Steelers stay alive!!!

January 2nd, 2023
by admin

It was slow and plodding, violently physical and exciting at the end in the latest chapter of the Steelers versus Ravens, with the Steelers pulling out the victory 16-13.

Just a few short weeks ago, the Ravens pushed the Steelers around up front, this week the black and gold returned the favor, gashing a stout Raven’s defense for 198 monster yards up front. Najee Harris had his biggest game as a Steeler rushing for 111 yards and catching the game winning touchdown. His counterpart Jaylen Warren added 76 yards and looked like a bowling ball. It was power running at its finest as the Steelers offensive line demolished the Ravens all night up front.

Kenny Pickett’s box score will not look great, but anyone who has watched him can see his maturation process. For the second week in a row in a national game, Pickett delivered and delivered big. This time he led an 80-yard drive that was 11 plays and ate up just over three minutes. It resulted in the game winner. He still makes mistakes including tripping and inexplicably staying down and eating a sack, but it is clear he is improving. His total line is not pretty 15 for 27 for a paltry 168 yards, but he protected the ball and his moxy in the clutch came through.

While no one’s numbers were great, the receivers all made huge clutch catches when called up. Pat Freiermuth, Steve Sims and Jaylen Warren led the team with three catches each.

The defensive game plan was drawn up well and it was executed well. The Steelers used a much heavier run stopping front this time around and it worked. The Steelers nearly halved the Ravens production from three weeks ago, keeping the Ravens at 120 yards. They also kept J.K. Dobbins under 100 yards, which is no small feat. Mark Robinson, filling in for Myles Jack did very well and the comparisons to Vince Williams seem justified, he racked up seven tackles and played a very physical brand of defense. Robert Spillane has played well in his leading role.

The secondary kept everything in front of them and put together a solid effort against the Raven’s middle school offense. Mark Andrews had a big game racking up nine catches for 100 yards, but the numbers don’t tell the whole story, he was mostly held in check when they needed it. Minkah Fitzpatrick intercepted the Ravens final gasp at getting back into the game.

The only touchdown the Ravens could muster was on an egregious call by the officials on Cam Heyward. Heyward was flagged for unnecessary roughness that gave the Ravens a new set of downs and brought them half the distance to the goal. It was clear in the video that Ronnie Stanley was the offender and pulled Heyward forward. Tyler Huntley connected with Isaiah Likely for the touchdown.

Special teams were once again the achilleas heel, Chris Boswell missed a 48-yard field goal, his eighth missed opportunity of the season. With battling injuries and elements, this season has been a struggle for him. The kick coverage unit nearly got torched for a touchdown by Justice Hill, leaving the Ravens with excellent field position. The defense bailed them out forcing a punt. The Steelers had two holding calls on two separate punt returns that were fair caught by Steven Sims. The lone bright spot was Pressley Harvin III continues to improve and he boomed two punts for 99 yards with one landing inside the 20.

The Steelers coaching staff needed to make adjustments from the game plan three weeks ago. They did it and had all the answers needed to salvage what once looked like an awful season.


My “GAME BEER” goes to: Najee Harris… “ROCK TO THE NAJ” was in all its glory on Sunday Night football, Harris paced the running attack and caught the game winning drive. Honorable Mention: Kenny Pickett who once again delivered in a clutch performance.

Beer of the Game: Modello which is one of my favorite beers, NO Beer for KGB this week.

“Steel the Snacks”: Went with leftover mozzarella sticks that were mediocre at best. I made them after we had the traditional Italian meal of Cotechino Sausage and Lentils. Night games are tough on the snack front.

My Stat of the week:  Easy 198 blistering yards against a tough Raven’s defense. The Ravens were only allowing 87 yards per game, good for third in the league. Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren dominated on the ground. Also considered Mike Tomlin has now leads John Harbaugh 17-15 all time.

My Thoughts on next week: I thought the game was going to get flexed, it didn’t. Expect the Browns to do everything in their power to send the Steelers home and this will mark serial rapist Deshaun Watson’s Browns debut against the Steelers. The playoffs are irrelevant without a big win here.

Jersey of the Week: Franco Harris #32, Salute to Service, stayed with our beloved running back who is sorely missed.

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