I’m currently in England, land of the mini-break. (That, for those of you not familiar with the term, means taking a long weekend and going away somewhere. Or so I infer.) The Steelers are hosting the Browns tomorrow in what many are calling a mini-bye, as they are resting several important starters and playing a lot of backups and young guys in a game it would benefit the Browns to lose. And it’s New Year’s Eve, both here in England (we’re visiting the MIL now) and in the US, in a rare recent show of harmony. So it seemed only appropriate that Going Deep take a mini-break, or bye, or whatever you wish to call it. We’ll be back on Monday morning (possibly late, as once again I probably won’t be able to watch the game until the next day.) In the meantime, a very happy New Year to you all. And please remember, drinking and driving is dumb even if you aren’t an NFL or MLB player who is going to lose out on mountains of salary while you’re suspended…
Since the Steelers have already played most of the teams they could conceivably play in the postseason, I thought it would be interesting to look at the 2016 game against that team and see how the team is doing now. After all, the Steelers aren’t the only team in the league to have improved markedly. Read more
It’s a bit difficult, I must admit, to get excited about Sunday’s game. The Steelers have already said they are going to rest those who “need to get healthy,” and perhaps some who seem to be plenty healthy as it is. (Although it’s easy to imagine that anyone who played in last Sunday’s civil but brutal game isn’t going to be exactly “healthy.”) A win on Sunday does absolutely nothing to improve their seeding or anything else, so there’s no point in risking players who are desperately needed going into the playoffs.
On the other side, the Browns have actually already won a game this season. They have thus avoided the dreaded 0-16 record and the derision which comes with that. There’s really nothing for them to play for. Quite the contrary—any more wins and they may lose out on the No. 1 overall pick. They may play for pride or for their coach or for the future—hard to say. But they won’t be playing to win because there would be any benefit to do so, in practical terms. Read more
By Hombre de Acero
Wow, perhaps the only thing missing from Pittsburgh Steelers 31-24 victory over the Baltimore Ravens is the fact that Father Time has will rob future generations of hearing it narrated by voice of NFL Films legend John Facenda.
The Steelers victory was dramatic, drawing as much from contributions from the lower ends of the depth chart as it did from its stars. It earned the Steelers the number 3 seed in the AFC playoffs, which the Ravens will watch from home.
But before the Steelers can test their mettle in the post season they must finish with 2016 with a visit from the Cleveland Browns. And before that this corner of Steelers Nation must wrestle with these 5 Smoldering Questions on the Steelers.
By Ivan Cole
That pretty much sums up a game that presented a little something for everyone and provided what could be called a Hollywood type ending. If you saw it, no explanation necessary. If you didn’t, you want to be sure to catch both the first and fourth quarters of any replay, that was the good part.
Steelers and Steelers fans were the obvious short term winners of the 31-27 Pittsburgh victory, but there were more winners than just the Steelers.
The NFL Read more
The game began with a mistake and also ended with one. But they were very different mistakes.
Given that Steelers-Ravens games generally come down to a field goal’s worth of points, sending the kickoff for the Ravens’ first drive out of bounds was sub-optimal on the part of Chris Boswell. In fact, the Ravens appear to be Boswell’s kryptonite, as the botched rabona-style kick he attempted in the previous Steelers-Ravens match will presumably live on for years on YouTube. Fortunately, in this instance the Ravens were not able to take advantage of the good field position as they went four-and-out.
The final mistake of the game was perhaps more serious. Admittedly there were only four seconds left in the game. But this is Steelers-Ravens, and anything can happen. The Ravens still had a time out, and we’ve seen the patented Joe Flacco heave-‘n-pray offense too often to not have flashbacks as they lined up. And indeed Flacco completed what turned out to be his last pass, but it was to Ryan Shazier, so that was all right. At least if you are a Steelers fan.
I’m afraid the best I can manage by way of a post is a musical wish. It’s one of my arrangements for my former group of a piece you may have heard of. Enjoy…