Monthly Archives: November 2016

5 Smoldering Questions: The Post-Cleveland Pre-Colts Edition

james-harrison-drug-test-nfl

via CBSSports

by Hombre de Acero

They may not have earned many style points, but the Pittsburgh Steelers left Cleveland with that they needed:  A win. Now on a short week, the Steelers prepare to play on Thanksgiving for the 2 time in four years, but before we reach Turkey Day, this corner of Steelers Nation first must resolve these 5 Smoldering Questions on the Steelers.

1. The Steelers dominated time of possession, with three drives that threatened to break double digits. Yet, for all of their offensive domination between the 20’s, four trips to the red zone yielded only one touchdown. Do those stats leave your glass half empty or half full?

2. How much does the quality of the opposition temper your evaluation of the Steelers’ win over the Browns?

3. Sammie Coates is playing with two broken fingers, and in fact made three special teams tackles. Mike Tomlin defended his participation there, but do you think it is wise to play Coates on special teams given the Steelers’ urgent need to develop a sound No. 2 opposite Antonio Brown?

4. James Harrison broke the Steelers sack record vs. the Browns. Where would you rank Harrison alongside past great Steelers outside linebackers such as Jack Ham, Andy Russell, Bryan Hinkle, Kevin Greene, Greg Lloyd, Joey Porter, Alonzo Jackson (just kidding!) and Jason Gildon, the man whose record he broke?

5. The NFL is “honoring” the Steelers with their eighth Thanksgiving Day game. The Steelers are 1-6 on Turkey Day, including the Thanksgiving Day massacre in Detroit in 1983 and the infamous coin flip game in 1998. Do you think the Steelers can finally play a game on Thanksgiving without emerging as turkeys?

Bonus Question

6. Although its been 15 years since I’ve been on U.S. soil for Thanksgiving, it remains one of my favorite holidays, as it  managed to survive commercialization until the advent of Black Friday.

Hopefully, all of you have non-football things to be thankful for, and those are far more important than anything that happens on the gridiron.

But who or what about the 2016 Steelers are you thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving Folks. Remember, the holiday season may be upon us, but normal quiz rules remain in effect. Answer using a No. 2 dark pencil. You must show work for full credit, but looking at your neighbor’s paper is not only allowed, we highly encourage it.

Steelers’ Opponent Preview: Colts Fresh Out of Luck?

20141026pdsteelerssports16-2

Post Gazette/Peter Diana photo

Let me clear the air first—the title is a play on words, given that Andrew Luck has entered the concussion protocol after suffering a concussion in Sunday’s game. While it is possible he will be back on Thursday night, it isn’t terribly likely. Thus the Steelers are probably going to face journeyman backup Scott Tolzien. Read more

A Day Worth Recording: Steelers at Cleveland

via Steelers.com

via Steelers.com

I don’t know about you all, but I had a bad feeling about this game. The circumstances reminded me all too forcibly of that dark day in 2009 when the Steelers’ four-game losing streak became five. I suspect it was one of the games the Rooneys mulled over in their minds when deciding whether to re-sign Bruce Arians a few years later.

The circumstances were all too similar. A team which had started the season with such promise had lost a lot of games in a row for a Steelers team. Over the years they haven’t been known for long losing streaks. In fact, a quick glance at the invaluable Pro Football Reference Team Encyclopedia for the Steelers reveals that since 1970 only six other Steelers squads have lost four or more games in a row, counting the 2009 team. This includes the 1985 team, who despite ending the season at 7-9 never lost more than three games in a row. It also includes the 1986 team, who were even worse, (6-10) and yet didn’t lose as many as four of the games in a row. Read more

The Sunday Food-Related Post: A Side Dish To Add a (Semi-)Health Touch

maxresdefaultAmericans seem to have an uneasy relationship with Brussels sprouts. When my youngest son was two or so he created quite a stir in the grocery store produce isle by saying in a loud, enthusiastic voice as I picked out a bagful, “Oh, boy, Brussels sprouts!!!”

But they have, oddly, become rather fashionable, and you can scarcely pick up a fancy restaurant menu without seeing some form of Brussels sprouts in some non-traditional form. But those of us with some British connection (in my case, my husband,) have been eating them all along. For years I cooked them in the standard semi-steamed fashion—cut a little x in the stem end and throw them into a saucepan with enough water to cook them but not more. And of course I carefully avoided Brussels sprouts hell, into which one plummets when you let them cook just that little bit too long. There’s nothing like the breakdown of those sulfur compounds to give you a whiff straight from the pit. Read more

Road Woes: The “Roethlisberger Rust” Saga Continued

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via BIS.com: I think Ben got a look at my charts…

 

If you look at the record of Ben Roethlisberger at home and away his “splits” appear to be getting farther and farther apart. This is, obviously, a problem, since under the best of circumstances half of your games are going to be on the road. And certainly Ben’s road record was considerably better earlier in his career. Or was it?

 

I think wins is a rather odd stat to use for quarterbacks, because so many other people have a hand in this. Although I suppose that you can consider the ability to will their team to victory one of the traits of an elite quarterback. And certainly we’ve seen Ben do this. Read more

Chuck Noll Foundation for Brain Injury Research to Open in Pittsburgh

art-rooney-iiThis site isn’t, I trust, your first stop for breaking news, because you’re bound to be disappointed, except perhaps on April 1st, when we often carry stories no one else has. And there is a pretty good reason for that, too.

And this is scarcely a breaking news story either, because the Steelers announced it late yesterday morning. But I’m going to comment on it anyhow, because it is just one instance of the many reasons I love being a Steeler fan. Read more

Opponent Preview: Steelers at Browns

102615-other-tomy-timoteo-graveyardYou would think the best cure for what ails the Steelers is a game against a team that is currently 0 and 10. You would think that. If only I was confident it’s true.

But let’s look at the Browns. As the picture heading the article indicates, Cleveland is where quarterbacks, whether young and full of beans or older and wiser, go to die.

Read more

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