Chris, Author at Total Steelers » Total Steelers

Chris

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Thank goodness for byes because I don’t think my blood pressure can take another week of this.

After playing the first two and a half quarters like a bunch of extras on the Walking Dead, the Pittsburgh Steelers rallied late to edge the Tennessee Titans 27-24. For a long stretch, it appeared we were headed for yet another instance of the Steelers losing to a bad team as has become all too common during the Mike Tomlin era. If you stuck around for ESPN’s post-game show, well, you were treated to the glorious sight of Ray Lewis losing every last bit of his street cred by wearing an Elmer Fudd hat. You also got a chance to see Steve Young react with extreme exasperation over the Steelers’ annoying habit of playing down to their competition.

Try watching this team week in and week out, Steve. Continue reading »

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#NeverForget

Another week, another national showcase for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Hopefully things go as well as they have in their last three nationally televised outings. On paper, this should be a pretty good chance for the Black and Gold to head into their bye week on a high note after last week’s debacle. The only thing standing in their way is the fact this week’s opponent happens to be the Tennessee Titans.

For whatever reason, Tennessee has had the Steelers number in recent years. I don’t pretend to understand the quirks of the NFL schedule makers but for some odd reason we’ve played Tennessee every year since 2008. Maybe our pal Hennessy secretly works for the NFL. In any case, the Titans have won the last two meetings despite fielding mediocre squads the past couple seasons. Continue reading »

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north stand

I think we’ve received our first sign of the apocalypse…

The NFL is unpredictable. Regardless of what the scamdicappers who advertise on late night TV may tell you, even the best gamblers are lucky to get half the games right on any given week. Never mind the fools at blogs who “preview” the next year’s games during the off-season or the media types who write preseason prediction articles. The reality is outside of the really really good teams and the really bad teams, it’s hard to figure where the rest are going to land.

Enter your first place Cleveland Browns. Continue reading »

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The Pittsburgh Steelers have lost four times this season. Two of those losses came against division rivals Baltimore and Cleveland. That’s understandable because division games are traditionally tough for any team, regardless of records. Their other two losses came at the hands of the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers (still their only victory this year) and the 1-8 New York Jets. And the saddest part is neither of those losses was all that surprising.

Since 2012, the Steelers are 8-10 against teams with losing records at the time they played them. You want an explanation for back to back playoff-less 8-8 seasons, look no further than that. Until they figure out how to correct this habit of playing down their opposition, they’re never going to turn the corner. The NFL is all about parity – some might call it “mediocrity” – where the difference between 10 wins and a playoff berth or 8 wins and a mid-round draft pick is your ability to win the games you’re supposed to win. Continue reading »

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Raise your hand if you’re shocked to hear the Pittsburgh Steelers crapped the bed against a terrible team they had no business losing to. Anybody? Bueller? Bieber?

Justin Bieber dropped by the Steelers’ Bible Study group on Saturday night. I’ve been blogging for almost ten years now and I’m pretty sure that’s the strangest sentence I’ve ever written. Evidently, the Biebs is a Steeler fan which I suppose is karmic justice for us already having Snoop Dogg. Anyway, much like Selena Gomez, Bieber once again got involved with something good only to leave it utterly ruined.

How else can to explain the Black and Gold’s utterly miserable performance against the New York Jets? The final score of 20-13 doesn’t really convey how pitiful a performance this actually was. If it wasn’t for Martavis Bryant making a tremendous play for an 80 yard touchdown with a little over a minute left, the formerly red hot Steeler offense would’ve been held to two measly field goals. Two field goals! Continue reading »

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The Pittsburgh Steelers play two of the worst teams in the league over the next two weeks. Some might expect a clean sweep heading into their curiously late bye in week twelve. Those people probably haven’t been following this team the past few years. I fully expect the Black and Gold to find some way to blow one of the next two games.

Could the inevitable happen against the New York Jets? Continue reading »

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Tomlin Sideline Jones Jumps BackBaltimore

It’s been awhile since we checked in on Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin‘s weekly time-waster press conference. While I admit quoting some of the preposterous stuff that comes out of Coach T’s mouth brings me great joy, I must also admit it’s hard to argue with the job he’s done these past few weeks. Sure, he has two excellent coordinators in Dick LeBeau and Todd Haley (yeah, I said it) but the final calls rest with him. If I’m going to give him the criticism when the team sucks, I gotta give him credit when they win.

Coaches coach and players play is a cliche albeit an accurate one but a hallmark of good coaching is putting players – and teams – in position to succeed. While our coordinators have great leeway in their jobs, I doubt any major decisions are made without Tomlin’s approval. Rookie Martavis Bryant playing ahead of free agent pick-ups like Lance Moore or Cortez Allen relegated to watching from the sidelines are two of the biggest reasons for the team’s sudden resurgence. It’d be foolish to think Tomlin had no say in those moves. Likewise, I gotta give him a ton of credit for learning from prior mistakes and going for a kill shot TD to ice each of the team’s past two victories.   Continue reading »

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The Pittsburgh Steelers are hot right now. Their offense is on absolute fire but the oft-criticized defense has also come around in recent weeks. They’re not shutting people out like in days gone by although I’m not sure in today’s NFL such a thing is even possible. With all the current rules where basically scowling at a receiver results in a flag, I’m not sure it’s even possible to have a shut down unit anymore.

Good teams still play good D, it’s just a different kind of defense. They don’t give up the big plays, make the other guys work for the scores they do get, and above all generate splash plays by sacking the QB and forcing turnovers. Those are all areas the Steelers struggled mightily in for going on a two season now. They’re also areas the team has steadily improved in over the past few weeks. Perhaps not coincidentally, that improvement has coincided with the resurgence of one player in particular.

James Harrison. Continue reading »

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Stonecold Shaun Suisham

Back in week two, the Baltimore Ravens humbled the Pittsburgh Steelers with a one-sided butt whuppin’. Last night, the Black and Gold got sweet sweet revenge thanks to yet another record-setting performance from Ben Roethlisberger. A rivalry once known for close games has now become a series of knockout punches. This time the Steelers were left standing at the end, owners of an epic 43-23 smackdown over their hated rivals.

Oddly enough, the first quarter seemed to imply doom for the hometown team. Ben was getting the bejeezus beat out of him, culminating in a late hit that left him checking if his jaw was still attached. There were actually two personal fouls called on that one play, which is just about the most Raven-y thing ever. Prior to that drive, though, the Steelers were stuck in neutral, going almost the entire first quarter without a single first down. Their first decent drive ended after Ben was sacked on three consecutive snaps and it really looked it was going to be a herculean struggle to get the ball in the end zone. Continue reading »

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Ravens

Sorry for the late post but I had a couple Halloween parties to attend and I just can’t recover like back when I attended world-renowned party school, Carnegie Mellon. I’d like to blame my complex costume but truth is my outfit this year was a black t-shirt with a bright white dot in the center. Don’t worry if you don’t get it – nobody else did either. I was “the light at the end of the tunnel.”

I know you guys come here for football talk not my lazy attempts at Halloween but I think my costume choice does have some relevance to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The first month or so of the season was not very promising. After losing to Tampa Bay – a loss, in hindsight, that is even more inexplicable than when it happened – and getting blown out by Cleveland, Steeler Nation was down in the dumps. The players were roasted, the coaches were under fire and the outlook for 2014 was generally negative. Continue reading »

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