on a lousy call by the referees.

The defense has started to find its’ identity and the hammered the Bengals up front all day. Cincinnati could only muster 25 yards on the ground and the Steelers sacked Jake Browning four times. Two by T.J. Watt, one by Cam Heyward and one by Nick Herbig.

Browning finished with 227 yards, but those numbers are deceiving because he had a few lucky bounces go his way to Ja’Marr Chase. Trenton Thompson deserves a lot of credit for his play in Minkah Fitzpatrick’s absence, he just missed a pick last week and grabbed one against the Bengals. It was a red zone turnover and the Steelers capitalized and led to the go ahead score!

As the offense has begun to get better, the special teams have begun to regress. So as per usual, Chris Boswell kicked three field goals and has had a tremendous season so far, however he had a gaffe on the kickoff that led to the only Bengals touchdown. Pressley Harvin III was uneven again with four punts, two resulting in touchbacks. The punt return team is just awful, they couldn’t get out of their own way and a Mark Robinson holding call diminished a solid defensive effort.

It would have been easy to put the “work in progress” sign up and make excuses. The Steelers didn’t do that, and the coaching staff deserves a tremendous amount of credit for the effort put forth Sunday. It as if a weight has been lifted.


My “GAME BEER” goes to: MUUUUUTH, the numbers tell the story. He had a monster day and opened up the offense. Also Considered: Trenton Thompson, whose interception turned the game around. Mike Sullivan for calling a heck of a game and getting Kenny Pickett back on track.

Beer of the Game: NO BEER, yup that is right, we had to attend a wake for a family member. We watched the first quarter at home, we listened to the second quarter in the car, (KGB found the Steelers broadcast and we got to hear Bill Hillgrove and Wolf) watched the end on the CBS app in the Funeral Parlor.

“Steel the Snacks”: We had planned on Coney’s hot dog with skyline chili. Of course, that was thwarted.

My Stat of the week: The Steelers banged out 421 total yards, it was the first time since September 20, 2020, against the Denver Broncos. The Steelers never cracked 400 yards in Matt Canada’s entire tenure. It was the first in season coaching dismissal since 1941! Also consider this stat too; over seven games, despite missing some combination of two of their best players (Fitzpatrick, Heyward) and one very good contributor (Adams) in some capacity or another the Steelers have held their opponents to less than 20 points.

My Thoughts on next week: The Steelers are of course in the classic trap game again, this time it is the 2-10, Arizona Cardinals. James Conner comes home to Pittsburgh and will give the Steelers trouble, even though the Patriots are on their last legs, they still are the Steelers boogeyman, and it is a Thursday Night Football game so both these games scare me!

Jersey of the Week: Heath Miller #83, Black Out Jersey, one of my favorites, and representing the TE outburst by Pat Freiermuth Sunday!

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Steelers fire Matt Canada

November 21st, 2023

Official Release

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Steelers stumble in Cleveland

November 19th, 2023

It was a hard-fought old fashion AFC North fist fight with Cleveland getting the upper hand in the final minute. The clock struck midnight as the Steelers “magic” finally ran out Sunday, dropping a tough loss to the Cleveland Browns 13-10. The loss puts the Steelers playoff hopes in jeopardy and further calls the offensive play calling into question.

The superlatives for lousy will be on full display this week in talking about how bad this offense is. It is a combination of so many factors. The offensive line’s protection was downright frightening. Kenny Pickett almost was decapitated by Myles Garret on the first play from scrimmage that should have been a safety. The refs missed the call and the Steelers benefitted from the Browns not challenging. Pickett had no time to pass and when he did pass, he missed wide open receivers or was completely inaccurate.

His field vision is awful right now and his stat line reflects that, finishing with just 106 yards and completing only 15 passes. The Browns defense deserves some of the credit, but his play was awful at best. The running game was okay and despite a somewhat gaudy stat line was not that effective. The Steelers finished with 172 yards but gained 74 of it on a busted run play that Jaylen Warren put together. Najee Harris grinded but didn’t find much room to run. The receivers were non-existent in the game with George Pickens roping in only four catches to lead the team.

The play calling was horrendous especially on the last drive. For whatever reason the Steelers opted for three pass plays on what would have been the go ahead drive. Pickett missed wildly and they took a paltry 14 second off the clock. It was inexplicable why they didn’t try and run or do anything remotely close to a safer pass option.

The defense had a solid effort despite playing with a patchwork secondary. The Browns found very little room to run after the first half and finished under 100 yards. Elandon Roberts led the way with a great effort and the team plays fundamentally better with Cam Heyward in the middle. The pass rush was mostly non-existent, part of that was based on the Browns not wanting rookie quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson to make a mistake so everything was quick passes and they tried to run. T.J. Watt had the only sack of the day. Chandon Sullivan had an interception.

The special teams is basically the same story every week, although Calvin Austin III looked good on returns. Pressley Harvin III was inconsistent, he punted NINE times and had a few stinkers including a 20-yarder and Chris Boswell drilled his only opportunity a “pedestrian” 28-yarder by his standards. The coverage was leaky but tolerable.

The refs are just downright bad and once again were too involved in the outcome of the game. First and foremost, they missed a clear safety to the Steelers benefit, then overturned a questionable call on the Browns only touchdown. It wasn’t a great day for the officiating crew.

At what point does the Matt Canada experiment come to an end. The offense has tools and playmakers, but the play calling is suspect and predictable. This will be a classic overreaction week in Pittsburgh!


My “GAME BEER” goes to: Jaylen Warren, who absolutely delivered with 129 yards on the ground and the longest play of the season. Also Considered: Elandon Roberts who led the team in tackles with 15 while also playing special teams.

Beer of the Game: Yuengling Oktoberfest for KGB and myself, we do not often drink the same beer. The beer was awesome, but Yuengling has been struggling this season.

“Steel the Snacks”: KGB went with a Cleveland staple with a New York twist, Corned Beef Sliders on Pretzel Rolls and Pierogies fried. They came out just as Warren broke his big run.

My Stat of the week: Choosing to stay positive here. The Steelers once again won the turnover battle but what is the biggest thing of note, they have now held their last six opponents to 20 points or less. The defense didn’t have gaudy numbers but that is why the Steelers have a winning record, with this horrendous offense.

My Thoughts on next week: The Steelers stay in the division and battle the Burrow-less Bengals. This will be a bounce back week and look for the Steelers to dominate up front and pull out a squeaker.

Jersey of the Week: Franco Harris #32, Salute to Service, had to switch weeks, normally I would have worn this last weekend because of Veterans Day, but had to go with my gamer. So switched weeks.

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GUEST BLOGGER: “The View from the “not so” Cheap Seats” By KGB

November 15th, 2023

This year’s road to our annual family Pittsburgh home game journey started back over the summer months.  Our son D-man was starting his senior year of high school and his final year on the varsity football team for our hometown. As all football parents know, that means an all-encompassing schedule of practices, games, fundraisers, and all the other exciting things that come with having a varsity football player in the family.

To rewind a bit, our home game of choice usually falls on or around the Veterans Day weekend, which luckily follows the end of the school’s football schedule (sans playoffs) leaving us free to set out for our trip.  This year, a new coach brought new life to our team and playoff hopes were alive from day one.  As the wins stacked up for the team, it looked as though our family Pittsburgh trip was going to need to be either rescheduled, or cancelled for this year, as we would be cheering on the sideline for D.

I’m a planner, so tickets are usually my department, and I try to have us set up a month or so in advance. This year, it was going to come down to the wire with playoffs, so tickets were on hold until we knew for sure. Well… less than a week before our scheduled weekend our home season came to an end and BWG and I were scrambling for tickets… not just any tickets… but fantastic seats, to congratulate D-man on his own awesome season.

My fallback plan is always our corporate seats at Acrisure but since the Packers game was in such demand, even our overflow seats outside the corporate box were already scooped up.   The scramble was on…  and we eventually settled on seats on the river side, pricey but, hey… it is the Steelers.

Our norm is to try to get to the field as early as possible so that we get to see the player warmups on the field and talk about all the things that “civilian football coaches” talk about before a game.  It is fun to watch BWG, LMT (not so “Little Miss Tailgate” now) and D-man go through the gameplan as if Mike Tomlin was relying on their feedback for the game.

Our seats were PERFECT for this.  We were right there for some of the best plays of the game and had an up-close of that final play that had us all sitting on the edge of our seat.

Sometimes, even though the road is winding…things just work out the way they were meant to.

Another successful Pittsburgh trip on our scorecard!

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The Steelers outlast the Packers!

November 13th, 2023

The Steelers offense continued to show signs of life if only for a moment and the defense struggled but delivered the clutch plays needed to beat the Green Bay Packers, Sunday 23-19!

The running game made a second week appearance and grinded out a mammoth 205 yards on the ground led by the tandem of Jaylen Warren, who cracked 100 yards and Najee Harris who had 82 yards on the ground. It was a big performance and helped cement the Steelers win. Kenny Pickett and Calvin Austin III combined for the other twenty yards.

Kenny Pickett’s numbers were not impressive again, but once again he finds ways to make the big plays, this time scrambling for 11 and converting a first down with less than three minutes in the game. He also made what should have been the game winning pass to George Pickens for 28 yards, that was negated by a ridiculous offensive pass interference call on Calvin Austin. The play gave Green Bay another attempt at winning the game adding insult to injury the officiating crew mangled the clock.

Pickett finished with a paltry 126 yards with no touchdowns. George Pickens led the team with three catches and 45 yards, Connor Heyward and Najee Harris also had three catches. Diontae Johnson was held in check with one.

The defense had a strange game and despite keeping yet another team under 20 points, they seemed to be playing on their heels all day. The pass rush was non-existent, and they finished with one sack, registered by T.J. Watt.

They also gave up 116 yards on the ground although 40 of it was on a busted play run by A.J. Dillon. Keanu Benton continued to emerge as a superstar, he had six tackles and a pass defended. Elandon Roberts was forced into action and did a terrific job filling in for Kwon Alexander who looks to be lost for the season.

Jordan Love put up 289 yards and two touchdowns. There were several miscommunications out there that nearly cost the Steelers the game. Including a ridiculous third and 15 for a touchdown play, given up by Levi Wallace and Keanu Neal. They also surrendered a 49-yard pass that got the Packers right back into the game at the end on the final drive making up more than half the yards they needed.

However, as usual the team came through in the “weighty moments” as Coach Tomlin explains every week. They took the ball away two times with two interceptions the first by Keanu Neal who had an assist from Patrick Peterson. Peterson did a good job breaking up the play. Neal ran out of the endzone and got erased sending him from the game for his troubles. The second was Damontae Kazee who had the game sealing interception.

The special teams also had an up and down day. Chris Boswell is a bona-fide star and any question about his bouncing back from a subpar last season should now be answered, he was three for three with a long boot of 49-yards. Patrick Peterson made what would turn out to be the biggest play of the game with a huge blocked extra point that the Packers had to chase all day. Pressley Harvin III had a workman like day with five punts three of which were inside the 20. The downside was the return games were non-existent and the coverage units had their worst day of the season, including surrendering a 49-yard return by Keisean Nixon that setup the first field goal of the half for the Packers.

It is never pretty but the Steelers are well coached and winning, they are poised in tough situations and that seems to translate right now to victory.


My “GAME BEER” goes to: Using editors’ prerogative again this week and picking TWO! Patrick Peterson has struggled for a lot of the season, but he has delivered in clutch moments, he caused the first Jordan Love turnover, which was right in front of us and his blocked extra point was arguably the biggest play of the game. How about Jaylen Warren rushing for over 100 yards, the first 100-yard rusher of the season! Also Considered: Elandon Roberts who stepped up big time, Najee Harris, who also grounded and pounded and Damontae Kazee for the game sealing interception.

Beer of the Game: This is a complicated question believe it or not and has many answers, for the Tailgate, we had IC Light with some of the original Beer We Go crew and IC Mango Light for KGB and Little Miss Tailgate. In the game I went with Miller Lite and Blue Moon. KGB and Little Miss Tailgate had Leinenkugel Peach.

“Steel the Snacks”: We were at the game this week, so no steel the snacks, we had Atomic Rolls from Sunseri down the strip at the tailgate. We had Caliente Pizza in our section which was outstanding, not hyperbole, absolutely delicious. We also had a bag of Cajun style peanuts.

My Stat of the week: The Steelers have been outgained in EVERY game this season but somehow sit at 6-3. It is the ability to protect the football and take it away that has led to this unusual stat…speaking of that, Pickett had zero turnovers for the fifth consecutive game, the Steelers are 4-1 when he doesn’t turn the ball over.

My Thoughts on next week: This is a tough, tough game, the Steelers need to get started much earlier and maintain momentum, a victory here will put the Browns on their back for the rest of the season. The Steelers cannot let Cleveland get out ahead or they will not be able to catch up.

Jersey of the Week: Joe Greene, #75 Home Black, it was alumni weekend, and I went with the greatest Steeler of them all. This is my gamer and has been forever!

KGB and Little Miss Tailgate will be posting later this week stay tuned!

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Steelers comeback and hold off the Titans!

November 3rd, 2023

The Steelers offense showed signs of life and the defense held off the Titans.

In a thrilling matchup on Thursday Night Football, the Pittsburgh Steelers were victorious over the Tennessee Titans, claiming a hard-fought 20-16 victory at Acrisure Stadium. The Steelers’ defense hung tough throughout the game, limiting the Titans to just two touchdowns and forcing a crucial interception in the fourth quarter.

The Steelers’ offense, led by rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett, showed flashes of life again, starting with an impressive opening drive of 10 plays and 78-yards and “finishing” in the fourth quarter when they marched 92 yards in 11 plays to take the lead they would never relinquish. Pickett connected with wide receiver Diontae Johnson for a 3-yard touchdown pass with just over four minutes remaining to put the Steelers ahead for good and ended Johnson’s touchdown drought.

The running game also played a significant role in the Steelers’ success. Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren combined for 157 rushing yards, providing a steady dose of offensive production. With the addition of Broderick Jones, the Steelers’ offensive line, which has been a question mark all season, held up well against the Titans’ defensive front, allowing Pickett time to throw and creating holes for the running backs.

Defensively, the Steelers had several key penalties but were able to limit the Titans offensive production, especially in the second half, where the Titans mustered only three points. They were able to move the ball at times, but the Steelers’ defense made key stops when it mattered most. Elandon Roberts, who saw more time with the season-ending injury to Cole Holcomb, had a game-high nine tackles. Alex Highsmith had two sacks and T.J. Watt had a sack even after his helmet was ripped off.

The Steelers sacked Titans quarterback Will Levis four times and forced him to throw under pressure all night including the game clinching interception by Kwon Alexander.

The special teams had a solid night. Pressley Harvin III bounced backed and he was able to flip the field several times, he averaged 50 yards a punt and banged a 62 yarder. Chris Boswell converted both field goal attempts.

The referees were way to involved and both teams were flagged 17 times for 131 yards. It was embarrassing for a national game, and they almost directly effected the outcome of the game.


My “GAME BEER” goes to: Using editor’s choice here and going with Cam Heyward! It was great to see him back and he is a key reason that Derrick Henry was held to under 100 yards. Also Considered: Diontae Johnson who continues to be a major weapon. Broderick Jones for helping open up the running game. How about some love for Matt Canada as well, who moved down to the sideline and seemed to help spark the offense.

Beer of the Game: I went with Modello. We usually do not repeat beers except for Iron City but went with what I had, and it has proven to be 2-0 now. KGB went with another Pumpkin this time form a local brewing company in Westhampton Beach.

“Steel the Snacks”: The favorite of the “Steel” the snacks… Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwiches that KGB makes from scratch. They were outstanding and provided good luck as the Steelers turned the corner.

My Stat of the week: Not rocket science (an homage to Vikings winning quarterback Josh Dobbs), but the for the first time this season, the Steelers scored a touchdown on the opening drive, 10 plays for 78 yards and a touchdown. It was exactly what the Steelers needed, and it set the tone. Also Considered: One touchdown for Diontae Johnson, his first since the Steelers playoff loss in Kansas City on January 16, 2022!

My Thoughts on next week: We are headed to the ‘Burgh for our annual pilgrimage. The Steelers have everything needed to beat the Packers. The offense needs to continue its’ evolution. The AFC North had a banner day yesterday with the Browns, Bengals and Ravens all with impressive victories.

Jersey of the Week: Jack Lambert, #58 Home Black, I use it for occasions like this one and it came in handy!

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