Archive for December, 2023

Rudolph saves Christmas…and the season!

December 24th, 2023

The Steelers led by Mason Rudolph won a must win game against the Cincinnati Bengals..

It was just short of a Christmas miracle, somehow the Steelers beat up the Bengals 34-11, dealing Cincinnati a serious blow to their playoff contention and putting up of their best offensive performance in several years!

With starter Kenny Pickett still sidelined due to injury and a wildly ineffective Mitch Trubisky on the bench, the Steelers looked to former backup and current third stringer Mason Rudolph. Who surprisingly thrived after waiting to get the start. He threw for 290 yards and two touchdowns, connecting with George Pickens for both scores. Pickens finished with a stellar 195 yards and 2 touchdowns, firmly establishing himself as a rising star after a media storm surrounded him all week.

Najee Harris had a tough grind out game with 78 yards and a touchdown, accounting for a big piece of the 113 yards the Steelers garnered.

It was a dominant performance for the defense up front. The Bengals were held to just 59 yards on the ground and put Jake Browning on his heels most of the game. Browning finished with 335 yards, but he was picked off three times and sacked three times. Alex Highsmith had a sack and an interception; T.J. Watt had a sack and was all over Browning. He was held on nearly every play, that isn’t hyperbole either.  With Elandon Roberts going down again, Charlie Batch #16, 😊 check that Miles Jack stepped in and had a very strong game, considering two months ago he was on the couch!

The patchwork secondary hung in there and made plays. It was a solid professional game for Patrick Peterson who was forced into playing safety. He teamed up with Eric Rowe who also was on the practice squad and both had interceptions.

Chris Boswell, drilled both his field goal attempts including a 50-yarder. It was another Pressley Harvin inconsistent performance, continuing his maddening season.

The Steelers were decimated all week between the media and the injuries and the fact that they came roaring out and basically ended the Bengals season can’t be overlooked. Coach Tomlin deserves a lot of credit for not listening to the naysayers, sticking with George Pickens and getting the middle of the lineup defense ready with guys who were not even in the league two months ago.

The last few weeks have been frustrating, and to quote Tomlin, “They don’t seek comfort.” But name another team who lost their starting Quarterback, ALL of their middle linebackers to injury, two Hall of Fame talents for a long period of time, their other starting safety to a ridiculous suspension and were still in contention going into the last two weeks of the season.

That deserves our praise NOT our derision!


My “GAME BEER” goes to: Mason Rudolph for a very strong performance. Great job by the in-game promotion staff who played “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” after the game! Also Considered: George Pickens who had a very hard week in the media but saved his best performance for Sunday! Najee Harris, who had a string bounce back game as well. How about Alex Highsmith and T.J. Watt both with big performances.

Beer of the Game: Went with a local Long Island Beer, WHB Pumpkin Beer. Solid well-rounded beer and had to take it easy because of holiday obligations.

“Steel the Snacks”: We didn’t “Steel the Snacks” again, so no coney dogs and skyline chili this season, we did start cooking for Christmas Eve dinner and the Feast of the Seven Fishes!

My Stat of the week: Must go 290 yards and a 124 QB Rating for Mason Rudolph, the best by a Steelers QB this season! It was a terrific performance for a guy who had zero looks from other teams and patiently waited to get his chance in the starting lineup.

My thoughts on next week: VERY TOUGH game to win in Seattle. While the playoffs remain a long shot, there is so much to play for. The Steelers will need a herculean effort and these next two weeks will determine the long-term plan for the franchise. The mainstream media is obsessed with disrespecting the non-losing season streak for Coach Tomlin, but it is important, and the team knows that.

Jersey of the Week: Even though it was “Immaculate Reception” day, I went with a blank jersey with the Steelers helmet on the front. It was to try and break the bad mojo.

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Steelers in a an absolute free fall!

December 17th, 2023

The Steelers are in an absolute free fall and the ’23 season seems all but over at this point. Losing to the Indianapolis Colts and getting absolutely blown of the field in the process, 30-13.

It was a nightmare performance for Mitch Trubisky, whose time in Pittsburgh looks like it is about to come to a harsh end. His inconsistencies continue to plague the offense. The off-balance interception in the fourth quarter exemplifies his decision-making concerns. Trubisky through for 169 yards a touchdown with two interceptions. The underwhelming stats also reflect his inability to consistently move the ball downfield.

After a mid-season renaissance the run game once again has gone AWOL. Najee Harris had one of his worst days in his Steelers career. His 3rd Quarter fumble all but sealed the Steelers fate in the game and he was unable to get any sort of consistent production. Harris finished with an underwhelming 33 yards. Jaylen Warren faired slightly better but was still mostly a non-factor. He had 40 yards on 10 carries.

The defense was playing with third and fifth string middle linebackers and neither Mykal Walker, nor Mark Robinson were able to stop touchdown passes in the middle of the field. The secondary lost Damontae Kazee and Minkah Fitzpatrick on consecutive plays. Kazee was thrown out of the game for a nasty uncalled for hit, and Fitzpatrick went out with a knee injury. That opened the flood gates for the Colts passing game and Gardner Minshew picked apart the patchwork secondary.

The special teams had an up and down day. Bordering on the spectacular and the absurd. Conor Heyward had a blocked punt that led to a Steelers touchdown. Chris Boswell missed an extra point and then was not allowed to come out and attempt a 57-yarder for some reason. Presley Harvin was inconsistent as usual.

What has happened to the Steelers? They are going in the wrong direction!

It was and awful game on so many levels.


My “GAME BEER” goes to: Conor Heyward, who had his first blocked punt of his career. That’s how far we have fallen, that this warrants the game beer. Also Considered: T.J. Watt who proves every week what a force he is.

Beer of the Game: Stuck with Sam Adams Winter Lager. The beer was great again the game not so much!

“Steel the Snacks”: Had the week off because we headed to a Holiday party!

My Stat of the week: Absolutely sickens me. THIRTEEN STRAIGHT running plays and the Steelers just could not stop it. Absolutely awful! It was also the first time the Steelers have lost at Lucas Oil Stadium and it marked the 100th loss of Mike Tomlin’s career becoming the 10th head coach to lose 100 games with one team. (Chuck Noll is the other Steelers coach on the list)

My thoughts on next week: It is a toss up game. The Steelers played strong against the Bengals last time out in Cincinnati, but they are soft in the middle from the defensive line through the safety position, that plays to the Bengals strengths.

Jersey of the Week: Franco Harris #32, Fashion Jersey. Keeping with tradition and honoring the passing of a Steelers legend last year!

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Steelers go down again!

December 8th, 2023

The Patriots got off to a fast start and then held on to beat the Steelers 21-18 in Pittsburgh.

The Pittsburgh Steelers suffered a frustrating 21-18 loss to the New England Patriots on Thursday Night Football in Week 14, damaging their playoff hopes. A non-existent offense, a slow start and, allowing the Patriots to build an 11-point lead at halftime doomed the team. Despite a late rally in the fourth quarter, the Steelers were unable to overcome the deficit.

Offensive Struggles:

The Steelers’ offense continues to be a major concern. Quarterback Mitch Trubisky threw for 190 yards and a touchdown, but he also had an interception that the Patriots converted to seven points. The running game was ineffective and a non-factor, with Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren combining for 40 yards. The offensive line struggled to protect Trubisky and created no running room.

Defensive Lapse in First Half:

The Steelers’ defense slept walk through the first half and were missing several key players. Alex Highsmith left with a concussion, and it looks like T.J. Watt played most of the game with a concussion. Mykal Walker was targeted all night and despite pulling down and interception, was no match for Hunter Henry in coverage.

The defense allowed Bailey Zappe, the Patriots’ rookie quarterback, to throw three touchdown passes and 240 yards. The defense tightened up in the second half, but it was too little too late.

The special teams had a good game after two tough weeks. Chris Boswell returned to form and drilled a 56-yarder, Miles Killebrew coming off his worst week as a Steeler blocked a punt that helped get the Steelers back into the game.

Despite all their struggles the Steelers put themselves in position to win the game, putting together a six play drive in waning moments of the fourth quarter, they were moving the ball, but then for whatever reason threw a low percentage pass to Diontae Johnson on 4th and 2. The Patriots all but ran out the clock after that.

The loss to the Patriots dropped the Steelers’ record to 7-6 and put their playoff hopes in jeopardy.

On Saturday December 2, the Steelers had their playoff fate in their own hands and were banged up but ready to make a move on the Ravens, one week later they are now on their last legs and it looks like they are in a free fall.


My “GAME BEER” goes to: NO ONE!!! Also Considered: The special teams Miles Killebrew redeemed himself after last week’s debacle. Elandon Roberts played well despite having a groin injury.

Beer of the Game: We tried to “Steel” the beer as well. Went with one of my favorites is Sam Adams Winter Lager. The beer was great as usual, even if the game was not.

“Steel the Snacks”: We went with Boston Turkey Sliders and a side of Boston baked beans with brown bread. That was the lone bright spot of the night.

My Stat of the week: Where do you want to start? None are good; Mike Tomlin is now 3-10 v. Bill Belichick on his career. Coming into the game, the Patriots scored 13 points in their previous three games. They had 21 in two quarters. After rushing for over 100 yards in five consecutive the Steelers finished with a paltry 82 yards.

The Steelers are the first team over .500 in the history of the NFL to lose to TWO teams that were 2-10. Just an embarrassing statistic.

My thoughts on next week: The Steelers need a statement win against a game but reeling Colts Team, a victory will help keep the Steelers in a playoff spot and possibly quiet down a very contemptuous fan base, which has completely lost faith in Coach Tomlin.

Jersey of the Week: Franco Harris #32, BWG Steelers last season shirt. Went with a shirt instead of a jersey to help Franco a year after his passing. Trying to spend the month Honoring Franco Harris!

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Steelers stink it up in Pittsburgh!

December 3rd, 2023

It was what has been called a “Tomlin Special” or in a more familiar parlance a “Trap Game”. No matter what it was called, it was an awful performance and one of the worst losses in the last twenty years.

The Steelers’ loss to the Cardinals was a frustrating one on so many levels including a Biblical rainstorm, numerous injuries, and worst of all a number of critical errors that cost them the game. Egregious mistakes included illegal formations, penalties, and poor special teams play. The loss was a reminder of the importance of focus and execution in the NFL, as even small mistakes can have a big impact on the outcome of a game.

One of the costliest mistakes of the game was Elandon Roberts’ personal foul on third down, which gave the Cardinals three points. Roberts also left with an injury and his absence was severely felt. This penalty extended the Cardinals’ drive and allowed them to score a field goal instead of punting the ball away. Joey Porter Jr.’s defensive pass interference penalty was another costly mistake, as it led to a Cardinals touchdown when the Cardinals would have kicked a field goal. These penalties were both critical moments in the game, and they ultimately helped the Cardinals win the game.

In addition to the penalties, the Steelers also made a number of other mistakes that contributed to their loss. The team had two illegal offensive formations, which gave the Cardinals five yards and a first down. The Steelers also had a timeout for being a player short in the huddle, which gave the Cardinals five yards and the ball. These mistakes were all a result of poor communication and execution, and they showed that the Steelers were not prepared for the game.

What happened to Miles Killebrew? Chipping in just a downright awful day. He racked up three penalties, two of which were personal foul penalties that cost over 30 yards in field position. Even Chris Boswell had an off day and missed a crucial kick after the weather interruption.

It was clear the Steelers did not have any sort of cognitive game plan and that falls on the coaches. This is a turn the page nightmare.



My “GAME BEER” goes to: NO ONE!!! Also Considered: We have never given this to an opposing player, but I was half tempted to give it James Conner who had a great game.

Beer of the Game: So trying to make up for last week, I alternated Yuengling and Modelo per quarter…did not work!

“Steel the Snacks”: We decided to go with steak sandwiches on garlic bread with fresh mozzarella. They were outstanding. We also had miniature cup of mash potatoes in a small cup with scallions. The snack deserved a better outcome.

My Stat of the week: The Cardinals have not won in Pittsburgh since 1969, when they played in St. Louis and before Three Rivers Stadium. The seven games of not giving up over 20 points is now over, to a team that has been last in almost every offensive category.

My thoughts on next week:  As in two days from the time you read this. I wrote last week the Cardinals made me nervous. The Patriots scare me to death. Bill Belichick has had the Steelers number for nearly 20 years. A big bounce back game will be a major boost to a sagging fan base.

Jersey of the Week: Dermontti Dawson #63, Throwback (1967) the Golden Triangle design by Ambassador Rooney, I have had HORRIBLE luck with any of my Dermontti jerseys despite that fact that he is arguably my favorite Steeler of all-time.



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