Tag Archives: Cincinnati Bengals

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:


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?

Steelers Opponent Preview: The Cincinnati Bengals, Take Two

Photo via Steelers.com: Prepare for some old-school football

We know these guys. Right? A.J. Green, receiver extraordinaire. Vontaze Burfict, jagoff extraordinaire. Andy Dalton—nice guy, inconsistent quarterback. Geno Atkins—leading the league in sacks for a DT, as usual. Wish he would slow down. Hasn’t he noticed he’s old? Pacman Jones—assistant jagoff, although I note from Pro Football Focus that in the past three games his snap counts, after being in the 60s early in the season, are 27, 0, and 26. He’s clearly being phased out in favor of William Jackson III, which is a pity from our standpoint.

You get the idea. The Bengals are an old and well-hated opponent. They aren’t having their best season ever this year, but they are trending upwards, again unfortunately for us. After completely sucking early in the season, Andy Dalton is looking much more competent. Or is this true? Certainly Dalton’s first game of the season, against the Ravens, was one for the books. His NFL QB rating of 27.4 was only matched in lack of awesomeness by his QBR of 0.7. (I think it is possible to get a negative QBR, but this is about as close as anybody would ever like to get.) Read more

A Quick Look at the AFC North, Mid-Term


Photo via Steelers.com [Doesn’t this just sum up AFC North football?]

Thank heavens there is football this weekend. All the sordid discussion about compensation packages and injuries was getting me down. And that was just Ivan. Heaven only knows when Homer is going to chime in. But as they say, “idle hands are the devil’s playground.”

So instead let’s have a look at how things are going in the glorious AFC North.

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5 Smoldering Questions on the Pittsburgh Steelers: Week 9

3D14C177-CE7C-401A-B4CD-86349D69F54C.jpegPhoto via Steelers.com

By Hombre de Acero

The Steelers entered Detroit looking to keep their winning streak alive and looking to take a victory into the bye week. The men in Black and Gold accomplished both, which leaves them at 6-2 as Tomlin’s team heals bumps and bruises before resuming action against the Indianapolis Colts in two weeks. But before we can turn out attention to that, this segment of Steelers Nation must resolve these 5 Smoldering Questions on the Steelers.

1. In reviewing the Steelers win against the Bengals, Steel City Insider’s Jon Ledyard made this observation:

Two incompletions kept a ton of time on the clock for Cincinnati before the fake punt, which is one of the worst decisions I’ve seen in a while. Running a fake punt in your own territory with a 12-point lead, with your backup safety throwing the second pass of his life to a wide receiver with a lengthy history of ugly drops? What could go wrong? You guys know I’m all about being aggressive, but discretion is the better part of valor in this situation, and the Steelers were lucky to get away with a good result despite an ugly process.

Agree or disagree? Defend your decision.

2. Sticking with the Bengals game, it was clear that while Antonio Brown made his catches and did his damage, William Jackson is a cornerback capable of challenging Brown. The Steelers were rumored to favor William Jackson in the 2016 NFL Draft, but Cincinnati got him first.

Do you think the Steelers would have been better off with Jackson, or are you satisfied with Artie Burns?

3. When the Lions were blanketing Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster made them pay on several occasions. Do you think he did enough to take away Martavis Bryant’s starting slot?

4. When looking at the performance of the Steelers defense in Detroit, what do you see? A defense that was utterly unable to stop an opponent from advancing down the field into the Red Zone? Or a defense that weathered 17 shots at the end zone from inside its 20 and didn’t give up a single touchdown?

5. Take a look at this replay of Javon Hargrave eating Dwyane Washington alive at the goal line (before Vince Williams and Sean Davis pile on.)

What leaves a bigger impression on you? Javon Hargrave’s play or the look of utter disbelief on Jim Cadwell’s face?

Bye week bonus

6. Robert Golden now has a passer rating of 118.7% and is averaging 34.5 YPA. Does that qualify him to occupy the role of “Disaster Man” much the way that Antwaan Randle-El did?

Bengals @ Steelers—A Boswellian Victory

As I was preparing to watch today’s game I typed two things in my game notes before kickoff. The first was, the narrative for this game all week has been about what a nasty physical matchup it was going to be, and wouldn’t it be ironic if it didn’t turn out that way? The second was to note that the Bengals had been playing Renegade at practice all last week.

And strangely, although it was certainly a physical game, it wasn’t really particularly nasty. For one thing, there wasn’t a single personal foul penalty, nor did it seem many flagrant ones had been missed. And off-hand I would say that inuring themselves to Renegade didn’t help the Bengals’ offense out in the second half, because the they didn’t really generate any. But more on that in a moment. Let’s get right to the Acceptable, the Objectionable, and the Appalling…

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Opponent Preview: Bengals @ Steelers


It’s Bengals week. Storylines abound. Will Vontaze Burfict and his new contract live up (or down) to expectations? Will the Bengals miss Tyler Eifert, who is having surgery, is done for the season, and really ought to retire before he becomes the first Breakable Bionic Man, or will Tyler Kroft make him a distant memory? Will Joe Mixon, another of their Troubled Youth Rehabilitation projects, and who has wrested the starting job (legally) from Giovanni Bernard and Jeremy Hill, look more like Leonard Fournette or Kareem Hunt on Sunday in terms of his stat line vs. the Steelers defense? Will A.J. Green or Antonio Brown look like the best receiver in the league? And who will impact the game the most—Old Man Pacman Jones or Really Old Man Deebo Harrison? (Jones will almost certainly have more opportunities to do so, unless he is unable to play—see the Injury Report below.)

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A Brief History of Time—in the AFC North

photo via Steelers.com

I hope you all realize I’m not claiming to be the Stephen Hawkings of football. Au contraire. Not even about the AFC North. But after four games it’s worth taking a look at where we are and seeing if we can find some trends.

As I’m quite sure everyone reading this is aware, the Steelers are currently in sole possession of the divisional crown—for the nonce. But it’s still a long way to January. So let’s look at the other teams and what potential threats might lurk. Because as we all know, when it’s AFC North Football anything can happen.

I’m going to try not to be too stats-nerdy with this. For one thing, stats only tell you what has happened, in a completely un-nuanced way. The interpretation of them can result in very diverse potential scenarios. So I’ll give some numbers just to keep myself honest, and commit myself to what I think they are telling us. I will update them at various points throughout the rest of the season.

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Tracking the AFC North Draft Picks, Rounds 2 and 3


How did Momma miss this guy?

I’m going to go live here, because why not? I will be updating as there is anything interesting to add.

The first AFC North pick in the second round was scheduled to be the Bengals, as the Browns had traded up with the Packers to take TE David Njoku at No. 29. But they traded down with the Vikings, and so the AFC North picks will be pretty condensed in Round 2 – Nos. 15, 16 and 20, and then of course the Steelers at 30.

I was curious as to which of the more highly rated players were left on the board at this point. I’m using a grade of 6.0 out of 10 as the cutoff point, since that encompasses the first 34 prospects. Read more

A Quick Look at the AFC North 1st Round Picks

TJ WattThis really will be a quick look, and furthermore it is live as of 11:00 pm. The picture will go up when I know who the Steelers have picked. With any luck I can use one of the pictures already in the archives from my mock drafts.

More thorough analysis will come when the excitement dies down. (And for that matter it’s pretty hard to “analyze” a draft pick before several years are up.) But we can’t just abnegate our responsibility as a fan base, which is, of course, to decide, based upon the draft picks, who is going to win the Super Bowl. So here goes: Read more

The Weirdness that is the NFL Free Agency, and What it Looks Like in the AFC North

NFL: Chicago Bears at Pittsburgh Steelers

via USA Today

Another year, another frenzy in the meat market known as NFL Free Agency. We can always count on a few stunners, and this year has been no exception. And, so far at least, this year is no exception in the Steelers’ reluctance to wade very far into these very expensive waters.

As Kevin Colbert recently noted, more teams are following the Steelers’ model of drafting and retaining their own players, and this makes the ones who do hit free agency all the more expensive. Read more

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