Oct 312011
 

Two out of three ain’t bad.

In my game preview, I listed three things I thought the Pittsburgh Steelers absolutely had to do in order to defeat the New England Patriots. To be honest, I didn’t think they’d actually do any of them. Well, fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, thy name is Bill Belichick.

The Steelers completely overhauled their usual game plan on both sides of the ball yesterday. The result was a convincing 25-17 victory over the hated Patriots. It was, by any measure, the team’s most impressive performance of 2011. If the Black and Gold goes on a run which culminates in another trip up the Stairway to Seven, we’re undoubtedly going to look back at week eight as the turning point in the season.

Longtime Steeler fans will remember an infamous Monday Night game many years back when the Patriots came out throwing on something like twenty consecutive plays. Yesterday, the Steelers gave them a taste of their own medicine. Ben Roethlisberger threw the ball 32 times. In the first half.

Ben would finish the afternoon 36/50 for 365 yards and 2 TDs. He came out firing and never let up, even when it would have been prudent to do so. I’ve been a Steeler fan for a pretty long time. While I’m not exactly reaching for Touch of Grey, I remember seeing John Stallworth catch passes from Mark Malone. I’ve never seen a better performance by a Steeler signal caller than the one Ben put forth yesterday.
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Oct 282011
 

If Mick was right that women weaken legs, Rob Gronkowski will be in a wheelchair on Sunday.

The Baltimore Ravens are considered the biggest rivals of the Pittsburgh Steelers. With all due respect (which is to say, none), I disagree. A true rivalry is borne out of two equals battling to accomplish the same goal. The Ratbirds haven’t beaten the Steelers in a meaningful game since Ben Roethlisberger first stepped foot in Heinz Field. Over the past ten years, they’ve been a good team but not a great one.

No, there are only two teams who can legitimately claim greatness here in the 21st century. The Steelers and the New England Patriots. Over the past decade, the Patriots have appeared in four Super Bowls and won three. The Black and Gold have appeared in three, winning two. If it were not for the Patriots, the Steelers alone would be able to lay claim to the title of the NFL’s premiere franchise.

If that fact weren’t galling enough, our history with the Patriots is as unfortunate as Baltimore’s is with us. Tom Brady is 6-1 against the Steelers, and overall the Patriots are 7-2 against Pittsburgh since Dreamboat took over signal-calling duties up in New England. Even more heart-breaking, the Pats are 3-1 in post-season meetings. More recently, who can forget the Patriots humiliating 39-26 defeat of the Steelers last season?
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Oct 272011
 

 

Hey guys (and girl), your paragon of virtue, your hero, your party host, Chris here. I want to thank everyone who inquired about being this week’s guest blogger. I chose a man whose name will probably be familiar to those of you who frequented the comment section on the Site That Shall Not Be Named. Without further ado, take it away Hennessey…

Well, Steeler Nation, it’s that time of year. We’ve collectively survived a lockout, a stressful salary-cap crunch, and seven gut wrenching (well, most of them) games, including a week 1 loss that humbled fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers from China to Chinatown.

So how good did Monday night feel!?!?

I couldn’t bring myself to watch the Ravens win again, so Tuesday morning highlights were a big treat! Joe Bert Flacco looked like he strayed from Ernie’s protection and got caught up in a street-corner mugging, Baltimore’s favorite pastime.

We’ve reached that point in the season when rookies become veterans, veterans become leaders, and Bert becomes a one-man interception-throwing tackling dummy. I love a good redemption story and, if “Baltimore’s Future” keeps leading his team of Muppets into slaughter, there’s going to be a great one in two weeks. How can the Black and Gold make it happen?

Week 8 marks the mid-way point of the regular season and the beginning of the end for those teams that weren’t meant to make the cut this year. For the Steelers the next two games are the make-or-break point. As we learned back in 2009 during that woeful five game losing streak (including losses to the Chiefs, Raiders and Browns, boasting a combined 9-26 record at the time they faced the Steelers), the end of a season can really set the tone for what comes after. For a team that prides themselves on contending for championships every year, what must we do to survive the dog days of November and December?
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