Archive for January, 2024

Comeback falls short!

January 16th, 2024

It was a microcosm of the season in one game. A tough start, too many mistakes, conservative play calling and then a valiant comeback attempt that came up just a bit short. That will be the tale of the 2023 Pittsburgh Steelers as it was the tale of their playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills 31-17 in a frigid Highmark Stadium.

The Steelers’ playoff hopes came crashing down, exposing several fundamental weaknesses that plagued their performance throughout the season. Mason Rudolph’s costly interception in the end zone early in the second quarter was a pivotal moment, but it was just one symptom of a broader offensive struggle. The running game, so vital to their recent success, was shut down by the Bills’ stacked box, failing to replicate any kind of late season success, the offensive line’s inability to control the line of scrimmage hampered both the run and pass game, and the play calling lacked the necessary imagination to effectively challenge the Bills’ depleted secondary.

Mason Rudolph’s early second-quarter interception in the end zone on 2nd-and-goal proved a pivotal turning point in the Steelers’ playoff hopes. Rudolph showed flashes of what got him to this point of the season, including leading the Steelers to within a touchdown in the fourth quarter, the early interception remained a critical turning point that ultimately overshadowed his late-game heroics.

It was a good effort especially rallying from 21 points down, but it was not enough.


My “GAME BEER” goes to: Cam Heyward, who played his guts out on Monday night and played tough. Also Considered: Montravius Adams who has been a solid contributor since he has been with the Steelers, his blocked field goal started the would be comeback.

Beer of the Game: The Big IC Light, IC Light 24ounce championship cans! The result was lousy, but the beer was solid and very cold. KGB went with IC Light Mango which was very good!

“Steel the Snacks”: We came back with a vengeance with Buffalo Chicken sliders that were homemade, KGB did a phenomenal job and we had homemade slaw with the Sliders.

My Stat of the week: Fourteen points off turnovers. The Steelers turned the ball over twice, the Bills scored on both turnovers and in the end that was the difference in the game.

My thoughts on next week: It is going to be a long offseason without the Steelers!

Jersey of the Week: Steelers throwback practice jersey. NO NAME. I tried to stay with the winning theme and wore my Steelers throwback practice jersey.

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Steelers get it done…

January 7th, 2024

The Steelers got it done and then compliments of former Steeler Mike Vrabel, walk into the playoffs…

It was a game they had to have, and they went and got it. The Steelers were able to manhandle the Baltimore Ravens J.V. squad defeating them 17-10 on a cold and rainy day in Baltimore. The Steelers punched their ticket to the playoffs with a little help from the Tennessee Titans, who sent the loud mouth Terrible Towel stomping Jaguars home!

Mason Rudolph put together a solid if unspectacular week and continued his winning ways. It would seem unfathomable that he would not start next week now. Rudolph finished 18 of 20 for 152 tidy yard in treacherous conditions and one huge touchdown pass to Diontae Johnson. Johnson led the team with 89 yards. What didn’t show up in the stat sheet was his ability to keep George Pickens under control, who was held without a catch and target.

The running game continued its’ renaissance grinding out 155 yards on the ground led by Najee Harris with 26 carries and 112 yards. Jaylen Warren contributed 33 yards on the ground with the longest run of the day, a 23-yarder. Warren seemed to struggle with the elements and fumbled twice, losing one. Both backs had five catches.

The defense knew the Ravens game plan and were able to thwart it. Tyler Huntley, filled in for Lamar Jackson and struggled for the most part. The running game never really got going and the defense held the Ravens to just 224 yards.

T.J. Watt had two sacks and finished as the league leader, before leaving with a knee injury. Markus Golden also recorded a sack, as he filled in for the injured Watt, that helped seal the victory. Mark Robinson had a big day with a sack and a fumble punch out late in the second quarter.

The secondary was never really tested, and Huntley finished with under 150 yards in the air. Eric Rowe’s forced fumble all but sealed the victory giving the Steelers excellent field position and setting up a 10-point lead late in the fourth quarter. Considering Rowe was on the couch as late as November it was a terrific job helping the Steelers leaky secondary.

Chris Boswell finished his outstanding bounce back season, with the clinching 25-yard field goal. He finished the season 29-31 on field goals. Pressley Harvin III was his usual maddening inconsistent self. He belted a great punt that trapped the Ravens inside the 10-yard line. The coverage team had too many men on the field, he then flubbed the re-kick a paltry 26 yards.

Calvin Austin III breathed life into the return game on punts, with 92 yards on five returns. He had a 34-yard return the Steelers didn’t capitalize on. Give credit to Godwin Igwebuike who made a heads up play on a Justin Turner kickoff, grabbing the ball with one foot out of bounds, costing the Ravens a penalty and giving the Steelers the ball at the 40.

It has been such a Jekyll and Hyde season for the Steelers coaching staff, but one thing was certain despite numerous injuries and all sorts of outside noise and distractions, Coach Tomlin kept the train on the tracks and the Steelers were able to make the playoffs!


My “GAME BEER” goes to: Going Eric Rowe whose forced fumble, basically sealed the victory for the Steelers, six weeks ago he was on the couch watching football. Also Considered: Godwin Igwebuike who made a heads up play on the kickoff, with one foot out of bounds costing the Ravens a penalty and field position.

Beer of the Game: The Big Iron, Iron City 24ounce cans! Had to go with the original! The Steelers signature beer did the trick this week!

“Steel the Snacks”: No “Steel the Snacks” again because of the Saturday game.

My Stat of the week: Going with 19 sacks, T.J. Watt, is the first player in NFL history to lead the league in sacks in three different seasons, he is also only the fourth player to have two 19-sack seasons, Demarcus Ware, Mark Gastineau and his brother J.J. were the other three.

My thoughts on next week: Well by a minor miracle the Steelers will head into Buffalo for the first round of the playoffs. It will be a tough outing but the Steelers are made for these types of games. It looks like no T.J. Watt which will make this infinitely tougher. However the Steelers are likely to get back both starting safeties!

Jersey of the Week: Steelers 1962 Logo Jersey without a number. I love this jersey and I decided to give it a shot for the last weekend of the regular season!

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Steelers beat the Seahawks!

January 1st, 2024

The Steelers out muscled the Seahawks in a win that was a testament to their resilience and opportunistic play and after three years of slumber the offense finally looks like it is waking up.

The coaching staff deserves a lot of credit here. Mike Tomlin clearly had an aggressive game plan, and it set the tone. The Steelers went for it on fourth down three times and converted twice. They didn’t shy away after missing on their first attempt. Tomlin stayed aggressive turning Mason Rudolph loose and his faith paid off. The defense is banged up right now and the offense has stepped up these last two weeks.

Mason Rudolph is making a major case to be the Steelers’ starting quarterback in 2024 and it begs the question why he didn’t get a better and longer look until now. He has absolutely delivered and made some of the biggest throws of the season. It is not an understatement to say that he saved the season. Rudolph finished 18 for 24 for 274 yards with no touchdowns. He also did a great job on the sneak play, something that the Steelers have been missing for years.

Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren absolutely hammered the Seahawks front seven and controlled the line of scrimmage. Harris had two touchdowns and could have scored a third. Warren plays so much bigger than he is and has been a tough performer all season, he had one touchdown on an 18-yard carry, he also pulled in four catches.

You do not run that well without a strong performance by the offensive line. Broderick Jones had a highlight day and was handing out pancakes all over the field. Behind the line the Steelers finished with 202 rushing yards, second only to the 205 yards they grinded out against the Packers game in Pittsburgh.

George Pickens had another big day, and his media troubles seem to be in the rearview mirror. He finished with seven catches for 131 yards including a highlight reel catch, a 34-yarder early in the fourth quarter, that will be on the NFL highlight reel this season. Diontae Johnson had four catches for 76 yards. Pat Freiermuth contributed with 44 receiving yards on three catches.

Nick Herbig had arguably the biggest play of the day getting his strip sack midway through the fourth quarter. That turnover gave the Steelers the ball deep in Seattle territory and let them build their lead to 10. Myles Jack once again had a very good day with eight tackles in the game filling in for an injured Elandon Roberts. Cam Heyward had a batted down pass and played well, setting the point of attack.

The secondary struggled but made plays when they needed to. Patrick Peterson did a nice job playing safety. Eric Rowe did a solid job and led the team in tackles with 10. He was a nice mid-season pickup. Joey Porter Jr. hung tough against DK Metcalf.

Chris Boswell made all three of his field goal attempts. He is now 28 for 30 on the season. Pressley Harvin III only had to punt once and he banged a 46-yarder inside the 20.

After a disastrous start of the month, the Steelers recovered and worked their way back to playoff contention.


My “GAME BEER” goes to: Najee Harris AND Jaylen Warren who both absolutely stomped the Seahawks defense, for a whopping 197 yards between them. The best run though was the one Najee didn’t make, sliding before the goal line and sealing the victory. Also Considered: Mason Rudolph who has brought the offense back to life.

Beer of the Game: We went to an Irish Pub to watch the game and celebrate the ball dropping in Dublin. I had Guinness and KGB had Smithwicks. Both are our favorites.

“Steel the Snacks”: We didn’t steel the snacks this week again. We did go with wings, onion ring, appetizers, and corned beef sandwiches at the pub!

My Stat of the week: It is now 17 season that Mike Tomlin, has not had a losing season. The media downplays this and for whatever reason the fan base hates the stat, but there is something to be said about the fact that the Steelers are in contention the last week of the year with the number of injuries they are battling and the horrible start the offense had this season. ALSO, The Steelers have scored 30 points in back-to-back weeks for the first time this season and the first time since 2018 when they did it week 2 and 3.

My thoughts on next week: It is Raven’s week! Funny thing about this, the Ravens are in great shape after pulverizing two of the NFL’s best teams in consecutive weeks. They are likely to play only backups and that scares me more than if they went with their varsity. (I still hate Cody Carlson) Don’t think for one second that Baltimore wouldn’t love to send the Steelers home this week!

Jersey of the Week: Joey Porter #55, Away Jersey. I guess technically this is a throwback, but when I bought it, it was new. Chose this one in conjunction with D-Man wearing his Joey Porter Jr. jersey!

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