Let’s hope Tom will be seeing a lot of James on Sunday…
Although I used the more traditional name for Sunday’s opponent, it’s highly unlikely that anyone has forgotten the more informal sobriquet bestowed upon them by Mike Tomlin last Sunday evening. And whether Mike Tomlin actually thinks of the Patriots as constitutionally different than all the other teams or not, I would venture to guess Steeler Nation does. Many believe the Pats robbed the Steelers of two Super Bowl appearances.
I looked up the final scores of those two AFC Championship games, and discovered the 2001 game was won 24—17 by New England, and the 2004 game by a score of 41-27. I don’t know whether this merely indicates that Belichick got better at utilizing the information as he went along, or whether it’s a conspiracy theory sort of thing, but there is no doubt Belichick had video materials for both games. How much difference it made is up for debate.
No love lost…
By Homer J
That Sunday night game really messed up everyone’s karma.
As the pom-pom guy pointed out, we spotted those a-holes a day and a half, and didn’t get back to PIT till four o’clock in the morning. Luckily, James Harrison comes from a planet where sleep is optional, especially when it gets in the way of your workout.
Supposedly, James headed directly to the South Side facility and began his workout less than an hour after touch down. (Not sure if Roger Goodell – who was at the KC game – accompanied Harrison on the flight back or to the workout room, but the guess here is the hourly “random testing” continues.)
As Mike Tomlin might say, this isn’t my first rodeo writing about the Chiefs. The Steelers, as perhaps every sentient being in the English-speaking world is aware by now, beat the Chiefs not only handily but decisively in Week 4, thus leading the bipolar Steelers fan base to assume that “Pittsburgh’s Goin’ to the Super Bowl.” At least until they subsequently lost to the unregarded Dolphins. Read more
Matt Freed, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
I began the opponent preview last week, when I was pretty sure the Dolphins were going to be visiting the Steelers. You can read Part 1 here. It deals primarily with the Dolphins’ offense vs. the Steelers defense. Today I will cover the Miami defense.
Back in Week 6 the Dolphins kept what should have been at least a good offensive showing from the Steelers in check. The Steelers’ D may have given up 30 points, and obviously this is not optimal, but the stated goal of the Steelers’ offense before the season began was 30 points per game, and had they managed that (something they did regrettably infrequently all season) they would have at least forced overtime.
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
It always seems to come down to this, doesn’t it? Last year’s contest in December was a notable exception, and perhaps that is why it was such a weird game—it’s so unusual for so little to be riding on the final Steelers/Ravens game.
Cincinnati Enquirer file photo
One of Hombre de Acero’s 5 Smoldering Questions yesterday boiled down to “Are you worried about this game?” My short answer was, more or less, yes. Here’s the long one…
Cincinnati has not been particularly good this season. As Mike Tomlin might say, they are what their record says they are. But why? This is a team who quite handily survived the late-season loss of Andy Dalton in 2015. They started a kid who was essentially a rookie instead—A.J. McCarron was their 2014 fourth-round pick, but he saw no game action whatsoever in 2014. Their only loss after the Week 14 game in which Andy Dalton’s thumb received an unfortunate introduction to Stephon Tuitt’s thigh was an overtime loss to the Broncos, in Denver.