I hope everybody got what they wanted for Christmas because yesterday the Steelers left coal in all our stockings. In the latest in a long string of embarrassing losses to bad teams, the Baltimore Ravens upset the Pittsburgh Steelers 20-17, placing their playoff hopes in serious jeopardy. In a year where we started our third string quarterback and played some of the best teams in the league, naturally they save their worst game of the season for right when everything is coming together. The standard is the standard, right?
Yeah, I’m late again. I’m sure Steeler Nation saw Monday Night Football. And if you didn’t, well, I feel sorry for you. What happened last night will be remembered for a long long time.
Not since the Charlie Batch Game have the Pittsburgh Steelers pulled off such a thrilling last second victory. Except last night, the Steelers defeated the San Diego Chargers on a last second touchdown from Le’Veon Bell. What’s more, if Bell had been stopped short, the game would’ve been over and the Steelers would’ve lost. There was literally no time left.
Credit Mike Tomlin and Todd Haley for having balls the size of California’s state debt.
Never change, Patriots.
The Pittsburgh Steelers lost their season opener to the New England Patriots 28-21. I’d like to say something like “the score really wasn’t that close” but the truth is it really was that close. The Steelers didn’t play badly at all – in fact, even their much maligned defense didn’t play all that terribly. They got absolutely abused by Rob Gronkowski (5 catches, 94 yards, 3 TDs) although in all fairness Gronk is a freak of nature that can and will wreck even the best of secondaries given the chance.
Old school Steeler fans aren’t going to like it but the days of the Black and Gold shutting people out are over. The team as presently constructed is going to win by scoring a lot of points on offense while hoping the defense can hold the opponent somewhere around 25 points. If anything, last night’s loss was on the offense. The Steelers squandered at least four golden opportunities to score, costing themselves at very least 14 points.
As we wait for additional updates on the health of Le’Veon Bell and look forward to Saturday’s sure to be epic Wild Card match-up between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens, let’s take a minute to look back. With mere hours left in 2014, I think today is a pretty good day to reflect on what the Black and Gold accomplished this past season. I realize the new rules making defense virtually illegal ensure huge numbers are put up all around the league but when you look at what the Steelers did on offense 2014 was truly and literally one for the record books.
And we have one man to thank for it: Todd Haley.
The Pittsburgh Steelers ended their unbearable two year post-season drought in emphatic fashion, clinching a spot in the 2014 NFL playoffs with a convincing 20-12 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. I’m not sure I’d call this their most impressive win of the season although it was easily the most solid. In my preview I talked glowingly of the Chiefs which, truth be told, was based almost entirely on their impressive stats. Going by what I saw yesterday, KC is certainly not the highest caliber opponent we’ve faced this year.
I call this win solid because for the first time this year, the Steelers performed well in all three phases. Nobody on offense put up huge numbers and there weren’t any memorable splash plays but as a group they moved the ball almost effortlessly against what was billed as a superior defense. Ben Roethlisberger was an efficient 18/25 for 220 yards, Le’Veon Bell had 63 yards on 20 carries and both Heath Miller and Antonio Brown caught 7 balls for 68 and 72 yards respectively. All this added up to scores on four of their six drives.
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!
So this is what if feels like to have seen a UFO. Or Bigfoot. Or the Flyers win the Stanley Cup.
Here we are over twelve hours later and I still can’t believe what I saw yesterday afternoon actually happened. Is this real life? Is it just fantasy? I have no idea who those guys in bumblebee jerseys were but I’d like to see more of them.
The Pittsburgh Steelers, behind a record setting passing performance from Ben Roethlisberger, outgunned the Indianapolis Colts 51-34. The two teams combined for over a 1,000 yards of total offense. Big Ben became only the second QB in NFL history with 500 passing yards, 6 TD, 0 INT in a game. His 522 yards tied him with Boomer Esiason for fourth most in NFL history, thirty behind Norm Van Brocklin‘s record set back in 1951.
Welcome back. I hope everybody had a great Christmas. If you’re anything like me, I’m sure it included at least one piece of Pittsburgh Steelers related swag. At this point, I think I have more Black and Gold related dvds than NFL Films.
With time running out in both the year 2013 and the 2013 NFL season, I think we should pick up where we left off on Monday. Thanks to an improbable set of circumstances last Sunday, the Steelers are still mathematically alive for the AFC Playoffs. In order for them to leapfrog three teams and earn the second Wild Card slot, there are only three games we need to keep an eye on.
#Steelers sources expect Big Ben to ask them to explore trade options after 2013. They fielded offers for him last offseason. Could again
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 10, 2013
On the NFL’s Sunday morning pre-game show, so-called “insider” Ian Rapoport reported on the above posted tweet. Who is Ian Rapoport? I have no idea. He’s certainly never broken any notable scoops like ESPN or Fox NFL “insiders.” Whoever he is, he certainly did his job by “breaking” a story that even got ongoing updates from the crew covering the Bills-Steelers game.
Before we go into the analysis and denials, we should start with Rapoport’s tweet. He’d later whine he was being misquoted or that the Pittsburgh Steelers were denying things he never said. Rapoport’s scoop actually is two scoops in one. First, he alleges Ben Roethlisberger is going to ask to be traded this off-season. Secondly, he alleges the Steelers already contemplated parting ways with Ben by soliciting trade offers last spring.
The NFL’s newly revised trading deadline is scheduled for 4:00 this afternoon. One of the benefits of pushing it back from it’s previous date is teams now have a better idea of where they stand in relation to being contenders. There were a flurry of rumors yesterday involving several big name players stuck on dead end teams. Whether or not any of these deals actually come to fruition remains to be seen.
One team that should be active today is the Pittsburgh Steelers.