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Know Thy Enemy: Cleveland Browns

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Last weekend was on me. I usually post Know Thy Enemy on Friday but I moved it to Thursday because of Christmas. So I jinxed us. So even though many of you are probably too hung over to read this, I’m posting it anyway. Happy New Year!

With their playoff hopes hanging by a thread, the Pittsburgh Steelers need a win against the Cleveland Browns to stay alive. After that, they can do nothing but hope the Buffalo Bills upset the New York Jets. This surely isn’t where they wanted to be. Unfortunately, the standard is the standard. Read More »Know Thy Enemy: Cleveland Browns

Know Thy Enemy: Baltimore Ravens

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No, you haven’t been sipping too much spiked eggnog, it’s Thursday. I’ve traditionally posted Know Thy Enemy on Friday going all the way back to my NicePickCowher days but tomorrow’s a small little holiday some of you may be celebrating with friends/family. While I’d like to think your first stop with your new iPads and smarty phones would be this site, I realize you may have other interests. Besides, posting something titled “Know They Enemy” on Christmas just feels all kinds of wrong.

As you can tell from that long preamble, I don’t have a whole lot to say about this week’s game. The Pittsburgh Steelers visit the Baltimore Ravens as they continue to fight for a berth in the NFL playoffs. If things fall into place – meaning a Steeler victory and a Jets loss to the Patriots – the Black and Gold will find a playoff spot under their tree. There’s also a scenario where they win the AFC North but that’s a bit more remote.Read More »Know Thy Enemy: Baltimore Ravens

Know Thy Enemy: Denver Broncos

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The Pittsburgh Steelers try to keep their playoff hopes alive when they host the Denver Broncos this Sunday at Heinz Field. The game itself is a classic case of the irresistible force meeting the immoveable object. The irresistible force being the Steelers offense. The Cardinals may technically be ranked first and an argument can certainly be made for the Patriots but I after scoring 30+ points and amassing 350+ yards of offense in five consecutive games, there’s little doubt who has the best offense in football.Read More »Know Thy Enemy: Denver Broncos

Know Thy Enemy: Cincinnati Bengals

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When last we met the Bengals, our star running back was being carted off the field with a season ending knee injury while the team itself saw it’s division title hopes vanish with a 16-10 loss. This Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers face the Cincinnati Bengals in a pivotal week 14 match-up for vastly different reasons. The Bengals have the AFC North all but clinched while the Steelers find themselves in a fight for a Wild Card that currently sees them on the outside looking in. Unfortunately, the Bengals also have something to play for.Read More »Know Thy Enemy: Cincinnati Bengals

Know Thy Enemy: Indianapolis Colts

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There’s nothing the NFL likes more than a good storyline. Oftentimes those stories are forced narratives, exaggerated by the networks to give a game a “hook” for the casual fan. As if Fantasy Football and/or degenerate gambling isn’t hook enough. However, when the Pittsburgh Steelers face the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday Night Football, the story really does write itself.

Ten years ago, the Steelers met the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL. The Black and Gold were led by a second year starter named Ben Roethlisberger. Seattle was quarterbacked by former back-up Matt Hasselbeck. The Steelers of course went on to win that game, then another Lombardi Trophy a few years later as Ben grew from a game manager to one of the best quarterbacks in football. Hasselbeck played nine more years for Seattle, leading them to several playoff appearances before taking on the life of a journeyman back-up the past five seasons.Read More »Know Thy Enemy: Indianapolis Colts

Know Thy Enemy: Seattle Seahawks

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Hope everybody had a great Turkey Day!

Surely the Pittsburgh Steelers did. After a brutal season filled with injury after injury, the Black and Gold finally had a week off to rest and recover. Good timing, too, since the Pittsburgh Steelers face the defending NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks this Sunday. Even though they’ve struggled, the Seahawks will be by far the team’s biggest test thus far.

It helps that all hands should be back on deck. When last we saw Ben Roethlisberger, he was taking every snap from the shotgun to compensate for his limited mobility. He still played insanely well in relief of Landry Jones but that was against the Browns. Ben will have to be a helluva lot better if they have any hopes of beating the Seahawks in Seattle.Read More »Know Thy Enemy: Seattle Seahawks

Know Thy Enemy: Oakland Raiders

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Their starting quarterback is banged up. The head coach is an idiot. Their most dynamic offensive player was just lost for the season. And they’ve lost two straight games.

What a perfect time to play the Oakland Raiders!

Bad things tend to happen for the Pittsburgh Steelers whenever they play the Raiders. Whether it’s losing to a team that wins only two games all season or Big Ben getting his nose broken from a sucker punch, the Silver and Black have been a thorn in our side since the 70s. If there’s one small grace it’s that the game is being played at Heinz Field and not the Black Hole. Still, this is not the ideal time to be playing someone who traditionally gives us fits.Read More »Know Thy Enemy: Oakland Raiders

Know Thy Enemy: Kansas City Chiefs

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Ah, the classic trap game. Hard believe the Pittsburgh Steelers would even have a trap game considering the amount of adversity they’ve had to weather thus far. But this week’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs almost certainly falls into that category. A 4-2 team coming off two straight big wins facing a 1-5 bottom dweller with a huge division showdown looming on the horizon has all the makings of a trap.

Especially when you don’t know who your quarterback is going to be. Ben Roethlisberger has returned to practice albeit on a limited basis. Michael Vick allegedly has a “hamstring sprain” which is an interesting way to phrase “He blows and we don’t wanna play him.” Mike Tomlin won’t commit to Big Ben so all signs point to Landry Jones making his first career start.Read More »Know Thy Enemy: Kansas City Chiefs

Know Thy Enemy: Arizona Cardinals

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Sorry for the lack of posting this week. I’ve been a bit under the weather but I’m making a comeback. Ben Roethlisberger would love to make a comeback of his own this week after returning to practice the past few days. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to be in the Cards.

Thank you, I’ll be here all week. Try the veal.

Ben would surely love to play this week, not only to help the Pittsburgh Steelers try and keep pace with the undefeated Bengals but because our opponents are the Arizona Cardinals. The Cards are coached by old friend Bruce Arians, our offensive coordinator for five seasons until he “retired” (for about 48 hours). Arians has long been hailed as Ben’s best friend in football. In fact, despite overseeing some pretty good offenses – including our first 4,000 yard passer, 1,000 yard rusher, and 1,000 yard receiver in the same season – Arians retired was fired primarily because the team felt he was too chummy with his quarterback.Read More »Know Thy Enemy: Arizona Cardinals

Know Thy Enemy: San Diego Chargers

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Another week, another prime time game for the Pittsburgh Steelers. This week’s opponent is the San Diego Chargers. Ordinarily, the storyline for this game would be Philip Rivers and how he stacks up with Ben Roethlisberger, both products of the storied QB Class of ’04. However, with Ben sidelined and Rivers coming off a year where his team failed to make the playoffs the game becomes less about storylines and more about two teams desperate to keep their head above water.

Both teams currently sit at 2-2 on the season. Both teams are coming off less than inspiring outings. The Steelers, of course, lost an overtime heartbreaker to Baltimore that easily could’ve been a win had they had a halfway decent kicker. The Chargers beat the Cleveland Browns last week but the fact it was a 30-27 shoot out has to be a cause for concern.Read More »Know Thy Enemy: San Diego Chargers