Why can’t Monday be Sunday?

Steelers 30 – Texans 23

If they Steelers played every Monday at home, there would problem be nothing to worry about ever again. Going into the game the Steelers had a record of 15 straight home wins on Monday night games. During a night that started slow, it didn’t cost the Steelers their streak.

The first thing I noticed when the offense took the field was that Martavis Bryant was out at wide receiver. He is a 6’4″ rookie who performed a 4.4 seconds in the 40 yard dash. He made big catch after big catch at Clemson and had been hurt until last night. He had missed the first part with a sprain in his AC joint and it was just really great to see him out there.

The game started off slow for the Steelers as it has been. Also in typical fashion for this season, the Texans first drive consisted of plays that gained nothing or large chunks off yards. It happened to be more large chunks than plays with nothing and the Texans went up 7- 0 quickly on an Alfred Blue reception.

Shortly after, Ben Roethlisberger faced immense pressure and fumbled. The ball magnet that they call JJ Watt recovered the football in Steeler territory. Thankfully the Steelers were able to hang on and hold the Texans to a field goal. After another lost drive by the Steelers the Texans put together a field goal drive to make the score 13 to 0. The offensive line could simply not make a block to save themselves and because of this our offense was sputtering.

After a JJ Watt sack that put the Steelers inside their 5 yard line and at 2nd down and 19 yards to go. Since the Steelers can not stop anyone from crashing into the pocket, they finally got smart and used this to their advantage. A huge screen to Le’veon Bell gets a first down and then a big pass to Heath Miller lead to a field goal.

The next drive Lawrence Timmons sparked the defense with a sack. Yes finally a sack! A Texans 3 and out lead to another big screen by Bell. Then in less than a minute and a half, Ben threw a 35 yard touchdown for Bryant’s first career touchdown (13-10), an Arian Foster fumble at the 3 yard line led to an Antonio Brown throw for a touchdown to Lance Moore (17-13), and then a Brett Keisel interception lead to a Bell TD reception from Ben to make the Score 24-13 going into half.

After an unproductive 3rd quarter by each team the Texans started off the 4th quarter with a field goal. The Steelers matched them with a big Bell run, and a Brown catch that lead to a field goal to make the score 27-16.

Shortly after, the Steelers kicked another field goal. The Texans attempted to comeback with an Arian Foster touchdown to make the score 30-23 but it was too little to late, as the game had already been decided.

Overall it was a good team win with very few penalties and a defensive performance that we have not seen for some time. If you would like more information regarding this Steeler win please click here.

Next Week

This coming Sunday at 4:25 pm (Eastern) the Steelers will defend their turf against the Indianapolis Colts. This game should show how good our team truly is. This Colts team has been firing on all cylinders as of late and will be a tough test. Andrew Luck is certain to move the ball and their defense did not allow a score by the Bengals on sunday.

Steeling Time

As this week’s title may suggest, the Steelers stole my time this week… and not in a good way. Simply put, I do not know what happened.

Browns 31 – Steelers 10

This week I was at the game and was truly let down. With Ben Roethlisberger being 18-1 against the Browns and the Browns clicking with this newfound spark, I was expecting it to be competitive. I got to Cleveland and my family and I went to my dad’s friend’s company in the Flats. For all the big games they have a party on their deck that overlooks a river that leads into lake Erie. Their spot is really cool because there is a huge bridge that rotates to let ships through.

So after hanging out there for a while we walked to the Tram and took it right to the front of the stadium. Our seats were in the corner of the end zone, eight rows up. Perfect view, and a great start to the day, I felt like we were in store for a great day of football.

The Browns kicked off to the Steelers and the Steelers went three and out. Punt. Browns go three and out. Next drive the Steelers move the ball efficiently down to about the 5 yard line and the Browns forced a field goal. The next drive the Browns were stopped again. The steelers start moving the ball well again.

At this point the first quarter just ended and I was feeling really feeling good about this game. The Steelers continued another great drive but the Browns held them to a field goal attempt. Punter Brad Wing was the holder for the field goal and he bobbled the snap, and led to a turnover on downs.

It was all downhill from here. The after a quiet first quarter the Browns fans were getting into it. Brian Hoyer faked the run and bombed it to a WIDE open Jordan Cameron which got them down to the 5 yard line. The next play Isaiah Crowell ran it in for a TD. After stopping Pitt again the Browns bombed it deep to Jordan Cameron and turned it open with a 51 yard TD.

At this point the Stadium was rocking’ and I was worried. For the next quarter and a half I watched the Browns and Steelers switch their normal roles. The Steelers were stopped every drive until a Lance Moore touchdown reception with about two and half minutes left. Meanwhile, each time the Browns had a positive play it went for about 20 yards. They had another touchdown drive for 85 yards, a field goal drive for 60 yards and after a Roethlisberger interception another touchdown drive.

By the end of the third quarter it was 31 to 3. The stadium was going crazy and I was ready to leave. I had enough of watching my team get dismantled. From the penalties, to the leaky D, to the offense that moves the ball great but only puts up field goals, I do not know what needs fixed the most.

If we had this record to start the last year, we would have made it to the playoffs. So I am not worried yet. We still have time to turn it around and I think Mike Tomlin is a coach that can do it. He turned it around and got us a San Diego Charger loss away from the playoffs. But I am scared that we are last in the division and our division has not been this evenly matched in a long time.

For more information regarding the Browns and Steelers game click here.

Up Next

This Monday the Steelers play the Houston Texans on Monday Night Football. While the Texans have shown that they can be a menace to opposing teams, I believe that Coach Tomlin will have his guys ready for a primetime game. He will not want to be embarrassed on the national stage.

Steelers Hold Off Jaguars

A fan in the Jaguars pool seating seems to have forgotten her swimsuit at home. (bleacherreport.com)

Whew! That was a close one. I came into this game thinking blowout, I left realizing that the winless Jaguars are not who we thought they were.

Week 5 Review

Coming into this game, the Jaguars had lost their previous four match-ups by an average of 23.5 points. Naturally, I thought this game was going to be over by halftime. With they way our offense had been moving, and our defense finally getting some turnovers and pressure on the quarterback. In addition to this Dick Lebeau, Steelers Defensive Coordinator, is 18-2 against rookie QBs all-time. With Jags rookie Blake Bortles taking snaps, I figured he was just going to end up another statistic.

Boy, was I wrong. While I have always been high on Jags coach Gus Bradley, since his days as a Seahawk coach, I did not think he would have this squad playing so well. The defensive front seven are absolute monsters. Their defense is third in the league in sacks, including four this game.

Throughout the game there was immense pressure on Ben, and even though Le’veon Bell still got his stats, he had to work hard for each yard. They could not get anything going the first two drives, going three and out both times. On the third they finally moved the ball for a field goal.

While the Steelers defense did a good job containing this offense, the still showed they are susceptible to big plays. They allowed little used rookie Storm Johnson to reel off a couple long runs including a 20 yard run that set up one of their three field goals.

One peculiar moment during the game came on a 1st and 10 for the Jaguars from their 20 yard line. A flag was thrown and the Jags were moved back with no explanation. As they hiked it for 1st and 20, another flag was thrown with no explanation, just the Jaguars moving back. The announcers seemed just as confused as everyone else as they were saying they had no idea what was going on. Regardless, Bortles threw a pick on the next play to Cortez Allen.

After another Jags field goal in the second half, the score was 10 – 9 with the Steelers driving. Ben threw a great pass down the sideline and Antonio Brown made one of the best catches of the year! He went up over the defender, reached down in front of him, and picked the ball out of the air (commonly known as getting “mossed”) and turned a sure interception into a 30 yard gain. And of course, three plays later, Ben gets sacked and the ball stripped.

At this point, I was just thinking “There is no way we can lose two weeks in a row to the two worst teams.” First down goes by, incompletion. Second down, Bortles makes a check because he notices a blitz. He hikes it, takes his three step drop, slings it, PICK 6 BRICE MCCAIN!

From here the steelers moved efficiently to run out the clock and crushed any hope the Jaguars had about coming back.

For more information regarding this game click here.

Week 6 Preview

It’s time! More than likely the last time we play the Browns until next year, I am predicting a hard fought battle. They gave us a run for our money the first game and continue to show they are there to play the entire game, with their historic comeback win against the Titans. I believe we are going to see a lot of Bell and Blount and a lot of play action. The defense has to continue to get pressure and focus on stopping the run as the Browns are running down people’s throats. I predict another win for the Steelers but it will be another close one.

What Just Happened?!?!

Starting this week I will be doing my blog a little different. I am still going to be giving my game review (from a fan’s perspective) but It will be in it’s entirety, not split into quarters. I also plan on doing a small preview for the upcoming game.

Tampa Bay 27 – Steelers 24

“Big” Ben Roethlisberger shaking his head on the sidelines says it all for me. How do the Steelers lose to the winless Bucs? Mike Tomlin what happened to your team?!

Well they start by giving up 125 yards in penalties. That alone cost them the game. They had six 15 yard penalties alone which extended many drives and put the Bucs in position for points.

The Steelers also gave up five sacks, an anomaly for these first few games of the season. The O-line just could not stop anyone. But besides this The Steelers moved the ball well. Antonio Brown looked like the best wide receiver in the game at times with 131 yards 2 touchdowns and a drop that should have been a third. Le’veon Bell continues to be a beast, racking up over 100 total yards.

While the offense has been looking good, the defense can not stop anything. Injuries hurt but big plays hurt more. They gave up five plays for over 155 yards and four of those plays came in the 4th quarter.  If any team wants to win football game, that is a stat that must be fixed. Tampa Bay moved the ball almost 50 yards in 30 seconds on their game winning Touchdown drive. Completely unacceptable.

I truly think this game was a fluke. As you can see by the penalties and big plays this seems like team that really just beat themselves. Regardless of all of this, The Steelers are 2-2. If they would have started with this record last year they would have been a playoff team. And that is the only stat that matters.

For more Steelers vs. Tampa Bay information check out http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/2014092807/2014/REG4/buccaneers@steelers#menu=gameinfo%7CcontentId%3A0ap3000000402594&tab=recap

Week 5 Preview

This week the team goes to Jacksonville to play the Jaguars. While any road game is tough, this is against the lowly Jags. It is an expected win. The team will have to improve on the mistakes they have made this past week if they plan on keeping it this way and I think they are very capable of turning some of those things around. We should be sitting at 3-2 heading into Cleveland.

Week 3

Pre-game

All week I was worried. The Steelers were playing the Panthers Sunday night. Last year Cam Newton led the Panthers to a division title and the playoffs. Their defense is tough and Cam is a playmaker unlike few other. Our D has not been looking good and our offense has been sputtering. So before the game I put my Ben Roethlisberger jersey and Steelers hat on for good luck, ran upstairs to grab a big bowl of chili, and finally sat down to tune into a battle.

End of the 1st Quarter

With the score tied 3 to 3 at the end of the quarter, we were in much better position than I though we would be at this point. Le’veon Bell has looked like the beast that he has been so far this season but Ben has been getting attacked by the Panthers pass rush. The Steelers D was looking better than it has this season, holding Cam Newton in check for the most part.

Halftime

The score at half was Steelers 9 – Panthers 3. One thing that really stood out to me at this point into the game was the amount of penalties by both teams. This ended up extending some drives for each team. The Steelers were also doing a great job with their pass rush and moving the ball with ease. Markus Wheaton made a great play for a Touchdown but it was called back because he stepped out-of-bounds previously. I also noticed that Kelvin Benjamin (Panthers WR), someone the Steelers were looking into drafting, is very big, very strong, and makes catches with ease.

End of the 3rd Quarter

WOW! The score was 24 to 6 and I was jumping up and down. Steelers consistently had a very good pass rush and they finally got their first turnover of the year! Ben had a Touchdown play reminiscent of the game winning play against the Cardinals in the Superbowl. He even pumped faked so hard on the play that he faked the cameraman out! Bell continued to run hard and had a huge run towards the end of the quarter! The defense showed it was still susceptible to big plays but if the offense controls the ball like they did it will not matter much.

Final

Bittersweet. While I am extremely happy with the outcome, Steelers 37 – Panther 19, our defense took a big hit. With Ike Taylor, Jarvis Jones, and Ryan Shazier all looking at missing extended periods of time, the defense could be in more trouble than they were already in. On the positive side, Bell and LeGarrete Blount ran the ball with force. They combined for over 250 yards rushing and dominated. If the offense can continue to control games like they did this one, The Steelers will be sitting pretty at the end of the year.

For more Steelers v Panthers information check out http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/recap?gameId=400554283

Check in next week as the 2-1 Steelers play the 0-3 Tampa Bay Bucanneers.

What the Heck is This???

My name is Zach. I am a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan and an aspiring sports journalist. This is my first blog post ever, so naturally, my entire week leading up to this moment was dedicated to figuring out what I would be posting about.

Half-way through a frustrating Steelers-Ravens football game last night I was thinking to myself, what would I like to read after the game that could help me get through a tough loss. Then it hit me. Wouldn’t it be cool if there were a fan written article that walked you through the game?

Now here we are. Throughout the season I want to give you readers not only my pre-game and post-game thoughts but, I want to also update you at the end of each quarter. Now, It won’t be a live post but, depending on when the game is finished, I will make my post that night or the next morning.

So you may be wondering how I will keep track of my thoughts if I’m not posting until after games that are almost always very up and down. I plan on using the notes application in my phone to keep track of my thought to make sure nothing gets lost or forgotten. This will also be extremely helpful when I attend the Browns-Steelers game in Cleveland (I know you all are jealous).

Since I came up with this idea mid-game, this week will only be a review.

Review: Ravens 26 – Steelers 6

I was shocked when the clock ticked zero. The defense was awful, the offense looked bad and each time they got something going, they turned it over. While I am happy that we are off to a better start than last year, I am nowhere near content with this teams performance (and lets face it, its pretty easy to start better than last year when they started 0-4). I think that Big Ben and the offense are capable of turning it around as it just seemed like they were having some bad luck last night. The defense however needs to be fixed. The injection of youth into the D’s front seven was welcome and I understand that they still need experience but where was the change to the secondary? Sure, Mike Mitchell was picked up and seems to be a good fit, but they continue to be conservative, give up first downs, miss tackles, and let turnovers slip through their fingers (yes I’m talking about you Ike Taylor). When the cornerbacks play 12 yards off the line of scrimmage this will only continue to be a problem.

For more information regarding the game check out http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/recap?gameId=400554196

As tough as Thursday was, there now is a 10-day break until the next game. Plenty of time to take a step back, regroup, and come out firing for another tough one against the Carolina Panthers.