Sunday, December 30, 2012

Steelers Beat Browns End Season 8-8

Steelers End Season 8-8 In Beating Browns & Avoid Losing Season

The only good news that came out of the Steelers beating the Browns 24-10 is their avoiding a losing season. Unfortunately, it gives Steeler fans very little to cheer about. This game marked only the second time the Steelers won in the last six weeks.

In the season's most meaningless game, Ben threw three touchdowns. Plaxico Burress, Antonio Brown and Leornad Pope each scored touchdowns.

The Numbers:

  • Roethlisberger threw for 134 yards. He was 15 for 23 with 3 TD's and no interceptions.
  • Steelers had 17 first downs to Cleveland's 18.
  • Time of Possession: Steelers edged out Cleveland 30:21 to 29:39.
  • Dwyer, Redman and Mendenhall ran for a total of 97 yards.
  • Steeler receiving totalled 112 yards.

One thing is certain. Steelers ownership and Coach Tomlin will have a busy off season. The team is facing an aging roster. In addition, they will be facing some salary cap issues.

Future editions of The Pittsburgh Steelers Report will cover off season discussions and plans. So make sure you come back periodically.


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Steelers @ Home vs. Browns: End Of Season; Heath Miller: Steelers MVP; Pouncey & Miller Named To 2013 Pro Bowl

Cleveland Browns Visit Heinz Field

Browns will be visiting Steelers at home on Sunday for Pittsburgh's last game of the 2012 season. Game time is 1 p.m.

On Nov. 25, 2012, the last time both teams met, Cleveland beat the Steelers 20-14. Steelers own the Browns at home with an overall record of 38-21 since 1950. Steelers have not been swept by Cleveland since 1988.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Steelers Lose To Bengals 13-10; Playoff Hopes Crushed; The Immaculate Reception: 40 Years Ago Today

Bengals D The Difference

Bengals knocked the Steelers out of post season with a 13-10 win. The win puts Cincinnati in the AFC playoffs marking the first time in 30 years the Bengals reached the playoffs in back-to-back seasons.

One of the key differences was the Cincinnati defense.  Once again, for the second straight game, Roethlisber was picked off with little time remaining.  The Bengals defense came through on some key plays. Their front four sacked Ben four times, all at critical times in the game. The Steelers also had three turnovers.

The stats for the Bengals were pathetic picking up only 14 rushing yards while turning the ball over three times.

The two bright spots for the Steelers were Antonio Brown's 60 yard touchdown, and Troy Polamalu's defense. Troy looked like Polamalu of old breaking up one pass and a beautifully timed blitz in the second quarter to sack Dalton.

Steelers final game is at home against Cleveland next week at 1 p.m.

Needless to say, coach Mike Tomlin will need to do some serious soul searching before the beginning of the 2013 season. The Pittsburgh Steeelers Report will be there to keep our readers of news in the off season.

The Immaculate Reception

There's another bright spot but not having anything to do with this dismal season.  Forty years ago today on Dec. 23, 1972, one of the greatest plays in Steeler history took place---The Immaculate Reception. Many observers also consider it the greatest play of all time in any sport.

There continues to be some controversy regarding the play to this day. But we do know this. The Oakland Raiders were leading the Steelers 7-6 with 22 seconds left. As Bradshaw's pass spiraled toward John "Frenchy" Fuqua, Oakland's defensive back, Jack Tatum, collided with Fugua causing the ball to ricochet to Franco Harris who took the deflected pass for a touchdown.

Of course, among Steeler fans, there is no debate. The play is what it immaculate reception. It was also the beginning of a dynasty, one that still has not match to this day---Six Time Super Bowl champions.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Steelers Lose To Cowboys 27-24 In OT But Still In The Hunt

Cowboys Edge Steelers In Overtime 27-24

I had all kinds of strange feelings watching this game (more than normal). And the numbers didn't allay my anxiety.

Steelers only rushed about 30% of the time. But it was the Cowboys time-of-possession that continued to increase my anxiety. Steelers had the ball for 27 minutes. On the other hand, the Cowboys were in possession over 34 minutes, a full 7 precious minutes---a lifetime in football. Dallas also edged out the Steelers in first downs, 23-20.

Roethlisberg had a decent game when it came to his stats. He was 24/40 for 339 yards with one interception and two TD's. Wallace, Miller and Brown had a total of 263 yards on 19 receptions. Dwyer, Redman and Rainey ran for 67 yards on 15 carries for an average of just under 5 yards per carry.

The proverbial "nail in the coffin" came on the second play of overtime when Brandon Carr intercepted a Roethlisberger pass setting up the overtime 21 yard field goal to end the game.

Meanwhile this was the Steelers second straight loss since Roethlisberger's return. It was also their 4th loss in 5 games at a time in the season when any football team needs to win games.

Steelers (7-7) remain in the hunt for wild card. Steelers play Cincinnati at home next week. As Coach Tomlin said after today's game, "the margin for error is zero." The Steelers need to beat Cincinnati next week and Cleveland the following week to make the playoffs as the sixth seed.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Steelers @ Dallas: Pre-Game Report

Steelers (7-6) at Dallas Cowboys (7-6)
Sunday, Dec. 16, 4:25 p.m. ET CBS

With the Steelers traveling to Dallas on Sunday, one fact is perfectly clear: They need a win to hold on to an AFC wild-card spot. Right now the Steelers hold a the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Bengals because of Cincinnati's loss to Dallas.

When the Steelers play at Dallas, the Cowboys hold an 8-5 lead in games. The last time both teams met in 2008 in Pittsburgh, the Steelers came on top 20-13. In December, Roethlisberger is 23-10.

While the Steelers continue with an NFL best 262.4 yards allowed a game, they are still not adding up many takeaways. The Cowboys team stats hold an edge of the Steelers in first downs, 21.3 to 19.6.

Bottom Line: Steelers control their own fate. And not dropping catchable balls would certainly help the team a lot---listening Wallace?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Chargers Rock Steelers 34-24

Steelers Listless In Loss To Chargers

In my previous post, I noted Steelers have had problems with much weaker teams. Chargers reinforced that observation.

Chargers were 0-14 at the Steelers.  Under Coach Tomlin, the Steelers never lost to the Chargers. Those impressive stats came to a crashing end today.

Steelers appeared lethargic. Quite frankly, they didn't play competitive football today. They didn't play Steelers football.

The turning point appeared to be the third quarter. Steelers defense allowed San Diego to go 5-5 in converting third downs.

In addition, Steelers committed eight penalties including two for holding and a false start. Special teams committed two penalties both for holding. One of those holding penalties on Heyward had the Steelers start possession on their own 8 yard line. That was followed by attempted quick sideline pass to Antonio Brown and a broken play resulting in the ball bouncing off the back of TE David Paulson. The ball bounced into the end zone and was pounced on by San Diego's Quentin Jammer making the score 27-3 Chargers (The play was reviewed but upheld).

The one bright spot in the game included two touchdowns in the final six minutes.

Steelers now stand at 7-6. At this time last year, they were 10-3. If the Steelers hope to play in January, they will need to win their final three games (Dallas, Cincinnati and Cleveland). This is not the first season they've been in this situation. If anyone can do it, the Steelers have proven they can.

The Numbers:
  • Time of Possession: Steelers 23:14 to Chargers 36:46.
  • Steelers Play Selection: 71% passing and 29% rushing.
  • First Downs: Steelers 18 to Chargers 19.
  • Roethlisberger 22/42 for 285 yards and 3 TD's. 1 Interception.
  • Dwyer Rushing: 8 attempts for 32 yards.
  • Wallace: 7 receptions for 112 yards. 2 TD's.
  • Miller: 5 receptions for 66 yards.
  • Brown: 4 receptions for 35 yards.  1 TD.
  • Chargers outscored Steelers in the first three quarters.

Next Game:

Sunday, Dec. 16 at Dallas. 4:25 p.m

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Steelers-Chargers Pre-Game Report

Steelers (7-5) @ Home Against San Diego Chargers (4-8) Sunday, Dec. 9. 1:00 p.m.

To say the least, the Steelers have had a strange season this year. One thing we've learned is no game is a lock including cupcakes. Even though San Diego might appear to be another cupcake, Steelers fans are reminded we lost to both Oakland and Cleveland.

But there are reasons for Steeler fans to be a tad more optimistic this week. For one, Ben is probable for the game. That's damn good news. In addition, Polamalu will likely play too as well as WR Antonio Brown, T Willie Colon, WR's Sanders and Wallace. Polamalu needs one more interception to become the ninth Steelers' players to record 30 career interceptions.

There is some troubling news. LB Woodley, T Mike Adams and Corner Ike Taylor are not expected to play.

If stats mean anything this season, one stands out above all others. The Chargers are 0-14 all-time at Pittsburgh. In addition, Chargers coach Norv Turner is 0-6 at Pittsburgh. Both teams have not played each other since 2009. In that game, Ben threw for 333 yards and two touchdowns. Roethlisberger is 3-1 against the Chargers.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Steelers Break Arch Rival Ravens 23-20

Steelers Edge Out Ravens 23-20

Playing in place of injured Ben Roethlisberger, Charlie Batch got the job done (reinforced my pleasure with the Steelers resigning Charlie at the beginning of the season).

Batch, outplaying Flacco, opened the second half with an impressive 78-yard touchdown drive culminating with a 16-yard Dwyer run into the end zone.

Batch also directed a 61 yard drive in the closing minutes of the game topped by a Shawn Suisham 42 yard field goal as time expired giving the Steelers a 23-20 victory of their arch rival Ravens.

Steelers snapped a two-game losing streak while snapping the Ravens 15 game winning streak at home. In addition, Ravens lost for the first time in 13 games against division competitors.

The Numbers:

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Steelers at Ravens: Pre-Game Report

Steelers (6-5) Visit Ravens (9-2) Sunday, Dec. 2, 4:30 p.m. ET CBS

After last week's loss to the Cleveland Browns, the Steelers can forget about the division title. Baltimore can clinch this weekend. In fact, the wild-card now appears to be a tad shaky since the Steelers are now tied with the Bengals for the conference second wild card spot.

While Ben Roethlisberger will not play, Charlie Batch is poised for his second consecutive start. The good news is S Troy Polamalu will likely play as well as WR Antonio Brown,  DT Casey Hampton and T Max Starks.

The Ravens will try to beat the Steelers for the second time in three weeks. They will also try to extend their winning streak at home to 17 games with a 12-game winning streak in the AFC North. The Steelers were the last team to beat Baltimore at home on Dec. 5, 2010.

The Steelers will certainly need their running game to show up against the Ravens. Last Sunday, all three Steeler backs had a "whopping" 32 yards on 15 carries. Dwyer will be starting in place of Mendenhall.

After this week's game at Baltimore, Steelers play three of their final four games at home. The December 16th game is at Dallas. In short, that final stretch will decide if the Steelers enter 2013 still playing., Fox Sports

A Voice From The Stands: "Tale Of Two Calls: In Addition To Turnovers, Irony Also Played A Role In the Steelers Loss and Ravens Victory."