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

November 15th, 2023
by admin

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
by admin

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.

BEER WE GO STEELERS, BEER WE GO!

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
by admin

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.

BEER WE GO STEELERS, BEER WE GO!

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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Familiar foe downs the Steelers!

October 29th, 2023
by admin

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.

BEER WE GO STEELERS, BEER WE GO!

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
by admin

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.

BEER WE GO STEELERS, BEER WE GO!

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
by admin

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

MORE TO COME

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Steelers are horrible in Houston!

October 2nd, 2023
by admin

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.

BEER WE GO STEELERS, BEER WE GO!

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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Steelers beat the Raiders

September 25th, 2023
by admin

The Steelers made their Las Vegas debut in front of a raucous crowd of fans, beating the Raiders 23-18 in a very well rounded hard fought effort.

Kenny Pickett put together a workman like night. He passed for 235 yards and two touchdowns. After starting off slow and nearly getting torched for a pick six by Marcus Peters, he settled in and the game never looked too big for him. He converted when needed and made the plays. He also used his mobility to evade a fierce Raiders pass rush. It was his best game of the season, and he converted a huge third down in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter with a nifty six-yard pass to Allen Robinson to put the game close to out of reach.

The receivers had a nice night. Calvin Austin III got the start and took the lid off the Raiders defense with a quick strike 72-yard touchdown that got the Steelers on the board. George Pickens contributed with four catches for 75 Yards. Pat Freiermuth got in the box score with his first touchdown of the season, in a classically orchestrated balanced Steelers drive. The running game was mediocre again but they managed to grind out 100+ yards on the ground with Najee Harris leading the way, he had 19 carries for 65 very hard earned yards. Jaylen Warren contributed in both the passing game and the running game with 23 yards in the air and 29 yards on the ground.

The defense put together a strong performance bottling up the Raiders running game for only 69 yards, forcing three turnovers and sacking Jimmy Garoppolo four times. It should have been five as the refs blew a huge call on Minkah Fitzpatrick barreling down Jimmy G.

T.J. Watt had two sacks; Keanu Benton put together a strong performance registering his first sack of his young career. Markus Golden also had a big sack late in the game. The secondary played bend but don’t break defense. Davante Adams racked up a whopping 13 catches for 172 yards and scored both Raiders touchdowns. But the secondary rallied and had three interceptions including a nifty game sealing victory pick by Levi Wallace. He also snagged one earlier in the game. Patrick Peterson had his first pick as a Steeler.

The Special Teams were a key contributor to last nights victory! Pressley Harvin III had another big week. He averaged 53.8 yards per punt and flipped the field, pinning the Raiders down three times inside the 20. His last punt erased nearly 11 seconds off the clock and went for 63 yards. Chris Boswell is having a great comeback season; he was three for three on field goals and he absolutely hammered a 57-yarder that extended the Steelers lead.

The refs had a terrible night, calling Minkah Fitzpatrick for a personal foul penalty on a bone crunching sack of Garoppolo, it clearly was not. They also missed an obvious holding call on the Raiders two point try, opting to call for pass interference on Chandon Sullivan, it was questionable at best. It led to the Raiders inching closer and kept the game interesting.

The Steelers game plan was to stop the run and have the Raiders passing offense try and beat them…they didn’t. It was a well rounded effort on all three phases of the game and it was a good game to build off of.

BEER WE GO STEELERS, BEER WE GO!

My “GAME BEER” goes to: Kenny Pickett the numbers were okay, but he just made plays when they most needed it. It is the intangibles that he has that gives you hope. Honorable Mention: T.J. Watt with two sacks, Keanu Benton who played a great game and how about the reborn Pressley Harvin III.

Beer of the Game: Went with Modello straight up. Always a solid choice and it is now the number one selling beer in America. Always take it easy during night games.

“Steel the Snacks”: Las Vegas doesn’t really have a signature food, so KGB went with the classic Vegas buffet which consisted of Potato Skins and Wings. Excellent snack night for a night game. (BTW if there is something Vegas has that we didn’t address please message me)

My Stat of the week: Nothing jumped out at me, we will go with Kenny Pickett who is now 2-0 in his career v. The Raiders. There is something about him that you want to root for him.

My Thoughts on next week: This is the CLASSIC Steelers trap game that has plagued Mike Tomlin throughout his career. Houston pulled the upset yesterday with a big win over Jacksonville and the Steelers have the Ravens looming the following week. On paper this should be a big win, they need the offense to perform like it did yesterday and they will make quick work of the Texans. The key is to stay focused.

Jersey of the Week: Went with Cam “Steelhead” Heyward #97 Away, Looking forward to having him back in the lineup!

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Steelers defense beats the Browns!

September 19th, 2023
by admin

It was not pretty and at times it was downright painful but in the end the Steelers did enough in all three phases of the game to pull out victory, defeating the Browns 26-22 on Monday Night Football.

The Steelers’ defense was tough and physical all night, forcing four turnovers, including three fumbles and one interception. Alex Highsmith had a pick-six on the first play of the game, and T.J. Watt returned a fumble for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, the eventual game winner. Larry Ogunjobi held down the middle and was dominant in the first half.

While the Browns rushed for 198 Yards a huge chunk of that was 69 yards on a busted running play, where Levi Wallace failed to contain. The secondary struggled with tackling but played well for the most part. They were willing to give up the short plays and had tight coverage. Joey Porter Jr. had his first Steelers moment ending the Browns last comeback attempt with tight albeit somewhat questionable defense.

The offense struggled to get going again, but they were able to make enough plays to win the game. Kenny Pickett struggles continued very similar to last week and his late season swag from last year, seems all but gone, with throws that were inaccurate when he was not running for his life.

Pickett did manage to throw for 222 yards and a touchdown, and Najee Harris rushed for 43 yards with little to no openings. George Pickens had four catches for 127 yards and one touchdown. Jaylen Warren chipped in with four catches and had 66 yards. The offensive line had a tough night in both protection and in run blocking. It looked as if they were playing on ice skates.

The Browns lost running back Nick Chubb, who suffered a left knee injury in the second quarter after getting drilled by Minkah Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick also left the game with an injury. Noted sex offender, Deshaun Watson threw for 235 yards and a touchdown, but he was out of sorts all night and made several key mistakes, including the pick six interception and two fumbles one of which resulted in the touchdown by Watt. He also was flagged for a face mask twice. It was a Browns self-destruction kind of night.

Pressley Harvin III finally delivered and hammered two punts that pinned the Browns inside the five. It was his best performance as a Steeler to date. Chris Boswell hit two long field goals 50 and 52, respectively. The coverage teams were solid, the return teams…not so much. Overall it was a very good night for the Special Teams unit.

As for the coaching, they are going to get roasted in the mainstream media this week. The Steelers problems though are more about execution than schemes. The offense is awful, and the play calling is lousy, but there were several missed opportunities that left points on the board where the Steelers could have executed starkly better. It will be a continued work in progress.

It was the usual hard hitting, physical AFC North and as Coach Tomlin says, they aren’t going to apologize for victory.

BEER WE GO STEELERS, BEER WE GO!

My “GAME BEER” goes to: T.J. Watt who scored the winning touchdown and broke James Harrison all-time Steelers sack record! Honorable Mention: This easily could have gone to Alex Highsmith, we went with history, but Highsmith absolutely had a huge game, forcing the fumble and starting the game with a pick six.

Beer of the Game: Went with Modello Chelada, KGB went with Yuengling…No strategy on these selections, cleaning out the summer beer fridge.

“Steel the Snacks”: We stole the Cleveland classic Corned Beef Sandwich and Pierogies, the corned beef was not cold cuts, it was an actual oven roasted corned beef that KGB made. It makes a huge difference! We had the not so Little Miss Tailgate and D-Man with us for the game.

My Stat of the week: With Monday’s victory Mike Tomlin now is 20-3 all-time on “Monday Night Football”. They have also won 21 straight “Monday Night Football” games at home.

My Thoughts on next week: The Steelers have the personnel and the ability to beat The Raiders, both teams sit at 1-1. Obviously, the offense needs to step it up, the performance on Monday night will not be enough to beat a dangerous Las Vegas team.

Jersey of the Week: Went with my first jersey that I ever purchased #36 Home, “The Bus” Jerome Bettis, while you can’t argue with results, I was hoping it would spur the running game!

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Steelers stink up the opener!

September 10th, 2023
by admin

The Steelers never got going and were easily handled by the 49ers 30-7.

It started with high hopes, and it finished with a crushing reality that maybe they are not as far along as they looked in preseason. The Steelers were dominated and defeated by the San Francisco 49ers Sunday at the home opener at Acrisure Stadium.

The Steelers offense struggled to get going against the 49ers. They were held to just 229 total yards and seven points. Kenny Pickett who dazzled in the preseason struggled to find his rhythm. He completed 31 of 46 passes for 232 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. His throws were inaccurate and off target most of the day.

The Steelers’ running game was also ineffective. Najee Harris rushed for just 31 yards on six carries. The offensive line had trouble opening up holes for Harris, and the 49ers defense was able to stuff the run at the line of scrimmage. The protection in passing downs held up especially against a tough 49ers’ pass rush but eventually succumbed. Pickett was sacked five times and pressured throughout the game. He was unable to get into a rhythm and make consistent throws.

The Steelers’ receivers also had a quiet day. Veteran Allen Robinson II led the team with five catches. The Steelers were unable to get any big plays in the passing game.

The defense had very few answers from the returning Brock Purdy. Brandon Aiyuk torched the secondary and found every possible hole in the zone coverage with 129 yards on eight catches. Every time Purdy needed to make a play, he hit it with Aiyuk. Patrick Peterson and Levi Wallace had few if any answers to slow down the passing game.

The run defense was atrocious as well. The 49ers racked up 188 yards on the ground led by Christian McCaffrey who torched the Steelers front seven for 152 yards and a long of 65 yards that extinguished any flames of a comeback in the second half.

Cam Heyward and DeMarvin Leal went down with injuries and the 49ers took full advantage of it. In their absence there was next to no push up front and the Steelers struggled to set any point of attack.

T.J. Watt was the line bright spot, finishing with Three sacks and two forced fumbles. Anytime he had a one-on-one matchup he disrupted the game. Nothing else really stood out in what can only be described as an awful performance.

The special teams had the typical Steelers special teams performance. A few bright spots but mostly inconsistent and awful. Pressley Harvin once again had an uneven day punting, he hammered a 57 yarder but also laid an egg with a 34 yarder that gave the 49ers the ball at midfield. Even Christian Kuntz racked up a face mask penalty. Anthony McFarland had a nice day returning kicks and finish just over 90 yards.

The coaching staff needs to take some knocks here. This team was clearly not prepared and at no point did they make any adjustments. They were dominated from the opening whistle to the last and showed next to no life in recovering.

The fans were terrible too as in they clearly sold out, for the first time since I can remember the stadium sounded like a 49ers home came. The whole downstairs was littered with 49ers “Faithful”.

Throw in some key injuries to Diontae Johnson, Cam Heyward and the crew and this was just awful.

While it is way to early to panic, the loss was so severe and final, that it will be the talk of the media all week.

BEER WE GO STEELERS, BEER WE GO!

My “GAME BEER” goes to: T.J. Watt who tied James Harrison for the all-time Steelers record for total sacks! Honorable Mention: NO ONE, seriously couldn’t think of anyone, maybe Allen Robinson, but that is a stretch

Beer of the Game: Went with Yuengling Lager, one of my staples from college until now, from a great brewery. They could not summon the ghosts of the Pottsville Maroons to help the lagging Steelers. Great beer, but obviously won’t be back after that stinker.

“Steel the Snacks”: Awesome effort by KGB in her first time out this season. First she toughed it out and BBQ’d in the rain and finished in the house making Honey Siracha Chicken sliders and Garlic Fries from San Francisco. BTW only touchdown came when the snack came out. Watched the game with my Dad and son D-man. My Dad’s record is like 0 and hundred when we watch with him…he won’t be invited back.

My Stat of the week:  Been a rough write today, so must go with three sacks for T.J. Watt, which led to tying James Harrison at 80 ½ sacks. The Steelers are an infinitely better team when he is in the lineup. My sincere hope is that he will battle Cam all season trading the record back and forth.

My Thoughts on next week: Need a bounce back win against a Browns team that absolutely demolished the division rival Bengals. They look very tough right now.

Jersey of the Week: Went back to my basics, Mike Webster #52 Home. For several years this was always my kickoff jersey.

 

 

 

 

 

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