Know Thy Enemy: Cleveland Browns

 Posted by at 1:13 pm  Game Preview, Todd Haley  Comments Off on Know Thy Enemy: Cleveland Browns
Dec 282013
 

lebeaureading

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. Continue reading »

Week 15 Recap: Well, It’s The Bengals Bungles

 Posted by at 9:54 am  Antonio Brown, James Harrison, Le'Veon Bell, Offensive Line, Recaps, Special Teams, Troy Polamalu  Comments Off on Week 15 Recap: Well, It’s The Bengals Bungles
Dec 162013
 

bengalspunter

If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, every day would be Christmas…

The Pittsburgh Steelers laid a mighty whuppin’ on the Cincinnati Bengals, temporarily keeping their slim playoff hopes alive with a 30-20 victory on Sunday Night Football. The final score doesn’t accurately reflect how one-sided this game actually was. The Black and Gold roared out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and basically coasted the rest of the way. Meanwhile, Cincy never seemed to get on track, repeatedly shooting themselves in the foot with mistakes or ill-timed penalties. As Cris Collinsworth, a former Bungle, said after one of their players got flagged for taunting down while down 20 points, “Well, it’s the Bengals.” Continue reading »

Know Thy Enemy: Cincinnati Bengals

 Posted by at 5:00 am  Bill Cowher, Game Preview  Comments Off on Know Thy Enemy: Cincinnati Bengals
Dec 132013
 

roethlisberger_cowher_blog

Misery loves company.

That was Bill Cowher’s famous rallying cry the last time the Pittsburgh Steelers were eliminated from playoff contention with weeks left in their season. The final game of Coach Cowher’s legendary Steelers career came against this week’s same opponent, the Cincinnati Bengals. In that game, the Steelers had nothing to play for but Cincy needed a win in order to qualify for the post season. Thanks to an overtime touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Santonio Holmes, the Chin walked off the field one final time as a winner.

The Steelers can’t knock the Bungles out of the playoffs on Sunday night. Cincy has the AFC North well in hand with an eye toward maybe even getting one of those first round byes. And the Steelers aren’t technically eliminated from the playoffs, although it would take a nearly miraculous series of events for them to back-door into the Wild Card game. However, it’s still Cincinnati-Pittsburgh so you know both sides are going to play hard. Continue reading »

Week 12 Recap: Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

 Posted by at 4:45 am  Antonio Brown, Circle of Hate, Linebackers, Offensive Line, Recaps, Troy Polamalu, William Gay  Comments Off on Week 12 Recap: Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss
Nov 252013
 

playoffs

I have no idea how this NFL season is going to end. What I do know is it’ll probably be in the least likely way possible.

In a year full of twists and turns, the latest came Sunday when the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Cleveland Browns 27-11 to officially move into contention for the AFC Playoffs. The graphic above showing the Black and Gold as the second AFC Wild Card team was valid for about three hours yesterday afternoon. That is, until Tennessee beat Oakland to move ahead of us by virtue of a head-to-head victory earlier in the season. Still, the fact the same team that started out 0-4 and got epically blown out by the Patriots a month back is even in the playoff race is utterly insane.

Welcome to the parity-driven, NFL! Continue reading »

Know Thy Enemy: Cleveland Browns

 Posted by at 3:22 pm  Circle of Hate, Game Preview  Comments Off on Know Thy Enemy: Cleveland Browns
Nov 222013
 


C’mon, you knew I was gonna use that video at least once.

This Sunday, the latest chapter in one of the most storied rivalries in NFL history takes place in Cleveland as the Cleveland Browns host the resurgent Pittsburgh Steelers. I’ve been loathe to use the p-word in association with the Steelers but in all honesty, the AFC is a complete disaster. Only the Broncos and Chiefs have broken away from the pack and would anybody be shocked if either or both were one and done in the playoffs? The rest of the conference is comprised of teams that have their strengths but also have some fatal flaws.

The Browns and Steelers are not as far apart as Steeler Nation would like to think. I’ve been hearing a lot of confident talk from Steeler fans acting like this week’s game is chalk. First of all, even when the Steelers were good and the Browns were abjectly terrible the games were tight. Rivalry games tend to have the affect of evening out talent levels.

Or does nobody else remember Josh Cribbs? Continue reading »

Giovani Bernard With TD Of The Year (But Bengals Still Lose)

 Posted by at 7:38 am  Circle of Hate, NFL Draft, NFL Playoffs  Comments Off on Giovani Bernard With TD Of The Year (But Bengals Still Lose)
Nov 012013
 

giotd

I was going to write “But the Bungles still lose” except when you’re 2-5 and staring up at the entire division, you really shouldn’t throw stones. Such is life for fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

If you were busy yesterday taking your kids trick or treating or attending one of those adult Halloween bashes where you get to live out your childhood fantasy of being Batman while every woman is wearing a costume with the word “Sexy” attached (Sexy Nurse, Sexy Plumber, Sexy Maid, Sexy Butcher), you probably missed NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football. By the way, a dirty little secret of this season is the TNF games have actually been pretty damn good. They stumbled into a much better slate than ESPN got stuck with on Monday nights. It’s just hard to get used to watching NFL on days other than Sunday and Monday. Continue reading »

Steelers Got A Hole To Dig Out Of

 Posted by at 5:00 am  Circle of Hate  Comments Off on Steelers Got A Hole To Dig Out Of
Oct 072013
 

AFC Standings

Despite the Pittsburgh Steelers historically bad start to the season, there has always been a small sliver of hope that all is not lost. That hope is rooted in two factors. First, the Steelers were gifted with a relatively soft schedule. And second, the AFC North isn’t setting the world on fire.

The bye week giveth and the bye week taketh away. Continue reading »

Week 13 Recap: Once A Bungle, Always A Bungle

 Posted by at 5:45 am  Antonio Brown, Circle of Hate, Hines Ward, James Harrison, Rashard Mendenhall, Recaps, Redzone Redman  Comments Off on Week 13 Recap: Once A Bungle, Always A Bungle
Dec 052011
 

Early in the fourth quarter of yesterday’s game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals, CBS came back from a break with the sound of “Renegade” clearly audible in the background. I love the Steelers unofficial fight song but pulling out the rally hair metal when the Black and Gold are putting the finishing touches on 35-7 ass-whuppin’ is a bit unnecessary. Like when dickish college coaches dial up a 45 yard bomb already up four touchdowns on a Division I-AA opponent. Or when an NFL team gives their asshat head coach a Gatorade bath for winning a regular season game.

To paraphrase the late great Myron Cope, “Renegade,” like the power of the Terrible Towel, should be saved for when we really need it.

I won’t lie, I thought we were in for a loooong afternoon after the Steelers began yesterday’s game with a three and out in which Mike Wallace dropped a 20 yard pass that hit him in the hands. Andy Dalton responded by hooking up with AJ Green for 43 yards a few plays later. Normally dependable Ike Taylor had a rough time keeping up with Green all afternoon, although did have his second pick of the season later on. The Bengals had a first and goal at the Steelers 8 before you could say, “Anything you can do, I can do better.”

Then the Bungles we all know and love made an appearance.

On third and goal, a touchdown to Jermaine Gresham was wiped out on a false start by Green. Karma, I suppose, for the touchdown the Steelers got taken off the board by a holding penalty in the first game. Cincy lined up for a glorified extra point but were late snapping the ball so Mike Nugent’s field goal didn’t count. On his second attempt, Cameron Heyward blew through the line and Nugent’s kick ricocheted off his big paw. Three golden scoring chances wasted.
Continue reading »

Dec 022011
 

It kinda freaks me out when cheerleaders are photographed swinging their hair like that. Is the Medusa look supposed to be hot or something?

Anyway, if it seems like the Pittsburgh Steelers just played the Cincinnati Bengals, they did. A little less than three weeks ago, actually. Since we left up-and-coming Cincy, they’ve gone 1-1 with a key loss to the Baltimore Ravens (thanks for nuthin’, Bungles) and a frenzied last second victory against the hapless Cleveland Browns. If the playoffs were to begin today, the 7-4 Bengals would still hold the second AFC Wild Card slot by virtue of having one more win than several other teams.

When these teams met a few weeks back, the Steelers got out to a quick lead, then (as seems to be a disturbing pattern with them) the offense went into a coma leaving the defense to make a couple big plays which snuffed out the Bengals’ rally. In my first Know Thy Enemy, I mentioned rookie QB Andy Dalton was unflappable and he continues to prove it week after week. He didn’t get rattled against the Steelers and he didn’t get rattled when the Ratbirds got ahead early and he didn’t get rattled last week when the Browns built leads of 17-7 and 20-10. He calmly led his team on three late scoring drives, eventually setting up Mike Nugent for the game winner with thirty seconds left.

No wonder Ben Roethlisberger among others (like me!) are jumping aboard the Red Rifle For Rookie of the Year train.
Continue reading »