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Circle of Hate

Week 14 Recap: Answering The Bell

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Martavis Bryant 94 TD Catch

Well, that was unexpected…

A week after a miserable showing against the Saints, the Pittsburgh Steelers went out and crushed the Cincinnati Bengals 42-21 to tighten the race in both the AFC North and AFC Playoffs. How convincing was this victory? So convincing Andy Dalton watched the final five minutes from the sideline after Marvin Lewis all but threw in the towel.

Of course, if the Black and Gold hold to 2014 form, I fully expect them to crap the bed next week in Atlanta.Read More »Week 14 Recap: Answering The Bell

Know Thy Enemy: Cincinnati Bengals

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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.Read More »Know Thy Enemy: Cincinnati Bengals

How The North Was Won (By The Browns?)

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Sorry I’ve been MIA the past few days but with the Pittsburgh Steelers on a well-deserved bye, I figured I deserved a brief break myself. Besides, I’ve been busy packing for my Turkey Day trip. I’m headed down to Tampa to spend the holiday with my parents, who retired there a few years ago. Guess they didn’t get the memo that Arizona is considered Pittsburgh West.

I leave this evening and will be gone until next Tuesday. Know Thy Enemy will be up on Friday and I’ll make every effort to get a game recap up on Monday. My dad has DirectTV to watch the Black and Gold – what, did you expect him to watch the Bucs? – but I’m hoping to find a nice Stiller Bar to watch the game. If anybody reading knows of one, drop some knowledge down in the comments. In the meantime, unless the Steelers do something earth-shaking like sign Ray Rice to back-up Le’Veon Bell, updates will be sparse between now and next week. Read More »How The North Was Won (By The Browns?)

Your First Place…Cleveland Browns?

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north stand

I think we’ve received our first sign of the apocalypse…

The NFL is unpredictable. Regardless of what the scamdicappers who advertise on late night TV may tell you, even the best gamblers are lucky to get half the games right on any given week. Never mind the fools at blogs who “preview” the next year’s games during the off-season or the media types who write preseason prediction articles. The reality is outside of the really really good teams and the really bad teams, it’s hard to figure where the rest are going to land.

Enter your first place Cleveland Browns.Read More »Your First Place…Cleveland Browns?

Why Can’t The Steelers Beat Bad Teams?

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The Pittsburgh Steelers have lost four times this season. Two of those losses came against division rivals Baltimore and Cleveland. That’s understandable because division games are traditionally tough for any team, regardless of records. Their other two losses came at the hands of the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers (still their only victory this year) and the 1-8 New York Jets. And the saddest part is neither of those losses was all that surprising.

Since 2012, the Steelers are 8-10 against teams with losing records at the time they played them. You want an explanation for back to back playoff-less 8-8 seasons, look no further than that. Until they figure out how to correct this habit of playing down their opposition, they’re never going to turn the corner. The NFL is all about parity – some might call it “mediocrity” – where the difference between 10 wins and a playoff berth or 8 wins and a mid-round draft pick is your ability to win the games you’re supposed to win.Read More »Why Can’t The Steelers Beat Bad Teams?

Week 9 Recap: Sweet Revenge

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Stonecold Shaun Suisham

Back in week two, the Baltimore Ravens humbled the Pittsburgh Steelers with a one-sided butt whuppin’. Last night, the Black and Gold got sweet sweet revenge thanks to yet another record-setting performance from Ben Roethlisberger. A rivalry once known for close games has now become a series of knockout punches. This time the Steelers were left standing at the end, owners of an epic 43-23 smackdown over their hated rivals.

Oddly enough, the first quarter seemed to imply doom for the hometown team. Ben was getting the bejeezus beat out of him, culminating in a late hit that left him checking if his jaw was still attached. There were actually two personal fouls called on that one play, which is just about the most Raven-y thing ever. Prior to that drive, though, the Steelers were stuck in neutral, going almost the entire first quarter without a single first down. Their first decent drive ended after Ben was sacked on three consecutive snaps and it really looked it was going to be a herculean struggle to get the ball in the end zone.Read More »Week 9 Recap: Sweet Revenge

Mediocrity Good Enough For Steelers

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Monday night’s exhilarating performance aside, the Pittsburgh Steelers are a decidedly mediocre football team. That’s the bad news. The good news? In today’s NFL, that might be good enough.

The defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks are on a two game losing streak following a stunning upset at the hands of the Rams. They’re still a quality team but they’re learning what Steeler Nation learned on two separate occasions: it’s hard to wear the crown. Not only does everybody give you their best shot, it’s nearly impossible to keep the same level of intensity you had pre-Lombardi Trophy. What’s more, the NFL is designed to ensure every team has a shelf life before they lose key pieces, others become too expensive to keep, and others simply lose their luster. Read More »Mediocrity Good Enough For Steelers

Week 6 Recap: Getting What They Deserve

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Nobody panic. Antonio Brown caught seven passes to keep his reception streak record alive.

Under the Mike Tomlin regime, it’s only the truly important things that count!

In less important news, the Pittsburgh Steelers lost 31-10 to the Cleveland Browns. Actually, they didn’t so much “lose” as get their asses handed to them. After a sluggish first quarter where both teams seemed determined to out-suck each other, the Browns kicked it into gear and never looked back. It was by far the easiest win they’ve had this season and oh by the way it was their easiest win over the Steelers since a 49 point shellacking they gave us way back in 1989.

And you know what? Nothing that happened yesterday surprised me in the least.

The Steelers are a terrible team. Awful. Horrible. Pathetic. Insert whatever adjective you’d like.Read More »Week 6 Recap: Getting What They Deserve

Know Thy Enemy: Cleveland Browns


So, we meet again…

For the second and final time this season, the Pittsburgh Steelers will renew their rivalry with the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. We all remember the season opener at Heinz Field which was basically a tale of two halves. The Black and Gold played the first half like world beaters, looking like the kind of team that could be a legit Super Bowl contender when all the dust settles. Then the second half started and the Browns launched into a furious comeback before ultimately falling short thanks to a Stonecold Shaun Suisham field goal with time expiring. 

Comebacks seem to be the Browns thing this season. They got off to a good start against New Orleans before the Saints rallied to take a one point lead late in the fourth. The Browns got a walk-off field goal of their own to pull of the upset. They were on the losing end of another last second field goal a week later when Joe Flacco brought his Ravens back from a third quarter deficit to pull out a narrow victory. Then last week, the Browns were down by 25 points (!?!?!) to the Tennessee Titans then staged what is now the greatest road comeback in NFL history. Read More »Know Thy Enemy: Cleveland Browns

Ray Rice Fiasco Proves Steelers Right All Along

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The Blind Eye Ray Rice

If you’re reading a football blog – particularly one dedicated to the Pittsburgh Steelers – chances are you’ve heard plenty about the Ray Rice fiasco the past couple days. The fact Rice has had his career nuked due to his reprehensible actions doesn’t interest me. Maybe some day he’ll be welcomed back by the Baltimore Ravens – perhaps they’ll even erect a freakin’ statue in his honor like they did for the murderous thug who played linebacker for them –  as nobody really expects better from a low class organization like the Ratbirds. But for now Rice is simply a lowlife scumbag who got exactly what he deserved.

What does interest me about the Ray Rice fiasco is the number of eyes it opened to the corrupt administration of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. In recent days, everybody from Keith Olbermann to former governor Ed Rendell have called for Goodell to resign. And those who haven’t gone quite that far are still taking Goodell to task for his absolutely inept handling of the entire situation. Nobody has to tell Steeler Nation, though, as we’re a fanbase that has long been familiar with the slimy little weasel who sits in the commissioner’s office.Read More »Ray Rice Fiasco Proves Steelers Right All Along