Sunday, December 30, 2012

50-YARD LINE

Winner, winner, chicken dinnner! Your Pittsburgh Steelers finish out the string in winning fashion, beating the Cleveland Clowns 24-10 to avoid the sweep. This is the Good, the Bad and the Ugly from today's victory.

1)The Good-I was going to say that the good was that we are put out of our misery by having the season end but I never like to see the Steelers miss the postseason. I'll give the good to the defense today, even though they gave up a huge fake punt play on 4th and 5. That was the second one this season. They forced 4 turnovers and 4 sacks today. Where was this all season? Lawrence Timmons had another big game with back to back sacks. The second one was a strip sack that Ziggy recovered. Timmons showed some flashes this season but like the entire Steeler team, remains inconsistent. Take this effort and use it as a foundation for next season, guys!

2)The Bad-The offense started the season so good on 3rd down conversions. What happened? They were a putrid 5 of 13 on 3rd downs today. Luckily, the offense had the 4 turnovers handed to them by the D. The offense went downhill when Ben went down against KC and they never really recovered. They had their moments but it was another example of inconsistent execution. Will OC Todd Haley be back next year? Alot of people were concerned that Haley would take the OC gig and use it as a stepping stone to another head coaching job. Considering the poor playcalling he exhibited much of the season, don't count on it. And don't necessarily count on his return next year, either.

3)The Ugly-The Cleveland Clowns. They are still Cleveland, after all.

Where do the Steelers go from here? There will be alot of decisions that have to be made with the coaching staff and the personnel in the off season. 8-8 means the Steelers were medicore this year. This is a crossroads for them. I'm sure there are many players who will not be wearing the black-n-gold next year. The question is, will next year's Steeler team come back better than ever or continue the downward spiral. Let's climb that Stairway to 7 next season. Go Steelers!!!!!!

50-YARD LINE

Here we go Steelers, here we go! Your Pittsburgh Steelers wrap up their season at the Big Ketchup Bottle today against the Cleveland Clowns. The Steelers are taking a page out of Cleveland's book today as they play out the string, looking to finish with a win that can put them at an even 8-8. Meanwhile, the Clowns, who have their 11th 10-loss season in the past 14 years, are trying to go for the season sweep of the Steelers. In this Bizarro-world scenario, these are your keys to today's game. 1)Big Ben is 14-1 for his career versus Cleveland and the Steelers are 8-0 against the Clowns at home since '03. Ben hasn't been himself since the injury against KC. He's thrown 4 INT's in his 3 games since coming back. What's up with that? I'm sure the drama will rear it's ugly head once this ugly season is over. Meanwhile, he won't have his safety-valve, Miller, to throw to today. He'll be without Butterfingers Wallace, as well. Maybe Plaxico will see the field today. Regardless, it's still the Clowns, fellas. Score early, score often, score BIG! 2)On the other side of the ball, Cleveland will start 3rd-string QB Thad Lewis (who?) today. Lewis hasn't started a game at quarterback since '09, when he was at Duke. He'll be without workhorse running back Trent Richardson today. Hopefully, this is good news for the D. Hit 'em early, hit 'em often, hit 'em HARD! 3)Some people want the Steelers to lose this game in hopes of landing a better draft pick. Some want the Steelers to win because it's still Cleveland and they want to play for pride and finish on a winning note. Even if they did lose and get a higher draft pick, you still have to make sure you don't whiff on that pick and get an impact player who can contribute to the team. Mrs Black-N-Gold says, "Finish strong". Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

50-YARD LINE

Better late than never! It's still Hump Day and the Steelers are still playing. This is still your Pittsburgh Steelers mid-week report. The Steelers wrap up the season Sunday at the Big Ketchup Bottle against the Cleveland Clowns. The Steelers need a win to finish at an even 8-8. They're trying to avoid their first losing season since they went 6-10 in '03. They'll do so without Miller, Ike and Baron Batch who were all placed on IR today. They also had 2 players named to the Pro Bowl today, Miller and Pouncey. It's the third time in 3 seasons for Pouncey and Miller's second time. Of course, Heath won't get to make the trip to Hawaii as he has surgery scheduled for tomorrow. This is the fewest Pro Bowlers since Jason Gildon was the lone representative following the 2000 season. It's indicative of the kind of season the Steelers had. Going into Sunday's game they've lost 5 games by 3 points or less. They practiced today without Curtis Brown, Troy, Lewis and Wallace. Adams was limited. Sunday may be the last chance to see some of these players donning the black-n-gold. It could be the last round-up for Foote, Mendy, and Wallace. There's some older players that may be shown the door due to performance/contract. Have we seen the last of Troy, Harrison, Keisel, Hampton, Ike, Clark, or Starks? Only time will tell. We did see some young guys, finally emerge this season. Lewis came on but may not play Sunday due to injury. Cortez was a killer last week vs. Cincy. Timmons had his moments but remains maddeningly inconsistent. And put Woodley's face on the side of a milk carton, would ya. It will be a long off season, giving management plenty of time to decide in which direction they want to go. You either go up or you continue on this downward spiral. I'm all for going onward and upward. Go Steelers!!!!!!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

50-YARD LINE

The Pittsburgh Steelers get a lump of coal in their stocking as they're eliminated from the playoffs today, at home, by Cincy, 13-10. This is the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

1)The Good-The defense, particularly, Timmons and Cortez the Killer played out of their minds today. The D recorded 6 sacks of Cincy QB Andy Dalton. They also forced 3 turnovers. The problem was that the offense couldn't capitalize off of Cincy's mistakes, scoring 0 points on turnovers. Timmons and Cortez should get game balls, though. #94 had 10 total tackles, 8 solo, with 2 sacks, 2 QB hits, and 2 tackles for loss. The youngster, Cortez grew up quick today. He recorded 7 total tackles, 6 solo, 3 passes defended, and 2 interceptions. Sadly, there was no partridge in a pear tree in the form of a victory today.

2)The Bad-Sorry, I know Squeeze Em only missed 1 FG all season coming into today's game. But he missed 2 today and one was a chip shot early that could have had us up 13-10 late in the game. The kid went from the Pro Bowl to the toilet bowl in one fell swoop today.

3)The Ugly-It's got to go to Ben today. Sorry, I know he was sacked 4 times today for 35 yards and I know ALOT of the play calling was atrocious. And I know it certainly doesn't help when Coach Cliche plays not to lose, instead of playing to win. That said, there was a time when we could count on Ben to lead us in a game-winning or game-tying drive in the 4th quarter or OT. Those days are too few and far between anymore. What happened to Ben? It's like Where's Waldo only it's Where's Ben? Where's he Ben?

The Steelers are now 7-8 and try to finish out the string at .500 next week versus Cleveland. Keep in mind, the Steelers lost to Cleveland earlier in the season and no home games are a lock anymore. Let's see if we can finish the season on a winning note. Go Steelers!!!!!!

50-YARD LINE

Chew tobacco, chew tobacco, spit, spit, spit! If you ain't a Steeler fan, you ain't.....It's one and done today at the Big Ketchup Bottle as your Pittsburgh Steelers face off against AFC North rivals, the Cincinnuti Bungles. This game should definitely have a playoff atmosphere. On the 40th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception we need Santa to give the Steelers a 2-game winning streak to make the playoffs. This is the keys to the game. 1)The Bungles have gone an NFL record 29 straight seasons without back-to-back playoff appearances. Cincy has gone 5-2 since losing to the Steelers on 10/21. They've also won 5 of 6 but have lost 5 straight and 10 out of 12 to the Steelers. The Steelers are going for their 3rd straight sweep of the Bungles. Also, the Steelers have lost 5 games by 6 points or less. This game is shaping up to be a knock down, drag out, fight to the finish for the last AFC playoff spot. Our Steelers need to come out swinging and be fired up for this game! 2)Cincy RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (that's a mouthful) is averaging 108.6 yards rushing his past 5 games. Cincy QB Andy Dalton has thrown 12 TDs and 3 INTs in his past 6. We need the offense to come out and make a statement first thing. We need to score, score and then score some more. The receivers need to stay focused and catch the friggin' ball. The O-Line needs to keep Ben upright so he can make some plays. The running game needs to step up and take some pressure off of the passing game. Score early, score often, score BIG! 3)Bungles WR AJ Green leads the AFC North with 7 drops, one more then Steelers WR Mike "Butterfingers" Wallace. QB Dalton is 3-7 vs. the AFC North in his career, with all 3 wins against the Cleveland Clowns. These guys can be had. They tend to wilt under pressure. It's up to the D to put the pressure on. Everyone should be ready to go today except for Ike.We need some playmakers on D. Create some turnovers, force them into mistakes. Hit 'em early, hit 'em often, hit 'em HARD. Here we go Steelers!!!!!!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

50-YARD LINE

Mrs. Black-N-Gold has the Christmas cheer. With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore and Coach LeBeau, I've attempted a black-n-gold version of the Night Before Christmas.

'Twas the night before the night before Christmas
And all through the 'Burgh
Not a creation was stirring
No one uttered a word.
They were worried that the Steelers would miss the playoffs this year
That Coach Tomlin's players would not bring them good cheer.
But this was the 40th anniversary of the greatest play of all
And on this Steelers Sunday the Bungles would fall.
Onto the field came the greatest of scenes
On Rocky, on Franco, on Lambert and Greene.
And Myron with his Towel and the Chief with his cigar
Fans all clad in black-n-gold
They came from near and far.
The Emperor Chaz Noll and Tomlin's predecessor Coach Chin
Were all there to chear the Steelers to a win.
Those clad in the black-n-gold will watch our Steelers fight
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Go Steelers!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

MERRY CHRISTMAS


Dear Santa,

My favorite black-n-gold sports teams have tried awfully hard to be good this year. I would appreciate it if you could leave the following items under their respective trees. As always, additional championships for each go without saying.

The Pirates-please give them a deep-pocketed owner. Bottom Dollar Bob’s policy of addition by subtraction is getting old. Witness the desperation with which they’re trying to trade Hammer & GI Jones to offset the costs of Russell Martin. On a side note, please give MLB a commissioner who is interested in seeing the small market teams compete, not just be a breeding ground for the New Yorks, Bostons & LAs of baseball.

Clutch-please give Clutch a winning team, an MVP award and some protection in the lineup, as well as a day off or two to rest.

The Penguins-please give them an NHL season to salvage. We miss our boys of winter.

Ray Shero-please give the Pens GM the pieces he needs to complete the Stanley Cup puzzle.

Sid-please give Sid continued good health and an opportunity to get back on the ice in front of Pens fans and blow everyone away!

The Steelers-please give the coaches and management a clue. This is the NFL of the 21st century, gentlemen. It’s a passing league. True, it’s good to have some semblance of a running game to control the ball and eat up the clock. However, you have a $100 million, two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback, put the ball and your faith in Ben’s hands.

The Defense-please give the D some playmaking ballhawks, like the good, old days.

Ben-please give him receivers that can catch the ball, some long pass plays called, a healthy offensive line and the 4th quarter, come-from-behind ability that used to come, oh so,easy.

And Santa, please give all my fellow black-n-gold fans a safe and Merry Christmas.

 

Your friend,

Mrs. Black-N-Gold

50-YARD LINE


It’s the Hump Day before Christmas! Will the Steelers find a lump of coal in their stocking or a trip to the playoffs? This is your Pittsburgh Steelers mid-week report. The Steelers won’t find Ike Taylor wrapped under their Christmas tree this week. The walking boot has been removed but Ike is still out against the Bungles. The Steelers have lost 4 of their last 5 games. In those 5 games, they’ve turned the ball over 18 times while recording only 4 takeaways. The youngsters in the secondary will need to step up this week and give the home fans some Christmas cheer. The Steelers have lost their last 2 games at the Big Ketchup Bottle. What better way to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception than with a victory? The O-Line will continue to have their hands full. Cincy’s D has an NFL-high 43 sacks. The Steelers have rushed for only 69 yards in each of their last 2 games. Some good news: The Steelers rushed for a season-high 167 yards last time they played the Bungles, October 21.  The bottom line is the Steelers need playmakers on both sides of the ball. This is a do or die game.  The Steelers need to win this one or they won’t get to play in any reindeer games. Go Steelers!!!!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

50-YARD LINE

Another tough Steelers loss today, 27-24 in OT to the Cryboys. This is the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

1)The Good-I thought it was going to be #17 Mike Wallace. He went from Butterfingers to Stickyfingers today, catching 4 passes for 95 yards today. However, once again, when we needed him most, he came up empty. He was targeted 10 times on the day. Also, in the interception that gave the Cryboys the game, Wallace was the intended receiver. Did the faster player in the game catch cornerback, Brandon Carr, the player that intercepted the ball? No way. He didn't even make an attempt to tackle him. But I digress....I'll give the good today to the fact that there were no, repeat, no penalties today. That's huge, actually. It's a shame it is all for not. Such a good effort deserves a reward, it really does. All I can say is, keep it up. It will pay off for you!

2)The Bad-I'll have to say it was the pick that Ben threw in OT to set up the winning score. Wasn't a really good throw and wasn't a really good effort by the Steelers to tackles Carr, either. The game came down to whoever blinked first and it was the Steelers. Tough break.

3)The Ugly-I could say it was the missed/lack of tackles. Murray scored a touchdown, untouched. The special teams gave up huge yardage on a punt return. Alot of the fill-in cornerbacks showed why they're not starters, repeatedly whiffing on tackles. Unfortunately, there was something uglier than this. Antonio Brown had a beautiful punt return that turned into the ugly duckling in a BIG way. I mean, come on! I'm going to take the over on the number of times these guys put the ball on the turf next week. Whatever happened to holding the ball high and tight? Sheesh!

With today's loss, things went from bad to worse. The Baltimorons lost today and are now 9-5. But the Steelers loss helped them clinch a playoff spot. The Bungles jumped over us to go to 8-6 with their win on Thursday. We're now at 3rd place in the AFC North, on the outside looking in, at 7-7. The Clowns continue to be cellar dwellars after losing today to go to 5-9.

The Steelers have a chance to atone for their actions next week against the Bungles at the Big Ketchup Bottle. Can they avoid losing 3 in a row and get back into the playoff picture? Time will tell. Suck it up, get it together and maybe Santa will bring you a 2-game winning streak and a playoff spot for Christmas. Go Steelers!!!!!!

50-YARD LINE

Here we go Steelers, here we go! Your Pittsburgh Steelers try to get back in the win column and start a 3-game winning streak that can lead them to the playoffs. It all goes down today in Big D versus the Cryboys. The Iggles did us no favors on Thursday, bungling their game against the Bungles and giving Cincy a game up on us. The Steelers can't look ahead to Cincy next week, they have to concentrate on today's game. Take it one game at a time. Keys to today's game. 1)What the Steelers need are PED's. No, not performance enhancing drugs. They need Preperation, Execution, and Discipline! Get back to playing Steeler football the way it's supposed to be played. No mental errors which means, no penalties, no fumbles or dropped passes. Mistakes can cost you and this team has paid dearly this season because of them. What happened to the "Band of Brothers"? This team needs to band together and get it together. The Steelers have won the last 2 games against the Cryboys, in '04 and in '08. The Steelers are 3-0 vs. the NFC this season and 12-2 in their last 14. Control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and smack 'em in the mouth! 2)The defense has only forced 4 turnovers in the last 5 games. We need playmakers to step up today and force Romo into mistakes. Hit 'em early, hit 'em often, hit 'em HARD! 3)Today would be a good day for Mike Wallace to drop (pun intended) the Butterfingers moniker. Wallace has 10 TD's in 15 games vs. the NFC. We need him to be a playmaker on offense today. Score early, score often, score BIG! Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

50-YARD LINE


Happy Hump Day! It’s time for your Steelers mid-week report. Your Pittsburgh Steelers are still stunned by the devastating home loss to the San Diegans this week. They need to pick themselves up and get back to playing focused, disciplined football. They’ll have to do so without some of the regulars. Ike and Adams are out this week. Colon had surgery and is also out, maybe for the season. Cortez Allen is a question mark with a hip. Keenan Lewis also has a hip but is probable. Good thing as their other corners don’t have a lot of experience. Curtis Brown needs to re-group from the torching he got last week. Josh Victorian was signed from the taxi squad and DeMarcus Van Dyke has only dressed for 2 of the past 7 games. They’ll need to toughen up as they face a Cryboys team that has won 4 of its last 5 and has 2 receives with at least 75 catches, Jason Witten (92) and Dez Bryant (75). Bryant has a broken digit but vows to play this week. The Steelers are also without former 1st round draft pick Rashard Mendenhall. He missed last week’s game, saying he thought since he was inactive; he didn’t need to be at the game. There should be no such miscommunication this week as he’s been suspended for 1 game. Baron Batch has been signed from the practice squad. The running game will need all the help they can get as they’re ranked 31st in the league in rushing. The Cowboys aren’t much better at 25th in the league. Can anyone run the ball? We’ll see how the Steelers do with a patchwork offensive line. There was a rumor earlier in the week that Pouncey would move to guard and Legursky would start at center. Now the rumor is 1st round pick DeCastro may start at guard and leave Pouncey at center. Whatever they do, they’ve definitely got to improve upon the porous running game and the putrid pass protection of last week. Meanwhile, we need playmakers to step up on both sides of the ball. Enough of the mental lapses with the penalties, dropped passes, and not playing to the whistle. This is professional football, guys. Start acting like it. I’ve heard some people say the Steelers can lose this game and still make the playoffs. Let’s hope the Steelers don’t have that mentality. You should never have to rely on other teams or back your way into the playoffs. Keep your destiny in your own hands. Let’s Go Steelers!!!!!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

50-YARD LINE


Oakland, Tennessee, Cleveland, San Diego. What do these teams have in common? Well, they’re all under .500. They’ve also beaten the Pittsburgh Steelers this year. Yes, the Steelers have also lost to Baltimore and Denver but those are playoff teams. No one will ever confuse Cleveland and San Diego with Baltimore and Denver, unless, of course, they are watching game film of the Steelers games. How can a team that supposedly has Super Bowl aspirations continue to lose to teams with losing records? There are many questions to ask but I don’t think you’ll like any of the answers. Why is it that the Steelers play so flat and disinterested against sub .500 teams?  Why do they look totally unprepared? How come they continue to play mistake-plagued, undisciplined football? Sorry but it all comes down to coaching. It is the coach’s responsibility to light a fire under his players to get them to play with a sense of urgency. Do you see that, because I sure don’t?  It is the coach’s responsibility to make sure the players are focused and well prepared to execute to the best of their abilities. Hello? Is anyone out there? If players continue to make mental mistakes and costly penalties, they should be dealt with accordingly. It doesn’t look like a player’s coach is someone that’s going to reprimand his charges for boneheaded mistakes. Penalties, dropped passes, lack of communication, failure to convert on 3rd downs and failure to hold opponents on 3rd downs. The list goes on and on. Word is that a lot of the younger guys, you know, Tomlin’s guys aren’t getting it. Isn’t it the coach’s responsibility to make sure that they do? Maybe he’s just not getting through to these guys. Maybe they’ve heard it all before. Maybe the Steelers need to do something about this before its too late…..Get on the stick Tomlin and get it together. They’re not playing with enough intellectuality and urgentality, as you might say.  Get ready for the Cryboys in Big D. Go Steelers!!!!!!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

50-YARD LINE

UGH! The losses just keep piling up for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Another ugly loss today, 34-24, to another ugly team. This is the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

The Good-What is good about losing to a 4-8 team? I thought long and hard about this. The only good I can come up with is the fact that it's good that the Steelers don't play them every week.

The Bad-Oh where to begin....How about the offensive line? True Colon left the game so Pouncey had to slide over to right guard and Legursky had to play center but where was the grind-it-out kind of play we've seen from this unit of late? The running game only generated 69 yards. True, Ben was only sacked twice but it seemed like the Chargers defense was camped out on our side of the ball. They also had 4 quarterback hits and 2 tackles for loss. Are they trying to get Ben hurt again?

The Ugly-There's alot of ugly to go around. Butterfingers Wallace may have caught 7 passes for 112 yards and 2 TD's but dropped one earlier in the game that would have been another touchdown. The Steelers #1 defense in the league got manhandled by an offensive line that was missing 3 starters. How about the fake punt that went for a first down? Or maybe the pass intended for AB that bounced off of Paulson into the end zone and San Diego recovered for a TD?  And don't forget the ever-present special teams penalties. No, the ugliest of all is the fact that the quarterback play was nearly identical. Philip Rivers was 21 of 41 for 200 yards, 3 touchdowns and a passer rating of 89.5. Ben was 22 of 42 for 285 yards 3 touchdowns, 1 pick and an 87.9 passer rating. It was an ugly interception but it's hard to find your receivers when you have blue jerseys in your face all day. This was just an ugly game from top to bottom.

Where do the Steelers go from here? Hopefully, they have no where to go but up. They're still looking up at the Baltimorons, who lost today. The Bungles also put one in the L column. The Clowns are still in the cellar but picked up a victory today. In other AFC news, the Colts won. The Steelers are still the 6th seed in the AFC but can't continue to play like they don't deserve to go to the playoffs. Tighten up, rest up and get back at it tomorrow, guys. Big game in big D next week. Go Steelers!!!!!!

50-YARD LINE

Here we go Steelers, here we go! Your Pittsburgh Steelers try to make it 2-in-a-row today at the Big Ketchup Bottle as they faceoff against the Dolts from San Diego. Here are your keys to today's game. 1)The 4-8 Dolts' last win in Pittsburgh was all the way back in the '94 AFC title game at Three Rivers. Because the Dolts are a west coast team and it's a 1:00 start, you'd figure the Steelers can catch them napping. The Dolts have averaged just 63.3 yards rushing in their last 3 games. Meanwhile, QB Phillip Rivers has been sacked 14 times in the last 3 games. Is the defense licking their chops over this one? Don't expect a cakewalk as the Steelers almost always play down to the level of competition. Beware the trap! 2)Big Ben gets the start today, his first since returning from injury. Ben is 3-1 vs. the Dolts with a 97.7 passer rating. Butterfingers Wallace has a mear 13 catches for 93 yards in his last 4 games. Heeeeaaaath Miller leads the Steelers with 56 receptions and 7 touchdowns. What does this tell us? Throw the ball to #83, Ben! Score early, score often, score BIG! 3)The Dolts rank 25th in the NFL with 18.3 points per game and 26th with 320 yards per game. Again, the D ought to tee off on these guys. Hit 'em early, hit 'em often, hit 'em HARD! Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

50-YARD LINE


Happy Hump Day! This can only mean one thing: it’s time for your Pittsburgh Steelers mid-week report. The Steelers are gearing up for their battle at the Big Ketchup Bottle this week against the 4-8 Bolts, or is it Dolts? The Steelers need to go with Mo and ride the momentum of the huge victory over the Baltimorons, not play down to the level of competition. The Steelers try to get healthy in some areas while getting dinged up in others. Sanders, Wallace and Colon are probable. Ben will play based on how well he practices this week. Otherwise, it’s go time for Charlie again. JDog is still your starting running back. Taylor and Woodley are out. Earlier in the season it was noted that they Steelers didn’t have players that could step in without missing a beat this year. That certainly has changed of late. 2 players who stepped up big time last week were Cortez Allen and Curtis Brown. Sure, there were some hiccups but they came through when it mattered most. We’ll need that again this week as Allen is the starter and Brown is the nickel. Shut ‘em down, guys! Speaking of stepping up, congrats to Squeeze Me Suisham for winning the AFC special teams player of the week. Squeeze Me is 24 for 25 for field goals this season, including the game winner Sunday. He’s converted his last 13 in a row, too! Also, congrats to Heeeeath Miller. His touchdown reception in the 4th quarter of Sunday’s game set the record for most touchdowns, 38, by a Steelers tight end. Here’s a little known fact: the Steelers are 26-8 when #83 scores a touchdown. What does that tell us? Throw the ball to Miller! Don’t take the San Diegans too lightly. We need a win to keep ahead of the Bungles for that final wild card spot. Go Steelers!!!!!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

50-YARD LINE

Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Your Pittsburgh Steelers come home a winner over the Baltimorons thanks to Shaun Suisham's field goal with 3 seconds left to make it 23-20. It was a hard fought victory in what could be Charlie Batch's last start. This is the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

The Good-The D continued to look very good this week. They held Flacco to 188 yard passing and kept Ray Rice at 78 rushing yards. They put up 3 sacks, forced 2 turnovers and held the Baltimorons to 3 of 11 on 3rd downs. One of those turnovers, a James Harrison strip/sack that was recovered by Ziggy Hood, who also had a sack, was the big play this team has needed to get them back in the win column. Harrison is looking more and more like his Pro Bowl self. He led the Steelers with 7 tackles on the day, 6 solo.

The Bad-Charlie wasn't pretty but came up big when the chips were down. He went 25 of 36 for an 89.6 passer rating and a huge interception to Ed Reed in the end zone. However, he hit Heath Miller, who was outstanding today, catching 5 passes for 97 yards, for the critical touchdown that tied the game.

The Ugly-Earlier in the season, people were talking about how talented the Steelers receivers were. Are they still saying that? Emmanuel Sanders gave the ball away today, dropping a pass with the field wide open, leading to a Baltimoron fumble recovery that set up a touchdown to put the Steelers behind the 8 ball. Are these guys not accountable for anything? If you bench Sanders and you've already benched Wallace who do you have left to play? Cotchery is hurt and Plex is not starter material. Whatever happened to fining players for making mistakes? Hit them where they live, in the wallet!

With the victory today over the Baltimorons, the Steelers are still very much in the playoff hunt. The Baltimorons continue to lead the division at 9-3. The Steelers are in second place at 7-5, tied with the Bungles who beat our opponent for next week, the San Diegans. The Clowns picked up a win this week by beating the Raiders and are now 4-8.

As I said, the Steelers are at the Big Ketchup Bottle to face off against the Bolts, who are also playing for their playoff lives. It's a 1:00 game which is a good time to catch west coast teams napping. Let's go for 2 in a row. Go Steelers!!!!!!

50-YARD LINE

Chew tobacco, chew tobacco, spit, spit, spit, if you ain't a Steelers fan you ain't......Your Pittsburgh Steelers look to keep their playoff hopes alive and get back in the win column today in Maryland against the Baltimorons. Keys to today's game. 1)Last gasp for Charlie? Charlie Batch is under center again and looking for redemption after last week's game against the Clowns. Charlie realizes his days are numbered, especially with Ben getting healthier by the day, and wants to go out on a winning note. BIG key to the game. NO turnovers. Charlie got another week of work in with the offense and needs to get the ball to his receivers. Meanwhile, the running backs can help by holding onto the ball. Keep it high and tight, guys! 2)The Baltimorons are riding a 4 game winning streak and 16 straight wins at home. The last time the Baltimorons lost at home was on 12/5/10 to the Steelers. It would be great to have a flashback to that game today. The Steelers need to help out rookie Kelvin Beachum at right tackle by keeping DE Paul Kruger out of Charlie's face. We don't want Paul Kruger to turn into Freddy Kruger for the offense. Keep Charlie clean! 3)The Steelers need to turn things around in the turnover battle. The D has looked stellar, of late, but need to make some plays. Keep that ball away from the Baltimorons. Hit 'em early, hit 'em often, hit 'em HARD! And don't forget to score early, score often, score BIG! Here we go Steelers, here we go!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

50-YARD LINE

It's a hump day which can mean only one thing.....This is your Pittsburgh Steelers mid-week report. The Steelers playoff hopes are on life support as they travel to Maryland to face the Baltimorons for the second time in 3 weeks. The Steelers need a win to keep the drive alive as they've lost 2 in a row, both in the division. The injuries continue to mount. Adams, Colon, Starks, Woodley, and Leftwich didn't practice. The good news is that Troy and AB did. It's still not known if they'll be able to play this week and, if so, will it be enough to help get the Steelers back in the win column. Rookie Kelvin Beechum (who?) will start in place of Adams at right tackle. That's bad news for all you Heath Miller fans as he'll continue to be asked to stay home and help block, especially after the way the Ravens got after Leftwich last time, and Charlie Batch is under center again this week. It's been a tumultuous week for the black-n-gold. Coach Cliche continues to cut off his nose to spite his face with the way he fumbled the running back situation in the Cleveland game. He's looking to save face by naming JDog the starter and dropping Mendy down to third string. However, Cliche continues to suffer from indecision. He can't decide whether Sanders or Butterfingers Wallace will start at wide receiver this week. Something has definitely got to be done to spark this offense. They've only scored 1 TD in each of the last 3 games, scoring 17 points in the 2 games Ben has missed, with 14 punts and 11 turnovers. Ugh! The penalties have to go, too! The Steelers have the 5th most penalty yards in the NFL at 715. The one saving grace has been the way the D has come on, of late. The secondary has held opposing QB's to under 200 yards per game the last 6 games in a row. That's a great statistic but they have to get after the ball and make something happen. If they're going to do that, this week would be a good time to start. Remember, you gotta want it, to win it. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

SLAP SHOTS


Fed up with the NHL lockout? Apparently the Feds are, too as federal mediators are going to now work with both the NHL and NHLPA to hammer out a deal. Will the Feds put the Fed in fed up? Only time will tell. The only thing that time has told us since the lockout began is that both sides are not showing a lot of flexibility. It’s like a game of chicken on skates. The league has canceled games through December 14. Why don’t they get commissioner Gary Bettmen and NHLPA head Donald Fehr into the rink and have them throw off the gloves and settle this like men? Meanwhile, Sid continues to discuss the possibility of playing overseas. It seems the longer this drags on, the more likely Sid’s threats become a reality. And the longer this goes on, the more a likelihood the season is canceled becomes a reality, as well. Get a deal done, already. It’s a great day for hockey. Go Pens!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

50-YARD LINE

Ugh! Your Pittsburgh Steelers suffered a Thanksgiving hangover, losing to the Cleveland Clowns 20-14. This is the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

The Good-It truly is hard to find anything good about losing to a 2-8 team. The defense did look good, though. Timmons had a pick 6. There were 4 sacks. Harrison looked a little like his old self with 1 sack and 4 tackles for loss. Worilds played in place of Woodley and had 2 sacks and 2 tackles for loss. You win as a team, you lose as a team but the defense really can't be blamed for this one. Keep after it and get ready for next week!

The Bad-I hate to point the finger at the 3rd string quarterback but Charlie Batch was bad. Charlie was 20 of 34 with 3 interceptions for 199 yards and a 38.7 rating. Some people will complain that Charlie looked rusty because he never plays. Sorry, there's a reason Charlie never plays and it was on display today. If he still had it, he'd be a starting quarterback elsewhere. Too bad there wasn't much of a running game, either to help him out.....

The Ugly-The reason there wasn't much of a running game? You have to hold onto the football in order to have a running game. These running backs must have spent too much time hanging out with Butterfingers Wallace this week. Seriously, can anyone hang onto the ball? The only thing the Steelers were able to win today was the turnover battle and I don't mean that in a good way. Whatsamatter Steelers? Are you afraid of the ball?

The Steelers playoff hopes continue to fade as the season fades. With this loss, the Steelers fall to 6-5. All of their losses have come in conference and they now have 2 losses in the division going into next week's game against the Baltimorons in Baltimore. The Baltimorons have a late game today. The Bungles are now tied with the Steelers at 6-5. The Clowns continue to bring up the rear at 3-8.

Back to the old drawing board, guys. Get it together or get out! Go Steelers!!!!!!

50-YARD LINE

Here we go Steelers, here we go! It's Steelers-Clowns at 1:00 today at the Mistake by the Lake. It looks like good football weather today as there's only a high of 40 degrees in Cleveland and a 30% chance of snow. This could be a good chance for the Steelers to get their mojo workin' and get back in the win column. Keys to today's game. 1)The Steelers have won 10 of the past 11 at the Mistake by the Lake. Charlie Batch gets the start at QB today and with the way things are going, Ben Jr. may have to suite up soon. We need the Steelers to control the ball with a good running game today and take pressure off of Charlie. The Clowns D is ranked 24th against the run, but lookout! Former Clowns #1 pick defensive tackle Phil Taylor is expected back today from injury. Score early, score often, score BIG! Run, run, run! 2)The Steelers aren't the only team to suffer from the dropsies. The Clowns are 3rd in the league with 26 dropped passes. The Steelers D needs to continue to separate the Browns from the football. Another good way to produce drops is by getting after rookie QB Brandon Weeden and forcing him into bad throws. Hit 'em early, hit 'em often, hit 'em HARD! 3)The Browns have lost 4 straight to the Steelers, scoring only 2 TD's. Don't look ahead to next week's re-match with the Baltimorons. Another division and conference loss could spell the end of the Steelers playoff hopes. Meanwhile, playing the Steelers is as close to a playoff game as the Clowns will ever get. Get that mojo back and make the Browns black and blue. Go Steelers!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

50-YARD LINE


Happy Hump Day! It’s time for your Steelers mid-week report. Once again, the Steelers have more questions than answers, injury-wise, this week.  I seem to remember someone blogging about the lack of depth and how the Steelers were an injury or two away from disaster….Ben, Leftwich, and Cotchery are out. AB, Troy, Redman and Gilbert are question marks. Good news, #1 pick David DeCastro has been cleared for practice. Could he be too little, too late? Charlie Batch is your starting QB this week. Charlie is 5-2 as a starter and we’re playing the 2-8 Cleveland Clowns at the mistake by the lake this week. Charlie has a new backup in Brad Hoyer (who?) and will have a new/old target in Plaxico Burress. We’ll see if Plax can return to his old form or if there was a reason that he was signed off of the street. Watch out for the trap game! Don’t look ahead to the re-match with the Baltimorons. Cleveland rookie QB Brandon Weeden has thrown 11 TD’s and 12 INT’s this season with a 70.3 passer rating. The Steelers D has held opposing QB’s to under 200 yards passing 5 games in a row. That’s all well and good but their rookie running back Trent Richardson looks like he’s the real deal, rushing for 670 yards for a 3.7 yard average and 5 TD’s. Don’t sleep on this team. We can’t afford any more losses in the AFC or in our division. Get rested, get prepared, and get after it! Go Steelers!!!!!!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING


It’s Thanksgiving, a time to reflect and give thanks for that which your thankful. I thought I’d take the time at blackngoldnat to reflect on that which my favorite sports teams should be thankful.  

1)The Steelers-Coach Cliché should be thankful that he inherited so many of Coach Chin’s players. How else do you think he would win one Super Bowl and make a trip to another? He should also be thankful that the Cleveland Clowns are in the AFC North. That’s a guaranteed 2 wins a season.

2)The Pirates-Bottom Dollar Bob should be thankful that fireworks and bobbleheads aren’t as expensive as major league talent. He should also be thankful that the fireworks and bobbleheads are never arbitration eligible.

 3)The Penguins-Believe it or not, Mario should be thankful for the NHL lockout. This way Sid will stay healthy longer.

 And I am thankful for my wonderful family and friends and the fellow black-n-gold fans that have become a part of blackngoldnat’s readership. Here’s wishing everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving to one and all. Don’t eat too much turkey. If you do, make sure you have lots of alcohol to wash it down. Gobble, gobble.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

50-YARD LINE

Well, your Pittsburgh Steelers have to pick themselves up and dust themselves off. In the first of 3 straight division games the Steelers came out on the short end against the Baltimorons, 13-10. This is the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

1)The Good-What's good about a 13-10 home loss to your biggest rival? The fact that the Steelers play the Cleveland Clowns next week at the Mistake by the Lake. Back the to drawing board, guys!

2)The Bad-How about 5 of 17 on 3rd down conversions. You can't score points if you don't move those sticks. You might want to work on that this week.

3)The Ugly-Sure he's rusty and got banged up but Byron Leftwich was ugly tonight. He went 17 of 38 for 201 yards, a 5.3 yard average, with an interception and a 50.4 passer rating. He was clearly hurting towards the end. Surely Byron's play will continue to fuel the argument to play Charlie Batch, instead. Another honorable mention this week goes to Mike "Butterfingers" Wallace. He lost a fumble that led to a Baltimoron field goal. Gee, wasn't it a 3 point difference in this game? Would he have held onto the ball if it was a bag of cash? Just wondering.

With the victory, the Baltimorons are now 2 games up in the lead for the AFC North. Meanwhile, the Bungles were victorious and the Clowns remained the Clowns. Let's hope they do so next week, too.

Re-group and get your heads on straight for the road trip to Cleveland. We can still do this. Go Steelers!!!!!!

50-YARD LINE

Here we go Steelers, here we go! It's Ravens week. Are you pysched? Your Pittsburgh Steelers darn well better be. This is the game they circle the minute the schedule comes out. The Steelers look to feast on some bird this week but not turkeys, instead it will be Ravens. Keys to tonight's division matchup at the Big Ketchup Bottle. 1)As you may have heard, Ben is out this week and Byron Leftwich will be under center. Steeler fans are holding their collective breath over this decision as Byron may have a big arm but he's got a big windup to go with it. The Baltimorons are probably licking their chops over this. The Steelers played KC flatter than a potato pancake last week. If they play down to their level of competition when they play the bad teams, conventional wisdom would say that this week they'll play up to their level of competition against the 7-2 Baltimorons. Todd Haley said he is going to game plan to Byron's strengths. The Raisins' secondary is banged up so look for Byron to go deep this week.  Mike Wallace better leave his butter fingers at home and be ready! 2)The Steelers need to control both sides of the ball. Mendy gets the start at running back today. We need the O-Line to knock the Baltimorons into next week and create holes for the running game. The Raisins have the 26th ranked D in the league. The Steelers need to score early, score often, and score BIG! Carve up these turkeys like a Butterball! 3)The Steelers are 0-4 vs. the Baltimorons when Ben is injured. Their QB Flacco has only averaged 179.7 yards per game with 3 touchdowns and 4 interceptions on the road this year. However, the last 2 years he's pulled out come-from-behind victories in Pittsburgh. The D needs to get in Flacco's grill and ruffle his feathers. Remember, 5 of the past 6 meetings between these teams were decided by 3 points. Hit 'em early, hit 'em often, hit 'em HARD! This one is for the AFC North lead. Go out and knock the stuffing out of the Baltimorons. Go Steelers!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

50-YARD LINE


50-YARD LINE


50-YARD LINE


It’s Hump Day and that can only mean one thing. This is your Pittsburgh Bumblebee…..er Steelers mid-week report. That Bumblebee remark is in reference to the throwback unis the Steelers will be sporting at the Big Ketchup Bottle this Sunday night against the Baltimorons. Injury update. Considering the Steelers are the walking wounded this week, it might be easier to list the healthy players but I’ll give it a shot with the injured players, anyway. As I’m sure you’re aware, Ben is out with a shoulder and a rib. Byron Leftwich gets the start with Charlie ready in the bullpen. I would think Batch’s delivery would be better suited for the quick-pass offense of Todd Haley but Tomlin gives Leftwich the nod. Clark, AB, Mendy, Gilbert and Sylvester are all question marks. Troy is doubtful. We really need everyone to step up their game this week as it’s a big division battle and it’s important to the Steelers playoff hopes to sweep the division. The Steelers are 4-1 the last 2 years without Ben. The lone loss came against the Baltimorons. Harrison said that the D took a step back in the KC game. They gave up an average of 4.6 yards per rush, the majority of those came at the Steelers left side. Harrison, you talk the talk, now walk the walk. Where have you been all season? Also, Hood and Woodley better be ready for the Baltimorons to come at you. This is a copycat league, you know. The good news is that the Baltimorons have been giving up 132 yards rushing per game since RayRay went down. Let’s see the o-line and the running game step up and run all over them. Win one for Ben! Let’s Go Steelers!!!!!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

50-YARD LINE

Put one in the W column for your Pittsburgh Steelers. A win is a win, no matter how you get it. This is the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

The Good-The only thing good about tonight is the victory. A 1-7 team played tonight but it was the Steelers that looked like the 1-7 team, not KC. We'll take it any way we can get it. Timmons gets honorable mention for coming up with the pick in OT to set up the winning field goal by Suisham.

The Bad-Ben injured has throwing shoulder. Yes, he's a drama queen and may miss time due to Mrs. Ben's pregnancy but it's still bad. We have 3 straight division games coming up, 2 against the Baltimorons. Suck it up, Ben. We need you.

The Ugly-What was ugly about tonight's game? Oh, let me count the ways. There were missed tackles and missed opportunities. Wallace lets another touchdown sail through his hands. True, he did make up for it with a touchdown reception later in the drive but that could be deemed a gift by the refs. There was the fact that we spotted KC 10 points and had to go to OT to pull out the win. There's the fact that there was almost another QB fumble run back for a TD for the second week in a row. When are the Steelers ever going to learn to play to the whistle? Oh, and don't let me forget the fact that our backup QB, Leftwich, has a windup in his delivery like he should be playing for the Pirates, not the Steelers. What's up with that, Byron? You've been in the league how long and you still have that ugly windup?

Again, a win is a win. Here is the way the AFC North shakes out after this weekend. 1)The Baltimorons are 7-2 after winning. 2)The Steelers pick up the win and go to 6-3. 3)The Bungles get a victory to move to 4-5 4)The Clowns had a bye and remain 2-7.

Big game coming up at the Big Ketchup Bottle Sunday night versus the Baltimorons. Beware of the bumblebees as the Steelers will be wearing those atrocious throwback unis again. I hope they put the Baltimorons into anaphylactic shock and we get the win. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

50-YARD LINE

Here we go, Steelers, here we go! Your Pittsburgh Steelers take on the 1-7 KC Chiefs tonight on Monday Night Football at the Big Ketchup Bottle. Keys to tonight's game. 1)The Chiefs have a league-high 29 turnovers. For a Steelers team that only has 4 interceptions and 4 fumbles recovered, this could be just what the doctor ordered. Hit 'em early, hit 'em often, hit 'em HARD! 2)Don't nap on these Chiefs, though. Running back Jamaal Charles is 4th in the AFC in rushing with 634 yards. The Chiefs are 3rd overall with 149.9 yards per game. Don't look ahead to next week's game. Beware the trap game! 3)Coach Mike Tomlin hasn't lost at home on MNF, going 6-0. The last time the Steelers lost at home on Monday night was 10/14/91, under Chuck Noll. The Steelers have won 6 of their last 7 on Monday night. Since the 2nd half of the Cincy game on 10/21, the Steelers have outscored their opponents 61-35. Score early, score often, score BIG! The Bungles and Baltimorons both won yesterday. Good news for Clowns fans, they didn't lose, either. That's because they had a bye. The Steelers need a win to keep pace. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

HALFTIME

We're at the half way point of the NFL season. Time to look at your Pittsburgh Steelers through 8 games.

Offense-Ben Roeghlisberger is quietly putting together one of his finest seasons. He's also being mentioned in the MVP conversation, rightfully so. Ben is 5th overall with a 101.1 passer rating, has thrown 16 touchdowns against only 4 picks. So far, the Ben-Todd Haley experiment seems to be working. The Steelers are 10th in the league with 262.4 passing yards per game. Although the run game started slow, it has really picked up of late thanks to a punishing offensive line. The Steelers have moved up to 21st in the league with 104.9 yards per game. The injury bug hasn't kept the running backs down as there's always someone ready to step in and step up. The offense still seems to have problems sometimes getting bogged down and settling for field goals. The good news is that the receivers are working their way through the case of the dropsies that they had earlier in the season. Heath Miller is having a Pro Bowl season, leading the team with 6 touchdowns. Things are looking up, offensively. Barring any major injuries, the offense looks like it's only just begun to scratch the surface of what they can do.

Defense-This unit certainly didn't start out on the right foot this season. They carried an alarming trend of giving up 4th quarter leads into this campaign. The fact that they only have 4 interceptions and 14 sacks hasn't helped matters. But, they are ranked number overall against the pass, giving up just 174 yards per game. The rushing defense is 7th in the league with 88.6 yards per game. The defense has been decimated by injuries but have players that are starting to come into their own and help out on D, Keenan Lewis, Will Allen, Cortez Allen. Ike Taylor is starting to get his swag on and Ryan Clark and Larry Foote have really stepped up their games this season to help replace players who are either injured (Troy, Harrison, Woodley) or have moved on (Farrior, Smith). The Giants game was a real shot in the arm to boost the D's confidence and keep them moving in the right direction.

Special Teams-Special teams could be extra special if they'd lay off the penalties so guys like Rainey, Brown and now Sanders could break a few off. Until they get that straightened out, we'll have to merely sit and wander what could have been. Shaun Suisham is putting together a solid season, making 17 of 18 field goal attempts. We'll need his leg as the season goes on and the weather gets colder.

Disappointments-This "award" goes to the outside linebacker tandem of Harrison and Woodley. True, they've both been working through injuries this year. However, Harrison has been virtually invisible. That means teams can concentrate on double-teaming Woodley. True, he is tied for the team lead with 3 sacks. But really, 3 sacks? He's only on a pace for 6, at that rate. In the 3-4 defense, it's the outside linebackers' job to put pressure on the quarterback and bring him down, creating sacks and turnovers. Hopefully, these 2 can get healthy and get after it!

Looking at the last 8 games, the Steelers only play 2 against a team with a winning record, the Baltimorons, twice. If they can keep their heads together, not play down to the level of competition, and sweep their division, they have a clear road to the Super Bowl in New Orleans. The second half starts tomorrow night when all eyes will be watching Monday Night Football from the Big Ketchup Bottle. Go out and start the second half off right. Go Steelers!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

EXTRA POINTS


The NHL and the NHLPA are meeting again today. Sid is attending along with Pens’ player rep Craig Adams. Could we see the beginning of a thaw on both sides? Let’s hope so.  I’m tired of keeping my Penguins gear on ice.

 After what he considers a thorough and complete investigation, Bob Nutting has decided to retain his front office personnel. However, in a concession to the fan’s uproar over the military-style training of the minor leaguers, he has axed said program. Of course Bottom Line Bob wouldn’t fire anyone still under contract.  Is this enough to get the Pirates on the right track? The jury is still out on this one.

50-YARD LINE


It’s hump day and that can only mean one thing. It’s time for your Pittsburgh Steelers mid-week report. Let’s look at the injury list. Rainey and AB are out. Let them heal up and get ready for the division games that are on the horizon. Troy and Gilbert are also out but are expected to play the Baltimorons the following week. Sylvester is also out.  It will be news when he’s healthy. Mendy is a question mark. That’s ok because Redman and Dwyer are both probable. The Steelers have won 3 straight. During that winning streak, they’ve also had a rusher run for over 100 in each game, the first time since ’07. The running game is averaging 155 yards per game in the last 3. The way the offensive line has been bulldozing opponents, they could stick anyone back there and they’d run for 100 yards. And how about the D? Congrats to Ike for being named AFC defensive player of the week. During the 3-game winning streak, opponents are averaging only 26 yards in the 4th quarter. The Steelers have the #1 ranked pass defense. They are also ranked #1 in fewest yards allowed and fewest passing yards. Way to step up!  Please remember though, watch out for the trap game. Don’t look ahead to the division games. Don’t play down to the level of competition against the 1-7 Chiefs. This is a Monday night game at the Big Ketchup Bottle. The Steelers ought to be licking their chops and feast on these Chiefs. Go Steelers!!!!!!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

50-YARD LINE

V is for victory and it was nice to see the Steelers in their victory formation as they defeated the New York Giants in Jersey today 24-20. This is the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

The Good-There were quite a few good things today for the Steelers. Keenen Lewis had a strong game with 3 passes defended. He's really come on strong of late for the Steeler D. Issac Redman had a career game. He had 26 carries for 147 yards and a touchdown. Mike Wallace had a crucial drop but made up for it with a game-changing 51 yard touchdown reception. The best of the Good goes to the Steelers defense which came up HUGE when they had to today. Ike Taylor had an interception. Lawrence Timmons and LaMar Woodley both had sacks and Woodley forced a fumble late in the game (by the way, you want to fall on those fumbles, guys). The defense forced 3 straight 3 and outs in the 4th quarter and held the Giants to just 182 total yards. Is the Steelers D back? Only time will tell but they seem on their way. Great game, guys!

The Bad-I'd like to give it to the officials. Seriously, how can Ryan Clark be given a hit to the head penalty to Victory Cruz and later the announcers said Cruz had bruised ribs from that hit? Since when are the ribs in the head area? Like I said, I'd like to give it to the officials. However, great teams don't complain about the calls, they just win the ball game. So the Bad this week goes to the dreaded penalties, again. 6 penalties isn't bad. 6 penalties for 119 yards is. Too many personal foul penalties can cost you a game and they almost did. Tighten up or it will haunt you!

The Ugly-Hands down the Ugly goes to Coach Cliche's decision to reinvent the wheel, again. Why you don't kick a field goal to tie and it up wipe the slate clean is beyond me. Why you don't try to the trick field goal with your $100 million QB, instead of the kicker is ludicrous. It seems to me that the Steelers win in spite of their coach, not because of him. Ride your playmakers like rented mules, coach!

Your AFC North standings are as follows: 1)Baltimorons are 6-2 with a win today 2)Steelers are 5-3 after their win 3)The Bungles fall to 3-5 with a loss 4)The Clowns continue to be the Clowns at 2-7 with a loss.

The Steelers are at the Big Ketchup Bottle next week to take on the 1-7 KC Chiefs. Look out for the trap game! Don't play down to your level of competition on this one. Have a safe flight home, get a good night's rest and get ready to go for 4 in a row next week. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

50-YARD LINE

Rah, rah, ree, hit him in the knee. Rah, rah, rass, hit him in the other knee. Your Pittsburgh Steelers travel to New Jersey today to take on the defending Super Bowl champion New York football Giants. First, we'll look at the injury report, then the keys to the game. Woodley, Redman, and Clark are expected to play. Yay! Dwyer and Mendy are doubful. Bummer. Troy, Gilbert and Sylvester are out. Boo. Now somebody hand me the keys. 1)Ben takes on Eli Manning for only the 3rd time since they were both drafted in '04. They are 1-1 against each other. The 2004 draft class is the only draft to produce 2 QB's who have won multiple Super Bowls (Ben and Eli). The Giants offense is 3rd in the league in points per game with 29.2. They're 4th in total yards at 397 per game. Eli has only been sacked 7 times this season. The Steelers O-Line has kept been clean the past 2 games. The Steelers offense is 1st in the league in 3rd down conversions at 51.9%. Ben's passer rating on 3rd downs is 117. Of course, Eli gets more publicity because A)he's a Manning and B)he plays in New York. Look for Ben to accept the challenge and one-up his counterpart this week. Big Ben is going to strike gold! 2)The Giants D is 24th overall. They're allowing 4.6 yards per carry, 19th vs. the run. They're 26th against the pass. Score early, score often, score BIG! 3)The Giants have won 6 of 7. The Steelers have won 2 in a row. We need playmakers to come up big on D this week. We haven't heard much from Harrison and Woodley.
This week would be a good time for them to speak up. Hit 'em early, hit 'em often, hit 'em HARD. Keep in mind weather could be a factor, too. I don't want to hear the Steelers complain that they had to travel on gameday. The Giants had to live in the storm all week. My thoughts and prayers are with those that were hit by Sandy.
Another big factor for this week's game and beyond is the behavior of the players. Last week we saw Antonio Brown backpedal into the end zone on a touchdown that was called back by ANOTHER penalty by the (not so)special teams. We also saw Alameda Ta'amu reinstated after his DUI and multiple charges. This week, when Ta'amu was being interviewed in the locker room upon his return, an unidentified Steelers player could be heard shouting out "Tell them to kiss your ass, Ta'amu". When did the Steelers become so unruly? They're arrogant, undisciplined divas and Coach Cliche has no control over them. True, Cowher's guys were no choir boys but this is ridiculous. This week would be a good week for Tomlin to stop being a player's coach and just be a coach. This team needs to stop acting like a bunch of thugs and act like a professional football team. Get it together, already.
Here we go Steelers!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

50-YARD LINE


It’s a Halloween hump day and you know what that means. It’s time for your Steelers mid-week report. Will the Steelers get tricked or get treats vs. the New York Giants on Sunday? Injury-wise, it looks like they’re getting tricked. Troy and Gilbert are still out. Ryan Clark (concussion) and LaMarr Woodley (hammy) are questionable. Stevenson Sylvester is also a question mark with a hammy. It seems Sylvester is suffering from Worilds disease. Wake me when he’s healthy. Redman is probable and Mendy is cleared for individual workouts. Continue to ride Dwyer like a rented mule this week. The Steelers are going to have their hands full on both sides of the ball. Eli leads the 6th best passing attack in the NFL and the Giants offense is ranked 4th overall. The Steelers offense is #2 in the league in time of possession at 34:35. Eli and Ben are 1-1 since coming into the league together in 2004. As the offensive line goes, so go the Steelers. But remember, the Steelers aren’t playing the Bungles or Deadskins. This is the defending Super Bowl champs that are currently 6-2. True, the Steelers D is ranked #2 overall in the NFL, #2 against the pass, #8 against the run and #8 in points allowed per game with 20.6. This is the same Steelers D that has only 12 sacks in 7 games. That’s on pace for 27, the lowest total since they recorded 19 sacks in 1988. They also have only 3 interceptions. The Giants D has 21 sacks and 16 interceptions. It’s important for the Steelers to control the line of scrimmage this week on both sides of the ball.  The offense can’t afford to make any mistakes this week. No turnovers. No penalties. If the Steelers hope to be mentioned in the championship conversation, winning this game would be a huge statement, especially on the road. Bring your water wings because you’re going to need them. Here we go Steelers, here we go!!!!!!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

50-YARD LINE

Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Your Pittsburgh Steelers pulled out a win today with their victory over the Deadskins by a score of 27-12. These is the Good, the Bad and the Ugly from today's game.

The Good-First time the Steelers had back-to-back wins this season. They also had a running back rush for over 100 yards in back-to-back games for the first time since Fast Willie Parker in September of '08. Jonathan Dwyer rushed for 107 yards on 17 carriers today. Will the Steelers continue to go with Dwyer's hot feet once Mendy and Redman are healthy?

The Bad-Another touchdown on a punt return was called back due to a penalty. Will the special teams ever get it right? Also, Antonio Brown's complete lack of sportsmanship on said run back was totally classless. I know it's an emotional game but to run backwards into the end zone like that? You're better than that AB and the Steelers should be, too.

The Ugly-The Deadskins dropped 7 passes today and the vaunted RG3 only completed 16 of 34 passes for 177 yards and 8 yards rushing. The Steelers were lucky today or it could have been a completely different ballgame. Honorable Ugly Mention goes to the throwback uniforms. They make me want to throwup.

The AFC North had to teams off this week. Here's how it stacks up 1)The Baltimorons are 5-2 coming off of their bye. 2)The Steelers are a game out at 4-3 after today's win. 3)The Bungles are at 3-4 after their bye. 4)The Clowns got the victory today but are still looking up at 2-6.

The Steelers travel to beautiful New Jersey next week to face the defending Super Bowl champion New York football Giants. Enjoy the win, guys and get back to the drawing board to give it to Eli and the Giants. Go Steelers!!!!!!

50-YARD LINE

Here we go Steelers, here we go! Your Pittsburgh Steelers gear up to battle the dreaded RG3 and the Washington Deadskins this afternoon at the Big Ketchup Bottle. These are your keys to the game. 1)The Steelers are looking for their 2nd consecutive win. If they get it, it will be the first time this season they've won back-to-back games. Since returning to Pittsburgh as the defensive coordinator in 2004, Dick LeBeau is 13-1 vs. rookie QB's. The Steelers are 20-2-1 at the Big Ketchup Bottle against NFC teams. Bring your "A" game and get after that QB fellas! Hit 'em early, hit 'em often, hit 'em HARD! 2)Jonathan Dwyer can become the first running back since Fast Willie Parker in '08 to have back-to-back 100 yard games. Mendy is out today and Redman is questionable so Dwyer should get the majority of the carriers today. Let's see that offensive line open up some big holes for the big back again this week! 3)Washington's D is allowing almost 29 points per game. They've allowed 91 points in the 4th quarter all season. The Steelers offense has been held to under 24 points of 4 of 6 games this season. Something's got to give. The Skins D has given up big games to their last 3 opponents tight ends. Heath Miller has caught 31 of 40 passses this season for 290 yards and 5 TD's, with no drops. Did you hear that, Mike Wallace? The Steelers passing game is primed to put up huge numbers today. Wallace, keep your mind off of your money and your mind on your game. In Miller we trust! Score early, score often, score BIG! Go Steelers!!!!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

THE BULLPEN


I read reports yesterday that the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball club  are still training their Instructional League players as if they’re about to do battle in a war zone, instead of instructing them on the fine art of stealing second base. The situation with the Pirates gets more and more scary, scarier than any of the multitudes of zombie movies running on the Chiller channel. Apart from hitting coach Gregg Ritchie leaving to coach in the college ranks, nothing has been said or done regarding the team’s record collapse of the 2012 season. I guess if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Is that right, Bottom Line Bob Nutting?  Is 20 consecutive losing seasons considered not worth fixing? I guess if something works, you stick with it. Sorry, but how has this particular type of instruction done anything to benefit the teams won/loss record? There’s even talk of injuries and agents advising players to steer clear of the Pirates organization. How is this helpful? My only presumption is that Nutting hires these Navy SEAL guys on the cheap. They must be way less expensive than hiring actual coaches to coach these players. Hoka hey, indeed.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

50-YARD LINE


It’s Hump Day. What better way to help us over the hump than your Pittsburgh Steelers mid-week report. The Steelers will try to win back-to-back games for the first time this season when they take on RG3 and the Deadskins at the Big Ketchup Bottle this week. You may have heard of RG3. The Deadskin’s rookie QB has been all over the sports pages since his first NFL game this season. He’s like a younger, better Michael Vick. Remember how Vick gave the Steelers fits the few times he met them in a Falcons uniform? The Steelers’ D need to play the way they did in the second half of the Cincy game and not the first half. And they’ll need to do it for a full 60 minutes. They’ll be shorthanded again this week as Polamalu and Gilbert are out again. Maurkice Pouncey is expected to play. No word yet on whether Mendy or Redman will play. Regardless, I think the Steelers need to go with the hot hand, or in this case, foot, at running back and play Jonathan Dwyer. Dwyer ran for 122 yards on 22 carries at Cincy. He had the best rushing game for the Steelers since Mendy went for 146 vs. Jax back on 10/16/11. The Steelers will need to put as many points as possible on the board this week to contend with the Deadskins. Washington’s offense is 3rd in the league in yards and 6th in points. RG3 is 3rd in the NFL in passer rating, leads the league in completion percentage at 70.4 and has 468 yards rushing. Oh yeah, they also have another rookie at running back, Alfred Morris who is second in the league in rushing. Luckily, the Washington D is 29th in the league in yards allowed, 32nd in passing yards and 29th in points per game. This could be a good opportunity for the Steelers to stop settling for field goals and actually put some big numbers on the board.  It’s time to take the handcuffs off of Ben and the offense and let them air it out. Go Steelers!!!!!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

SLAP SHOTS


What if they had an NHL hockey season and no one came? The NHL and the players association could very well be looking at that scenario if they don’t come to an agreement soon. According to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, a deal needs to be in place by Thursday to rescue the 82-game regular season. If a deal doesn’t get done, would fans flock to see an abbreviated NHL season? Would they come back at all if the season were completely lost? What if some NHL superstars are significantly injured playing elsewhere during the lockout? I’d like to say that these and other questions will be answered on the next episode of how How the Puck Turns, but they won’t be. Currently there are no talks scheduled between the 2 sides. A better question could be what the puck is going on? If/when they do resume play; all I can say is “Let’s Go Pens”.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

50-YARD LINE

Break up the Steelers! Your Pittsburgh Steelers picked up their first road win and their first division win tonight. Both were crucial for the Steelers to remain in playoff contention. This is the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

The Good-Jonathan Dwyer, playing in place of Mendy and Redman, made the running game a force to contend with tonight. Dwyer had 17 rushes for 122 yards, best thus far this season for the Steelers. He also had the longest run of the season for the Steelers with a 32 yarder. Big ups to the offensive line for paving the way. No penalties from the O-Line, either. Keep up the good work!

The Bad-Boy, the 1st half was bad for the Steelers. They were lucky to be tied at 14 going into the 2nd half. Ben threw a pick in the end zone and fumbled one away. There were lots of missed opportunities, too. Larry Foote had an interception bounce off of him. There were dropped passes, oh let me count the plays! There were many missed tackles, too. The Steelers did manage to make the necessary adjustments and played a much better 2nd half, so good in fact that they were able to pull this one out. Whatever was said in the locker room worked. Way to keep at it!

3)The Ugly-It's a tie. First, Mike Wallace finished the night with 8 catches. Yes, you read that right, 8 catches. Imagine how many more he would have had if he could actually catch the ball. Wallace has had this case of the dropsies for several games now and needs to get over it. Catch the darn ball! Second, there were several good run backs tonight but 5 penalties on special teams negated the majority of them. The Steelers fired their special teams coach in the preseason for this? No team has ever penalized their way to a Super Bowl. Fix this before it's too late!

Honorable mention goes to Heath Miller, who should still continue to plan for the Pro Bowl this year. Not only did #83 catch another TD pass and the 2-point conversion, he had some big catches to keep drives alive by going 8 catches for 52 yards. He also came up big with some key blocks, especially to help the O-Line spring Dwyer.

The Steelers are at the Big Ketchup Bottle next week to take on the Deadskins. They are now in second place in the AFC North. The Baltimorons got waxed by Houston to fall to 5-2. We knocked Cincy down to 3-4. As always, the Clowns are still the Clowns at 1-6. Rest up and get ready for next Sunday, guys. Go Steelers!!!!!!

50-YARD LINE

Here we go, Steelers, here we go! The Steelers open up their division schedule tonight, looking to gain some ground in the AFC North, against the Bungles in Cincy. Keys to tonight's game. 1)The Steelers defense is ranked 31st in the NFL on 3rd down conversions, allowing 49.15%. In the second half, that goes up to 57.1%. They also have a 1.24% sack rate, 29th in the league. What's that tell us? The D needs to put more pressure on the quarterback and get off the field on 3rd downs. Things may be looking up as both Woodley and Harrison are expected to start at outside linebacker. Meet at the quarterback, guys! 2)Bungles QB Andy Dalton has thrown 12 touchdowns this season along with 9 picks. 3 of those interceptions have been returned for TDs. Could he be suffering from the dreaded sophomore slump? It helps that Cincy's running game is 21st in the league with 99.3 yards per game. Rattle Dalton's cage and stop the run! 3)Big Ben got banged up in practice this week and twisted his ankle. He thrives on the drama and thrives on playing in his home state of Ohio, were he is 14-2 in his career. Let's see him go to 15-2! The Steelers love to take night games to the final seconds before they win or lose the game. I'd like to get a good night's sleep so.....  Score early, score often, score BIG! Hit 'em early, hit 'em often, hit 'em HARD! Go Steelers!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

50-YARD LINE

Happy Hump Day! It's time for your Pittsburgh Steelers mid-week report. Here's how the injury list lines up for Sunday's showdown with Cincy: out-Troy, Gilbert, and Chris Carter. Questionable-Pouncey, Mendy, and Redman. Lamar Woodley is expected to play. This will be only the second time this season Woodley and Harrison have started the same game. Go get 'em! Considering the Steelers have 11 sacks thus far, on par for last year's 21-year low of 35, the Steelers need all the help they can get. Not getting to the quarterback also leads to just 2 INTs thus far. That puts the Steelers on a pace for 6 this season, that would be an all-time Steeler low. If you want the road to New Orleans to go through Pittsburgh, you've got to shutout your division and win on the road. That starts this Sunday night. The Bungles gave us a gift last week with a loss and the injury bugs have smiled upon us by biting the Baltimorons. Take advantage of this opportunity. Play with a higher sense of urgency. Stay off the Facebook, the Twitter and the police blotter and get down to business. Offense, there was a time when the defense would have to pick you and win the game. It's your turn to step up now. Stop getting bogged down and settling for field goals. Get this season turned around starting Sunday in Cincy. Go Steelers!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

SLAP SHOTS


It looks like the NHL is bending a little. They have proposed a 50/50 split to the players for hockey related revenue.  However, they have tweaked some other issue, too.  They’re asking that a player have 8 years of service or be 28 years old to be eligible for free agency. Under the previous CBA it was 7 years or 27 years old. Also, entry level contracts extend to 4 years. They were 3 years under the previous agreement. The league says that they would be able to start the season on November 2 and still carry an 82-game schedule.  Like I said, it looks like the NHL is bending a little but not breaking. The NHLPA has a conference call scheduled for 5pm today to review the proposal. Could the Pens lace up their skates soon? We’ll see if this latest offer breaks the ice. Let’s Go Pens!!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

50-YARD LINE


The Pittsburgh Steelers are 2-3, looking up at both Cincy and Baltimore. The defense continues to surrender leads that, ultimately, are costing the team victories.  Rashard Mendenhall has opened his trap on Twitter again. Rookie defensive lineman Alameda Ta’amu was charged over the weekend with DUI and several other offenses. Is Coach Cliché’s house of cards collapsing? While the Steelers appear to be in free-fall, Mendy acted like a Twitwit after the loss to the Titans. Shut up the haters by winning, Mendy. You only ran 6 yards on 6 carries before leaving that game with a boo-boo. Over the weekend, 4th round pick Ta’amu allegedly was driving drunk, ran from the police, almost running over officers in the process, and ran into 5 vehicles, injuring one person. To add insult to injury, he tried to resist arrest. The Steelers said they’ll wait for all the facts before they act. The Steelers have a golden opportunity to get it together this weekend. The Baltimorons are banged up. Lewis, Ngata, and Webb are all hurt for their defense. They play the Texans this week. Both teams only have 1 loss. The Bungles are coming off a defeat to the Clowns (thank you, Cleveland). If the Steelers go undefeated in the AFC North, there’s still a shot at the playoffs.  It’s a gig game this Sunday night against the Bungles. It’s time to make hay while the sun shines. Let’s Go Steelers!!!!!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

50-YARD LINE


The Steelers are now at 2-3 and still looking up at the Bungles and Baltimorons in the AFC North. At least we can always count on the Clowns to bring up the rear. This is the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly from last night’s loss.

1)The Good-Not much to report here. I’ll say the good was that Ben passed HOFer Terry Bradshaw for most passing yards in Steelers history.  There’s been a lot of talk around the Burgh this week regarding who the better QB is. All I can say is the question won’t be answered until Ben finishes his career.

2)The Bad-Where do you start with a loss like this? I’ll say the running game. There was so much optimism after the Iggles game, what with Mendy back and all. True, Pouncey, Foster, and Gilbert all got hurt  in the game. However, the running game wasn’t really running on all cylinders before they went down. 56 yards on 22 carries? Chris Johnson did better than that all by himself!

3)The Ugly-Believe me, there was a lot of ugly to go around. This was the 3rd road loss in 3 road games this season. The teams the Steelers have lost to on the road, Denver, Oakland, and Tennessee are a combined 2-10 against opponents not wearing black-n-gold. Both the players and coaches are responsible for this mess. Why weren’t they bringing the house against a 37-year old QB and putting some actual pressure on him? There seems to be no sense of urgency at all.  And oh how I long for the day when a man went down, and another one stepped up to take his place and we never missed a beat.

Luckily, the Steelers have 10 days to get this straightened out. Next Sunday night they have another road game, this time in Cincy. It will be a big game, even bigger now that we have 3 losses in the AFC. There’s still time. Sweep the division and you have a chance. It’s too darn early in the season that we shouldn’t have to depend on other teams to help us.

Suit up, re-group and kick some butt! Go Steelers!!!!!!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

THE BULLPEN


Just sitting here thinking how cool it is to see some teams in the postseason that we haven’t seen in quite a while: the Orioles, A’s, Nats. When are we going to see the Pirates in the postseason, you ask? How about when Bob Nutting no longer owns the team? This will be when hell freezes as long as he’s raking in the cash. How’s that thorough investigation into a 2nd straight collapse going, Bottom Dollar Bob? Yes, I’m still ticked about this. This Saturday, October 13 will be the anniversary of Maz’s game 7 home run to win the 1960 World Series. This Sunday, October 14 will be the day that Barry Bonds couldn’t throw out Sid Bream at the plate. Ugh!

50-YARD LINE

Here we go Steelers, here we go! Your Pittsburgh Steelers are on the road in Tennessee tonight to take on the Titans. Keys to the game. 1)Get the road mojo back. In 2010, the Steelers were 7-1 on the road, real road warriors. Now, they've turned into road worriers. They've lost their last 3 on the road and 4 of the last 5 away from the Big Ketchup Bottle. Super Bowl contenders need to win the road games, too, fellas! 2)The Titans are the first NFL team since 1954 to allow 30 or more points in each of their first 5 games. That stat has got to have Big Ben and the boys chomping at the bit. The problem is the Steelers let the bad teams hang around. This could be another trap game. Don't look past Tennessee to next week's AFC North matchup with Cincy. Focus on the task at hand which is kick Tennessee butt! 3)Don't penalize yourselves right out of the game. The Steelers have 37 penalties for 346 yards. That's more than the 331 rushing yards they have. The Steelers are tied for 4th in the NFL for most penalties and tied for 5th for most penalty yards. Sloppy, undisciplined football is not how championships are won. Tighten up! Score early, score often, score BIG! Hit 'em early, hit 'em often, hit 'em HARD (just don't hit 'em in the head or with your head)! Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

50-YARD LINE


Your Pittsburgh Steelers play Thursday night at Tennessee so I will gladly give you a mid-week report on Tuesday for a Steelers win on Thursday. There’s good news and bad news on the injury report for the Steelers. The good news is Harrison and Mendy are expected to play Thursday. The bad news is Troy and Woodley are not. The Titans are banged up, too. Running back Javon Ringer isn’t expected to play and neither is quarterback Jake Locker. The Steelers are looking for their first road win this season. This should be a good matchup for them. The Titans are 1-4, picking up their only win on a field goal in OT. The Titans have lost their games by 21, 28, 24 and 23 points. Their starting running back, Chris Johnson has been held to under 25 yards in 4 games. He’s averaging 2.9 yards per carry and no touchdowns this season. The problem is that the Steelers tend to play down to their level of competition and let the bad teams hang around long enough to play catch up. Can the Steelers build off of the momentum of Sunday’s victory and beat up the Titans on the road? Let’s hope so as they continue to try to make up ground in the AFC North. Here we go, Steelers, here we go!!!!!!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

50-YARD LINE

Your Pittsburgh Steelers pulled out a victory over the Iggles at the Big Ketchup Bottle today. This is the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

1)The Good-With Rashard Mendenhall playing in his first game back from ACL surgery, the Steelers rushed for 136 yards, a 4.4 average. Mendy also had a rushing TD. It's good to see the Steelers run to control the ball and run out the clock to get the game winning field goal. Hopefully, the
Steelers can build on this.

2)The Bad-9 penalties for 106 yards. The Steelers could have run away with this game but let Philly hang around with costly penalties. Every time they took 1 step forward, a penalty would put them 2 steps back. It seems they win in spite of themselves and boneheaded penalties. You can't continue to win games like this. The Steelers need to straighten up and play disciplined football before it's too late.

3)The Ugly-Sloppy play. Along with their multitudes of penalties there were dropped passes and muffed snaps. You can't win ugly all the time. If you continue to let teams hang around instead of  putting the nail in the coffin, it will come back to haunt you. The Steelers had 2 weeks to prepare for this game and did not look prepared at all. They only have 4 days to get ready for Tennessee this week. They'd better tighten up before it costs them, big time.

An honorable mention this week for Player of the Game goes to Lawrence Timmons. The former 1st round draft pick had 9 tackles, 8 solo, 2 for lose and 2 QB hits. What took you so long Timmons? Keep it up and you could go a long way, especially with Polamalu and Woodley hurt.

Going into Thursday night's game, the Steelers are still in 3rd place in the AFC North. The Baltimorons won today and are 4-1, the Bungles lost and are 3-2 and the Clowns, well, they're still the Clowns at 0-5.

Get ready for showdown this week with the Titans. With 2 loses in the conference, the Steelers can't afford another. Here we go Steelers!!!!!!

50-YARD LINE

Here we go, Steelers, here we go! It's the battle of Pennsyvlania as your Pittsburgh Stillers take on the Philthedelphia Iggles today at the Big Ketchup Bottle. Keys to today's game. 1)The Steelers are 19-2-1 vs. NFC teams at Heinz Field. The last 4 were won by a combined score of 93-12. Score early, score often, score BIG! 2)Ben is 13-1 vs. NFC teams. He is also the #2 ranked QB is the NFL, averaging 301.3 yards passing per game. If the running game stalls again this week, put the ball and the game in Ben's hands, he's got this! 3)Look out because LeSean McCoy is #3 in rushing in the NFL. Could it be lights out for Shady with a healthy and rested Steelers D on the field? Hit 'em early, hit 'em often, hit 'em HARD! Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

THE BULLPEN


Now that the Pittsburgh Pirates 2012 season is but a memory, I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on their 79-83 campaign. There was the Barajas walk-off homer against Philly in May. How about the Sutton walk-off homer versus Houston in June? Then there was the McKenry-Barmes back-to-back doubles off of Aroldis Chapman, who at that point was virtually unhittable. AJ Burnett made a good case for comeback player of the year. Pedro Alvarez proved he does know how to hit major league pitching. And who could forget that at the 2/3 point of the season the Pirates were a season-high 16 games over .500. Good times. Then there was the 7 error debacle against the Cubs. The no hitter thrown by Homer Bailey. The failed bunts, the runners left on base, and the countless stolen bases against them. Bad times. I remember these times the most because there were so many of them and they were the most recent. Clint Hurdle said that this team’s motto would be “Finish”. They did not do that. They only thing they finished was a record 20th losing season. Yes, the 2012 season is a memory for Pirates fans, a bad memory at that. All I can say is go Steelers and get the lockout resolved, NHL!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

50-YARD LINE


We’re at the mid-way point in the week. Let’s take a glance and the Steelers and see how they look for this week’s battle of Pennsylvania against the Iggles. Things are looking up, health-wise. James Harrison, Rashard Mendenhall and Troy Polamalu are not on the injured list as of yesterday. Mendy would help give some legs to a running game that is off to its worst start in 62 years with only 195 yards rushing, at a 2.64 yards per carry clip. And Harrison and Troy can help a defense that only has 2 turnovers and 5 sacks. It can also help that Philly QB Michael Vick has been sacked 11 times and has 9 turnovers for a 72.7 passer rating. Keep in mind, no Mike Tomlin team has started 1-3. The last time the Steelers started 1-3 was Bill Cowher’s last season in 2006. They finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs. That’s something for the Steelers to think about this week. Let’s get ready to rumble! Go Steelers!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

SLAP SHOTS


The NHL lockout continues. Both sides did meet over the weekend. The issues discussed were drug testing, player health, and player safety. Nothing was hammered out on those issues as well as the major issue, revenue, which wasn’t even discussed. What is certain is that with no new talks scheduled, the NHL is getting closer to canceling the early portion of the regular season. It’s hard to write about this when there is really nothing new to report. Meanwhile, there is word that about 9 Penguins continue to work out at Southpointe in anticipation of the season. If/when the season does start; there will have to be some abbreviated type of training camp so everyone gets their legs back under them.  It’s like both sides are giving each other the cold shoulder and continue to leave the fans out in the cold.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

THE BULLPEN

Take me out to the ballgame! This could be the last time I utter those words regarding the Pittsburgh Pirates. When I ordered tickets to today's game in the beginning of August, I anticipated seeing a fight to the finish for the NL Central title. Little did I realize the Pirates didn't have much fight left in them. Sure Clutch hit a walk off homer last night to win it but he hasn't been very Clutch in the past few months. Like the Pirates in the NL Central, he's totally disappeared from MVP contention. And, of course, this was yet another Pirates tease after they were no-hit the night before last. They have 4 games to go and are 4 games under .500. The Pirates have gone from BUCN so SUCN. Sure it was fun for a while but I really can't take the rollercoster ride that is the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball season, with all it's ups and downs (more downs, than up of late). I really don't want to attend another game as long as Bottom Line Bob Nutting is running the show. Fire Neal Bad Deal Huntington before he goes and trades Clutch away for a bag of baseballs and a coupon to Subway. I would like to see a good game today, though. Would a win be too much to ask? 1)Hit 2)Run 3)Score. Let's Go Bucs!!!!!