It Could’ve Been Worse: Steelers-Patriots recap

The Steelers lost last night, which shouldn’t surprise many people.  What may surprise people is the manner in which they lost–missed field goals, miscues on offense, Darius Heyward-Bey not being able to stay inbounds in the endzone.  It was actually more frustrating to see them lose in this fashion.

Let’s start with the good stuff, since that list will be shorter.

  • DeAngelo Williams.  Holy hell, was he better than anyone could’ve expected.  As many people on Twitter pointed out, can you imagine what Bell will do behind this offensive line if DeAngelo Williams can put up 127 yards?
  • Antonio Brown continues to be superhuman.
  • Markus Wheaton looked good, especially catching a pass that was out of bounds but managing to stay inbounds.  He also caught a pass for a two-point conversion on the Steelers first touchdown.
  • The defense wasn’t as bad as we all thought.  Holding the Patriots to 28 points isn’t bad.  Having no one cover Gronkowski is bad, though the Steelers lack the personnel to properly cover him (to be fair, so do most NFL defenses).  They forced some stops to keep the Steelers in the game, but the offense couldn’t take advantage.
  • The offensive line played pretty well.  The running game was great, they kept Ben upright for most of the night, and gave absolutely stellar pass protection at times.  Makes the loss of Pouncey a little easier to swallow.
  • Bud Dupree with a sack of Tom Brady just a few minutes into his NFL career.  I’ll take it.

And now for the bad…

  • Yeah, having no one even attempting to cover Gronk on a few plays is not a good look.  Neither is having Terence fucking Garvin cover him.
  • I trust the coaches when it comes to stuff like this, but how bad is Brandon Boykin that he can’t get on the field over Cortez Allen and Antwon Blake?
  • Josh Scobee missing two field goals was huge.  Totally different game if he makes those.
  • 1st and goal at the 1-yard line and you settle for a field goal?   Fucking seriously?!
  • DHB not knowing where the chalk was in the endzone.  Inexcusable for a veteran.
  • Clock management was a problem.  Pretty sure I could write this after every game and be correct.  Should’ve taken a timeout before the DHB endzone play right before the half.  It’s Tomlin’s team, but I feel like the team would be well-served to have a guy who just tells him when to take timeouts.

Speaking of Tomlin, he was sure hot last night when asked about the headset problems during the 1st half.  I’m completely sure he opened another can of worms.  Of course, who can blame him?  The Patriots will never be given the benefit of the doubt when it comes to stuff like this, especially after the recent Outside the Lines report, which mentioned the frequent communication issues that occur in Gillette Stadium.  Tomlin confirmed that with his postgame remarks.  This will be non-stop fodder for awhile, but don’t hold your breath that the league will actually do something about it.

Update:  The Steelers website had some strong words about the headset issue (I refuse to call this “headsetgate”).  There’s a great write-up on Deadspin today about what could have went wrong with the headsets and how many other times this has happened in Foxborough in recent years.

Final thoughts on the game:  Yes, the defense was bad.  That shouldn’t surprise anyone.  They also aren’t the first defense to have issues with covering Gronkowski.  Between the missed field goals, and settling for field goals after Heyward-Bey’s mistake and not being to score from the 6-inch line, they left 14 points on the field.  That’s the difference in the game.  The don’t blow those opportunities, who knows what happens.  I had this penciled in as a loss all offseason (I had zero faith that Brady’s suspension would be upheld).

Fun stuff from last night

As predicted, someone on Twitter would call for Michael Vick to start:

Bill Belichick wore his finest Ebenezer Scrooge pajama top:

belichick pj

Looking good, Bill

Bill Simmons continued to be an insufferable homer

Which prompted this response from me (it was late, I was tired, and the Bucs had just lost to the Brewers)

me to simmons tweet

Calls came for the return of Dick LeBeau, including from former Ravens head coach/Steelers nemesis Brian Billick.

(I feel the need to point out that the last time a LeBeau defense–one that still had Polamalu, Keisel, and Ike, no less–faced the Patriots, the Pats hung 55 on them.  I’m no mathematician, but 55 is a lot more than 28…)

Yinzers called for Jeff Reed after Scobee’s missed field goals.  Jeff Reed, who hasn’t been on an NFL roster for 4 seasons.  #YinzersGonnaYinz

One game in, and Steelers Nation has already reached midseason form of ridiculousness.  Oh football season, how I’ve missed you.  Beat the Niners next week, and this game is whatever.  Go Steelers.

This Isn’t Going To Go Well:  Steelers-Patriots Gameday

It’s that time!  Time for the NFL season to kickoff!  This is a day I normally wait for like a kid waits for Christmas.  This year my excitement has been dampened just a tad because the Steelers open the season tonight against the Patriots.  In Foxborough.  Following an offseason that brought more cheating accusations, this time against Tom Brady for deflating footballs.  Following a new ESPN story revealing more details regarding Spygate.  Cause playing the Patriots in Foxborough isn’t bad enough, now the Steelers get to play the Patriots who have a giant fucking chip on their shoulder.  This should be fun!

The Patriots are the reigning Super Bowl champions.  Did they cheat their way to another Super Bowl title?  Maybe, but unless they were paying Pete Carroll to call the opposite call that EVERY OTHER HUMAN BEING would have called, they probably beat the Seahawks fair and square.  Probably.  If Belichick had paid or brainwashed Carroll, would anyone be surprised?

The Steelers are coming off a surprising 11-5 season.  A definite improvement over back-to-back 8-8 seasons, but still a disappointing ending (losing a playoff game to the Ravens at home is the stuff of nightmares.)

How the Steelers can win this game:

  • The offense gets the ball last in a shootout.
  • Tired of the Patriots shit, the NFL decides their opponents will be awarded 11 points per touchdown and 5 points per field goal.
  • Harrison knocks Brady out of the game on the Patriots’ first series.

How the Patriots can win this game:

  • They show up.

I don’t mean to sound so pessimistic and stranger things have happened (maybe), but the Steelers have had trouble with Brady and the Patriots when they had good defenses.  Brady going against this defense could be the plot of a horror film targeted towards a very specific audience.

But the Steelers’ offense is really, really good.  Unfortunately, they are missing two big playmakers in Bell and Bryant and that will hamper them.  BUT the Patriots don’t have anyone who can cover AB effectively.

The best strategy the Steelers could have is the same one they employed when beating the Patriots in 2011:  sustained long offensive drives.  In that game, the Steelers possessed the ball for something like 39 minutes.  Keeping the ball out of Brady’s hands is key to the Steelers having a shot in this game.  Of course the Steelers had a better defense in 2011 that forced some 3-and-outs.  I don’t see this defense doing that much.  But with the Steelers having a better offense, maybe they’ll be able to overcome some of their defensive issues?

It’s Brady and Belichick in Foxborough.  Gonna be a long night for the Steelers.  Patriots 45, Steelers 31.

2015 Steelers Season Preview

The 2015 NFL season is officially upon us, so I decided I would write something about the Steeler for my notoriously half-assed and long-abdanoned blog.

Last year’s team was somewhat surprising.  After back-to-back 8-8 seasons, the Steelers seemed destined to turn in another mediocre performance.  Early on last season, it seemed all but a certainty after beginning the year with a 3-3 record, including losses to a terrible Buccaneers team (at home!) and getting absolutely embarrassed by the Browns in Cleveland.  A 3-game homestretch turned the season around, though the Steelers still had a few more losses to bad teams left in them.  They went 11-5, won the division, but lost to the Ravens in the first-round of the playoffs.

The 2015 team doesn’t seem destined for mediocrity.  In fact, mediocrity would surprise me.  I believe this team will either be really, really good or really, really bad.  The fate lies with the offense, which by all accounts could be the best offense in Steelers history.  The defense could also make history by being one of the worst in Steelers history.

Let’s start with the offense:

The good:

  • Ben!  Brown!  Bell!  Bryant!  I will henceforth refer to these guys as the “Killer B’s,” stealing the nickname from the early 90s Pirates team because I’m lazy and not very clever.
  • Ben is coming off his best season statistically.  He looked absolutely unstoppable at different points of last season.  After 3 full years in Todd Haley’s offense, Ben has developed into an incredibly effective pocket passer while still being able to extend plays better than any other QB in the league.
  • Antonio Brown is Antonio Brown.  I’m not sure what I can add to that simple statement.  He gets double & tripled team consistently and still makes huge plays on a weekly basis.
  • Le’Veon Bell had his breakout season last year and seems ready to be even better.  Before the 2014 season, Bell slimmed down and if pictures from training camp are any indication, he looks to have about 0% body fat.  The day I visited training camp, he was running some WR routes I hadn’t seen him run before. I have no idea if that’ll be part of the offensive scheme in the regular season.  But if those plays show up and can be effective…good luck, rest of the NFL.
  • Martavis Bryant is superstar in the making.  He stretches the field, makes amazing catches, and should develop into an even better receiver this season.  He didn’t start the first 6 games of last season, but when he was given a chance, he showed his potential.

The bad:

  • Maurkice Pouncey is out for at least 8-10 weeks with a broken ankle he sustained in the preseason game against the Packers.  So your starting center is….Doug Legursky!
  • Bell is out for the first two games for getting caught smoking weed and driving under the influence.  His absence completely reshapes this offense.
  • Bryant is out for the first four games for smoking weed (and apparently four prior failed drug tests) and the Steelers don’t have a ton of depth at wide receiver.  An injury to any WR in the first month could spell trouble.

The unknown:

  • Markus Wheaton has a big opportunity to shine with Bryant being out the first four games.  I thought Wheaton looked pretty good in the preseason, but he’ll have to step it up even more early on.
  • Doug Legursky at center!
  • DeAngelo Williams was brought in to start the first two weeks that Bell is out.  I can’t imagine he won’t be serviceable for those two starts, and I certainly feel better with him starting that Josh Harris or Dri Archer (the thought of that makes me nauseous).  We’ll see if he can show something in those first two games that could lead to a bigger role for him in the offense, just so they don’t have to run Le’Veon till the wheels fall off.
  • Martavis Bryant is at an interesting crossroads:  keep getting high and become the next Josh Gordon or get his shit together and be a superstar.  Here’s hoping for the latter.

Now onto the defense…

The good:

  • Lawrence Timmons!  Cam Heyward!  Uhhh…Lawrence Timmons!  Cam Heyward!
  • Stephon Tuitt showed promise towards the end of last season.
  • Mike Mitchell has zero torn groin muscles as of this writing.
  • Have I mentioned Lawrence Timmons and Cam Heyward?

The bad:

  • There is no defensive line depth.  Steve McLendon is our starting nose tackle.  If any of the starting defensive line gets injured, there is Cam Thomas behind them.  I don’t even know the names of any other defensive linemen on the team.
  • 106-year-old James Harrison is their best outside linebacker at this point.
  • Our starting safeties haven’t played together yet.  They are also named Shamarko Thomas and Mike Mitchell.  In case you weren’t already missing Troy Polamalu enough…
  • Their best cornerback is William Gay.  I actually like William Gay and think he gets far too much of a bad rap, but it’s not still not a comforting thought.
  • The Steelers finally drafted a cornerback in the early rounds of the draft…and he’s out for the season with a shoulder injury that required surgery!
  • Cortez Allen.

The unknown:

  • For the first time in 11 seasons, someone other than Dick LeBeau will be the Steelers’ defensive coordinator.  It’ll be strange to not see Coach Dad on the sidelines any longer, but it’ll be interesting to see what Keith Butler’s defense looks like.  I’m sure it’ll largely resemble LeBeau’s, but it’ll be interesting to see what changes are made.  In recent years, LeBeau’s defense had been accused of being too “vanilla,” and not built to go against the high-powered offenses of today’s NFL.  Will Butler be less vanilla?  Is he a secret defensive genius?  Will any of this matter with the personnel on defense???
  • Can Mike Mitchell actually be an effective safety?  Mitchell was criticized (and rightfully so) for his poor play last season and for revealing moments after the playoff loss to the Ravens that he’d been playing with two torn groin muscles.  He’s since had surgery (and intact groin muscles are important just for walking, let alone playing football).  Many have also wondered if his play will improve with Troy Polamalu’s retirement.  Troy was known for freelancing, so it stands to reason that Mitchell’s play may improve with the safeties having set coverage duties.
  • The linebacking corps has question marks throughout with the exception of Timmons.  This is the year Jarvis Jones will either break out or be declared a bust.  There are questions about whether Ryan Shazier was worth passing on a corner in the first round of the 2014 draft.  Shazier was injured for a chunk of last year, so those questions have gone unanswered.  Will Bud Dupree get much playing time as a rookie in Butler’s defense and be able to nab one of the starting OLB spots?

Special Teams:

The good:

  • Hey, Josh Scobee is a pretty good kicker!

The bad:

  • Josh Scobee just tripped and tore his ACL.

My predictions for this season:

  • The Steelers will win the Super Bowl with this high-powered offense!…or they will have the #6 pick in the 2016 draft after an offensive playmaker gets injured in October.
  • There will be calls for the Steelers to fire Butler and reinstate LeBeau after Tom Brady does Tom Brady things against the Steelers on Thursday night.
  • There will be calls for Tomlin to be fired in the first quarter of the Patriots game.
  • There will be calls for Haley to be fired on the first 3-and-out series of the game and/or the first time Ben gets sacked.
  • Yinzers who burned their jerseys and season tickets when the Steelers signed Michael Vick will inevitably want him to start over Ben in the first multi-interception game Ben has.
  • Rob Rossi will write a column about how the Steelers shouldn’t try to extend Antonio Brown OR he’ll hop onboard the Vick-for-starter train.  Regardless, the column will be condescending and full of inane drivel that disregards all facts and logic.
  • Tomlin says “obviously” approximtely 2,324 times in his press conferences.  Every media member will mention this on Twitter approximately 25,321 times.
  • The Steelers will lose on the West Coast.
  • A caller to The Fan will suggest the Steelers tank so they can draft Cardale Jones; Joe Starkey’s head will explode when hearing this suggestion.

Record:  12-4!….or 5-11.

Go Steelers.

Gameday: Steelers-Ravens Wildcard Playoff 2014 Edition

There isn’t much I can say about tonight’s Steelers-Ravens matchup that hasn’t already been said. This is still the best rivalry in the NFL, even though faces have changed over the years. Even the coaches don’t like each other. With John Harbaugh’s penchant for douchiness and whining, and Mike Tomlin showing more emotion than ever on the sidelines lately, would anyone be shocked if these two got into a fistfight tonight?  I wouldn’t.

Remember these more cordial times?  Me neither.

Remember these more cordial times? Me neither.

The Steelers chances of winning this game have suffered a decent blow with Le’Veon Bell’s injury. Despite the fact that he probably wouldn’t have put up a ton of yards agains the Ravens’ run defense (especially with Haloti Ngata returning from suspension tonight), taking him out of the equation still makes it tougher for the Steelers. On the bright side, the field conditions tonight will be so poor that there’s a decent chance Bell would tear an ACL if he did play.

The Steelers beat the Ravens through the air this year, and they’ll have to do so again tonight.  Luckily, the Ravens have a pretty bad secondary, and even good defensive backs can’t cover Antonio Brown.  Add in Heath Miller, Martavis Bryant, and an improved Markus Wheaton, and the Ravens will have their hands full with the Steelers record-breaking offense (Fire Todd Haley!  Fire Todd Haley!).

The Steelers defense has played much better this last month, and here’s hoping they can keep it up tonight.  We’ve all seen over the years what happens to Joe Flacco when he’s under pressure.  He can be forced into some bad mistakes, and it’d be huge if this defense can rattle him.  It’d be nice to see the passing of the torch if Antwon Blake or Brice McCain could pick off Joe Flacco in a playoff game.

Win or lose, tonight could also be the last game in Heinz Field for Brett Kiesel (who’s on IR), Ike Taylor, James Harrison, and Troy Polamalu.  They have all meant so much to this franchise in the last decade (yes, even Ike, even though most of Steelers hates him despite him being a pretty damn good cover corner in his prime).  The number of big plays Troy has made against the Ravens alone could fill a highlight reel, as could the number of times Harrison has planted Flacco’s ass on the ground.  It’s hard not to get a little misty thinking about these guys no longer being Steelers.

Or Troy planting Flacco's ass on the ground.

Or Troy planting Flacco’s ass on the ground.

Despite both games this year being decided by 20 points, I think tonight’s game will be the type of close affair that has characterized this rivalry.  However, I see this being a much higher scoring game than is typical, just  because of the secondary woes each team has.  This will be a one-score decision, and it may very well come down to who gets the ball last.

Ridiculous Predictions:

  • Antonio Brown sets an NFL postseason record, becoming the first player to have 400 all-purpose yards.
  • Ben and Flacco are both sacked a ton and both make their classic fail face each time (ok, so that’s not really a ridiculous prediction).
  • It comes out after the game that Ben was playing with 4 broken bones in addition to the 3 that will be broken during the game.
  • Josh Harris stuns the world with a 50-yard touchdown run.
  • Dri Archer stuns the world and successfully blocks a guy.  Unfortunately, the guy is Heath Miller.
  • In a move reminiscent of Hayden Fox, Tomlin shocks the world when he sends Bell into the game late in the 4th quarter for the game-winning score.  Turns out he was never really hurt!  It was all an elaborate ruse!  (Hey, a girl can dream!)

    A fake injury that required a wheelchair?  Man, Coach Fox pulled out all the stops,

    A fake injury that required a wheelchair? Man, Coach Fox pulled out all the stops.

No matter what happens tonight, I’m sure this will be another classic chapter in a rivalry that’s featured bleeding players, broken bones, alleged bounties, terse handshakes, and the Ravens whining about playing in primetime in Pittsburgh.  Tonight let’s remind them why they hate playing at night in Heinz Field.  Go Steelers.

Ray-Rice-TT-Charles-LeClaire-USA-Today-Sports

Never forget.

Steelers-Bengals AFC North Title Game Preview

It all comes down to tonight.

Tonight we’ll live and die with each play. We’ll scream and cheer and laugh and maybe cry. It’s going to be a roller coaster. I imagine it’ll feel like riding the double dip on the Jack Rabbit over and over for three and half hours.

The Steelers have remarkably clinched a playoff spot, a feat that seemed unlikely just 4-5 weeks ago.  Tonight they face the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field, with the winner locking up the AFC North title and preparing to host the Ravens (stupid a Chargers couldn’t even beat the Chiefs) next weekend. The loser gets the #5 seed and a trip to Indianapolis to face the Colts in the opening weekend of the playoffs.  It goes without saying that this is a huge game.

The Steelers are in pretty good shape heading into this game.  Ike and Troy were limited in practice this week, but they haven’t exactly been missed in this defense (a sentence that’s painful to type).  Ben looks good, AB is performing at a high level (as always), and if Le’Veon Bell can do half of what he did against the Bengals in their first meeting this season, I like the Steelers chances in this one.

The Bengals are coming off Andy Dalton having the flu and AJ Green sustaining an arm injury against the Broncos on Monday night.

Even if the Bengals can stop Bell this time around, the Steelers passing game can still beat them.  AB in triple coverage?  Throw over the middle to Heath.  Heath busy blocking?  Throw deep to Martavis Bryant.  Bryant not open?  Get it to Wheaton.  The offense has finally started to live up to its potential and is clicking at just the right time.  Last week, the defense exceeded its potential, and turned in their best performance all season.  Shutting down Alex Smith may not seem like a big accomplishment, but shutting down Jamaal Charles is one.

This game comes down to one player: Ben Roethlisberger. I’ve been critical of Ben at times this season, while also being in awe of his performances against the Colts and Ravens. This game rests on his shoulders. When Ben is on, he’s as good as any QB in the league. But when he’s off, it can be tough for him to recover. If he plays well, he’s better than Andy Dalton any day. If he makes early mistakes, it could spell trouble. Despite the defense playing well next week, I still don’t trust them. The Steelers offense needs to click tonight. If it’s up to the defense trying to stop AJ Green (even if he’s not 100%), this could be a long night. If the offense can put together some long drives and keep the Bengals defense on their toes, the Steelers have a good chance of being successful tonight.

I don’t think this will be an easy win, nor do I think it will be a game that is decided early on. Both teams know what’s at stake. Despite arguments I’ve heard to the contrary, no team wants to go on the road in the playoffs. Everyone wants a home game. There’s also the pride factor. The Bengals have been the division champs a few times recently, a title that was usually reserved for the Steelers or Ravens. The Steelers haven’t won the AFC North since 2010. It’s time for them to reclaim the division.

I truly believe that this season is a successful one for the Steelers because they’ve made the playoffs. Before the season, I saw this as a 9-7 team at best. This team is still full of holes (mostly on defense), but you can’t take away what they’ve done. Yes, they’ve lost to some terrible teams. But they’ve still won enough to be in this position. Who cares who they beat, how they beat them, and how many points are scored? All that matters is winning. I don’t care if the Steelers play the ugliest game of their lives tonight, as long as they come out at least one point ahead of the Bengals.

Sunday Night Football at Heinz Field. AFC North on the line. If you can’t get up for this, you’re already dead. Go Steelers.

2014 Holiday Gift Guide for Steelers Fans!

Is there a Steelers fan in your life who already owns a ton of Steelers gear, but you want to get them something unique, different, and something that would certainly never be sold in the official Steelers store?  Well, you’ve come to the right place!  I have assembled a gift guide where you will certainly find a unique Steelers-branded item for all of your loved ones!

To assemble a unique gift guide, naturally I turned to Etsy.  For those of you who don’t know, Etsy is a website where people can sell vintage and handmade items.  It’s also known as the place where people glue random household items together and try to sell them to you for $45!

For the stoner in your life…Oh, I’m sorry, this is listed as a TOBACCO pipe.  My mistake.

steelers pipe

Don’t forget to buy a screen to go with this (it’s common courtesy, guys)

For the blind woman and/or Ravens fan you’re holding hostage in your basement…

steelers big sacks

I like that this shirt emphasizes big sacks…what woman doesn’t love giant testicles?

For the stripper in your life, when an extra $20 just doesn’t say “Thanks for the lap dance”

steelers heels

Where and why and how would someone even wear these?

For the classiest lady you know, who loves all things denim.

steelers jorts purse

What a wonderful world we live in, where last year’s jorts become this year’s purse!

For your white trash neighbor, because they probably don’t have enough wind chimes made of beer cans.

steelers beer plane

It’s a wind chime airplane made from Steelers Bud Light cans…I don’t know how this is a real thing

For your blind grandmother, these weird socks that I can’t believe are actually being sold.

steelers painted toenail socks

The toes aren’t drawn properly, these have nothing to do with the Steelers, are these supposed to be “cute”?  I just don’t understand this.  At all.

For the ladies

steelers lingerie

For female Steelers fans: to wear under your “If You Ain’t a Steelers Fan, You Ain’t Shit!” t-shirt. This just screams class.

Finally, for the men.  The description from the Etsy page: “Mr Steel! Can be used for a variety of events! Have some fun with Mr Steel, especially for the Steeler fan! Great novelty gift and it’s definitely a one of kind gift.”  That’s for sure!

steelers willy warmer

Hey guys, here’s something made of yarn to put your dick and balls in! Like the weird painted toenail socks, this seems to have nothing to do with the Steelers.

And finally, something every Steelers fan could use.  Sadly, you cannot buy this on Etsy.

common-sense-pills-659x438

Happy Holidays everyone!  

24 Hours As a Steelers Fan (Told Mostly in Breaking Bad GIFs)

Monday, November 17, 2014, 8:30 p.m.

Monday Night game kicks off.  Steelers take an early 10-point lead after William Gay intercepts Zach Mettenberger’s first pass.  Looks like this is going to be an easy win!

pinkman bubble

Titans immediately drive down field and score a touchdown.  Not great.

pinkman chin,gif

Steelers and Titans swap field goals.  Steelers get the ball about halfway through the second quarter.  Offense looks pretty good, things are clicking.  They march down the field.  Ben Roethlisberger throws a red zone interception.

pinkman what's the point

On the next play of the game, Mettenberger throws a bomb to former Steeler Nate Washington, who beat William Gay to score an 80-yard touchdown.

bb shots

Steelers trail 17-13 at the half, despite possessing the ball twice as long as the Titans.

bb jr bullshit

The second half opens with the Titans and Steelers each punting on their first drives.

The Titans then go on a 77-yard drive that results in a touchdown.  The Steelers are trailing 24-13 late in the 3rd quarter.

BB WW finger

It looked like the Steelers were headed down a road they’d been down many times before, including last week:  Losing to a bad, bad team.  It’s become old hat to the fans.

bb shit kicked

The Steelers may have lost to the Bucs and the Jets earlier this season, but the Titans are a far worse team than other two.  The Steelers were 6-4!  They were the good team in this matchup!

bb define good

The game, and possibly the season was on the line.  The Steelers needed to get their shit together.  They needed to look like the 6-4 team that they were, and not the 2-7 team they were facing.

pinkman break door

Ben hadn’t looked sharp in the first half.  He’d been sacked five times.  There was nothing going in the passing game, so there was only one thing to do….

brba run

The Steelers were going to have to win this game on the ground.  Luckily, they had the right man for the job

bb tio bell

Le’Veon Bell took his team on his back (and half of the Titans, too).  The Steelers marched down the field.  Bell scored on the first play of the 4th quarter.

pinkman blowing kisses

The Steelers still trailed 24-20, but you could feel the tide turning.  The defense forced a 3 and out (!) and the Steelers got the ball back.  They mixed up some passes with a few runs, culminating in a beautiful play-action fake from Ben to Antonio Brown waiting in the end zone.

bb-high-five

Steelers were up 27-24, but there was still a ton of time left on the clock.  The defense forced another 3 and out.  The Steelers got the ball and back and turned to who else to run down the clock.

bb tio bell

The Titans would never get the ball back and the Steelers would escape Nashville with a win.  The Steelers had come back from 11 points down in the 4th quarter and actually beat a terrible team on the road outside of the Eastern Time Zone!

bb yeah bitch

Steelers fans breathed a sigh of relief Monday night.  This team still has a bunch of problems, but they still control their own destiny in the AFC North.  They have their bye week coming up, which will hopefully allow some injured starters ample rest so they can return against the Saints in two weeks.  This was good.

Tuesday morning, still pumped from the win, I didn’t have a care in the world. (Note:  the below gif is an accurate representation of what I look like when I dance.)

bb gale dancing

Then I went on the Internet.  I was greeted by this headline on the Post-Gazette’s website:

blount headline3

BB Mike eye roll

You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me.  LaGarrette Blount was mad he wasn’t getting carries, so he walked off the field before the game was over.  You can’t do that, man!

Hours later, the Steelers announced that they had released Blount because it was “in the best interest of the team,” according to a statement from Mike Tomlin.

pinkman gtfoh

Releasing Blount was the right move for the team, no doubt.  I took a quick look at the Steelers’ depth chart behind Bell at running back.

pinkman seriously

Whatever.  Maybe they can pick up a free agent somewhere or maybe Josh Harris (who was promoted from the practice squad will shock the hell out of everyone.

With that nonsense over, the Steelers could get on with their bye week.  Except the drama wasn’t done.

bb done

Then news came out that Steelers safety Mike Mitchell had responded to negative tweets towards him.  This couldn’t be good.

bb stove lighting

Turns out Mitchell had sent direct messages to some of those criticizing him.  I guess he forgot screenshots exist.

bb pinkman think

The screenshots went around.  He had told one fan to kill themselves.

bb pizza

Steelers Twitter damn near exploded.  I had to step away from all the hot takes.

bb car fire

There’s no excusing what Mitchell said and he should’ve been smart enough to not respond at all.  But the people that were saying these things to him are idiots, and their instant reaction of sending the screeenshots to every member of the Pittsburgh media was pathetic.  Those guys are losers.  No one came out looking good in this situation.

bb douchebag

The Steelers wound up banning Mike Mitchell from social media, which is probably best for all involved.

Anything else, guys?

pinkman face

bb everything good

OK then.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014, 8:30 p.m.

Me, after the previous 24 hours (and the first 10 games of the season).

bb skyler wine

Drinking is probably the only way we’re going to survive the last 5 games.

bb goddamn right

And if drinking doesn’t work….

bb pinkman cook crystal