Markus Wheaton to Instruct Youth Football Camp.

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  • Chabdog from KCAA 1050 AM radio Los Angeles to interview writer Shane Ladner - 1:25 EST: Saturday, January 16

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  • "Man, the Pittsburgh Steelers need a new (bleep)ing offensive coordinator, this guy sucks. Coach Tomlin, this is Snoop Dogg, man, fire that mother (bleep)er and get us a real offensive coordinator. We ain't won a playoff game since we had this mother (bleep)er, man. (bleep)."
    - Snoop Dogg
  • Standings

    • Bengals 12 - 4
    • Steelers 10 - 6
    • Ravens 5 - 11
    • Browns 3 - 13

    2015 Schedule & Recap

    • 9/10 Patriots
      28 - 21 L

      I don't typically value moral victories when it comes to sports. It's pretty much black and white in my book. However, in light of what we saw this preseason with respect to the Steelers' defense, more importantly the secondary, one might find some solace. With the Steelers selecting 3 defensive backs in this years draft, trading for another supposed coveted piece to the puzzle, not one of these folks found their way to the fake turf of Gillette Stadium Thursday night. I use the term "folks" kindly. As the Steelers strike gold amongst wide receivers, it seems they uncover mud with respect to defensive backs. Given this hole that they must find a way to dig out from, the team found ways, many of them to keep things interesting Thursday night. You cannot complain about 34's efforts as well as DHB's. Yes he was guilty of field awareness on the non-TD but he did manage to make an impact during the game, an impact that fans had not expected. Pouncey's replacement held his own other than the one sack he allowed. It was New England's night to shine and boy they did. With Tom's 80% completion and Gronk's 3 TDs, it all but sealed the Steelers' fate. So where is this solace I wrote about earlier? Think about it. Watch the game again. How many times did you scream at the screen for the OLB to grab Brady? They got pressure on a quick throwing team. That OLB wasn't Harrison. Knowing the communication problems they had, how many big plays for NE transpired? This team is young, yes maybe Kevin should have seen this for a while and he probably did but hoped it wouldn't be as big an issue as it is tonight. There is NO veteran leadership on the defensive other than 92 but he wants nothing to do with it. When you look at this defense, who was the last leader you truly recognized? That man is now coaching. This young group is finding their way and Steeler Nation needs to be patient. This defense is built on pressure and I saw some evidence of it growing tonight. Ben was not too shabby with 351 yds and a 77completion percentage. He said it himself when he stated that the team can tally 30 a game. It seems for the meantime they'll need to. The Steelers D was the X factor in this loss but look at the end result. Losing by 7 to a team that had everything going in their favor. I have a feeling that if this team meets these pesky Pats again this year, even if it's is Foxboro, Scobee hits those field goals, DHB gets his feet in bounds, and maybe.....just maybe the headsets work, well for both teams of course.


      Ben Roethlisberger:
      26/38, 351 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT

      DeAngelo Williams:
      127 yards rushing

      Antonio Brown:
      9 receptions, 133 yards, 1 TD

      Heath Miller:
      8 receptions, 84 yards

      Darius Heyward-Bey:
      4 receptions, 58 yards

      Markus Wheaton:
      3 receptions, 55 yards

      80 rushing yards allowed, 281 receiving yards allowed, 2 sacks

    • 9/20 49ers
      43 - 18 W

      Not many thought the Niners would accomplish much the season with all the turnover they went through in the offseason. That's why it was a wake up call to the Steelers when they reviewed the tape and took notice that this supposed lackluster team ran all over the up and coming Vikings while shutting down AP and crew on their way to a very impressive week one victory. It also served as a notice to Steeler Nation that this team has the means to run on a defense that recently has had their fair share of issues with stopping any running back. The ability of running the ball would also keep #7 and the O off of the field for the majority of the game. Well Ben and the gang stepped up to the plate and knocked this one out of the park Sunday afternoon. With Ben, DeAng and 84 combined, they accounted for 80 percent of the offenses output including DeAng's first 3 TD game of his career. It seemed that the Steelers O could do anything they wanted today. I'll bet that even the reverse pass that was an Epic failure a week ago would have found its way to the end zone in this contest. In any case, the Steelers were able to mine their way through the 49ers D for 43 on Sunday.

      That left the Steelers D. What would they be able to do? Well they were able to put together a performance that reminded many of a defense of yesteryears' past. With this team defending their goal for a whopping 36 minutes they managed 5 sacks, 1 forced fumble and a reminder that you may need some additional ice time come Monday morning. Not only were they swarming but more importantly fundamentally sound, something that has been a far reach for this defense lately. They continually finished long drives made by the Niners' O, one of which was a 17 play drive that ended with a goal line stand that gave the ball back to Ben.

      It's funny, I read an article just a week ago from BTSC that mourned the death of the defense as we knew it. I think Sunday's performance showed anything but a flatline. What a difference a week can make.


      Ben Roethlisberger:
      21/27, 369 yards, 3 TDs

      DeAngelo Williams:
      77 yards rushing, 3 TDs

      Antonio Brown:
      9 receptions, 195 yards, 1 TD

      Heath Miller:
      2 receptions, 15 yards, 1 TD

      Darius Heyward-Bey:
      4 receptions, 77 yards, 1 TD

      Markus Wheaton:
      2 receptions, 67 yards

      111 rushing yards allowed, 298 receiving yards allowed, 5 sacks, 1 fumble recovery

    • 9/27 Rams
      12 - 6 W

      With the unexpected pregame turf bonfire, it just felt like this was going in the direction of an uneasy contest, a game in which anything bad good happen. Experts were ready for 7 and company to light it up as well as the audition of Todd Gurley who many characterized as special. Oh by the way, it was also the return of the Belldozer from his 2 game suspension due to selfishness and stupidity.

      Both defenses, however made their mark on today's game by bending but not breaking all afternoon with the exception of an impressive 12 play, 92 yard drive put together by 7 that resulted in a Belldozer TD. As Steeler Nation awaited the offense to break out in the second half and just as the flame went out in the pregame pyrotechnics fiasco, so may have the Steelers hopes for the 2015 season as Mark Barron "stumbled" into Ben's leg at the 5:35 mark in the third quarter, leaving him thriving in pain. As all of Pittsburgh held it's breath, in came Mike Vick. His only goal was to not turn the ball over and put the game in the hands of the Steelers D, yes that's right, the Steelers D. With plays made by this young defense, including Will Allen's clutch INT that set up the games final points, it all but put the game away for the Steelers.

      Vick was erratic but managed the game and did not cough up the ball to the Rams. The Steelers have a rough stretch over the time in which Ben is expected to be MIA, let's hope with the talent that now surrounds an aged and fragile Mike Vick, he can keep the pilot light going until 7's return. The next six games could determine the fate of this team and have Steeler Nation looking towards the 2016 season before we hit Turkey Day. That hasn't happened since the Brister Era, and what a bad era that was.


      Ben Roethlisberger:
      20/24, 192 yards, 1 INT

      Le'Veon Bell:
      62 yards rushing, 1 TD, 7 receptions, 70 yards

      Antonio Brown:
      11 receptions, 108 yards

      Heath Miller:
      2 receptions, 17 yards

      Darius Heyward-Bey:
      3 receptions, 19 yards

      Markus Wheaton:
      2 receptions, 16 yards

      71 rushing yards allowed, 187 receiving yards allowed, 2 sacks, 1 interception

    • 10/1 Ravens
      23 - 20 L

      Xmas came early this year as Josh "Scrubee" all but gift wrapped the victory for the winless crows. Mike Vick was solid enough in a safe scheme that saw him break 26 free for a TD, toss several strikes that eventually ended up in points but ultimately threw a couple of errant passes, one of which cost the Steelers, due to their "Scobee-stances". Mad Mike T had only one option during OT, go for it, and I loved it! Unfortunately, Vick was exposed physically and technically. I don't buy that "2" needed to shift his body to the right to accurately toss the pigskin to 84 for a first down. He practices this enough during the week. The play should have been successful. I think if you ask Vick he would respond that this is an every day pass. The Belldozer was moving enough dirt that he should have had an opportunity to answer the "Bell call" and tote the rock at least once if not all of the 4th down situations. But let's focus on this defense. The sacks, pressures and turnovers must make Steeler nation proud and hopeful that this roster can not only hold their own but be a menace throughout this season. It seemed they were on the field all game and continually got after Flacco, even though they gave up precious ground in the running game. I believe in optimism and feel that not only Vick but this team will grow stronger as the season progresses. Are they Super Bowl bound? Probably not for I believe the two gun slingers wearing 12 (Rogers and Brady) vie for it all at the end of the season. This loss may end up being the nail in the coffin for potential playoff hopes as well. I saw it in Tomlin's eyes when the ball sailed high over Brown's grasp. He missed this one. I believe when this young defense catches up with the offense, it should make for one heck of a team. In assuming this may have been Scrubee's last game in the black and gold I take comfort in one thing. Steve Smith, in which I do respect, attempted to gain a mental advantage by physically intimidating Blake, as seen by all of Steeler Nation, was humbled by Lawrence Timmons' hit. In conclusion, if I may use Steve's own quote, "ice up son!"


      Michael Vick:
      19/26, 124 yards, 1 TD

      Le'Veon Bell:
      129 yards rushing, 1 TD

      Antonio Brown:
      5 receptions, 42 yards

      Darius Heyward-Bey:
      4 receptions, 31 yards

      191 rushing yards allowed, 165 receiving yards allowed, 5 sacks, 1 interception, 1 fumble recovery

    • 10/12 Chargers
      24 - 20 W

      With the Steelers failing to capture a victory along the sunny sand of the west coast since 2005, what better way to "exorcise" their demons other than an October matchup against the bolts and the return of a drug free Antonio Gates. This along with the absence of 7 as well Shazier and a much anticipated non return of Martavis Bryant, made even my head spin around once or twice. Vick seemed to be seeing ghosts of football's past as he seemed to be spooked by being pushed around and seeing many of his passes flutter and fall short of potential first downs and splash plays. Rivers and Gates took advantage of Vick's woes early and often connecting for 9 grabs and 2 touchdowns, one of which seemed to be a potential back breaker in the fourth quarter after Blake hoped to steal the momentum by a very nerve racking 70 yard pick six that saw two bolts come close to hijacking what looked like a loaf of bread in his hand. The Steelers however just wouldn't go away, like a turd that wouldn't flush. Vick finally arose from the grave midway thru the 4th with a strike to Wheaton who shimmy and shaked his way to a 72 yard TD bomb that evened the score. With Rivers able to add 3 against what he was quoted expressing that it felt like an away game due once again to Steeler Nation, set up a final drive that may define the team's will and shear determination. Vick ran once, and O what a scramble it was. After hooking up with Heeeeaaaath at the 1 and adding another 4 inches, it was Tomlin's call with 5 seconds left. The decision was to go with the wildcat, which turned out to be a trick for the bolts and a treat for Steeler Nation as the Belldozer plowed his way and scored the walk off TD in which the pigskin seemingly stretched the exact length of the penalty received the previous play. In a game the Steelers needed to keep pace with the cats, Mike Tomlin made the gutsy call and all but disemboweled the west coast demons from the past decade. Take that Linda Blair!


      Michael Vick:
      13/26, 203 yards, 1 TD

      Le'Veon Bell:
      111 yards rushing, 1 TD

      Marcus Wheaton:
      1 reception, 72 yards, 1 TD

      Heath Miller:
      3 receptions, 46 yards

      52 rushing yards allowed, 354 receiving yards allowed, 2 sacks, 1 interception, 1 fumble recovery, 1 defensive TD (interception)

    • 10/18 Cardinals
      25 - 13 W

      Revenge was in the cold crisp Pittsburgh air this Sunday afternoon as a familiar face appeared from the Fort Pitt tunnels. Arians brought a physical defense along with one of the top offenses in the NFL to exact his revenge against his former employer who sent him into football exile only to see the Colts summon Bruce back to coaching, eventually leading to the head signal caller of the angry birds. As the contest began, it seemed that this was going in the direction of .500 record as turnovers slipped through Steelers' hands, the offense couldn't move the ball and the Cardinals were 'steeling' the swag away from the hometown team. Mike Vick's version of the offense tallied all of 1 passing yard (wish I could had been able to go plural) in the first 30 minutes of the game, while Carson was able to move the ball and capture an early lead with a TD pass to Floyd. The D buckled down after that with inspired play of their own that saw an interception by 94 that reminded many in Steeler Nation of a finger tip grab made by 43, some years ago. The Steelers somehow were able to head in the locker room down only by seven. As the second half began, so did the woes of Vick. Unable to recapture the magic from last week, something had to give. And it did, in the form of a hamstring. Enter Larry, I mean Landry Jones as the broadcaster stated. I don't believe he'll make that mistake again as Jones shined in the backup role. Guiding the O down the field for a much needed TD pass to Martavis which provided the first lead of the day and saw the towel tighten around Arians neck. It seems like a reoccurring theme but the defense's "bend don't break" mentality mixed with blitzburgh had this team once again poised to enter the win column for a consecutive week. After an acrobatic interception by Mitchell it seemed that these Stillers would play it safe and try to run down the clock and rely on the defense once again, especially given the fact that the third string QB's backside was being protected by an ex army ranger due to Beachum's ACL. 2:15 remained. When Landry took the snap and didn't immediately turn to 26, you could hear a pin drop at the ketchup bottle and sense many hearts rise into the throats of Steeler Nation as he released a perfect strike to Bryant, who refused to go down until he found pay dirt 80 yards away. The 'YAC' allowed us to again reminisce of a run made by a former #10 that dealt with some of the same demons that the previous 10 is dealing with. I think I can speak for the majority of the fans when I say it wise to keep this #10 around. The gutsy call was the final nail in the coffin of revenge Bruce would have loved to use to bury this organization, however, he will be forced to go back to the calendar for the next opportunity as the humbled birds disappeared into the Fort Pitt tunnels.


      Landry Jones:
      8/12, 168 yards, 2 TD

      Le'Veon Bell:
      88 yards rushing

      Martavis Bryant:
      6 receptions, 137 yards, 2 TDs

      Antonio Brown:
      3 receptions, 24 yards

      55 rushing yards allowed, 414 receiving yards allowed, 1 sack, 2 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery

    • 10/25 Chiefs
      23 - 13 L

      Given the desperation of the arrow heads, one omen fell into place, the Pittsburgh Steelers. With losses to the 0-3 Bucs and 1-8 Jets from a year ago along with a loss earlier this season to an 0-3 Crows, a backup left tackle again protecting a 3rd string QB that most in Steeler Nation believed would be released at the conclusion of the preseason, it all but pointed in the direction of Alex and his Chiefs to finally capture that all elusive W since week 1. The Steelers had come into the game as one of the hottest red zone offenses in the league. Unfortunately, the trips into the red zone this afternoon resulted in more field goal conversations than touchdowns. Where the defense has shined most of the year with sacks and takeaways, they were unable to make an impact today as the arrows were balanced enough to ring up 23 during today's contest. Landry played about as well as could be expected. Brown and Bell together had "above the line" performances, but with three turnovers, including a sack/tamahawk during the final drive in which an inexperienced Villanueva got schooled by big Tamba, the Chiefs were able to get their pow wow (look it up if you don't understand) on as they became victorious for only the second time this season. It seems unless the Cats have a meltdown, the Steelers at this point in the season will be fighting for a wildcard spot. However, given all three losses have come at the hands of AFC opponents, it furthers the need for this team to get healthy and the offense to perform as expected. Big Ben had stated prior to the start of the season that he wanted his group to average 30 points per contest. O what the season would look like at this point if they had.

    • 11/1 Bengals
      16 - 10 L

      Steeler Nation was hopeful not to be tricked but treated the day following Halloween with the return of Big Ben. With being heard by the media as feeling nervous about his comeback along with his record of 2-4 when returning from injury, many were concerned with the undefeated Cats coming to town and their QB who has been red hot as of late, as depicted by his hair. 7 and company attempted to put all of that uncertainty to rest as they owned the opening drive with a convincing 12 play 80 yard explosion that took over seven minutes off of the clock. Unfortunately, that was all the offense could muster in terms of touchdowns as Ben was inconsistent and inaccurate, being sacked and intercepted three times, the last one creating the most damage as the Bengals were able to extend their lead to 6 late in the game. The most significant mistake may not have come from a player but a coach, as Mike T allowed precious time to elapse as the two minute warning approached. With 2:44 left, Hill was brought to the ground immediately and the clock was allowed to dwindle down. With the loss of time, what would seem to be an eternity given the Steelers last drive, one might think this team could have upended the Bengals with a come from behind win, something we are used to seeing. Unfortunately time elapsed as did the hopes of many. Red had a pedestrian performance as the Steelers D once again came up big for the majority of the contest. Holding this team to 16 given the turnovers and field position, I wonder if Butler should be viewed as maybe the best weapon this Steelers team possesses. Since headset-gate, this defense has played inspired ball and provided this team with many opportunities to win. Williams filled in for Bell admirably, but he couldn't make the splash play this offense so desperately needed as his old legs could not out run the defense on his scamper late in the game. With this offense given two opportunities at the end to show why many expected them to be dominant, failing to find a way to remain in the hunt was the biggest trick of all.

    • 11/8 Raiders
      38 - 35 W

      In one of the most exciting games Steeler Nation can remember in a long time the silver and black raided Heinz Field and helped to create a time warp back the 70's as they gave the black and gold all they could handle during today's contest. It was very physical much like the old days. Both "nations" bore witness to big hits all afternoon that forced players out of the game as well as many others needing additional time along the sidelines to remember either their name or what day it was. Oakland's offense was smooth and effective for most of the afternoon. Carr reminded many of the snake as he played as if he was a six year vet, calm and cool, delivering 300 yards and 4 tds for his raider teammates. Their running game was solid racking up over 130 yards. The Steelers D although giving up ground along with points were able to force 3 turnovers that gave this team life and switched momentum throughout. Another turnover forced by the special teams set up Jessie James' first career touchdown. When Derek Carr lead a late game drive resulting in a touchdown that knotted the score, the Steelers, without the services of 7 due to another injury were once again needing to rely on Landry Jones. He did not disappoint as he only needed to look in one direction. That would be in the direction of 84 who had a career day with 17 catches and 284 yards helped propel the black and gold to another victory, along with DeAngelo's efforts rushing for 170 yards and two scores. This was a game to remember as it had significant playoff implications this early in the season. Now it appears the Steelers will again need the services of Landry Jones who will most likely make his second start of the season, and his career as he will get a taste of the dog pound next week as this team tries to remain in the hunt. My advice for Landry, "Just look in the direction of 84."

    • 11/15 Browns
      30 - 9 W

      The Steelers were visited by a familiar foe Sunday as the brownies came to the steel city hoping, well probably praying for a win as they faced an offense led by Landry Jones. Unfortunately for the Cleveland fans, those prayers went up in smoke as Landry Jones was injured on the second drive thrusting his backup into the spotlight. That backup was none other than Big Ben. 7 provided a record breaking performance by any backup recording 379 yards and 3 TDs. Even as his bombs found their way to the turf of the ketchup bottle, the Steelers were able to complete those splash plays thanks to the backup corners and their play forcing the yellow laundry to be tossed in their direction. It seemed as if the only defense that could stop this offense was the offense itself. The Steelers game plan was clear, expose one of the worst passing defenses in the NFL, and that led to a big day for B squared combining for 317 yards and 3 TDs, the last ending in a ceremonial flip that no one wants to ever see again. There are only 3 teams surrendering more passing yards per game than Cleveland, and one of those teams just happens to be the Steelers. Manziel had a commendable performance, slinging the rock for 372 and a touchdown, but couldn't overcome the 3 turnovers and 5 sacks forced by the Steel D. The defense flexed it's muscle as they have for the majority of the season, led by Mike Mitchell's physical play and attitude. That physical play helped lead to some of the Brown's receivers fearing for their careers and making what I like to call "business" decisions as they dropped potential touchdowns or easy catches that could have continued the drive. This along with Butler's creative blitz packages has reminded many in Steeler Nation of the hard hitting, pressure laden relentlessness we have witnessed not too long ago. The Browns saw their season sink into Lake Erie as they endured the long bus ride up the PA turnpike. The Steelers on the other hand enter a well needed bye week as they prepare to invade the space needle and 12th man in two weeks. With the game Ben had today, let's hope Landry gets the start. Well, maybe just for the first series.

    • BYE Week 11 Bye *
      * * * *
    • 11/29 Seahawks
      39 - 30 L

      The Steelers traveled as far west as you can go for a tilt against a Seahawks team that had lost 5 games this season by an average of 5.4 points per loss. They were coming into this game fighting to remain relevant in the playoff picture themselves. The game was dominated mostly by both offenses with Wilson having a career day throwing for 5 TDs and 0 picks while 7 had a day of his own throwing for over 450. The only difference were the turnovers. Giving the ball away 4 times this afternoon, with one coming from a botched fake field goal attempt, it's hard to imagine the Steelers would have a chance late in the game let alone a heart beat. The Steelers D both bent and broke today along with no turnovers of their own all but sealed the deal for the Hawks. Losing both Shazier and Ben didn't provide much comfort as well as a wasted career performance by one Marcus Wheaton who had over 200 yards receiving with a TD. Hopefully both Ben and Ryan will be healthy for a big contest next Sunday night as the Colts come to town riding a three game winning streak with a QB that has some ill feelings towards the Steelers that dates back to the buses final game.

    • 12/6 Colts
      45 - 10 W

      As the Colts came into Heinz field riding a three game winning streak behind the ageless Hasselbeck, one would not of thought this game would end up with the appearance of a typical practice on the south side against the second string. Minus what looks like the end for Jacoby Jones, that's exactly what took place inside the ketchup bottle Sunday night. Seems everyone had their fair share of contributions including interceptions by Jarvis Jones and a starve craved Brandon Boykin who has been seething to see some action for quite a while now. Whether it was his understanding of the defense that kept him from seeing the field or the fact that the Steelers didn't want to cough up a higher draft pick of he played too many snaps, Boykin was a welcome addition to the onslaught of the Colts. With 5 sacks, three of them coming from ole silverback and 3 turnovers, the defense reestablished what they had lost a week ago in Seattle. This provided the offense with more than enough to do what they do best, go deep and go deep often. With 7 remaining upright all game, he was able to sling it for over 360 yards and 4 touchdowns, most of those yards being tallied by "B" squared. The exclamation point came with a little over four minutes to go when 84 took a McAfee punt and returned it 71 yards along with an attempt to stick the landing on the goal post that even had to make the punter chuckle a bit. The Steelers at 7-5 will need to ride this high into Cincy as they hope to redeem the loss they had earlier this season. This team was able to wrangle the Colts tonight. Now let's see if they can tame the cats on Sunday.

    • 12/13 Bengals
      33 - 20 W

      The Steelers headed into Cincy facing a Bengals team that wanted this matchup for two reasons. Win and they are crowned AFC North champs, but I believe more importantly they also wanted to prove that they were the new bullies of this black and blue division. Vontaze further provoked a Steeler team that simply cannot be intimidated and proved their "steel" mentality by knocking several Bengals out of the game for a portion of the contest or altogether as they rolled over the cats on their way to 8-5. Burfict himself was held out several plays after taking shot after shot from this team of steel. Although the Steelers were unable to be as effective in scoring touchdowns, Ben and company were moving the ball at will, scoring twice along with setting up Boswell 4 times to put it between the sticks. With Dalton removed from the game as a result of a tackle gone awry, the Steelers were able to take advantage of A.J. with two interceptions, one of those being returned for a touchdown. Now the table is set, win and your in. As we await the Manningless Broncos, many in Steeler Nation may be comparing this run to the one that led to the Bus' final game in Detroit. One key difference is that the offense will be the catalyst that will enable this team to reach the tournament.

    • 12/20 Broncos
      34 - 27 W

      "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Sunday's contest definitely would have made Charles Dickens smile as it was a tale of two halves for a Steelers team desperate to keep their playoff hopes alive as the tried their best to tame this Broncos bunch coming in with the best defense in the NFL and a QB trying to prove his worth for the AFC West division leaders. Osweiler seemed to be running on all cylinders as his group could do no wrong for the most part stomping their way to a 27 point first half that saw the Steelers D seem out of sync and out of touch as missed tackles along with missed assignments helped 17 look like an all pro. With Ben and company still trying to find their grove the Broncos took a commanding 27-13 lead into halftime. Tomlin's message?, "stop kicking ourselves in the butt!" That's exactly what happened. The second half became the best of times as the offense took to the air and the D didn't allow a single point. Ben lead the assault as he threw for 380, 189 of those going in the direction of the best wr in the game. The D bowed their neck collectively and displayed the physicality that once again forced the opponents to make "business decisions" as catchable balls fell to the floor of Heinz Field. That along with solid assignment football and a gathering to the ball carrier helped ensure this much needed victory as the Steelers scored 21 unanswered and continue their journey to the tournament. What's left are two divisional opponents who have nothing to lose and would love nothing more than to knock out and old foe. Let's all hope in Steeler Nation that this is just the beginning of the best of times.

    • 12/27 Ravens
      20 -17 L

      As the Steelers entered the Big Crab, they held their own playoff destiny in their hands. Win and your in. Going up against a team that was giving up 25 points per game, losers of their last 3 and starting a quarterback who's been in the locker room for all of 12 days simply spelled "Disaster" with a capital "D" for Steeler Nation. The Steel have a history of playing down to their opponents, having a 4-7 record against sub .500 teams. They didn't just play down to the Crows, they played under them. In a game against a team with nothing to lose, many expected the Steelers to put up a quick 30 and witness some trickery by Harbaugh in an attempt to make the game respectable. That was a scenario that never came to fruition. With the Steelers coming out of the gates playing sluggish at best, running the ball thus depleting the clock, it provided Baltimore with an opportunity. The capital "D" stood for a defense that allowed Ryan Mallett to have a career day, a theme we have seen too much this season. It seemed apparent that the defense was going to await a Mallett mistake or two that would help turn the tide. That mistake never happened. Marc Trestman's game plan was simple. Use Mallett's strengths with respect to throwing the ball and let it fly! He never released a "touch" pass the entire afternoon. His play alone surged his new team to 20 points. Enough to hold onto the shocking upset. The reason 20 points was enough, Ben Roethlisberger. He was OFF for the majority of the game, never able to get in sync with his receivers. He coughed up 3 INTs with one being called back to a team that had a total of 4 picks all season. The single bright spot for the Steelers offense were the yellow flags. They enabled the Steelers to keep the game close, unlike this high potent offense that had scored at least 30 in the last 6 games. It seemed that Baltimore was trying to give the game away, but with two minutes left, 7 again couldn't connect with Bryant or Wheaton. This time around the referees weren't going to bail them out. It had to be a complete embarrassment on Ben's part to head back to the Steel city knowing he was outplayed by a guy who was kicked out like a deadbeat tenant due to his actions in Houston, or lack thereof. Harbaugh said it best after the game when he stated that the Steelers should never had "expected" a win. It appeared that not all players, but enough strolled into the game with those exact feelings for it showed in their play. Now the reality is that they head to the mistake on the lake against yet another division opponent with nothing to lose and everything to gain. The Steel will need a win and a Jets loss in order to make the playoffs. I for one would rather they stay at home if the performance we saw today is a glimpse of what could come in January...Ryan Mallett, REALLY?

    • 1/3 Browns
      28 - 12 W

      The Steelers entered week 17 of the regular season trying to get the "stench" off from last week's debacle and going up against another divisional foe with nothing to lose, especially due to the fact that both the GM and coach were most likely headed to the unemployment line immediately following Sunday's contest. A win and a Jets loss would launch this inconsistent team into the playoffs. They started slow for a consecutive week on offense despite the TD on their second drive as they fumbled the first drive away and Ben was intercepted on their third drive leading to the Browns first points of the game. The Browns were able to sneak closer with another field goal late in the second quarter. It seemed at this point of the game, both 7 and the offense began to come to life. They put together an impressive eighty yard drive catapulted by a 40 yard strike to Wheaton and capped off by a 17 yard laser to 84. Even with the Browns adding 3 before the half and the loss of Williams, many in Steeler Nation turned their attention to the scoreboard as they felt that the Steelers had finally taken control of the game. The Steelers were able to match their point total from the first half by virtue of a defense and special teams play that provided great field position for the offense and enabled this squad to secure the victory. As the news of the Bills win circulated through First Energy, so too did the terrible towels. Now the Steelers focus is on the Cats once again, making Marcus Gilbert's Christmas wish come true. If the Steelers want to venture further into the playoffs they will need to start fast and hope Ben plays like he is capable if Williams cannot go or they'll be heading into the offseason Saturday night.

    • 1/9 Bengals
      18 - 16 W

      As the game was about to kick off Saturday night the teams in waiting were watching closely as they knew whoever won this contest would be limping into the divisional round thus giving both Denver and New England an advantage. This game featured two teams that not only don't like one another but also have zero respect. Saturday night turned into a classless slug fest as both teams allowed emotions at some point to intervene leaving their teammates shaking their heads. Fortunately for the Steelers, the Cats emotions took over at the worst possible time. The Steelers offense was playing "safe" ball all night as they rarely if at all took any deep shots down the field. The defense was coming after the Cats backup QB to in order to create miscues, and they did as they sacked A.J. three times, caused 5 fumbles jumping on three of them, intercepted him once and forced many poor throws that found the turf more often than Marvin Lewis would have liked. Scoring was at a premium as both teams were having their issues. That ended for Pittsburgh as they put together the most impressive drive of the game midway through the third quarter when they drove 82 yards, capped off by a catch that made Odell Beckham take notice. Martavis' circus catch put the Steelers up 15-0. When Shazier removed the pigskin from Bernard which should have put Pittsburgh up by 22, the sequence that followed not only turned the tide of the game but started what was once a chippy affair into something that the NFL should see as an embarrassment. Flags began to fly as the Bengals were able to knock Ben out of the game and take a late fourth quarter lead as they scored 16 unanswered points behind miscues made by the defense. Landry was not up to the task of bringing this team back as his errant pass fell into the arms of Vontaze with 1:36 remaining. As Cincy celebrated, 50 wasn't ready to go home as he stripped Hill and the Steelers recovered with 1:37 left to go and 75 yards in front of them. Enter Big Ben. Ben's instructions to Haley were NO deep throws. He had suffered a shoulder injury on his passing arm that prevented him from throwing anything over 25 yards. Haley kept it short and sweet as the Steelers worked their way to the Cats 47. What ensued after will be talked about for years to come. The Bengals revealed their "Bungals" side as both Burfict and Jones selfish play gave Ben and company 30 yards of extra real estate. A cheap shot that concussed Brown and another when arguing with a coach from the opposite team and shoving a referee cost the Bengals a potential win, when what would have been a possible 50 yard field goal turned into basically an extra point attempt. Mike Tomlin made the best decision of the game going for the field goal immediately following the mayhem, avoiding any extra curricular that could have turned things against them. As the ball sailed through the uprights, the Broncos had that Rocky Mountain high feeling knowing that this team is not only banged up, but also could be heading to Mile High without the most prolific QB/WR combo in the game today. The Steelers offense made them a difficult out for any team in the playoffs, if both or either 7/84 can't go next week, it will just become plain difficult for the Steelers to have any chance of advancing beyond the Rocky Mountains.

    • 1/17 Denver
      23 - 16 L


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