Steelers lose third in a row!

December 22nd, 2020
by admin

What once looked like a magical season has begun to crash down to earth. The Steelers dropped their third game in a row and fell to the hapless Bengals. It was the first division loss for the Steelers this season and it put a division title on hold if not in jeopardy.

Ben Roethlisberger looked lost and worn out on Monday night, his slump continued. He played the worst half of football in his career with an abysmal 5 for 13 and a paltry NEGATIVE TWO yards. He looked confused and out of synch all night. Roethlisberger would finish 20-38 for 170 yards and accounted for two turnovers. That yielded 10 points for the Bengals.

The receivers too are playing poorly after a great start, JuJu Smith-Schuster has all but vanished from the offense, only making his presence known with a fumble, that pretty much sealed the Steelers fate and a TickTock dance ritual that is driving EVERYONE crazy. Diontae Johnson had a nice bounce back game and led the team in catches, Chase Claypool made a nice play for 37-yards.

The running game showed flashes of life and Benny Snell racked up 84 yards on the ground and grinded through the game. It was a nice effort for Snell, once again the Steelers struggled though to convert short yardage situations and it cost them.

The shorthanded defense hung in there but wore down as the game went on. The Bengals blasted the Steelers front for 152 yards. Giovani Bernard had 83 tough yards on the ground, fighting for every inch of his gains. Ryan Finley had the back breaker with a 23-yard scramble. He could never find his niche passing and the Steelers did lay him out with two sacks, but he made the plays when he needed to.

T.J. Watt’s production is hurt without Bud Dupree and Alex Highsmith has not been a huge factor since taking over.

The special teams played well and had a good week. Jordan Berry average over 50 yards per punt…and there were a lot of them. Ray-Ray McCloud had a 30-yard kick return. The coverage units seemed to fix any of the leaks and hopefully things are trending up.

The Steelers coaches need to do some real soul searching. The Washington game was a breakdown, this was an implosion. The Steelers completely fell apart in the first half yielding 17 points on turnovers and the mistakes on defense are really about gap integrity and non-disciplined play. After a valiant effort at the beginning of last season the Steelers collapsed losing the last three, this team looks like they are on the verge of another catastrophic collapse.

Just for the record, the refs last night were atrocious again. They missed several key calls including a game breaking pass interference call. They also missed several cheap shots by both teams. The Monday Football announce crew is absolutely horrible. The game was nearly unwatchable.

Regaining some semblance of a running game and getting back a few of the starters on defense should help. Otherwise, a once promising season will be a footnote in history!


My “GAME BEER” goes to: Benny Snell, he played tough grind it out football and showed some glimpses of a running game. Also Considered: Diontae Johnson, who had a nice bounce back game.

Where I watched the game: At the house with KGB and the Tailgate Kids (At least two of them).In the “Steel the Snacks”, KGB made Cincinnati Coney Hot Dogs, loaded with chilly, onions and cheese. The dogs were phenomenal and no kidding the Steelers turned it around at least for a little while when they came out. I had Bushwick Lager Pounders (They came in a black and gold can which is why I picked them) and KGB had Harpoon Holiday! Dante had A&W Root Beer. Need to make some changes on the beers and such.

My Stat of the week: Stat of the week 3-6 over the last two years in the Month of December. The Steelers historically thrive this team of year…the last two years they have faded down the stretch. The first half was one of the worst I have ever seen the Steelers play.

My Thoughts on next week: The Steelers need a win desperately to clinch the division. The Bengals seem like the likely candidate, they now must face down a game Colts team and then possibly play for the Division title against the resurgent Browns. The Steelers have got to win out now.

This week’s Jersey: No Jersey this week because it was a Prime-Time game.

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Steelers drop second in a row, falling to Buffalo!

December 14th, 2020
by admin

With the offense regressing and the defensive injuries catching up, the Steelers dropped their second game in a row to the Buffalo Bills, marking the first losing streak of the season.

The offense is now struggling significantly. Teams are figuring out how to defend the dink and dunk passing game when the Steelers receivers aren’t dropping easy catches. Diontae Johnson had a tough first half and his case of dropsies continued. He is a tremendous playmaker and he rebounded in the second half, he made significant mistakes and found himself on the bench. Eric Ebron looks like an unstoppable threat and then makes a key drop in an important spot. The receivers need to regain some consistency. There was no spark on offense and the Steelers punted EIGHT times.

Ben Roethlisberger had his worst performance of the season against a mediocre Bills’ defense. Roethlisberger only mustered 187 yards and had two back breaking interceptions, the first was a pick six by Taron Johnson when the Steelers were driving and leading in the first half, the last was an underthrown ball to James Washington that Levi Wallace picked off to end any chance of a comeback. The personnel around him didn’t help the situation and the complete disappearance of any sort of running game is now a glaring weakness.

Playing behind a banged up offensive line, James Conner’s return had no impact. Conner finished with 10 carries for just under 20 yards and almost had a costly fumble. Jaylen Samuels and Benny Snell combined for 29 yards between them and were never a factor. Starting guard Matt Feiler was lost for the game early, his backup Kevin Dotson also left the game with injury forcing J.C. Hassenauer into action at guard. The line finally surrendered a sack after keeping Ben upright for five games. They are getting no push at all and are struggling.

The Steelers defense hung tough and were dominating the first half, but eventually wore down. Josh Allen, was running for his life all game, but found a rhythm with Stefon Diggs exploiting the Steelers soft zone coverage. Alex Highsmith continues to be a work in progress with the Steelers desperately missing Bud Dupree. T.J. Watt could never get going and was a step behind most of the night. Cam Heyward played a physical game and anchored the front.

Avery Williamson and Marcus Allen held their own in their first respective first starts. Williamson did well as the signal caller and led the team in tackles. He also is a solid tackler and looks like a nice addition. Allen who is playing out of position, did a nice job for most of the game and brings a coverage aspect that is unique. No Joe Haden was also a factor in Diggs big performance, but Mike Hilton and Cam Sutton played well as their roles expanded on defense. Hilton chipped in with a pick and some solid tackling.

While it was far from a great performance the defense deserved a better outcome.

The special teams slide back to being a huge liability is almost complete. The kick coverage teams are terrible and undisciplined. Any magic Ray-Ray McCloud had, is now gone and his questionable decision making started the Steelers off deep on their side of the field. Jordan Berry punted a whopping eight times and had mixed results. He never was able to get the full flip of the field and averaged a paltry 39.8 yards.

The strength of the offense is the receivers, and they are playing poorly, the strength of the defense is the linebackers, and they are a MASH unit right now. With both units not playing well, whether it is mistakes or injuries the Steelers are losing and seem be falling back to the pack after a meteoric start to the season.

It was inevitable that at some point the Steelers were going to go through this kind of lull. The key now is to see how the coaches adjust to it. The playoffs are a lock, but the division is now very much up for grabs. Coaching is the only thing that will keep this season from failing.


My “GAME BEER” goes to: Cam Heyward, he played a tough physical game, the stats didn’t show it, but he proved why he is the team captain and one of the best at his position. We are proud of Steelhead. Also Considered: James Washington, he makes the most of his time on the field and Sunday was no exception, great effort, and he scored the first touchdown of the game.

Where I watched the game: Back at the house with KGB, my friend Mike who came for the first week, and Dante. (Because of the virus, we are limiting people over) There is a curfew in New York so going out for the games during primetime is not possible. In the “Steel the Snacks”, KGB made Buffalo Chicken Tenders with Blue Cheese. They were perfect and it was a special recipe. It makes missing prime-time games out seem like not such a big deal! The Steelers recorded their record setting sack when they came out! It was a mediocre performance against a great snack! Mike brought Pabst Blue Ribbon Pounders, no beer for KGB this week! Dante had A&W Root Beer, which will be out moving forward! A&W is 0-2

My Stat of the week: Stat of the week is 70 straight games with a sack for the Steelers defense, the new record. Tyson Alualu nailed Josh Allen to keep the record streak going. It was a bright spot in a lousy game. The defense deserved better and while it wasn’t a great game, they played well enough. This also marks the third game the Steelers played in 12 days and you can see they were wearing down.

My Thoughts on next week: The Steelers need a big bounce back and they have another prime-time game against the division rival, Terrible Towel stomping Bengals. Look for a slow start and the Steelers to put a second half whupping on them, giving everyone a breather.

This week’s Jersey: Cam Heyward, #97 Away Jersey, He is the heart and soul of the defense and he played great last night pushing Mitch Morse all over the field and causing the Bills’ first turnover.

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Steelers fall to Washington..

December 8th, 2020
by admin

The offense could never get going, the defense wore down and costly mistakes combined with injuries snapped the Steelers 11 game winning streak. It was a terrible day for the offense, going three an out on the first two possessions and never finding a way to convert on short yardage situations. After taking a 14-point lead, they could never again get it on track again.

Ben Roethlisberger was off target most of the night and the receivers, specifically Eric Ebron and Diontae Johnson had some big drops. The inconsistency of not being able to run the ball also played a major factor in the loss. The Steelers had FIVE shots at converting a short yardage goal line situation and could not do it. Leaving points on the field.

This played heavily in the last big drive of the game, with the Steelers tied and in position to take the lead, they opted to go on fourth and one, instead of trying a Field Goal. For whatever reason, the offense went with a deep pass to Anthony McFarland. Roethlisberger missed McFarland and the Steelers left Washington in position to win the game. They did just that. Roethlisberger had one more shot at coming back but a tipped pass turned into an interception all but ending the game. Benny Snell finished with a paltry five yards on eight carries. The Steelers finished with just 21 yards on the ground. It was a forgettable night. James Washington was the only bright spot racking up two catches for 80 yards and a touchdown.

The defense finally broke and lost two key contributors, Robert Spillane and Joe Haden. Both factored huge in the loss. With Spillane out, Vince Williams was forced into coverage and he was exposed badly, getting beaten on several swing passes to J.D. McKissic. With Haden out, Cam Sutton gave up the key third down conversion to Cam Sims in the fourth quarter that setup the go-ahead field goal. Washington had very little room to run but sloppy tackling was again a factor in the game.

One game without Bud Dupree and the pressure up front suffered. T.J. Watt played well, and he made several plays, but Alex Highsmith was never really a factor.  Avery Williamson led the team in tackles but still looks like a work in progress. Tyson Alualau, Cam Heyward and Stephon Tuitt played well and Tuitt registered a sack, Washington could only garnered 40+ yards on the ground.

The special teams after getting back on track, again had a terrible day and looks once again to be a liability. Chris Boswell was out, so the Steelers “relied” on first year kicker Matthew Wright. Wright converted his only chance and both extra point tries, but it was clear the team did not have confidence in him. Ray-Ray McCloud fumbled for the second week in a row and any momentum he had over the start of the season looks lost. Marcus Allen was called with a questionable roughing the punter. It was a lousy performance all around.

The Steelers for the first time in 2020 have got to come back after a tough loss. A loss that could have easily been a win. It will be interesting to see how this team responds next week against a very tough team.


My “GAME BEER” goes to: T.J. Watt he was on fire for most of the game and finished with six tackles a sack and a forced fumble. Also Considered: James Washington who had two catches for 80 yards.

Where I watched the game: We watched at my Father’s house and got a little bit of a late start because of the early kickoff. We brought in Pizza from a new place and the beer of choice was BluePoint Winter Lager. The beer was good, the pizza was okay. No KGB Snacks…

My Stat of the week: The Steelers are 109-2-1 when leading by 14 points at any point in a game. The two losses were the Chargers and now the Washington Football Team.

Personal Stat: This was the first time I have missed the Washington Football team playing the Steelers in person in over 10 years! It is a strange fact and not sure why but have attended the last four meetings in both stadiums.

My Thoughts on next week: Look for a big bounce back against a tough Bills team. The feeling was the Steelers would drop one of these two games. I would expect a much bigger performance next week.

This week’s Jersey: James Harrison, #92 Throwback, this was wishful thinking because there were rumors the Steelers might bring Harrison back as a situational pass rusher. He is a Beer We Go favorite and would like to see him rewrite his last chapter with the Steelers.

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Steelers prevail in longest week ever!

December 2nd, 2020
by admin

It was late, it wasn’t pretty and at times it was downright awful, but the Steelers beat the Baltimore Ravens and swept the depleted team after three postponements. It was a breakdown on almost all fronts, in an effort that Coach Tomlin called “junior varsity”.

The good was the Steelers beat a bitter rival and still control the division, behind an adequate defensive performance against a ragtag squad of backups and practice squad players that the Covid infested Ravens could put together. The bad they made several key mistakes and had breakdowns on offense and specifically on special teams.

The receiving crew which is arguably the team’s strength had a complete and total meltdown during the game. Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Ray-Ray McCloud and Eric Ebron combined for several drops and three fumbles, with McCloud’s coming on special teams and leading to the Raven’s first touchdown. It was hard for Ben Roethlisberger to find any kind of rhythm, he had his challenges and the team never could get on track offensively.

Roethlisberger had a red zone turnover and didn’t see a wide-open Derek Watt for a sure Touchdown. The Steelers couldn’t effectively run the ball despite the many players missing from the Ravens. Benny Snell hung tough in his first start of the season. His numbers were pedestrian, but he effectively helped put the Ravens away with 68 very tough yards.

The Defense was not spectacular but did enough to win the game. Joe Haden had a pick six touchdown. T.J. Watt had a monster game with two sacks and was all over the Ravens backfield. The front seven bent but never broke to the Ravens running game. Two busted plays accounted for the majority of Baltimore’s yardage, a 70-Yard missed tackle pass caught by Marquise Brown and a 39-yard run by the ghost of Robert Griffin III. There was a level four Mondeaux sighting and he chipped in with two tackles. Steelhead Heyward had a one handed sack of RG III. The extremely bad news is that, late in the fourth quarter the Steelers lost Bud Dupree to injury and it looked like it was season ending.

After rebounding the special teams once again proved a near Achilles heel. Ray-Ray McCloud had the key fumble, that led to a Raven’s touchdown. Chris Boswell missed another extra point on the Haden’s interception touchdown. The return teams made several mistakes and kept the Steelers in tough field position all day.

They were lucky to pull this out and if it wasn’t for a miracle catch by James Washington who caught a Roethlisberger floater on the last drive, this would have been a very different week.

Despite poor play, the Steelers did enough to survive and now must focus on a very fast turnaround.


My “GAME BEER” goes to: This was tough because the performance was lousy but going with James Washington. Washington has made so many tough catches this year and his catch yesterday all but assured the victory. Also Considered: Benny Snell Jr. who crashed and bashed his way to 60 yards and helped close out the Ravens. T.J. Watt who cracked double digits in sacks for the third time in three seasons.

Where I watched the game: We were at the house and working during the game because of the odd time. The “Steel the other team’s snacks”, was on hold this week because of Thanksgiving and then because it was going to be Monday night and then because it was in the middle of the damn week in the middle of the damn day. KGB made everyone an individual chip plate with Guacamole and Ghost Pepper dip. Dante had his White-Rock Root Beer!

My Stat of the week: The Steelers are now 5-6 on Wednesdays and have played the second most times on Wednesday, 11 times, trailing only the Detroit Lions who have played 13. Honorable mention is FIVE, the amount of games back, the Ravens are now mathematically eliminating them from winning the division!

My Thoughts on next week: Quoting the words of Admiral Ackbar again, “It’s a Trap” the sequel! The Steelers now have the unenviable task of again playing a quasi-matinee on Monday against a team that is fighting for its life. The Steelers have a tough game the following week against a game Buffalo Bills squad. The Steelers need to play much better and not let teams like this hang around too long.

This week’s Jersey: Rod Woodson #26, Home Black, This is not a throwback Jersey, this is my actual jersey, the first I bought when I got a few dollars in my pocket. It also was my Turkey Bowl gamer, that I wear during the annual Turkey Bowl, which had to be cancelled this year.

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Steelers cruise to 10-0!

November 22nd, 2020
by admin

The Steelers handled the Jaguars to improve to 10-0!

It had all the makings of the classic trap game, the Steelers were coming off a big win against a division rival, a major national televised game against their ultimate division rival the following week, playing an unknown quarterback for a team that the Steelers historically struggle against. It didn’t happen. Mike Tomlin had the team prepared and kept everything in perspective, the result was never really in doubt after the first quarter and the Steelers remained perfect on the season.

The defense started the first drive slow, feeling out the Jaguars and yielding a field goal on the opening drive. They then held Jacksonville off the board for the next 49 minutes and three seconds. The game plan was to run the ball with James Robinson and the Steelers had the answer stacking the box. Vince Williams and Cam Heyward each had five tackles stopping the running game. Tyson Alualu, in his Jacksonville return, had a pass deflection that led to an interception. Robert Spillane continues to play well. Bud Dupree and Stephon Tuitt each registered a sack, continuing the current sack street at 66 games. The front seven kept the onus on Jake Luton and harassed him all day. He didn’t have the tools or the weapons to pull off the upset.

Luton completed only 16 passes for a paltry 151 yards and was picked four times. The secondary handcuffed the Jaguars and they had very little success passing. Terrel Edmunds had the best game of his career with four tackles and two interceptions. He showed his total skillset in stopping the run. Minkah Fitzpatrick also had two interceptions including a red zone pick that he returned for 37 yards setting up a Steelers touchdown. It was a very well-played game by the defense.

The offense worked at reestablishing the run, and for the most part they did just that. James Conner led the team with 89 yards on the ground and averaged 6.8 yards per carry. The offense cracked 100 yards on the day behind a solid effort. There was room to run and the Steelers didn’t abandon the run after starting slow. The Steelers use of the jet sweep the last two weeks had been ineffective.

Ben Roethlisberger put together a masterful if unspectacular performance. He passed for 267 yards and two touchdowns, hitting seven different receivers. His only blemish was an interception late in the first half. Diontae Johnson terrorized the Jaguars in the first half and finished the day with 12 receptions for 111 yards. Chase Claypool had a big day scoring his 10th touchdown of the season on a 31-yard catch, he finished with four receptions for 59 yards. Eric Ebron pitched in with another touchdown.

Special teams had a good day. After missing his first field goal of the season, “Little Bos” chipped in with two. The returns team protected the football on an onside kick. The Jordan Berry revival continues, he pinned the Jaguars inside their twenty twice and flipped the field on a 55-yard punt. He had only one miscue with a touchback late in the game.

The refs who have been a sore spot all season, simply let the teams play unless it was an egregious call. It kept the flow of the game going and made for a better viewing experience.

Give the coaching staff credit. They have had the right game plan for the Jaguars and there was no sense of let up during the game. The Jaguars after the first drive and ensuing onside kick try were out manned and the game plan played out exactly the way the coaching staff intended it to.


My “GAME BEER” goes to: Have to go with Diontae Johnson, he was clearly the go to receiver and he led the team in catches and yards. Also Considered: Terrell Edmunds, who continues to improve his game and step up with two interceptions. James Conner, who got back on track Sunday. “The MAC guys” who all contributed and good naturedly ribbed Coach Tomlin after the win.

Where I watched the game: We were at the house. The “Steel the other team’s snacks”, was Cuban Sandwich Sliders that KGB made, they served on Hawaiian Rolls with honey mustard. Keeping with the warm weather Jacksonville theme, the beer this week was Narraganset “Del’s Shandy” 16 oz pounders, that I had been saving for the last few months. KGB went back to “Mother Pumpkin Ale” with a cinnamon sugar rim and Dante had his White-Rock Root Beer! We were happy to welcome back Little Miss Tailgate Hailey for her first game day with us this season! The pressure was on for a victory.

My Stat of the week: 106 yards for the much-maligned rushing game. The Steelers have “struggled” to run the ball this season and Sunday they looked like they got back on track. James Conner averaged 6.8 yards per carry. When the Steelers commit to the run, they can run it.

My Thoughts on next week: As in three days from today. The Steelers can really step on the Ravens’ neck and not only put them out of this year’s division race, they can put them out of the playoff picture altogether. With Covid the schedule has been unforgiving and playing Thursday after a road game is tough. Mike Tomlin has done an excellent job this year keeping the Steelers focused. Look for the usual battle.

This week’s Jersey: Merril Hoge #33, Away White, one of the true gentleman to ever wear a Steelers jersey, always proud to honor Hogee!



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Steelers route Bengals…improve to 9-0!

November 16th, 2020
by admin

The Steelers had a great bounce back performance against a familiar foe the Cincinnati Bengals, with a strong victory to go 9-0 on the season. The Steelers harassed and dominated from the opening whistle and easily handled the Bengals’ super rookie Joe Burrow.

The story of the week was Covid and the restrictions it placed on the Steelers practice schedule. Ben Roethlisberger was forced to work remotely all week and didn’t practice with the team, despite that he played his best game of the year. He passed for 333 yards and four touchdown passes and was in complete control all game. His numbers could have been even better if one or two drops were handled. Even with the absence of a consistent running game Roethlisberger moved the Steelers down the field almost at will and engineered seven scoring drives for 36 points.

Roethlisberger hit seven different receivers and more importantly had zero turnovers. JuJu Smith-Schuster led the team in catches with nine and a big touchdown. Diontae Johnson put up his first 100-yard game of the season and he continues to show that he is a dangerous playmaker, he finished with six catches and a touchdown. Chase Claypool pitched in with four catches for 56 yards and two touchdowns. James Washington, is the unsung hero in the group, putting up two catches and making two big plays.

Despite playing one of the worst run defenses in the league, the Steelers struggled to run the ball and at times all but abandoned it. The “jet sweep” play was no longer effective and failed on three tries. James Conner could only muster 36 yards and he struggled to get outside on any of the running back sweep plays. He never could get in the rhythm and the offensive line couldn’t get the push needed when the Bengals stacked the box. The Steelers need to stay committed to the run especially in games like this but with Roethlisberger moving so well, the run was an afterthought.

It was close to a dominant performance for the defense and it never allowed a third down conversion. The numbers don’t tell the story, for most of the game Joe Burrow had plenty of time to pass but it appeared he didn’t recognize the coverages. The schemes confused him and at times he was just chucking and ducking. His only big play was a 54-yard completion to Tee Higgins on a blown coverage by Cam Sutton. The play setup the only Bengals touchdown on the day. The rest of the day the Bengals were held in check by the secondary. Joe Haden kept A.J. Green off the stat sheet, Steve Nelson played great again and had a fumble recovery. Terrell Edmunds led the team in tackles.

T.J. Watt had two big sacks. The first one knocked the Bengals out of field goal range at the end of the first half. The Bengals front doubled him most of the game. Bud Dupree was a step off but did get his seventh sack of the year. While the Bengals had mild success running the ball, they never really pushed the issue. Cam Hewyard, Tyson Alualu and Stephon Tuitt pushed the pocket and kept the Bengals off balance. There was another Mondeaux sighting, and he played well when called upon .

The Special teams had a nice bounce back week after the “dumpster fire” last week in Dallas. “Little Bos” was called on to complete three field goals in what had to be tough conditions with a swirling wind. Ray-Ray McCloud had a huge return that setup, the kill-shot touchdown on a 43-yard punt return. Olasunkanmi Adeniyi caused a fumbled on the first punt of the day. The Jordan Berry comeback took a nice turn putting together his best game in three seasons, highlighted by banging a 62- yard boomer that pinned the Bengals down. There was a minor hiccup on a fake punt after the game was well in hand.

Give the Steelers leadership and coaching a lot of the credit for the performance. This week was full of distractions with all the Covid Protocols, a lackluster performance last week and the mounting pressure of being undefeated. The team responded and put together its best performance of 2020 so far. It was a thorough demolition of a division rival.


My “GAME BEER” goes to: Ben Roethlisberger, who passed for over 300 yards and threw four touchdowns in a week where he never practiced live due to Covid restrictions. Also Considered: Diontae Johnson who had over 100 yards receiving and six catches. Joe Haden who played a masterful game shutting out A.J. Green.

Where I watched the game: We were at the house after an eventful Sunday. The “Steel the other team’s snacks”, was something called Skyline Dip that is supposedly popular in Cincinnati. While it was enjoyable, it was our worst snack of the season so far, especially coming off Texas Style Beef Brisket. The Steelers did score when the snacks came out. Beer this week was Smithwicks Irish Red from Ireland in bottles. I struggled with beverage management all game. KGB went back to “Mother Pumpkin Ale” with a cinnamon sugar rim and Dante had his White-Rock Root Beer!

My Stat of the week: The Steelers held the Bengals ZERO for 13 on 3rd down conversions. It was a very strong performance for the Steelers on defense despite not having the greatest push up front. The Pass Defense was tight with very few mistakes.

My Thoughts on next week: In the words of Admiral Ackbar, “It’s a Trap”! Riding high and now with a three-game advantage in the Division (including game in hand) this wreaks of a letdown. The Jags are starting their fourth string Quarterback and they are a team that the Steelers for whatever reason have historically struggled against. It scares me. Not to mention the Thanksgiving clash with the Ravens looms around the corner. This has the makings of a disaster. The Steelers really need to put their foot on the gas here and not let up.

This week’s Jersey: Franco Harris #32, Salute to Service, again to honor Veterans Day!


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The Grades are in; The Steelers first half report is here!

November 13th, 2020
by admin


What has gone right? The Steelers are 8-0 so that is a pretty “right” thing, and I honestly believe that they haven’t played their best football yet. No 8-0 teams has had to endure the absolute garbage media coverage this team gets. For some reason the Steelers should be apologizing for playing lousy football AND still winning.  Ben Roethlisberger’s revival has been nothing short of phenomenal. He is using all the weapons at his disposal and is the number ONE reason, the Steelers are sitting where they are. The Receivers (WR and TE) are beginning to develop into a first-class unit and may again challenge as the best unit on the team. The front seven, when healthy, is among the best in football. They are getting to the Quarterback consistently. The special teams up until last week was surprising enough a strength…but then came down to earth. The coaching has been solid and consistent. They have never gotten too high or too low and they keep the Steelers in every game.  One word for you: Mondeaux-Mania has hit the Burgh!

What has gone wrong? As it has for just about every American, COVID has wreaked havoc on the Steelers. Between having the games rescheduled to having players test positive and sending everyone into quarantine this week. Losing Devin Bush for the season is a tough blow. After six games of absolutely demolishing every team up front, the run defense has looked leaky the last two weeks. Against the Ravens you can give a mulligan, because the defense stepped up in other ways, against the Cowboys, it starts to ring the alarm bell. It looks like teams have found ways to exploit the Steelers zone defense in the passing game. The Steelers have also abandoned the run game because of inconsistency. Not being able to convert 3rd and short and 4th and short is troubling. That’s a challenge that will need to be addressed.  On a personal and non-game related note Tunch Ilkin having Lou Gehrig’s disease is just tragic.

Reasons for Concern: Well according to the media the Steelers are not a great team. I don’t buy it. Injuries have derailed several of the Steelers Super Bowl contenders, so that is a huge reason for concern. This year is the most unique for injuries because of the uncertainty of COVID. The defense needs to step up and make everyone a believer again. Tyson Alualu and Mike Hilton returning will be a major factor. The running game needs to reappear.

Offensive Game Beer:  Have to go with Ben Roethlisberger. The offense is just in a different gear when he is in the game. Honorable Mention: JuJu Smith-Schuster, Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson.

Defensive Game Beer: Tough one to pick, have to go with T.J. Watt who has made several key plays at key times and leads the team in sacks. Honorable Mention: Stephon Tuitt, Cam Heyward and Vince Williams.

Disappointment of the first half: James Conner not seizing the running back job. He can write a great second half if he gets to play and the right amount of touches.

Most Improved:  Diontae Johnson has been a playmaker for most of the season. Also Considered; Ray-Ray McCloud who dramatically improved the return game. Terrell Edmunds has done a very good job.


QB: A-, Ben Roethlisberger is playing some of his best football.

RB: C+, James Conner needs to step up in the second half. They have been passable this season but need to be much more consistent.

WR: A, This group has done an amazing job and everyone seems to have found their role. JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Washington make the tough catches. Diontae Johnson is the playmaker, Chase Claypool takes the top off the defenses.

TE: B, This could have been an A- or a B+ but they need to play more consistent. Eric Ebron is an absolute difference maker, except when he isn’t. He shows flashes of brilliance but makes a lot of mistakes. He needs to be more consistent in the second half. Vance McDonald has done a good job.

OL: B-, Pass blocking they have done a consistent and solid job. Run Blocking they have been inconsistent and need to do a better job opening up holes for the running backs.

DL: A-, Have played consistently strong and this would have been an A+ if Tyson Alualu would have been in these last two weeks. When they are healthy they anchor the defense.

LB: A, Very strong performance on the outside with 13 sacks between T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree. Robert Spillane has stepped up in Devin Bush’s absence and the Steelers brought in a great reinforcement in Avery Williamson. Vince Williams continues to play well.

DB: B, They have not been spectacular but they have made the plays when needed, including two goal line stands to preserve two victories. Minkah Fitzpatrick is beginning to shine again. Steven Nelson and Joe Haden are playing strong consistent football. Terrell Edmunds has improved this year.

Special Teams: B+, This would have been an A, but the Dallas game derailed that. If you take out last week. Every aspect of special teams has been good. The punting game was inconsistent but passable. Little Bos drilled the longest field goal in team history. Ray-Ray McCloud was a GREAT find!

What does part two look like: COVID makes everything a challenge right now. Hard to figure out what will happen. As for the things The Steelers can control. They will indeed lose a game or two and everyone will panic especially if it is to a jabroni team like the Jaguars or the Bengals. They have a tough game in Buffalo and the Ravens are extremely dangerous especially on a short travel week. That being written, this is a Super Bowl caliber team in so many ways. Worst case if everyone stays healthy is 13-3 and best case is 14-2.


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Steelers comeback and then hold on!

November 9th, 2020
by admin

It was almost the familiar Steelers scenario, the “Tomlin Special”, coming off a big win and then losing to a lousy team on the road, but in the end the Steelers rallied from 13 points down and beat the Dallas Cowboys, remaining undefeated and going to 8-0 for the first time in franchise history.

The Steelers started slow, had a terrible game plan and made several key mistakes on offense, defense and special teams. They also made several timely plays and were able to rally and hold off not one but two furious Cowboys’ comeback attempts.

Ben Roethlisberger playing with a banged-up knee, led the offensive comeback, using an empty backfield and five receiver set. Roethlisberger put up 300+ yards (with 195 yards coming in the second half) and threw three touchdowns. He saved the game and it is painfully apparent how important he is to the offense. Mason Rudolph made a scary appearance late in the first half and had little success.

Despite playing the worst run defense in the league, the Steelers threw the ball 46 times and found very little room for the running game. They only mustered 46 yards and failed to convert on third-and-1 and two fourth-and-1s, one of which was to close out the game. The running game has all but evaporated over the course of the last few weeks. James Conner finished with only 22 yards.

The run defense playing with rookie Carlos Davis as the Nose Tackle also has evaporated. After getting battered last week by the Ravens, the Cowboys churned out 144 yards with a mediocre offensive line and an injured Zeke Elliot. They controlled the clock and the defense which looked unstoppable three very short weeks ago, now struggles against the run and teams have figured out the zone defense on passing plays.

Cowboys’ quarterback, Garret Gilbert making his first start in the NFL, was able to find success and dictated the pace of the game. He found early success and kept the Steelers on their heels most of the day.

What has saved the Steelers has been big plays by big playmakers. On defense, Minkah Fitzpatrick had a key fourth quarter red zone interception and the game ending play. T.J. Watt and Cam “Steelhead” Heyward had a huge sack on fourth down to end a Cowboys comeback drive. On offense, Ben Roethlisberger made several key plays engineering the game winning drive. JuJu Smith-Schuster, had six catches for 93 very tough yards and Eric Ebron made a big catch and run play to finally take the lead late in the fourth quarter. On special teams, Chris Boswell hit the longest field goal in Steelers history.

After having a very solid season, the Special Teams issues that have plagued the Steelers since the days of Chuck Noll, reared its’ head, the Steelers missed two extra points, and were torched in the return game. Falling for a trick play and blowing coverage on a short field kickoff. The Steelers could have gone up by eight with 59 seconds left in the game but chose to go for it instead of relying on the special teams.

It wasn’t pretty and there were several mistakes in all facets of the game, but the Steelers now sit with the best start in franchise history and are in control of the division at the halfway mark.


My “GAME BEER” goes to: Minkah Fitzpatrick, who had a key turnover and knocked away Garrett Gilbert’s last ditch pass to preserve the Steelers’ victory. That’s two weeks in a row that Minkah made the game ending play. Also Considered: Chris “Little Bos” Boswell who nailed the longest field goal in franchise history. Ben Roethlisberger, who was banged up and led the comeback. JuJu Smith-Schuster who was the go-to player during the comeback.

Where I watched the game: So this was a sore subject, we were supposed to be in Dallas for the game with our travel group and KGB’s sister and brother-in-law(Both Cowboys fans) were supposed to join us. Because of the damn virus, we had to cancel the trip back in August.  We made the best of it though! The “Steel the other team’s snacks”, was Texas Style Beef Brisket with Texas Toast and Beans. Because of the time, it was our dinner too and it was phenomenal including a crisp caramelized top. The Steelers rally started right after dinner, again proving the power of the snacks! We had a Blue Point Brewing Company day for Beers, I had 16oz pounders of “Drink the Bay Clean” Lager. For KGB it was “Mother Pumpkin Ale” with a cinnamon sugar rim for Dante White-Rock Root Beer!

My Stat of the week: There are several to choose from but have to go with Chris Boswell hitting a 59-yard Field Goal the longest in franchise history. “Little Bos” had a tough day missing two extra points. However, drilling a 59-yarder was legendary and he continued to show how important he is to the Steelers success.

My Thoughts on next week: The Bengals are coming off their bye week and Joe Burrow looks like the best QB prospect in football. The Steelers should run all kinds of blitz packages and most importantly STOP the run!

This week’s Jersey: Two actually – David Decastro, #66 Away Jersey and Alejandro Villanueva #78 Salute to Service, in honor of Veterans Day!

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Steelers take control of the AFC North with wild win over the Ravens!

November 1st, 2020
by admin

It was again a tale of two halves, this time the Steelers reversed the script, after falling behind 10 points in the first half and struggling on both sides of the ball, they rallied and then held off a furious Ravens attack that saw them turn back two comeback attempts.

The Steelers coaching deserves a great amount of credit for the win. They made half time adjustments and held the Ravens to seven points in the second half after getting nearly run down in the first half and trailing by double digits. The Ravens offense is basic and seems like a middle school coach designed it, but because of the changing dynamic of the NFL as a passing league, teams don’t have enough fire power up front to slow them down and it looked like the Steelers would fall into that. The Ravens pounded out 265 yards and averaged over 5.6 yards a carry, that is more than three times what they had been giving up in previous six games. The methodical offense is tough to stop, and the Steelers struggled most of the day with stopping it.

After a tough first half, the defense turned it around and kept Lamar Jackson in check and caused four turnovers including two in the red zone. On the first passing situation of the game, Robert Spillane picked off Jackson and ran it back for a touchdown. While the front seven struggled on run defense, for the most part they had the answer for Jackson. T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree had a sack each and Dupree caused a Jackson fumble in the red zone. Stephon Tuitt anchored the front and chipped in with nine tackles and two big sacks. Rookie Alex Highsmith helped keep the momentum in the second half with a big interception. Isiah Buggs made the play of the day, stopping Lamar Jackson and causing a fumble on a mad dash play late in the fourth quarter. Buggs was filling in for an injured Tyson Alualu.

The secondary missed several big opportunities but were strong in run support. While Jackson’s numbers were mediocre, he made several key plays including converting a fourth-and-2 with a 22-yard pass, a second-and-22 and a third-and-14 and he kept the Ravens in it until the last play of the game.

Ben Roethlisberger led a struggling offense that was dormant from the second half of last week’s game to the first half of this week’s game. He went 17 for 22 for 166 yards of his 182 yards on the day. The Steelers abandoned the running game after the first half and spread the Ravens defense out going with a five-receiver set on several plays, and Roethlisberger would audible out of the play depending on what the defense showed. It was great field generalship and his play v. Jackson’s play was the key differentiator in the game. No turnovers and he played within his capabilities.

JuJu Smith-Schuster was a huge factor in the second half and made several key plays and grinded out some tough yards. He led the team in catches with seven. Chase Claypool had his seventh tough down of the season, which was the subsequent game winner and five catches. Eric Ebron had four catches and James Conner had three.

While the stats are ugly, the results aren’t. Starting with the best record in franchise history is something to behold. The Steelers made the necessary changes and bent but never broke and with a mediocre performance on both sides of the ball held off their arch-rivals.


My “GAME BEER” goes to: Isiah Buggs, There were players who had better stats, and even some flashier plays, but it was Buggs huge stop and forced fumble on Lamar Jackson at the end of the fourth quarter that nearly iced the Ravens. He came off his block and creamed Jackson. It was the biggest stop of the day, after Buggs at times struggled to fill in for Tyson Alualu. Also Considered: Robert Spillane who had a huge pick six to start the game, JuJu Smith-Schuster who had some of the toughest yards and catches you will see.

Where I watched the game: We had more family this week, and the “Steal the other team’s snacks”, was Maryland style Crab Cake Sliders. They were KGB’s usual outstanding fare with three dipping sauces. The Steelers scored one of their go-ahead scores in the 3rd quarter when they arrived. The beer for me was Narraganset Lager (In a “Jaws” themed can.). For KGB, Billy and Ally it was Montauk Pumpkin Beer with a cinnamon sugar rim for Dante homemade Root Beer!

My Stat of the week: It was a milestone for the Steelers most underrated person…Mike Tomlin, winning his 140th game, passing former Steeler player and coach Tony Dungy for the most wins by an African American coach. Given Dungy’s status in the NFL and Tomlin’s relationship with him, it had to be extremely gratifying. Tomlin never gets the credit he deserves and even worse he gets derided some time, because people want change for changes sake. Whatever your feeling, the numbers speak for themselves and are irrefutable, he helps the team put a quality product on the field every week and he is a great coach. I love Tony Dungy and his ties to Chuck Noll and the Steelers.

My Thoughts on next week: Scared to death. Everything I just wrote about Mike Tomlin, I stand behind. He is the best Coach in the NFL not named Bill Belichick, however his Achilles heel throughout his tenure, has been losing to inferior NFC teams on the road. Especially after beating a tough rival like the Ravens. (Plus KGB and I were supposed to be at this game.) Contrary to popular belief, next week is not a guarantee. The Steelers need to rebound on defense and put the Cowboys away early.

This week’s Jersey: Troy Polamalu, #43 Away Jersey. Always one of my favorites, the newly minted Hall of Famer jersey has filled in as my gamer a few times.

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Steelers hold on to go 6-0!

October 25th, 2020
by admin

Once again it was a tale of two halves, the Steelers dominated the first two quarters and then made several key mistakes to nearly blow a 17-point lead and the game. But unlike the Broncos and Eagles games, the Steelers turned back one of the best teams in the NFL in the Titans.

There was no secret at what the Steelers needed to do, control Derrick Henry and they did just that. Henry had very little running room and rushed for just 75 yards with most of the yardage coming later in the game when the Steelers no longer loaded up the box. After an opening drive touchdown by the offense, the Steelers forced a three and out and had the Titans on their heels for the entire first half.

Vince Williams and Robert Spillane plugged the middle, “Steelhead” Heyward and Stephon Tuitt anchored the line and Henry found very little room to move. Spillane also had the tackle of the season on the goal line to stuff Henry. T. J. Watt chipped in with another sack. It was a very strong day for the run defense. The secondary struggled again allowing a few miscue big plays, but for the most part kept the Titans in check. Tannehill finished with just 220 yards (73 of them on one misplay my Minkah Fitzpatrick) and was battered most of the game. He never could get a rhythm and while the pass defense was “leaky” it held up.

The offense had a tremendous first half, but then made some key mistakes that kept the game from being a blowout. The opening drive set the tone and the Steelers moved the ball at will for most of the game. Three Ben Roethlisberger turnovers allowed the Titans to cling to life. After a great run back by Ray-Ray McCloud with seconds left in the first half, the Steelers were on the verge of putting the Titans away. Roethlisberger turned the ball over on a “quasi-Hail Mary”. He also had a huge turnover in the Red Zone after leading a 16-play seven plus minute drive that again would have put the Titans away with a little over two minutes left in the game. His performance was uneven at best and it was his worst game of the year. However, he also engineered the offense and controlled the ball converting 13-18 3rd downs and did enough to beat an undefeated team, while he didn’t play great he deserves a lot of the credit.

James Conner out gained Derrick Henry banging out 82 yards and he helped the Steelers maintain control in the first half. The Steelers didn’t take the foot off the gas in the second half, they stayed in the air, when it might have been more prudent to try and keep running on the Titans. It was a good performance by Conner.

Diontae Johnson had a great return, torching the Titans defense for nine passes for 80 yards and two touchdowns. JuJu Smith-Schuster led the team in catches and had 85 yards. Eric Ebron and Vance McDonald chipped in with a combined eight catches for 64 yards.

The coaching deserves a lot of credit. They had a very good game plan on both sides of the ball, and it was only in the execution that the Steelers struggled. While it is “not a perfect product” they now sit at 6-0 that doesn’t happen without great coaching.

Just going to say it again…the refs are WAY too involved in the game.

Hard to be upset about 6-0!


My “GAME BEER” goes to: Vince Williams, we often write that he is an old school middle of the pack thumper. He did not disappoint this week and he led the team in tackles and added a sack. The Steelers clobbered Derrick Henry all game. Also Considered: Robert Spillane who acquitted himself in replacing Devin Bush, Ray-Ray McCloud who has been a great find. Diontae Johnson who really gives the Steelers a dangerous weapon.

Where I watched the game: Because of Covid-19 almost all the games will be at the house with the KGB and Dante.  Last week I missed the entire game for the first time in nearly 20 years. We had a charity commitment so it was great to be back. The theme this year is “Steal the other team’s snacks!” and the fare was Nashville Hot Chicken. Absolutely phenomenal and the snacks again proved timely as the Titans never scored again when they came out! The beer for me was Bitburger Pounders and for KGB it was Montauk Pumpkin Beer with a cinnamon sugar rim!

My Stat of the week: Going with two… First the Steelers streak of 23 games without scoring an opening drive touchdown has come to an end. The Steelers engineered a 16-play drive that produced a touchdown and set the tone for the game. The other stat was 75-yards for Derrick Henry who found very little running room when it mattered most.

My Thoughts on next week: Ravens week is always a tense week. The Steelers are proficient at stopping the run, the question is are the Ravens able to pass the ball on the Steelers defense? The Ravens brought in reinforcements to help their sagging defense. Look for the usual death match.

This week’s Jersey: No jersey this week, we unveiled the new BWG Shirts!

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