Sunday, October 27, 2013

Raiders Beat Steelers 21-18

Steelers Lose To Raiders 21-18

There is a reason why this blog is entitled, The Pittsburgh Steelers Report. I report but rarely make commentary. I leave that to the sports pundits or to the occasional guest columnist. But, after today's game, I'm compelled to ask: WTF?

In addition to the Raiders winning their first game after a bye since 2002, their quarterback---Terrelle Pryor---managed to pull off something never done by an NFL quarterback: He ran for a 93-yard touchdown on the first play of the game. Again---WTF?

And it didn't end there. Normally reliable Shaun Suisham missed a 34-yard attempt with 8 seconds remaining in the first half enabling the Raiders to go into their locker room retaining a 21-3 lead.

If it couldn't get any worse, it did. Steelers lost three offensive linemen. By the end of the third quarter, the Steelers lost Ramon Foster to a concussion, David DeCastro to a right-ankle injury and Guy Whimper to a left knee injury.

There was some good news. The defense managed to come up with three turnovers. Brent Keisel's fumble recovery led to a Steeler score closing the gap to 21-10.

Bottom Line: The Steelers allowed the Raiders to control most of the game. And the running game was virtually non-existent. The team looked lethargic.

The Numbers:
  • Steelers play selection was 70-30% with passing surpassing rushes.
  • Roethlishberger was 29/45 for 275 yards with one TD and 2 interceptions.
  • LeVeon Bell ran for a paltry 24 yards on 13 carries. However, he did score one TD.
  • Dwyer ran for a whopping 9 yards on 3 carries.
  • Sanders ended up with 88 yards on 7 receptions and one TD.
  • Antonio Brown made 9 receptions for 82 yards.
  • Steelers managed 20 first downs to the Raiders 13.
  • Third down efficiency was a meager 27%.
  • Efficiency in the Red Zone: 50%
  • Steelers had 3 penalties resulting in 12 yards.
Next week the Steelers travel to meet the Patriots where they've never beaten Tom Brady. Game time is 4:25 p.m., Fox Sports

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Steelers @ Oakland Preview

Steelers (2-4)  @ Oakland (2-4)
Sunday, 4:05 p.m., ET, CBS

Steelers are hoping to make it three wins in a row at Oakland. If the Steelers run game continues to improve, along with the defense, they should be able to win tomorrow.  In their last two outings, they managed to hold the Ravens and Jets to a total of 22 points allowing only one touchdown in the last two games. In addition, RB LeVeon Bell is getting stronger after missing the first two games of the season (foot injury).

"Right now we just have to keep marching in the right direction," said LB LaMarr Woodley this week.

Line as of now: Steelers by 2 +1/2

Steelers have won nine of the last 10 games in October. USA Today, Fox Sports

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Steelers Beat Ravens 19-16 On Suisham's Late Field Goal

Steelers 19, Raven 16 And Suisham Stays Perfect (14 for 14)

Steeler fans are hoping the team is finally pulling out of its early season funk. Roethlisberger's drove the Steelers in seven plays to start a late game rally to have Shawn Suisham stay perfect with a 42-yarder to help beat Baltimore 19-16. Steelers are now 2-4.

Steelers entered the game 31st in their running attack. Rookie Le'Veon Bell changed that today with a career high 93 yards on 19 carries. His performance today was the most by a Steeler running back this season.

Just as impressive, Steelers did not leave any scoreless quarters scoring in all four--7-3-3-6.

The Numbers:
  • Steelers running game was evident with 56% of the plays rushing against 44% passing.
  • Roethlisberger was 17/23 for 160 yards, one TD and no interceptions.
  • As mentioned above, Le'Veon Bell managed 93 yards on 19 carries.
  • Antonio Brown had 6 receptions for 50 yards.
  • Cotchery 4 receptions for 41 yards.
  • Heath Miller had 2 receptions for 17 yards and one TD.
  • Steelers also edged out the Ravens in time of possession 31:01 vs. 28:59.
  • Steelers managed 17 first downs.
  • Defense had one sack by Woodley.
  • Steelers 3rd-down efficiency: 58%
  • Red zone efficiency: 33%
  • 141 total rushing yards averaging 4.9 yards on 29 rushes.
Steelers will be traveling to Oakland next week. Game time 4:05 p.m. EDT, Fox Sports, Yahoo Sports

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Steelers-Ravens Preview

Baltimore Ravens At Steelers
Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, 4:25 p.m. CBS ET

Two Super Bowl teams meet on Sunday, but the teams have been struggling this season. In fact, both teams lack a good running game. In addition, their weak offensive lines are taking a toll on both team's quarterbacks. Roethlisberger and Flacco have been sacked 19 times to date.

Having said that, the Ravens defense has managed to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks, an area where the Steelers have been severely lacking. However, the Steelers defense did show some life in last week's win over the Jets. Steelers limited the Jets to 83 yards on 20 carries. We can only hope that will continue through the rest of the season.

Steelers look to improve 20-15 against the Ravens, including 11-7 at home. The Ravens have won the last three regular-season games at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, have not lost its first three home games since 1986.

Jarvis Jones, Landry Jones, Markus Wheaton, and Isaac Redman are expected to be inactive. LB Jarvis Jones is questionable (concussion). DE Brett Keisel, LB LaMar Woodley and TE Heath Miller are listed as probable.

Fox Sports, Steelers Depot, USA Today,

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Steelers End Drought---Beat NY Jets 19-6

Steelers Finally Get Win By Beating Jets 19-6

"The Pittsburgh Steelers were tired of seeing that dreaded zero in the win column."

That's the first sentence from the AP feed regarding the Steelers 19-6 win over the Jets today. That observation put things in perspective. But I'm going to edit that sentence this one time: "The Pittsburgh Steeler fans were tired of seeing that dreaded zero in the win column." And the win could not have come at a better time in a dismal beginning for one of the premier teams in the history of the NFL. In fact, the Steelers, as well as their fans, have not witnessed a beginning such as this one since 1968. The win over the Jets is also Pittsburgh's 600th win in team history, the only team in the AFC to reach that landmark (and only the 4th in league history).

A Look At The Numbers

Steelers are now 1-4 (last season at this time they were 2-3).

Roethlisberger was 23/30 for 264 yards, 1 touchdown and no interceptions.

Le'Veon Bell ran for 34 yards on 16 carries. Antonio Brown managed 86 yards on 9 receptions. Heath Miller had 6 receptions for 84 yards. Sanders had the team's only touchdown.  Shaun Shuisham came through with a fine performance making four field goals accounting for 13 of the team's 19 points.

Pittsburgh's play selection was a little more even than in their first four games throwing 54% of the time while rushing 46%. Steelers also had about a 10 minute advantage in time-of-possession (35.49 to 24:11).

Steelers were able to produce 16 first downs. Their 3rd down efficiency was 38%. They suffered 7 penalties for 49 yards.

The good news: Steelers finally recorded their first takeaway with Clark picking off Smith's throw to Konrad Reuland.  Steelers are 14-1 when Ben's passing rating is over 100. It was 113.8 today. Antonio Brown's 30 catches over the course of the last three games ties him with retired Hines Ward for the team's record.

Fox Sports, Steelers Depot,

Friday, October 11, 2013

Sunday: Steelers @ Jets

Steelers @ Jets
Sunday, October 13, 2013, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

"Rex's marauding defense should have no problem getting to Roethlisberger, who is becoming increasingly statuesque." Hondo, NY Post

Unfortunately, the way the Steelers have been playing this season, Hondo makes a good point. His observation makes more sense considering the Steelers are off to their first 0-4 start in 45 years.

So what to expect? On D, DE Cameron Heyward will be starting with rookie Vince Williams lining up alongside Laurence Timmons at inside linebacker. Defense will need some help considering the Steelers are the only team in the NFL to create a turnover.

On offense, Le'Veon Bell hopes to give the Steelers an offensive punch is sorely needs. In his debut, he finished with 57 yards and two TD's in 16 carries.

Newly acquired LT Levi Brown is expected to replace Mike Adams. Guard Ramon Foster is still uncertain to start (strained pecs). Roethlisberger needs better protection and quickly. In London, he was sacked five times by the Vikings and 15 times for the first four games of the season. He'll also be facing the second ranked defense in the league.

Roethlisberger needs four more TD passes to join Terry Bradshaw as the only players  in team history to throw 200.

Steelers signed two familiar faces this week with the return of safety Will Allen and LB Stevenson Sylvester

The last time the Steelers faced the Jets at NY was in 2007.