It was a cold, snowy, dreary day on Sunday as your Pittsburgh Steelers dropped their second straight game, dashing their playoff hopes in a 34-28 home loss to the Miami Dolphins. Mrs. Black-N-Gold brings you the Good, the Bad and the Ugly from Sunday's defeat.
1)The Good-During another playoff-free season, QB Ben Roethlisberger and WR Antonio Brown continue to be the few bright spots for the offense. Ben was 23 for 39 passing for 349 yards and 3 touchdowns. He wasn't intercepted but did lose a fumble on a sack. It ultimately lead to a Miami touchdown. Congrats to Ben for becoming the Steelers all-time leader in touchdown passes, surpassing Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw. I'm sure it's small consolation for Ben, though. Meanwhile, AB had 5 catches for 137 yards and 1 touchdown. Unfortunately, what most fans will remember about Brown in this game was that on the final, five-lateral play of the game, it was Brown that stepped out of bounds at the 13 on what could have been the game-tying TD. Honorable mention has to be made to LB Jason Worilds and DE Cam Heyward. On a day when the defense allowed Miami to score their highest point total all season, these two were the few silver linings in an otherwise cloudy day. They accounted for the Steelers 3 sacks, Worilds with 2 and Heyward with 1. Worilds also recorded 3 TFLs and 1 QB hit, along with 8 total tackles, all solo. Heyward registered 2 TFLs, 2 QB hits and 10 tackles, 7 of them solo. It's shame it was too little, too late.
2)The Bad-There is no other way to describe the defense today without using expletives (Mrs. Black-N-Gold tries to keep it clean). Sure, S Troy Polamalu had the Steelers first pick 6 since the '08 AFC Championship game. Given the outcome of the game, we sure could have used more. The Steelers allowed RB Daniel Thomas to run all over them for 105 yards on 16 carries and 1 touchdown. They also let TE Charles Clay have a career day as he torched them for 7 catches of 97 yards and 2 touchdowns. CB Cortez Allen and Troy couldn't even stop Clay together on a crucial 12 yard TD reception in the 4th quarter.
3)The Ugly-During a 5-8 season, we've certainly seen our share of "ugly". I'm afraid a lot of it has been the same old, same old. The Steelers again played undisciplined football, especially late in the game, totaling up 9 penalties for 63 yards. And, of course, there was the usual clock mismanagement and ill-advised usage of timeouts. I know the Steelers won't let Tomlin go, as many fans would like. However, if/when the time (pun always intended) does come, can the question "Can you tell time?" please be the first one asked to prospective employees?
Looking at the standings, at least the Steelers aren't in last place. Cincy won and continue to be the top dog in the division. The Baltimorons also won and are in second place at 7-6. Then comes the Steelers, playing for pride. The Clowns round out the AFC North at 4-9 following their latest loss.
The Steelers have until Sunday night to live with this latest loss. It's Cincy and the Steelers at Heinz Field. Can the Steelers avoid a 3rd straight defeat and 4th home loss of the season? We'll have to wait and see. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!
Monday, December 9, 2013
Lookout, Loretta, it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Your Pittsburgh Penguins try to get back in the win column tonight as they faceoff against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Consol Energy Center. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)Columbus has won 3 of their last 4 games and have scored back-to-back shutout victories. Crank up the Crue and score some Goals, Goals, Goals! 2)Columbus is 5-7-2 on the road. The Pens are 12-3 on home ice. Roll out the welcome mat with win! 3)The Pens lead the NHL in power play scores at a 26.6% clip. They lead the Eastern Conference with 3.03 goals per game. Make the Jackets blue! Let's Go Pens!!!
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Here we go Steelers, here we go! Your Pittsburgh Steelers enter the last quarter of their season with a 5-7 mark as they battle the Miami Minnows today at Heinz Field. These are your keys to today's game. 1)Miami's D is ranked 9th against the pass and 25th versus the run. Meanwhile, the Steelers defense is more middle-of-the-pack at #11 against the pass and 18th against the run. Run all over the Minnows! 2)The Steelers have won their last 5 in a row versus Miami. Score early, score often, score BIG! 3)Miami has won 2 of their last 3 games. Give the Minnows and former teamate Mike "Butterfingers" Wallace a big welcome. Hit 'em early, hit 'em often, hit 'em HARD! Keep those playoff hopes alive! Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Michael, Michael, motorcycle, it's a great day for hockey! Your Pittsburgh Penguins travel to Boston to faceoff against the Bruins tonight. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)In Wednesday's 5-1 win over the Sharks, goalie Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 44 shots. Ruin the Bruins! 2)The Pens have won 5 straight and are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games. Pack up the Goals, Goals, Goals and take the show on the road! 3)At home, Boston is 12-3-2. Time for a home invasion! Let's Go Pens!!!
Friday, December 6, 2013
I recently purchased "House" actor Hugh Laurie's second blues CD, "Didn't It Rain". I must admit, at first I was skeptical. What does an English actor know about the blues? But just like his doctor alter ago on television, Laurie has the cure for what ails you. One listen of Laurie and the Copper Bottom Band, and I was transformed back to a time and place such as the Cotton Club during prohibition. Laurie and his band transport the listener to the life and times of the likes of WC Handy, Champion Jack Dupree and Jelly Roll Morton. There is an appearance by the legendary Taj Mahal as he takes the lead vocals on "Vicksburg Blues". And vocalists Gaby Moreno and Jean McClain both put a firm but feminine touch on the songs. I especially like "Kiss of Fire" with it's Latin Feel. Another favorite is "'One For My Baby". It's as if you're sitting at the bar with Hugh and the band as the bartender gives you that one last drink. The entire CD has the style and mood of an era that is long gone and sorely missed. Hugh Laurie and the Copper Bottom Band are just what the doctor ordered on "Didn't It Rain". Until next time, boys and girls. Keep it bluesy.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Great balls of fire, it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Your Pittsburgh Penguins look to take a bite out of the San Jose Sharks tonight at Consol Energy Center. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)The Sharks are 14-1-1 versus the Penguins. Time to turn our luck around with some Goals, Goals, Goals! 2)San Jose has won 6 straight games while the Pens have won 4 in a row. Something has got to give. Keep the win streak alive with win #5! 3)San Jose is 9-2-3 on the road. The Pens are 11-3 on home ice. Ice the Sharks tonight! Let's Go Pens!!!
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
The calendar has turned to December and the MLB hot stove is heating up faster than a furnace in sub-zero temperatures. So far, your Pittsburgh Pirates have been minor players in the latest wheelings and dealings. They did not tender a qualifying offer to RH A.J. Burnett, making him a free agent. RF Marlon Byrd signed with Philly for 2 years at $16 million. 1B Justin Morneau is a free agent that appears on the move. On top of that, the Pirates designated both 1B/RF Garrett Jones and C Michael McKenry for assignment. The only significant move the Bucs have made, thus far, is trading a player to be named later for C Chris Stewart. Not really setting the world on fire, are they? Fear not, Pirates-faithful. There are still lots o' free agents on the market and the Pirates still have holes to fill. 1B James Loney, 1B/OF Corey Hart, SS Rafael Furcal, and 1B Mike Napoli are some of the names that are being tossed around in the Pirates direction. The MLB winter meetings begin next week in Orlando. There is still plenty of time and plenty of talent available for the Pirates to re-load for another playoff run in 2014. GM Neal Huntington is just biding his time, waiting for the next Francisco Liriano or Russell Martin to emerge. Can't wait for pitchers and catcher to report! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!