Sunday, December 29, 2013

Steelers End Season With Beat-Down Of Browns 20-7

Steelers 2013 Season Comes To An End (8-8)

AP summarized the game and the Steelers season as well as anyone: "Pittsburgh played like it didn't want its season to end. Cleveland looked like as though it couldn't wait to pack things up and go home...The Browns got their wish. The Steelers did not." Steelers drummed the Browns 20-7.

The fact is the Steelers lost games in the beginning of the season they should have won. Then---in the final eight weeks of the season---they went a respectable 6-2. The offense gets most of the credit considering they scored at least 20 points for the ninth straight time (their longest streak in 11 seasons). Unfortunately, it was not enough.  The Steelers failed to make the playoffs for the second straight season.

In looking at the "glass half full" scenarios, perhaps the way the season ended today portends a brighter outlook for the 2014 season.

Season's Significant Numbers:
  • Le'Veon Bell set the franchise rookie record for yards from scrimmage with 1259 yards rushing surpassing the previous record held by Franco Harris in 1972 (1235 in 14 games). This was a remarkable achievement considering he missed the first three games of the season. He recorded 8 TD's for the season.
  • Antonio Brown also sealed a spot in franchise history with his 1,399th receiving yard against Green Bay. He ended the season with 1,499 yards on 110 receptions. Brown also recorded 8 TD's for the season.
  • Roethlisberger ended the season with 4,261 yards on 584 attempts with a 64.2% completion record and 28 TD's.  Passer rating = 92.0.
  • Emmanuel Sanders ended the season with 740 yards on 67 receptions and 6 TD's.
  • Heath Miller 593 yards on 58 receptions and 1 TD.
  • Jerricho Cotchery had 46 receptions for 602 yards and 10 TD's.
  • On  defense, Jason Worilds recorded 8 sacks, Cameron Heyward 5, LaMarr Woodley 5, and Lawence Timmons 3 sacks. Team Total: 34.
  • Team interceptions total: 3 with one each for Polamalu, Gay and Cortez Allen.
  • Total first downs: 312 (opponents 303).
  • Third down conversions: 82/216.
  • Fourth down conversions: 9/15
  • Total offensive yards: 5,400 (opponents: 5,395)
  • Total rushing yards: 1,383 (opponent 1,849).
  • Total passing yards: 4,017.
  • Field goals: 30/32.
  • Touchdowns: 41.
  • Time of Possession: 30:53 (opponents 29:06).

Still The:

Pittsburgh, PG, Fox Sports, CBS Sports

Friday, December 27, 2013

Browns @ Steelers Pre-Game Review

Cleveland @ Pittsburgh
Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, 1 p.m. ET CBS

While the Steelers are still in the hunt, the path to post-season playoffs remains a challenge. In short, the Steelers have little control of the outcomes on Sunday with one exception: they must beat the Browns.

Miami needs to lose (playing the Jets). The Ravens need to lose (playing the Bengals). The Chargers need to lose (playing KC). In other words, if all three lose and the Steelers beat the Browns, the Steelers are the sixth-seed. The good news? They've been sixth-seed before in 2005 beating Seattle to win the Super Bowl.

At least with the Browns, history has been good to the Steelers. They haven't lost to Cleveland at home since 2003 and winning 18 of their last 20 meetings overall. Roethlisberger is 16-1 against the Browns.

RB Le'Veon Bell needs 73 yards from scrimmage to over take Franco Harris' rookie record of 1,235 yards.

Sanders (knee) and Worilds (abdomen)---as of today---remain questionable for Sunday's game., USA Today Sports, NY Post, ESPN

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Steelers Beat Green Bay 38-31 Still In The Hunt

Steelers Still In The Hunt

Steelers are now 7-8 after beating the Packers 38-31. They're in exactly the same position they were in last year at this time at 7-8. Today's win has to leave Steelers fans asking themselves: What if?---What if the Steelers had played the first part of the season as they've played in the second half?

As mentioned in the previous post, the Steelers remain in the hunt. Next week, the Steelers meet the Browns at home. For the Steelers to get into post season, Jets have to win in Miami, KC has to beat San Diego and the Ravens need to lose to the Bengals. One more thing. The Steelers need to beat the Browns.  It's going to take a miracle, but crazier things have happened in the NFL.

The Numbers:
  • Ben was 16/28 for 167 yards. 2 TD's and 1 interception.
  • Bell ran for 124 yards on 26 attempts. 1 TD.
  • Antonio Brown had 6 receptions for 105 yards.
  • Spaeth and Sanders both recorded one touchdown each.
  • On defense, Keisel, Worlids and Timmons recorded one sack each.
  • Polamalu forced a fumble.
  • Red zone efficiency: 80%.
  • Third down efficiency: 20%.
  • Total rushing yards: 151 on 29 rushes averaging 5.2 yards per rush.
  • Net yards passing: 192. With an average of 6.4 yards per pass.
Final Game Of The Season:

Browns @ Steelers. Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013. 1 p.m. ET

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Steelers @ Packers Pregame Review

Steelers (6-8) At Green Bay (7-6-1)
Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013, 4:25 p.m. ET

Since 1972, the Steelers have won 20 division titles. This year will not be one of them. The Steelers are also 6-time Super Bowl champions. This year will  probably not be one of them. Sunday's game is the first meeting between both teams since the Packers beat the Steelers 31-25 in Super Bowl XLV. Green Bay can lay claim to their third straight NFC North title if they beat Pittsburgh and Chicago.

The Steelers are a long shot for post season. They'll need to beat Green Bay and Cleveland. In addition, Miami, NY, San Diego and Baltimore must finish with 8-8 records for tie breakers to break in Pittsburgh's direction.

The last time the Steelers played at Green Bay it was November of 2005. Charlie Batch was QB for the injured Roethlisberger. Steelers won 20-10.

Green Bay's QB Aaron Rodgers has been ruled out to play Sunday. Steelers DE Brett Keisel is expected to play (he's missed four out of the last five games).

Need To Know: Steelers now own the oldest secondary in the NFL with Polamalu at 32, Ryan Clark at 34 and Ike Tayler at 33., Fox Spots, Steelers Depot

Monday, December 16, 2013

Steelers Take It To Bengals 30-20 But Too Little To Late For This Season

Steelers Come Out Of The Blocks Quickly To Beat Bengals 30-20

Roethlisberger was sharp. Antonio Brown was impressive with a returned punt and catching a TD all in just over a minute of the first quarter.  Shaun Suisham added some icing to the cake with his three field goals.  He was responsible for 12 of those 30 points. The special teams play was also particularly impressive. At one point in the game, the Steelers led the Bengals by 24 points. In fact, the 21 points in the first quarter were the most for the Steelers in the fist 15 minutes since they scored 21 points in 2004 against New England.

Yet, while the win was impressive, we know this game should be placed into the " to little to late" file. Having said that, it shows the Steelers have not given up on the season.

The Numbers:
  • Roethlisberger was 20/25 for 191 yards, one TD and one interception. Notice the pattern as pointed out by Ron Cammarata (contributor to this blog). The Steelers wins have come on Ben throwing for less than 300 yards. When he exceeded that total, the Steelers have a losing record this season.
  • Ben came into the game with 189 straight passes without an interception. His streak ended last night at 207.
  • Bell rushed for 57 yards on 24 attempts. He also had 5 receptions for 50 yards.
  • Antonio Brown had one receiving TD and one rushing TD. He rushed for 66 yards on 5 receptions.
  • Sanders ended the game with 38 yards on 5 receptions followed by Miller with 35 yards on 4 receptions.
  • Ziggy Hood captured one sack.
  • Third down efficiency was a weak 20%.
  • Fourth down efficiency was 100%.
  • Penalties: 4-25 and no fumbles lost.
  • Red zone efficiency was 50%.

The Steelers next meet the Packers at Green Bay on Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013, at 4:25 p.m. ET

Fox Sports,, Yahoo Sports

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Steelers-Bengals Pre-Game Review: Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013

Bengals (9-4) @ Steelers (5-8)

Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013, 8:30 p.m. ET

The first time the Bengals and Steelers played this season, Bengals QB Andy Dalton threw for 280 yards and a touchdown. That was on September 16, 2013.  The Bengals beat the Steelers 20-10. It was also the second of four straight losses for the Steelers until they beat the Jets (19-6) on October 13, 2013, right after the bye.

This game will be the fourth time both teams meet on Sunday Night Football. Steelers hold a 2-1 edge.

If the Bengals win (and the Ravens lose), they will claim the AFC North title.

Coach Tomlin made is clear he's still focused on winning the remaining games, not on 2014.

  • Roethlisberger has thrown for 11 TD's with no interceptions.
  • Occasional columnist to this report, Ron Cammarata, also reminds us that the Steelers are 2-11 in the last 13 games when Roethlisberger throws for 300 yards or more. On the other hand, the team is 3-0 in the past three games when he has thrown for under 300 yards. As Ron points out correctly, Roethlisberger  can be our greatest asset and also our greatest liability...when he allows his ego to get in the way.
  • Steelers released LB Kion Wilson to make room for DE Brian Arnfelt who was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster., Bleacher Report,, USA Today

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Dolphins Dash Steelers Playoff Hopes With 34-28 Win

Steelers Staring At Second Consecutive Losing Season

The 2013 Steelers were unable to put up a win when it was desperately needed. They still had a shot at post-season going into this game (with a win and Ravens loss---Ravens squeezed out a win with 4 seconds left in their game) yet this team was unable to pull it off.

In reality, this disappointing season has never been the year for the Steelers. The 0-4 start appeared to set the stage for a season of discontent. And while Steelers fans never give up hope as evidenced in 2005 when the  6th seed Steelers won the Super Bowl; 2013 didn't break in their favor (even after almost pulling off a miracle ending today that included multiple laterals with a call that Antonio Brown stepped out of bounds on the Miami 12 yard line).

The Numbers And Notes
  • Roethisberger's 213th touchdown was a team record, surpassing Terry Bradshaw by one (Ben did it in his 10th season while it took Terry 14).
  • Ben threw for 349 yards (23/39) and three touchdowns.
  • Steelers rushed for 84 yards. Bell had 61 of those yards on 15 attempts.
  • Antonio Brown ended the game with 137 yards on 5 receptions and one TD. Cotchery and Sanders both scored touchdowns.
  • Red zone efficiency was 100% with 3rd down efficiency holding at 47%.
  • Penalties-yards: 9-63.
  • Steelers completed 16 first downs.
  • Play selection: 65% passing/35% rushing.
Steelers close out the 2013 season with the Bengals (next Sunday, 8:30 p.m.), Packers and Browns., Fox Sports, CBS Sports, Pitts. PG

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Steelers-Dolphins Preview

Miami (6-6) @ Pittsburgh (5-7)
Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, 1 p.m., CBS ET

This game will no doubt determine if the Steelers make the playoffs especially following their loss to the Ravens last week.

There is a cause for optimism for the Steelers. They haven't lost to Miami at home since September of 1990. The Steelers have also won five straight games against the Dolphins. The last time the Steelers lost to Miami was in September of 1998.

Miami's QB, Ryan Tannehill, has 17 TD's this season and 13 interceptions. He's been sacked a whopping 45 times through the last 12 games. Having said that, he's thrown over 300 yards in consecutive games.

Roethlisberger, on the other hand, has not been intercepted in three consecutive games while throwing 10 touchdowns. He's completed 62.4% of his passes for 841 yards. Ben currently holds a 105.8% passing rating for his last three outings.  On the down side, Ben will be playing with his third center of the season, Cody Wallace. Wallace will be making his first career start replacing the injured Fernando Velasco.

A win over Miami paired with a Raven's loss to the Vikings would put the Steelers back in the hunt.

Current line: Steelers by 3.

Fox Sports, Pittsburgh, Bleacher Report