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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Your 2023 Pittsburgh Steelers…as of now!

September 5th, 2023
by admin

Your 2023 Steelers … as of now

 

Offense
NAME No. POS AGE HT WT EXP DESCRIPTION
Kenny Pickett 8 QB 25 6′ 3″ 220 lbs 2 Looking for his breakout season
Mason Rudolph 2 QB 28 6′ 5″ 235 lbs 6 Capable Backup
Mitch Trubisky 10 QB 29 6′ 2″ 220 lbs 7 Best number 2 QB in the league
Greg Bell 38 RB 25 6′ 0″ 200 lbs 2 Depth RB from scrap heap
Alfonzo Graham 29 RB 23 5′ 9″ 180 lbs R Torn Labrum ended season
Najee Harris 22 RB 25 6′ 1″ 242 lbs 3 Needs to be more consistent
Anthony McFarland Jr. 26 RB 24 5′ 8″ 193 lbs 3 Will push for playing time
Qadree Ollison 38 RB 26 6′ 1″ 232 lbs 4 Will begin season on practice squad
Jaylen Warren 30 RB 24 5′ 8″ 215 lbs 2 Bowling ball runner who will push to start
Zander Horvath 40 FB 24 6′ 3″ 230 lbs 2 Traditional Fullback
Calvin Austin III 19 WR 24 5′ 9″ 162 lbs 2 Has the tools and skills to be a contributor
Miles Boykin 13 WR 26 6′ 4″ 220 lbs 5 Special Teams ace and capable backup
Simi Fehoko WR 25 6′ 4″ 218 lbs 3 Interesting signing to practice squad
Dez Fitzpatrick 82 WR 25 6′ 2″ 208 lbs 2 Practice squad depth guy
Diontae Johnson 18 WR 27 5′ 10″ 183 lbs 5 Outstanding playmaker that needs to be consistent
Gunner Olszewski 89 WR 26 6′ 0″ 190 lbs 5 Tough competitor and will get a better look on offense
George Pickens 14 WR 22 6′ 3″ 200 lbs 2 Has the ability to be a breakout playmaker
Allen Robinson II 11 WR 30 6′ 2″ 220 lbs 10 Veteran receiver who will contribute
Pat Freiermuth 88 TE 24 6′ 5″ 258 lbs 3 Looking to continue his evolution
Connor Heyward 83 TE 24 6′ 0″ 230 lbs 2 Will play both fullback and Tight End
Darnell Washington 80 TE 22 6′ 7″ 264 lbs R Impressive prospect who will play
Rodney Williams 87 TE 25 6′ 4″ 235 lbs 1 WAS RELEASED AT PRESS TIME
Mason Cole 61 C 27 6′ 5″ 298 lbs 6 Played very well in his first season
Spencer Anderson 74 G 23 6′ 5″ 305 lbs R Versatile prospect who can play C
James Daniels 78 G 25 6′ 4″ 327 lbs 6 Strong addition for a rebuilt front
Nate Herbig 71 G 25 6′ 4″ 334 lbs 5 Plays with a nasty streak an improvement upfront
Isaac Seumalo 73 G 29 6′ 4″ 303 lbs 8 Veteran presence who has a nasty streak
Dylan Cook 60 OT 25 6′ 6″ 305 lbs 1 Capable athlete with good size
Kellen Diesch OT 23 6′ 7″ 300 lbs 1 Practice squad depth guy
Joey Fisher OT 25 6′ 4″ 296 lbs R Practice Squad mauling run blocker
Broderick Jones 77 OT 22 6′ 5″ 311 lbs R Impressive Rookie who will  eventually start
Dan Moore Jr. 65 OT 24 6′ 5″ 315 lbs 3 Will start to open the season, but will become a depth guy
Chukwuma Okorafor 76 OT 26 6′ 6″ 320 lbs 6 Consistent performer on the right side
Defense
NAME POS AGE HT WT EXP DESCRIPTION
DeMarvin Leal 98 DE 23 6′ 4″ 290 lbs 2 Will get a long look in this rotation
Montravius Adams 57 DT 28 6′ 4″ 304 lbs 7 Played well when called upon, will be in rotation
Keeanu Benton 95 DT 22 6′ 4″ 309 lbs R Excellent preseason cemented his roster spot
Breiden Fehoko 96 DT 26 6′ 3″ 300 lbs 3 Provides Nose Tackle depth
Cameron Heyward 97 DT 34 6′ 5″ 295 lbs 13 The captain and anchor of the Steelers defense
Isaiahh Loudermilk 92 DT 25 6′ 7″ 293 lbs 3 Exciting prospect that needs to make the leap
Jonathan Marshall 91 DT 25 6′ 3″ 310 lbs 2 Strong side defensive tackle
Larry Ogunjobi 99 DT 29 6′ 3″ 305 lbs 7 Solidified the defensive line will get help this year
Armon Watts 94 DT 27 6′ 5″ 307 lbs 5 Shown development during his career
Renell Wren 96 DT 27 6′ 5″ 315 lbs 3 Practice squad depth guy
Kwon Alexander 26 LB 29 6′ 1″ 227 lbs 9 Veteran Linebacker will sure up the middle
Tariq Carpenter 24 LB 24 6′ 3″ 230 lbs 2 Can play outisde on the 3-4
Markus Golden 54 LB 32 6′ 2″ 260 lbs 9 Special Teams Performer, TJs understudy
Nick Herbig 51 LB 21 6′ 2″ 240 lbs R Has all the attributes of a Steelers fan favorite
Alex Highsmith 56 LB 26 6′ 4″ 242 lbs 4 Had a breakout season and will be paired up with T.J. Watt
Cole Holcomb 55 LB 27 6′ 1″ 240 lbs 5 Provides experience and NFL ability
David Perales 40 LB 24 6′ 3″ 255 lbs R Impressive camp led to making the team
Elandon Roberts 50 LB 29 6′ 1″ 238 lbs 8 Ranked high in PFF for pass rushing
Mark Robinson 93 LB 24 5′ 11″ 235 lbs 2 Middle of the lineup athletic thumper
Chapelle Russell 49 LB 26 6′ 1″ 230 lbs 3 Injured journeyman
T.J. Watt 90 LB 28 6′ 4″ 252 lbs 7 When he is in the lineup, the Steelers win
Luq Barcoo 35 CB 25 6′ 1″ 180 lbs 2 Nickelback Depth guy
Anthony Brown CB 29 5′ 11″ 192 lbs 8 Trying to get his career back on track
Desmond King II CB 28 5′ 10″ 200 lbs 7 Tomlin personally recruited him to join up
Patrick Peterson 20 CB 33 6′ 1″ 203 lbs 13 A great addition to the defense
James Pierre 42 CB 26 6′ 2″ 185 lbs 4 Hangs in there and performs
Joey Porter Jr. 24 CB 23 6′ 2″ 193 lbs R A homecoming for Steeler Royalty
Josiah Scott CB 24 5′ 9″ 185 lbs 4 Practice squad depth guy
Chandon Sullivan 34 CB 27 5′ 11″ 189 lbs 6 Experienced corner/nickel back
Cory Trice Jr. 27 CB 23 6′ 3″ 206 lbs R Excellent size press corner who needs to develop
Levi Wallace 29 CB 28 6′ 0″ 179 lbs 6 Had a solid season, will begin as the starter
Minkah Fitzpatrick 39 S 26 6′ 1″ 207 lbs 6 Breakout playmaker who leads the secondary,
Damontae Kazee 23 S 30 5′ 11″ 174 lbs 7 Excellent depth player, will start at SS
Miles Killebrew 28 S 30 6′ 2″ 222 lbs 8 Tough special teamer
Keanu Neal 31 S 28 6′ 0″ 211 lbs 8 Versatile and tough
Elijah Riley 37 S 25 6′ 0″ 205 lbs 3 Character guy and special teamer
Trenton Thompson 17 S 25 6′ 1″ 196 lbs 1 Depth signing with “tools”
Special Teams
NAME POS AGE HT WT EXP DESCRIPTION
Chris Boswell 9 PK 32 6′ 2″ 185 lbs 9 Needs to rebound after an off year
Pressley Harvin III 6 P 24 6′ 0″ 255 lbs 3 Inconsistent and will need to perform better
Christian Kuntz 46 LS 29 6′ 1″ 228 lbs 3 Continues to excel in anonymity

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Joey Porter Jr. Comes home!

April 28th, 2023
by admin

With the second pick the Steelers selected Joey Porter Jr. CB, Penn State!

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The pick is in….

April 28th, 2023
by admin

The Steelers traded up and grabbed

Broderick Jones OT Georgia!

More to come!

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Starving for Steelers football…the XFL might have the remedy!

February 20th, 2023
by admin

The Steelers season ended on a high note and left all fans crazing next year. As I start to put away my Steelers stuff until this summer, I did get a chance to watch some alumni play this weekend and also was able to see Hines Ward and Rod Woodson make their respective Head Coaching debuts.

The XFL has a special place in Steelers lure since Tommy Maddox, the first XFL, MVP, found his way on to the roster and then pushed an end to the Kordell Stewart era. Maddox produced his best season in the NFL and served as the bridge to Ben Roethlisberger and as one of Ben’s early mentors.

STEELERS CONNECTIONS ON 2023 XFL ROSTERS

Arlington Renegades
Co-OC Jonathan Hayes, Co-DC Jay Hayes, Co-DC Tim Lewis
DL Doug Costin (2022 training camp)
CB Shakur Brown (2021 training camp)
WR Tyler Vaughns (2021-22 training camp, practice squad)

D.C. Defenders
K Matthew McCrane (2018, one game)

Houston Roughnecks
RB Max Borghi (2022 training camp)
DB Sean Davis (2016-20, 64 games)
CB Alexander Myres (2019-20 training camp, practice squad)

Orlando Guardians
WR Eli Rogers (2016-19, 30 games)
ILB Tegray Scales (2019-21, two games)

San Antonio Brahmas
HC Hines Ward, LBC Joey Porter
RB Kalen Ballage (2021, 17 games)
TE Alizé Mack (2019, practice squad)
OLB Delontae Scott (2021-22, three games)
LS Rex Sunahara (2021-22, practice squad)
P Brad Wing (2014-15, 16 games)

Seattle Sea Dragons
HC Jim Haslett, DC Ron Zook
OLB Tuzar Skipper (2019, 2022 training camp)
DB Antoine Brooks (2020, four games)
CB Linden Stephens (2021-22, practice squad, training camp)
P Cameron Nizialek (2022 training camp)

St. Louis Battlehawks
OC Bruce Gradkowski
RB Mataeo Durant (2022 training camp)
LB Travis Feeney (2016 training camp, practice squad)

Vegas Vipers
HC Rod Woodson, WRC Ray Sherman, DBC Darren Perry
WR Martavis Bryant (2014-17, 36 games)
WR Mathew Sexton (2021 training camp)

 

Source: https://steelersnow.com/steelers-martavis-bryant-20-others-make-xfl-rosters/

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Steelers beat Browns…but fall short of the playoffs!

January 8th, 2023
by admin

It was a valiant try and there is a lot to build on…but the Steelers late season surge falls short of playoff contention.

Punishing defense, a strong running game and cautious passing was what the formula was supposed to be all season, and though it was only executed for half the season, the Steelers pummeled their oldest rival the Cleveland Browns 28-14 and turned what was a dismal season into the distinct feeling of hope.

The defense led the way registering seven sacks and picking off two Deshaun Watson passes. Cam Heyward anchored the defense and registered two sacks, Alex Highsmith chipped in with two and a half sacks and finished the season with 14.5 total. T.J. Watt had a half sack and one thing to note the defense plays noticeably better when he is in the lineup, even with him playing the entire second half banged up.

Larry Ogunjobi had a great day clogging the middle and registered a sack. Nick Chubb who torched the Steelers for 113 yards in the first meeting was held to 77 yards yesterday. The Browns finished with 171 yards in the first meeting and only 134 yesterday. Those numbers are deceiving because 44 of it came when Deshaun Watson was running for his life. The front seven did a good job stopping the run and attacking Watson.

When Watson was forced to go to the air he struggled and the secondary did a good job bottling the Browns up. Levi Wallace and Damontae Kazee both had interceptions. Watson was held to 173 yards passing with two touchdowns, one of which came after a VERY questionable personal foul call against Heyward.

It was an outstanding effort by the defense who held teams to under 20 points in 11 games this season.

The offense had an uneven day again. The good news is the running game finally looks like it is rock solid with Jaylen Warren and Najee Harris. They combined for 120 yards between them and with all the jet sweeps and inside handoffs, seven different players ran the ball and Derek Watt had his first rushing touchdown. Over all the Steelers combined for 148 yards on the ground. A tremendous performance. That starts up front with solid work by the offensive line who showed dramatic improvement in the second half of the season.

Kenny Pickett once again made the big throws when needed. His stats are mediocre but when the Steelers needed to make plays, he delivered. Pickett finished with 195 yards and a touchdown. He never forced anything and most importantly protected the football with no turnovers again. After his early struggles he seemed to settle into the role, and he looks like the future of the franchise.

The special teams were respectable yesterday, albeit with a few gaffes. Next to Pickett the most improved Steeler must be Pressley Harvin III, who became a bona fide weapon the last few weeks. He averaged 48 yards per kick and pinned the Browns down yesterday. Chris Boswell nailed his kicks hitting both his field goals including a 49-yarder. Steven Sims was scary on punt returns; he recovered his own fumble and the Browns did have a 35-yard kickoff return but for the most part they did well.

The coaching staff had a very solid game plan and they executed it. When things started going sideways, they kept the team on track and got them refocused and ready to play. Eventually they outlasted the Browns and sent them into the abyss. Coach Tomlin deserves a lot of credit for the turnaround, because despite the QB distraction and being a humiliating 2-6 they never gave up and stayed on track.

Losing to the Dolphins, the Jets and Patriots doomed the season, but despite that the Steelers were still in the hunt the last day of the year, surviving through adversity is the definition of good leadership.

BEER WE GO STEELERS, BEER WE GO!

My “GAME BEER” goes to: Cam Heyward… who was absolutely dominant and in the Browns backfield all day. He also was absolutely hosed on a questionable call. Honorable Mention: Larry Ogunjobi who was Heyward’s counterpart dominating up front, also Dan Moore Jr. who contained Myles Garrett for most of the day.

Beer of the Game: Modello, Went back to the original case that I didn’t finish, as they say it captures the fighting spirit of Pittsburgh!

“Steel the Snacks”: We went with traditional “Pigs in a blanket” with spicy mustard. A solid no nonsense snack, nothing extravagant on the last week of play.

My Stat of the week:  Pretty simple one and you knew it was coming, Mike Tomlin who half the fanbase wants fired for some idiotic reason just completed his 16th non-losing season. To put that in perspective Mike Tomlin matched George Halas for the 3rd-longest streak of seasons finishing over .500 or better by a head coach in NFL history with 16.

While 9-8 is mediocre, this team looked like an 8 or 9-win team at most and they did it, recovering from a disastrous start to go 7-2 down the stretch. It was a masterful coaching job for one of the NFL’s greatest coaches. He also now has 163 wins good for second in Franchise history and only 30 behind Chuck Noll.

Also considered for stat of the week, the Steelers manhandling Deshaun Foster for SEVEN sacks! How about the Steelers led the league in interceptions with 20! Both great stats to be proud of.

My Thoughts on next week: It is going to be a very long offseason, but one of hope. I can write this with 100% confidence, NO ONE wanted to see the Steelers in the first round. While this team is limited, they are dangerous, and they beat you up. Miami is going to get run down by whoever they get first after fading badly down the stretch.

Jersey of the Week: Jack Ham #59, Throwback, “The Bumble Bee” had to make sure this made an appearance. One thing I try and do during the season is wear a Steelers jersey to church. It reminds me of Pittsburgh, and I like to support the team. Two comments that were passed to me at mass on Sunday, “You look like you escaped prison,” and “Ham is what you eat for breakfast,” So had that going for me!

 

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Steelers stay alive!!!

January 2nd, 2023
by admin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BEER WE GO STEELERS, BEER WE GO!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Steelers deliver for Franco!

December 25th, 2022
by admin

On a frigid Pittsburgh night every Steelers fan in Pittsburgh got an early Christmas present as the Steelers rallied and beat the Oakland….ahem Las Vegas Raiders 13-10 on a fourth quarter comeback. It was hard not to think about Franco Harris as the Steelers pulled off the win.

Kenny Pickett looked a little rusty and adversely affected by the weather and he struggled most of the night, but when it counted most, he orchestrated a 10 play, 76-yard drive that resulted in the winning touchdown. It was a performance that would have made Franco smile. Pickett finished the day with 244 yards passing, a touchdown and one interception. What was most impressive was watching his maturation and the moment did not seem too big for him.

George Pickens just makes plays, and he did not disappoint Saturday night. He had five catches including the winning touchdown grab. Pat Friermuth made two spectacular catches and led the team with seven total for 66 yards and Diontae Johnson quietly put together a masterful performance hauling in five catches for 64 yards. It was clear the Raiders intended to stop the run and the receiving group stepped up and made the plays.

The Steelers struggled to run the ball, averaging just under four yards a carry, but they gained enough yards to keep running the ball and that helped them keep the offense balanced. Najee Harris struggled early but turned it on in the fourth quarter. He led the team with 53 yards rushing and he had three big catches on the game winning drive. Jaylen Warren contributed 23 yards on the ground. The running play of the night was Connor Heyward taking a tight end inside handoff for 21 yards to seal the victory! Overall, the running game did not find much room to run, but did enough to help pull out the win.

While the offensive line struggled to open up running lanes, they did a very good job in protection not yielding a sack and Maxx Crosby was held mostly in check. He was credited with four qb hits, but was neutralized on the last drive of the game.

Like any great Steelers v. Raiders game, the defense set the tone. Cam Heyward had a monster day and absolutely set the point of the attack, slowing the Raiders rushing attack down and recording two sacks. The Raiders finished with only 58 yards on the ground with Josh Jacobs being held to a paltry 44 yards. Larry Ogunjobi had a nice game up front and had four tackles. Robert Spillane led the team in total tackles with 12 and did a nice job slowing down the run. Alex Highsmith added a sack!

After a lousy opening drive, the secondary stepped up and made some very big plays. Minkah Fitzpatrick, Arthur Maulet and Cam Sutton all had interceptions. All were timely, especially Sutton’s outstanding catch that ended the Raiders final drive. Damontae Kazee did a nice job filling in for Steelers ironman Terrell Edmunds. Derek Carr finished with only 174-yards, and he turned the ball over three times.

Special Teams had another uneven performance. Even Chris Boswell is not immune anymore, he missed two field goals albeit on a difficult night to kick. The punt and kick return teams were non-factors.  One bright note, Pressley Harvin III had a nice night averaging over 46 yards per punt.

It was an emotional night with treacherous weather conditions. The Steelers had a great defensive game plan and were able to execute it.

BEER WE GO STEELERS, BEER WE GO!

My “GAME BEER” goes to: Cam “Steelhead” Heyward, who put on an absolute exhibition of Steelers toughness. He had two sacks, and completely led the team in shutting down the running game. Honorable Mention: Kenny Pickett who struggled most of the game but then rebounded nicely in leading the game winning drive.

Beer of the Game: Lighten Up by Long Island Farm Brewery, it is a local beer from where we live. On a side note, saw a person with a Primanti Brothers shirt and several Steelers fans when I picked it up.

“Steel the Snacks”: Christmas Eve was of course the Feast of the Seven Fishes, Italian style at my dad’s house, we needed to come home during half-time and it was fun listening to Bill Hillgrove and Craig Wolfley in the car on the ride home. We historically haven’t done well watching the game there so it was nice to pull out the win.

My Stat of the week:  Have to go with 13 points, the exact same number of points the Steelers scored on December 23, 1972. While the win wasn’t quite that dramatic, it was VERY important.

My Thoughts on next week: I find it funny that the Steelers were flexed out of primetime and now got flexed back into it. This time they will draw the Ravens. The Steelers let them off the hook last time, this time they need to close the show and bring home the victory.

Jersey of the Week: No Jersey this week again, went with my Steelers Cardigan and an Iron City Ugly Sweater.

 

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Immaculate Reception Day….just doesn’t feel the same!

December 23rd, 2022
by admin

This is usually one of the happiest day of the year for Steelers fans, a Steeler day of obligation if you will. On 12/23/72 the Same Old Steelers changed their fortune forever. Fifty years after the “Immaculate Reception” Franco Harris explained that it still “Blows His Mind” in an interview he had hours before his untimely passing.

Today though, it is hard not to feel a tremendous sense of sadness and loss about the untimely passing of Franco Harris. We dedicated this year’s shirt to Franco and the now famous (or infamous if you are from the West Coast) play. I feel blessed to have met all the men who played key roles in the famous play, oddly enough befriending the villain in our story Phil Villapiano!

Franco was kind enough to pose with a Beer We Go Shirt which he absolutely loved! (We never got a chance to give him this year’s)

 

 

 

 

 

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Steelers demolish Carolina!

December 18th, 2022
by admin

Deep inside a lost season the Steelers shined bright on Sunday in Carolina, dominating the Panthers in impressive fashion. When this team was architected at the beginning of the season, this is what management had envisioned. A careful athletic quarterback with a powerful running game, combined with a tough defense. Of course, that is not what happened, but Sunday gave a brief glimpse into what could have been.

One week after being bullied up front by a mediocre Ravens team, the Steelers bounced back and absolutely crushed the Carolina Panthers up front. The offense controlled the game grinding out a punishing 156 yards on the ground. Najee Harris led the way with 86 yards on 24 carries, followed by Jaylen Warren who followed with 38. Both scored rushing touchdowns. They controlled the clock with their first drive and their opening drive of the first half eating up a whopping 18 minutes and 49 seconds of clock.

Mitch Trubisky bounced back nicely after his soul crushing three turnover performance last week. He had to have been on a short leash and he delivered what was asked of him, he converted 12 for 16 third downs had a rushing touchdown and most importantly stayed within himself to deliver his best performance as a Pittsburgh Steeler. He kept the offense rolling and his passing opened up the running game.

The Panthers by comparison found NO where to run, and only had the ball eight times the entire game, they finished with 21-yards on the ground total for the day. That doesn’t happen without a great up-front performance of the Steelers front seven, who were vilified all week for last week’s loss to the Ravens. The Panthers had been averaging 147 rushing yards per game since appointing Steve Wilks as Head Coach. There was no room to run on Sunday. Larry Ogunjobi had a big game, leading the front with five tackles and helping free up Cam Heyward, who had a huge game. Heyward finished with three tackles and one and a half sacks.

Because the run game was non-existent, the Panthers needed to rely on Sam Darnold. Darnold found some success early, but eventually the pass rush and the defense caught up to him and he did not recover. Darnold finished with 188 yards net passing and was sacked four times. Alex Highsmith in his homecoming to Carolina had a good day, racking up four tackles and a monster highlight film sack. T.J. Watt’s recovery continues, he clearly is not where he was, but still had an impact on the game.

The special teams continues to absolutely stink and this week was a new low on how bad they can be. Marcus Allen who at best was a bubble player to begin with, made one of the biggest bonehead plays in recent history. The Panthers were facing 4th and a mile and were lining up to punt got new life when Allen inexplicably walked into the Panthers huddle during one of the many interminable commercial breaks and cost the Steelers a first down. The Panthers were able to turn their fortunes and kept a small glimmer of hope alive when they kicked a field goal. It was an astonishingly bad situation. Throw in the usual penalties, this time a blind side block by Miles Killebrew that backed the Steelers up and of course an errant punt that James Pierre couldn’t corral on the one-yard line. The usual Steven Sims punt return adventure, the near fumble of the onside kick, mediocre coverage on the kickoff and it was Steelers special teams as we know it. Only bright side was Chris Boswell drilled the game clinching field goal from 50 yards.

Keeping Mike Tomlin’s non-losing streak alive seems like sufficient motivation to keep this team running. After Sunday’s game the question that lingered was what might have been.

BEER WE GO STEELERS, BEER WE GO!

My “GAME BEER” goes to: This was hard but going with Mitch Trubisky for putting together a good bounce back game. He is very capable and will get a chance somewhere next season to compete. Loudmouth jag Mark Madden mentioned in his column that if the Steelers stuck with Trubisky they would have a better record, I hate to admit up until last week I agreed. Either way he wins this week’s player of the week. Honorable Mention: Diontae Johnson, who had another solid game leading the team in catches but took a costly penalty. Cam Heyward and Larry Ogunjobi for outstanding play up front.

Beer of the Game: Yuengling Light from Pottsville Pa. It did the job and was tasty.

“Steel the Snacks”: We had a party that KGB had to prepare for, so snacks consisted of me pilfering bread to dip in the Sunday Gravy pot (Amatriciana). It was a great dish and held me over! The dinner was outstanding albeit later in the day.

My Stat of the week:  There were a lot of great ones to choose but I chose this one, 21 plays for 91 yards eating an astounding 11:43 seconds off the 3rd quarter. It was an impressive drive by any standard and resulted in a Steelers touchdown.

My Thoughts on next week: I hate the Raiders on so many levels. Beside all the rivalry stuff, which is enough, I just hate the entire franchise. They are a very beatable team; the question is which Steelers team shows up?

Jersey of the Week: No Jersey this week, went with my Steelers Holiday sweater, also had Santa come through on a fire truck so I felt it was festive!

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