Know Thy Enemy: Baltimore Ravens

 Posted by at 5:10 am  Circle of Hate, Game Preview, Michael Vick, Ratbirds  Comments Off on Know Thy Enemy: Baltimore Ravens
Oct 012015
 

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Once upon a time, an AFC North match-up promised to be a tight low-scoring game between two teams with hard-hitting ferocious defenses. My how times have changed. The North now features two of the top five offenses in football and three of the top fifteen. Plus the Browns!

Defense? We don’t need no stinkin’ defense.

The North also features two of the bottom tier defenses in the NFL. One of those belongs to those loveable Browns. The other? It’s held by the 0-3 Baltimore Ravens. Times have changed indeed.

Nobody has to tell the Pittsburgh Steelers about change. Our defense has a new coordinator for the first time since 2004. Troy Polamalu has retired as has Ike Taylor and every other defensive luminary from our two recent Super Bowl winning teams. James Harrison is the last man left standing. Continue reading »

Know Thy Enemy: St. Louis Rams

 Posted by at 7:08 am  Game Preview, Injury Report, Le'Veon Bell, Pitt Panthers  Comments Off on Know Thy Enemy: St. Louis Rams
Sep 252015
 

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Ah, good old St. Louis. Pittsburgh sports fans have already spent the better part of the summer cursing their baseball team for being a thorn in the side of the Pittsburgh Pirates. On Sunday, they get the chance to earn the ire of local football fans as well when the Pittsburgh Steelers travel out to take on the St. Louis Rams. That city has a chance to become very hated very fast here in the ‘Burgh.

Of course, the big news going into this game is the return of running back Le’Veon Bell from his two game suspension. The Black and Gold currently has the top ranked offense in all of football without the best all-around back in the game. Poor DeAngelo Williams now retreats to a back-up role having only putting up numbers good enough to be the league’s second leading rusher during Bell’s absence. He filled in admirably but he’s no Bell, although I’m sure the team will give him work if only to hopefully stave off last year’s situation where an injury to Bell put the kibosh on their chances of making a run in the playoffs. Continue reading »

Know Thy Enemy: San Francisco 49ers

 Posted by at 9:42 am  Game Preview  Comments Off on Know Thy Enemy: San Francisco 49ers
Sep 182015
 

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Those of you who watched this week’s inaugural edition of Monday Night Football probably had a reaction similar to mine: “Holy shit! We have to play these guys next?”

Yep, we do.

This Sunday the Pittsburgh Steelers host the San Francisco 49ers in the season opener at Heinz Field. The Niners are coming off an utter dismantling of the Vikings on Monday night. The Black and Gold are coming off a frustrating loss to New England. In a unique quirk of the schedules, this is the first time I can recall a team that played on a Thursday – thus getting 10 days rest – will be matched up against a team playing on a short week. What’s more the Niners have a cross-country trip to contend with. Continue reading »

Know Thy Enemy: New England Patriots

 Posted by at 6:35 am  Circle of Hate, Game Preview  Comments Off on Know Thy Enemy: New England Patriots
Sep 092015
 

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This could get ugly.

For the third time in a decade, the Pittsburgh Steelers will take place in the NFL’s Thursday Night Season Opener. They’re currently 2-0 in these games. To continue their streak, they’re gonna have to pull off a miracle against the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. Not only are the Pats their personal Kryptonite – they have yet to beat Tom Brady in Foxboro – but Brady in particular is going to play this game as a giant F-U to the league after the Deflategate debacle.

Pissed off Brady + Steelers inept secondary = Recipe for disaster.  Continue reading »

Know Thy Enemy: Cincinnati Bengals

 Posted by at 7:27 am  AFC North, Circle of Hate, Game Preview  Comments Off on Know Thy Enemy: Cincinnati Bengals
Dec 262014
 

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Hope everybody had a wonderful Christmas!

Steeler Nation found an early present under the tree last weekend when the Pittsburgh Steelers clinched their first playoff appearance after a two year absence. While making it to the dance was step one, the Black and Gold have higher aspirations. For them to come true, step two would be winning the AFC North and gaining home field advantage for at least the first round of the playoffs.

Standing in their way: the Cincinnati Bengals. Continue reading »

Know Thy Enemy: Kansas City Chiefs

 Posted by at 5:01 am  Game Preview, NFL Playoffs  Comments Off on Know Thy Enemy: Kansas City Chiefs
Dec 192014
 

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Gotta love the irony…

The Pittsburgh Steelers weren’t a very good team last year. However, they were unquestionably one of the hottest teams in the AFC during the last month of the season. Thanks to the team’s ignominious start, they needed something akin to a miracle to make the playoffs. Against all logic, a crazy series of dominoes began falling exactly as they needed them to fall for them to essential backdoor into Wild Card weekend.

All they needed was the Kansas City Chiefs to beat the San Diego Chargers in the final game of the year. Continue reading »

Know Thy Enemy: Atlanta Falcons

 Posted by at 5:54 am  Game Preview  Comments Off on Know Thy Enemy: Atlanta Falcons
Dec 122014
 

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Last weekend, the Pittsburgh Steelers took a big step toward securing their first playoff berth in three years. If their usual pattern holds, this weekend they’ll take two steps back when they face the mediocre Atlanta Falcons. Granted, the Falcons are technically a first place team although calling them that is a little like calling someone the tallest midget. They’re 5-8 and alive for a playoff spot only by virtue of being in the laughable NFC South. By no objective measure are they a “good team.”

Unfortunately, it’s the bad teams which routinely give the Steelers the most trouble. Continue reading »

Know Thy Enemy: Cincinnati Bengals

 Posted by at 5:02 am  AFC North, Circle of Hate, Game Preview  Comments Off on Know Thy Enemy: Cincinnati Bengals
Dec 052014
 

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It comes down to this…

I’ve done these previews all season and all season I’ve tried to avoid the ridiculous hype you read on blogs or that seemingly infests sports talk radio. I’ve called certain games key or mentioned a win was crucial for this reason or that but I’ve purposely avoided calling any game a “must-win.” Well, this week the Pittsburgh Steelers face the Cincinnati Bengals and it’s about a close to a must-win situation as you can get. No, a loss doesn’t eliminate them from playoff contention but it does deal their chances a critical blow.

Naturally, it comes down to the Cincinnati Bengals. Continue reading »

Know Thy Enemy: New Orleans Saints

 Posted by at 9:00 am  Game Preview  Comments Off on Know Thy Enemy: New Orleans Saints
Nov 282014
 

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Hope everybody had a great Turkey Day.

If you’re reading this, congratulations, you’ve successfully managed to avoid Black Friday madness. Or you’ve already spent all of your money and have resorted to cheap (ie: free) entertainment. Never let it be said that here at ToteStillers you don’t get what you paid for!

The Pittsburgh Steelers will be hoping to avoid a Black Sunday of their own when they face the New Orleans Saints. The Saints are one of the more interesting conundrums in the NFL. They’re not out-and-out terrible like the Bucs or Jets but at 4-7 they’re not exactly a good team either. It’s the kind of game I worry about because they have enough talent to be dangerous, especially for a team that loves to play down to their opponents like the Steelers. Continue reading »

Nov 142014
 

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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 »