Author Archives: Rebecca

Steelers reach into their pocketful of miracles to win eighth straight,  so that they can give the game ball to Ryan Shazier

Photo via Steelers.com

By Homer J.

As per usual, heavily edit (and occasionally commented-upon) game notes will be followed by Homer’s report card. I’m amazed he had the strength.

The mood was jubilant at first:

LET’S WIN THIS ONE FOR RYAN! If emotion can win football games, the Steelers will win this one by fifty. But a defense without Shazier and Haden is suspect, to say the least. It’s Sunday Night Football, and the best rivalry in the NFL. Let’s get started….

Rosie Nix plants Chris Moore on the opening kickoff at the BAL 17…and then…

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Ravens @ Steelers: A 38-Tums Game*

Photo via Steelers.com

If you watched the game you have no need of an explanation for the headline. If you have watched the Steelers at all this season you probably don’t need an explanation either. I had the joy of watching the game with both my sons, and it was a corker. After taking a 14-0 lead in the early going, the Steelers had to make it interesting for the next 45 minutes or so. And the Ravens managed to make it interesting by seemingly Bungling the end of the game, not at least going for a Hail Mary pass in the waning seconds. But in fact it was T.J. Watt’s strip sack that decided their fate. And a timely play it was, too. It was, I believe, the only sack of the game by the Steelers’ defense, and it couldn’t have been more welcome. Except, perhaps, to Joe Flacco.

There’s just something about this team. They are scarily slow on defense in the middle of the field without Ryan Shazier. The tackling was improved tonight, enough to come up to perhaps junior varsity level, but Alex Collins frequently ripped through them like a hot knife through butter. Or Javoris Allen. Or the friggin’ fullback.

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5 Smoldering Questions on the Pittsburgh Steelers: Week 14

Sobering. That’s the only way to describe the Steelers win over the Bengals in light of Ryan Shazier’s injury. Nonetheless, we will sally forth with our 5 Smoldering Questions on the Steelers.

1. Many are commenting on the brutality evident in Monday Night’s game and for good reason. When the announcing crew on ESPN Deportes brings up 1990 Eagles-Redskins “Body Bag” game you know things are bad. However, Shazier’s injury, by far the most serious injury of the night, came on a completely legal hit.

When that dawned on me, I wondered if it wouldn’t have been wise for defenders to heed Rod Woodson’s call for rugby style tackling. Do you think this could have made a difference?

2. The Steelers didn’t just lose Shazier, they also lost Tyler Matakevich, yet they reacted by re-signing Sean Spence, whose own injuries, ironically, contributed to the Steelers’ decision to draft Shazier.

In two years of play, Spence validated the faith the coaches showed in keeping him on IR for two years, yet he nonetheless was unemployed in early December.

Does that fact count as a yellow or even red flag for you?

3. JuJu Smith-Schuster was (rightly in my view) suspended for gloating over Vontaze Burfict, yet after the game Colin Cowherd had this callous comment:

https://twitter.com/ColinCowherd/status/937870744326778880

How do you react to such statements, and do you think that his employers should sanction him for such remarks?

4. Here at Going Deep we endeavor NOT to repeat questions as much as possible. Yet sometimes events take control. And such is the case with the Steelers’ corners Coty Sensabaugh and Cam Sutton.

After taking exception with Jon Ledyard’s comment that fans couldn’t wait until Cam Sutton pushed Artie Burns for playing time, yours truly made this observation:

One reader pointed out that the more realistic scenario would be Cam Sutton  pushing Coty Sensabaugh for playing time. Both scenarios breathe new life into the old cliché of “grasping at straws….

…Should a serious Super Bowl contender really entertain the thought of replacing that kind of experience with a raw rookie 12 games into the season? That’s one’s hard to get your head around.

So. I’ll take an order of crow, white meat (yes, deserve to sink my teeth into something dry) and then follow with a healthy portion of humble pie because that is exactly what Mike Tomlin did at half time.

How do you assess Cam Sutton’s play, and do you think he should start in place of Senasbaugh against the Ravens?

5. Sunday brings the Ravens to Heinz Field for yet another December show down with the AFC North title in the balance. Keeping in mind that the Steelers haven’t swept the Ravens since 2008, here a little statistic I’ll share to stir up the pot:

What does this tell us about James Harrison?

Pittsburgh Steelers 2017 Third Quarter Report

Photo via Steelers.com

By Ivan Cole

Over the last several years it has been the intent of these quarterly reports to allow for taking a quick breath and giving an interim evaluation of the Steelers as they navigate the season—both the successes and failures experienced as well as the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. Occasionally, circumstances are such that a view to a more expansive landscape becomes both possible and appropriate. I believe this is one of those times.

So, I invite you to consider a somewhat broader, nonlinear evaluation of where Pittsburgh stands as they transition into the fourth quarter of this season.

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On Second Thought: Steelers @ Bengals and the State of the NFL

Photo via Steelers.com

Well, it’s official. JuJu and George Iloka both got hit, so to speak, with a one-game suspension for their hits on Monday night. Not that I want to be missing JuJu, but at one level I’m glad. I think the Iloka hit was worse than JuJu’s, despite AB seemingly not being affected and Burfict putting on an Oscar-worthy performance, but whatever. If the league wants to legislate such hits out of the game, they are going to have to do more than they have so far. Fines don’t seem to be getting the players’ attention, especially when you can be fined more for wearing something non-regulation than you can for potentially endangering someone’s life or livelihood.

And I’m frankly appalled that Rob Gronkowski only got one game for his hit. If you haven’t seen it, look it up. It was sickening. It was long after the play was over. JuJu’s could be viewed (as some already have) as just good football, but where he hit Burfict is illegal, whether he meant it to be or not. Iloka’s could be viewed (as some already have) as a bang-bang play where he couldn’t redirect at the last moment (although he probably could have.) But there was no excuse whatsoever for Gronk’s hit. It was late, it was deliberate, and it was ugly. Am I just a Steelers homer and conspiracy theorist to think that there is something suspicious in Gronk getting only a one-game suspension, when they play the Steelers week after next?

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The Steelers Achieve a Hollow Victory

Photo via Steelers.com

The headline may seem overblown. Congratulations to the guys for overcoming a 17-point deficit to win the game on a Chris Boswell field goal in the final seconds an ‘at. This may seem strangely familiar, as the Steelers are making a habit of this. But what isn’t familiar is one of the players being taken out on a board after an injury that looked really serious. Like possibly life-altering serious. Quite honestly, I barely had the stomach to watch the game afterwards. I probably wouldn’t have, but I have a job to do.

Which is, I’m guessing, pretty much how it went down for the Steelers. They had to have been in shock, especially the defense. Injuries happen in football, but there’s a difference between the usual sort of one-to-two weeks sorts of things and something this terrifying. As sad as it would be if Ryan Shazier never plays another down for the Steelers, I’ll take it if he escapes permanent harm.

As far as the game goes, I hardly need to write it up, other than to commend AB for his toughness in playing with a toe which was clearly hampering him, and to remind JuJu that he may be all funny and cute but the officials aren’t impressed, apparently. I really don’t know what to think, speaking of that block, about the whole Vontaze Burfict having himself taken off on a stretcher thing, given that he apparently jumped right off the board as soon as they would undo the straps when they got down the tunnel. This is the same guy who still believes AB faked the concussion, all the way through the Denver playoff game. So I suppose he figures everyone fakes it, why shouldn’t he?

I also didn’t appreciate the officials calling a bunch of ticky tacky penalties, (on both teams—I think the JJ Wilcox holding call on Martavis Bryant’s kickoff return for a touchdown was a make-up call for a rather phantom holding call on Cinci on the previous series.) And then they inexplicably didn’t call a PI on Cinci when JuJu was mugged in the end zone.

But in the end, I just feel sick. I’m going to stop now, because none of this will matter if Ryan Shazier isn’t okay. The body count tonight (on mostly legal hits) is sticking in my craw. Hopefully tomorrow (well, actually, later today) will bring good news about Ryan, and we can all go back to complaining that the Steelers didn’t win the way we wanted them to. Please God, let it be so…

If You’ve Been Worrying About Bud Dupree…

Photo via Steelers.com

Here’s a great link from DK Pittsburgh Sports. The site is behind a (very reasonably priced) paywall, but Dejan occasionally opens up articles to be shared, and this is one. It’s about all I can manage today, but be assured there will be full game coverage, one way or the other. Hopefully I’ll manage some other stuff this week—all of my children and many of their children are arriving at various points, because my husband is getting the US Steel Chair at CMU, and they are coming for the ceremony. He’s a wonderful man, is Mr. Momma, and it’s thanks to his awesomeness that I have the time and resources to do all of this stuff. So feel free to congratulate him : )

In the meantime, do read this article. I found it fascinating. If you have trouble accessing let me know—the procedure for sharing wasn’t obvious. Somebody asked Dejan about this in the comments, and he’s pretty good about getting back to people, so I’ll update the link if there are problems. Have a great day, everyone, and let’s go, Stillers! I’m sure I’m not the only one who is nervous about this game, both from the win and the injury standpoints….

And while we’re at it, here’s a nice interview with Dupree, from Steelers.com.

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