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Circle of Hate

Week 8 Recap: When It Rains, It Pours

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Cursed. The Pittsburgh Steelers are f*cking cursed.

Le’Veon Bell suspended the first two games, Martavis Bryant the first four. Bell comes back just in time for Ben Roethlisberger to miss four games with a knee injury. Ben comes back and a little over a quarter later, Bell falls to the ground clutching his knee in agony.


The really sad part is that by every right the Steelers should’ve beaten the Bengals yesterday. Instead, Steelers star running back Le’Veon Bell is lost for the season in team’s 16-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. The loss drops the Black and Gold to 4-4 and all but ends any hope of winning the AFC North. Of course, the team has more immediate concerns.Read More »Week 8 Recap: When It Rains, It Pours

Big Ben Returns…But Too Late?

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NFL: SEP 11 Bengals at Browns

Barring any unforeseen setback, Ben Roethlisberger is set to return this Sunday. That’s the good news. The bad news is it may be too late for the Pittsburgh Steelers to compete for the AFC North. I always hate to declare a game “must win” before mid-season but this weekend’s match-up with the Cincinnati Bengals is about as must win as it gets.

The Bengals are currently one of a half dozen undefeated teams littering the NFL. This season has been a weird one as far as parity goes. In recent years, there wasn’t a huge clear cut gap between the haves and have nots. This year there seems to be a huge gulf between the teams on the top tier and the perennial bottom feeders. Then again, even the so called “elite” teams come with their share of warts.Read More »Big Ben Returns…But Too Late?

Know Thy Enemy: Baltimore Ravens

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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.Read More »Know Thy Enemy: Baltimore Ravens

Week 1 Recap: What’s The Frequency, Belichick ?

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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.Read More »Week 1 Recap: What’s The Frequency, Belichick ?

Know Thy Enemy: New England Patriots

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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.  Read More »Know Thy Enemy: New England Patriots

Week 17 Recap: Winning The Battle, Losing The War

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It’s Black Monday for the twenty teams that didn’t qualify for the NFL Playoffs. It’s “cross your fingers and pray” Monday for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

For the first time since 2010, the Black and Gold are your AFC North champions thanks to a resounding 27-17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. The game itself was another solid performance by the Steelers in all three phases. The win catapulted them to the #3 seed and the privilege of hosting a playoff game at Heinz Field this weekend. However, every bit of good news was overshadowed when superstar running back – and team MVP – Le’Veon Bell left the game after taking a vicious hit to the knee early in the second half.Read More »Week 17 Recap: Winning The Battle, Losing The War

Know Thy Enemy: Cincinnati Bengals

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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.Read More »Know Thy Enemy: Cincinnati Bengals

North Bowl Bumped To Prime Time

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Sweep The Leg Bengals!
Sweep The Leg Bengals!

For those who skipped Sunday Night Football, well, you missed an absolutely incredible Beast Mode run by Marshawn Lynch. You also missed the announcement that NBC was closing out the 2014 regular season by flexing this weekend’s game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals (aka the AFC North Bowl) into the prime time. While there are two other juicy match-ups, including a virtual playoff game between Atlanta and Carolina, I’m not really surprised they chose to showcase a team with an unparalleled national following like the Steelers.   

Which isn’t to say the North Bowl isn’t important in its own right.Read More »North Bowl Bumped To Prime Time