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Steelers Fan

What Steelers Ugly Loss says about Future of 2014 season? posted by Steelers Fan

The Steelers had looked like the unstoppable team in the AFC. With Roethlisberger setting passing records and the defense shutting down every offense it faced.

However, when the Steelers faced off against the one win New York Jets Sunday, what Steeler team showed up was a far cry from the dominating presence that had been there for the last several games.

While one loss or one win doesn’t usually say much about the future of a team’s season, when a first place team loses to a one loss team, AND loses to that one loss team in a humiliating, demoralizing way, then there is cause for concern.

From the start of the game, the Jets ran the ball all over the Steelers D, going up 10-0 early in the game, but instead of rallying the Steelers had their next 3 drives end with turnovers. Hardly a display of urgency on a part of the offense, as they went into the half only scoring 3 points.

In the second half, Roethlisberger was picked off again, one of 4 Steeler turnovers on the day. While the stats look good on paper, it was the complete lack of urgency from the Steelers' offense. The no-huddle, which has paid major dividends in the last three weeks and the last two in particular, didn't make an appearance until the final minutes of the game. 

To watch the Steelers on Sunday against the Jets, one would not believe this was a team tied for first place.

They played down to an inferior opponent. They abandoned everything that worked on offense. Losing to a one-win team isn't going to help convince anyone that the Steelers are truly legitimate threats to reach the playoffs, let alone win a Super Bowl. This was a major step back that the Steelers should not have made. 

Continue reading "What Steelers Ugly Loss says about ..."

Steelers Fan

The 2014 Pittsburgh Steelers posted by Steelers Fan

The Pittsburgh Steelers won six of their last eight games last season, salvaging what looked like a lost campaign and ending the year with an even 8-8 record. This season, the team looks forward to building from that strong showing and perhaps entering the playoffs.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is coming off one of the best seasons of his career, throwing for 4,261 yards and 28 touchdowns with only 15 interceptions. Like his team, he started slowly with six scores and six picks in his first four outings. But he caught fire late in the season, and the Steelers hope he’ll bring that momentum in the new season.

But he’ll have to play without Emmanuel Sanders who was their starting receiver. Antonio Brown is still there and the receiver was impressive last year with 110 receptions. Still, the Steelers will need another receiver to step up.  Some of the more promising candidates to step up to the challenge are rookie Martavis Bryant and third-year pro Markus Wheaton.

The improved play of the Steelers offensive line was one of the top stories for the team last year. Guards David DeCastro and Ramon Foster were their top blockers last year, surrendering only two sacks.  Left tackle Kevin Beachum also did a stellar job of protecting the blind side of their quarterback, surrendering only one sack in the last six games of the season.

The Steelers have always taken pride in their defense, but they were uncharacteristically a step slower on defense the past year. In fact they allowed opposing teams to score 23 points per game against them.  The team hopes that two rookies--- Ryan Shazier and Stephon Tuitt---- would provide the spark in defense. Michael Mitchell was also signed to boost the defense as he’ll start next to Troy Polamalu and in lieu of the ineffective Ryan Clark.

Continue reading "The 2014 Pittsburgh Steelers"

Steelers Fan

NFL Betting and Pittsburgh Steelers In 2013 posted by Steelers Fan

Some betting experts discourage people from placing a wager on their favourite team or even the season’s favourites. They instead advise people to remain objective as they place wagers on the teams. Most newbies tend to focus on their own team and this leads them to vote for teams with very poor chances of winning. Pros do their homework. They bet on a team based on facts instead of feelings. If you do this it can dramatically increase your chances of winning.

If you're a newbie, or simply can't bring yourself to bet against your own team then you might be better suited for other sides of online gambling, like for example online casinos. Take your pick from literally hundreds of slots machines available at places like Lucky Nugget who can be found at If you're not looking to branch too much into the world of casino game then don't be intimidated. Even though some people do enjoy intense games like poker, a bit of light-hearted, sports based fun like the slots found at the above URL can earn you a fair deal of money too. If this doesn't appeal to you at all, then do read on and we will try and ensure you a winning betting slip this weekend!

It is also important not to be too withdrawn; it takes away the fun and is counter intuitive. In order to follow the game closely, you need to have passion. If you are planning to engage in sports betting for the first time you may want to pick a sport that you love. Your experience, knowledge and willingness to learn will help you make better choices.
NFL Football betting is by far the most popular sports that people wager on. While baseball gives more options on how you can wager, football is simple and uncomplicated. This makes it easier for beginners to understand and feel comfortable with. If you are a Steels fan then you need to brace yourself for an unpredictable but exciting season.

Continue reading "NFL Betting and Pittsburgh Steelers In 2013"

Joe Anello

The Opening Drive: Week 16, 2012 posted by Joe Anello

Week 16 in the NFL season has arrived! With two weeks left in the season, I don’t need to tell you how important these games are for those teams still in the hunt. It’s time to get into all the storylines in The Opening Drive!

(12-2) Atlanta Falcons at

(4-10) Detroit Lions

Saturday night football has arrived! And it’s… relatively meaningless. The Falcons are very close to locking down their one seed (only need one win) and the Lions could be another embarrassing loss away from blowing things up. This could be an entertaining (but non-competitive) contest to open the week.

(6-8) New Orleans Saints at

(8-6) Dallas Cowboys

I’ve already seen a LOT of coverage for this game, which only features one possible playoff participant. The Cowboys can win the division if they win their final two games, and that starts with an interesting match-up against the Saints. Drew Brees won’t take it light on a Dallas secondary that has been hit-or-miss this year. But I think the Saint defense won’t play as well as it appeared to last week versus the Bucs.

(5-9) San Diego Chargers at

(6-8) New York Jets

Wait. There has to be a reason I put this game on the list. THE GREG MCELROY ERA HAS BEGUN! But honestly, I don’t know if any of the Jets’ quarterbacks will be on the roster next season. And the Chargers? They’re a train wreck. AND I LOVE IT.

Continue reading "The Opening Drive: Week 16, 2012"

Joe Anello

The Final Drive: Week 14, 2012 posted by Joe Anello

There were some wildly surprising results from week 14 in the NFL. Before we move on from the weekend’s action, it’s time to recap the best stories in The Final Drive!

(7-6) Dallas Cowboys 20

(7-6) Cincinnati Bengals 19

Not only is it impressive that the Cowboys focused up and found a way to win on the road against a quality opponent, but they did it while facing such enormous adversity. Losing a teammate 24 hours before the game has to be a shock to their system, but they maintained composure and kept themselves in the playoff race. Meanwhile, Cincy lost out on a prime opportunity to pull away from the Steelers, who lost a shocker. They dropped a nine-point lead in the fourth quarter and couldn’t get A.J. Green the ball. Both of which are concerns for a supposed playoff team.

(9-4) Indianapolis Colts 27

(4-9) Tennessee Titans 23

Dude. Andrew Luck. Stop it. We get it. You’re SUPER clutch. Next time you face an inferior team can you just blow the doors off them right away and not spot them points by throwing stupid interceptions? Obviously I love the drama, but I’m betting your fans could use less heart attacks.

(5-8) San Diego Chargers 34

(7-6) Pittsburgh Steelers 24

This was definitely the WTF game of the weekend. How the Steelers came out this flat at home against a team in such turmoil we’ve never know. Norv Turner pulled out all the tricks in this one, but this is just the biggest damn fluke I’ve ever seen. Shame on you Pittsburgh. Shame.

Continue reading "The Final Drive: Week 14, 2012"

Joe Anello

The Final Drive: Week 13, 2012 posted by Joe Anello

Week 13 of the NFL put a lot of races in the proper perspective. Teams began to clinch playoff spots/division titles and can now aim for loftier goals. Other teams had their struggles, including one squad that faced the unimaginable. It’s time for The Final Drive.

(11-1) Atlanta Falcons 23

(5-7) New Orleans Saints 13

Can we all just stop thinking the Saints are making the playoffs? Because it’s REALLY not happening. This may not have been the throat-stomping win for Atlanta that everyone wanted, but it was a solid victory that can only build on their confidence as they streak toward the number one seed in the NFC.


(8-4) Indianapolis Colts 35

(4-8) Detroit Lions 33

Luck does it again. I’m not a huge fan of all the interceptions he’s thrown, but he’s brought his team back all year long and has them primed for a playoff spot. It’s extraordinarily impressive. And he’s just going to get better. For Detroit, this is just another crushing loss in a season of disappointments. Put them out of their misery.

(8-4) Green Bay Packers 23

(6-6) Minnesota Vikings 14

Even when Adrian Peterson goes off for 210 yards on only 21 carries, Aaron Rodgers refuses to let his team lose. It’s pretty stunning what he can do sometimes. The Packers dominated time of possession, keeping Peterson on the sideline for almost two-thirds of the game. That’s the way to win.

Continue reading "The Final Drive: Week 13, 2012"

Joe Anello

The Opening Drive: Week 10, 2012 posted by Joe Anello

Capped by what can only be called “putrid” primetime contests, week 10 of the NFL season isn’t actually all that bad! We have some very interesting divisional match-ups, including a “losing coach gets fired” match in the NFC East and a possible trap for our lone undefeated squad. Let’s hop into The Opening Drive!


(5-3) Indianapolis Colts at

(1-7) Jacksonville Jaguars

Gross NFL Network. Gross. Indianapolis is a winning team, sure. But they’re not good enough to make this game overly enjoyable. Well, unless you like watching bad football. Like this guy. Jacksonville will entertain me all night long.

(6-3) New York Giants at

(3-5) Cincinnati Bengals

The Giants are apparently “slumping” after losing to the Steelers, so of course they’ll probably come out this week and expose the Bengals as pretenders. Hakeem Nicks says he’s going to play, so Eli will likely bust out of the passing rut he’s in. Cincy hasn’t proven that they can beat the good teams, only that they can hang with them. That shouldn’t change on Sunday.

(4-4) Detroit Lions at

(5-4) Minnesota Vikings

Early this year we thought the Vikings were for real and that the Lions were terrible. A handful of bad Christian Ponder performances in Minnesota and special teams adjustments in Detroit have since leveled the playing field. A win Sunday can put one of these teams in the clustered mix for a possible wildcard spot. (Because let’s face it, neither of them are winning the division.) I like the Lions’ one-dimensional offense over the Vikings’ one-dimensional offense.

Continue reading "The Opening Drive: Week 10, 2012"

Joe Anello

The Opening Drive: Week 7, 2012 posted by Joe Anello

The NFL is full of parity through six weeks of this season, clearly evident by the fact that only two teams in the AFC are above .500. In week seven we get to see new takes on division rivalries and a battle for supremacy in the AFC. Let’s break down some games!

(4-2) Seattle Seahawks at

(4-2) San Francisco 49ers

Rookie QB Russell Wilson has been hit at home and miss on the road so far in 2012. Tonight, he gets to take on one of the best defenses in football. Unfortunately, they were embarrassed by Eli Manning last week and will probably take their frustration out on him. The Niners don’t like to play from behind, but I’m unconvinced the Seahawks are capable of pulling away. Seattle needs to keep this one close or else they could lose out on the division race.

(3-3) Green Bay Packers at

(3-3) St. Louis Rams

It’s been some time since a game between the Packers and the Rams would have been this intriguing. I’m not saying it’ll be close though. Green Bay is pulling itself out of a deep hole and is facing a stringy defense that likes aggressive, physical coverage. Aaron Rodgers could light up the scoreboard for a second straight week, leaving Sam Bradford and the out-manned Rams offense in catch-up mode. They just won’t be able to put up the same level of points if their defense can’t hold up. If the Rams are going to win this game, it’ll be because their defensive line pounded Aaron Rodgers into the ground. And with that Packer o-line? It’s a possibility.

Continue reading "The Opening Drive: Week 7, 2012"

Amari Harris

First Down Friday: Week Two posted by Amari Harris

First Down Friday

Evening football fans,

Week one of the NFL season is in the books and week two is on deck.  We’ve already seen the Packers vindicate themselves on Thursday night football after their week one loss, but this definitely doesn’t look like the 15-1 team from 2011 or the Super Bowl team from 2010.  Everyone had high expectations for the Bears after some offseason upgrades (Brandon Marshall & Michael Bush), and they seemed to justify those expectation with a week one drubbing of the Colts 41-21.  But last night’s game seemed to foreshadow the unpredictability of the 2012 NFL season and it feels as though we may know less after week two than we did after week one (if that’s possible).  Here are my thoughts about this upcoming weekend’s games:

  1. Scoring up?  Big Whoop!

Many fans and experts alike took note of the record breaking scoring that went on in week one, and a majority seemed concerned that this was a bad sign for the league.  The fact remains that the NFL has evolved into a more fast paced, passing-centered game that will result in more high scores.  Almost all new developments in the game are designed to enhance the passing game, increase the scoring, and bring more excitement to the game.  The NFL’s researchers know that audiences love the air shows that quarterbacks like Drew Brees, Aaron Rogers, and Tom Brady conduct on a weekly basis. 

However, there is still room in this game for punishing defense and an effective run game.  That’s how the 49ers were able to beat up on that 15-1 Packers team from a year ago despite the Pack’s upgrades at several positions.  That’s how the Cowboys were able to get revenge on the Super Bowl champion Giants.  While the passing game will get you points, put you in a position to win games, and get you to the playoffs, defense and the running game keeps the other team off the board, ends games, and wins you a championship.  Some will argue that the last few Super Bowl champions didn’t have great regular season defenses, but if you look at any of those teams playoff runs, you will see that each of those defenses was playing the best at the time.  We’ll see if that trend continues or if the league will completely shift to an offense dominated game. 

Continue reading "First Down Friday: Week Two"

Charles Bisbee

Another Unpredictable NFL Season On the Way posted by Charles Bisbee

With the 2012 NFL season fast approaching, pundits are busy serving up another round of fearless predictions. I enjoy reading these predictions because 1. they are bold and 2. more often than not they prove be woefully inaccurate.

This is the great thing about the NFL: no one has a clue and anyone who says they do is full of baloney. The league has mostly been a crapshoot over the past 10 years (save for the Pats, Steelers, and Manning-lead Colts), with teams jostling for position like ping pong balls in a lottery draw.

And still some writers insist on using phrases like “up and coming” and “back of the pack” in an attempt to project a team’s un-chartable trajectory. History should have taught us that in the NFL the up and coming team is generally an illusion. Look at the Buccaneers, for example, who went a “promising” 10-6 in 2010 and then fell to 4-12 in 2011 (despite having largely the same roster). Now’s Don Banks predicts new head coach Greg Schiano  “easily will better the Bucs’ record of last year and have [the] club being identified by year’s end as one to watch in 2013.” Only in the NFL can a team go from up-and-comer to bottom of the pack to up-and-comer again in the span of 12 months.

The 49ers, on the other hand, flipped the script after a dismal 6-10 campaign in 2010, hired a new coach and finished 13-3 in 2011. Meanwhile, the Rams went a "promising" 7-9 under rookie quarterback Sam Bradford in 2010, kept the roster largely intact and then finished 2-14 last year. Where is the rhyme? Where is the reason? What can account for this anual see-saw?

Continue reading "Another Unpredictable NFL Season On the Way"

Pittsburgh Steelers News

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Is Jimmy Garoppolo ready to be the Patriots' starting quarterback? (Shutdown Corner)

The quarterback who grew up with Tom Brady posters on his wall appears likely to be replacing him as the New England Patriots' starter for the first quarter of the season. Unless the NFLPA and Brady's lawyers get an injunction, or perform some magic in federal court, Jimmy Garoppolo will be taking snaps from center — or via the shotgun, and he and the Patriots are most accustomed — and throwing live bullets against the Pittsburgh Steelers in one of the most highly anticipated season openers in years. Nothing but a chicken wing, eh? [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a league today! ] Garoppolo's professional career (at least in games that count) is a 27-throw body of work — 17 in the meaningless regular-season finale, and the rest in mop-up duty as a rookie backup to Brady. You know, Brady, the quarterback everyone had dead to rights after four weeks of last season before he turned things so dramatically around to finish the season with a Super Bowl victory. Nothing will come easily for Garoppolo following that act, plus the added attenion cloaking the Patriots with deflate-gate, but he's a talented, quick-thinking trigger man who ran the Baylor spread offense at Eastern Illinois and set passing records at the school where Tony Romo and Sean Payton formerly quarterbacked.  As for his skills, he has nice touch on his deep passes, though he lacked a laser arm on tougher throws — deep outs and comebacks, for instance — when last we saw him. Garoppolo has good athleticism to move within the pocket and escape pressure, but he's not a runner, per se. He has good feel and touch on rhythm throws, but we're going off such a small sample size in real games, so it's hard to make a sweeping judgment. Bill Belichick, notoriously silent in situations such as these, has had little of substance to say of his potential substitute QB. But Belichick offered a sense Garoppolo has improved from Year 1 to 2: “He’s made a lot of progress,” Belichick said. “Now we’re into a second year, and we’ll see where that continues and where we’re able to pick up on the learning from last year. And that goes for all of our second-year players. We’ll see. It’s different being out there in pads, different being out there in a competitive situation, which we haven’t gotten to yet, but that will be coming shortly.” Garoppolo reportedly has looked more comfortable coming out from center in OTAs and early training camp practices after almost exclusively working from the shotgun in college. He's regarded as smart and mentally tough — teammates praised the way he bounced back as a rookie from a disastrous practice session one day (five interceptions) to turn in one of his better sessions the following day. Up first are the defensively rebuilding Pittsburgh Steelers, who might play more Cover 2, in the opener. Next up: at the Buffalo Bills, in what could be a low-scoring game and a mental challenge against Rex Ryan, who is sure to mix up his defensive looks, and a fearsome front seven. Weeks 3 and 5 (the Patriots are on bye in Week 4) are two different types of tests, with the young, aggressive Jacksonville Jaguars at home and at the Dallas Cowboys, who also could have a strong rush, playing in front of 100,000 fans in Jerry World. We know Belichick is a master at coming up with Plan Bs, and he'll have Garoppolo mentally prepared. The Patriots also can lean on a solid run-game, good two-TE groupings with Rob Gronkowski and Scott Chandler, and a solid top three at wideout with Julian Edelman, Brandon LaFell and Danny Amendola. The offensive line could feature two rookie guards, which is a concern, but the tackles are solid and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is sure to employ plenty of six-man protections and give Garoppoloi outlet options out of the backfield. Will Garoppolo be Brady? No. But can he be Matt Cassel circa 2008? That team won 11 games, and though it missed the playoffs, the Patriots were far more effective than people expected that season. - - - - - - - Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Shutdown Countdown: Steelers have become an offensive power (Shutdown Corner)

Shutdown Corner is previewing all 32 teams as we get ready for the NFL season, counting down the teams one per day in reverse order of our initial 2015 power rankings. No. 1 will be revealed on Aug. 8, the day before the preseason begins with the Hall of Fame Game in Canton. NO. 5: PITTSBURGH STEELERS Let's get it out of the way right now: The Pittsburgh Steelers aren't going to be able to cover anybody. Their secondary is a lot of question marks and no names, even with the addition of cornerback Brandon Boykin from the Philadelphia Eagles earlier this month. Cornerback Ike Taylor and safety Troy Polamalu retired together this offseason. Not much was done to replace them. The argument against the Steelers is that their defense was mediocre at best last season, and it won't improve. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Brandon Boykin eager for fresh start with Steelers (Yahoo Sports)

[read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

With this deflate-gate nonsense, pretty much everyone loses (Shutdown Corner)

Tuesday’s announcement that Roger Goodell will uphold Tom Brady’s four-game suspension didn’t amount to a conclusion in the case. But it made one conclusion very clear: Everyone loses with this story. Yes, you can have your jokes about lawyers, iPhones (poor Samsung) and “Free Brady” t-shirt makers getting theirs. Fine — those profiting off this circus are the insignificant minority here who win, like umbrella salesmen price gouging during a downpour. In short, everyone loses with this story, which should have been snuffed out months ago but now has taken an afterlife of its own. Everyone involved — Brady, Goodell, the NFLPA, the rest of the NFL, the fans — we all lose. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a league today! ] Even the NFL, which will see profit in the form of gonzo ratings in the season opener between the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers, lose in this deal. Their short-term gain will have serious long-term effects. The league is now fully through the looking glass here, along with everything else that has happened the past few seasons that have exactly zero to do with football. This is the second straight season we’ve entered training camp with discipline and not drag routes on our minds. Football is starting back up (football — we love it! Right?) and everyone is weighing in on deflated balls, broken cellphones, future court cases and other nonsense. The NFL won’t lose the hardcore fans (even the ones currently shouting “DON’T CARE!” about this mess), the fantasy players and the gamblers — they’re juiced in for life. But for a sport that has gone out of its way to open up the game to the casual viewer (with the hopes they become lifers), the extended wrath of domestic violence cases, players losing fingers in fireworks accidents and drawn-out cloak-and-dagger operations over minor violations has the stink of a sport that quickly could go rotten. If it hasn’t already. The old any-publicity-is-good-publicity spiel is being disproven as we speak. On Tuesday, you had to squint to find it, but the NFL had two amazing stories it could have pumped up as beacons of light in a dark time. Jen Welter became the NFL’s first-ever female coach, and Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry was cleared to practice following an eight-month battle with Hodgkins’ lymphoma. A few days prior, Berry’s teammate, Jamaal Charles, spoke passionately about his involvement with Special Olympics and how he too was a participant as a child after being told he had a learning disability. Those are outstanding stories the league could have milked for two or three days worth of cleansing coverage. Deflate-gate crushed those stories. Churned them from cream to butter. Worse yet, the NFL chose to drop this story when it did ... after letting it drag on for months too long. Make no mistake, this is no pro-Brady rant, because no matter which side you’re on in this thing, you can’t say that the squeaky-clean QB comes out looking better. From the NFL getting out in front of the destroyed cellphone story, to his Facebook-only statement that was about 300 words too long, reading as amateurish and scatterbrained, Brady too has lost in this deal. Sure, his ardent fans only will dig their heels in deeper for TB12 after Goodell held firm, and lord knows the legion of Goodell backers is reaching Mike Huckabee-esque levels at this point. But even passionate Patriots fans with an iota of critical thought have to raise an eyebrow at how Brady approached and handled his being investigated. It’s a clean sweep — Goodell, Brady, the league and the hamstrung, day-late-dollar-short union all lost yesterday. Goodell comes off as bitter and unyielding. Brady comes off as suspicious, and he now stands to miss a quarter of his age-38 season (his birthday is in four days — have a swell one, Tom). The NFL maintains its Death Star status, the union comes off as ankle biters, and the two sides absolutely detest and distrust one another. Good times! Tomorrow I’ll be in Green Bay to watch the Packers open camp. It will be a glorious day. But the drive home will remind me that the feeling will be fleeting and that the league can’t and won’t turn back from the ugliness they’ve helped permeate. Football is a wonderful sport, but the NFL sure has a way of making me forget that a shocking amount of the time. - - - - - - - Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Steelers RB Bell has suspension reduced to 2 games (The Associated Press)

Le'Veon Bell will head back to work a little earlier than the NFL originally planned. The league reduced the suspension against the Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro running back from three games to two on Tuesday, leaving him eligible to play when the Steelers travel to St. Louis on Sept. 27. Bell was arrested last August following a traffic stop along with then-teammate LeGarrette Blount. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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