Happy Friday to all of you once again and let me welcome you to another exciting weekend full of preseason football.
The Pittsburgh Steelers will play their third preseason game of 2017 Saturday night at Heinz Field against the Indianapolis Colts and that contest figures to feature the debut of several players in addition to lengthy playing time for a few starters. This tuneup game should be very fun to breakdown after it’s over and as usual, we’ll start doing that for you late Saturday night.
My wife celebrated her 51st birthday on Thursday and we’ve almost finished off the cake already. She bought herself a new leather couch for her birthday. We stopped exchanging gifts roughly 20 years ago. In short, we buy ourselves our own birthday presents as it’s just easier that way.
My annual fantasy football drafts, 11 this year, will be getting underway starting on Sunday. One of those leagues is close to 30 years old and it still uses touchdown-only scoring. lol.
As usual, I have five questions for you to answer on this Friday night and I hope that several of you can take a few minutes to do just that in the comments below.
Have a great weekend and peace and love to all of yinz!
1 – Are you keeping eight, nine or ten total linebackers this year and which ones make your cut?
2 – True or false: Rookie cornerback Brian Allen will make the initial 53-man roster.
3 – Fill in the blank: The Week 1 starting cornerback opposite Artie Burns will be _________________.
4 – How many passes will quarterback Landry Jones complete against the Colts and how many interceptions will he throw?
5 – With two preseason games remaining, are you Team Knile Davis, Team Fitzgerald Toussaint, or Team Nether?
Question 1 – The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette has more credibility than player agent Adisi Bukari to a decisive majority of respondents to this question. 62% said they believe Bouchette’s report that Le’Veon Bell rejected a five-year deal that his agent brought to him. Only 24% did not believe it while another 13% were either unsure or do not care. Nostradamus prophesied that Le’Veon Bell will report before 9-4-18.
Question 2 – Joshua Dobbs only had two completed passes that were more than 10 yards. The 23-yard completion to Martavis Bryant and a short pass to David Johnson that went for 15 yards but believe at least 5.5 yards were after the catch. So, the correct answer to this question is one. We were an optimistic bunch with the mean response at 4.5 passes that would go more than 10 yards before being caught. There were predictions as high as nine such passes. Only Chris92021 & Jaybird came close predicting Dobbs throwing two such passes.
Question 3 – There was more interest in seeing Justin Hunter play against the Falcons than Sammie Coates. The prevailing view was that folks have not seen Hunter play in a game while Sammie is more of a known quantity. The split was 55% for Hunter; 37% Coates & 8% Both. We did get to see Coates make a couple clutch catches in a scoring drive. Hunter scored a touchdown ala Brown in that same drive.
Question 4 – A close result: 58 to 42 percent did NOT consider Mike Hilton a lock prior to the Falcons game. However, many believe he has the edge and a strong performance in the next couple preseason games would seal it. Hilton was credited with one tackle; one pass defensed (almost intercepted) and a quarterback hit against the Falcons (almost the same blitz used in his sack against the NYG). He almost scored a safety. His roles also changed from the first to the second game. Against the NYG Hilton played 19 defensive snaps (25%) and 13 (45%) special team snaps. The percentages were almost reversed against Atlanta: 31 (40%) defensive snaps and only 8 (27%) special team snaps. Maybe this question should be repeated this Friday.
Question 5 – Readers named 15 different players that they predicted would be the star of the Atlanta game. Everyone named except Bud Dupree played in the game. Martavis Bryant edged out TJ Watt 9-8 in the voting though neither could be considered the star since other players on both offense & defense outshined them. Of course, no one picked Trey Williams. On offense, PaeperCup & LucasY59 (would have) voted for James Conner who gained 98 yards rushing. Worthy of consideration is Justin Hunter who scored the winning touchdown on a stretch. Kudos to Biggie & Paul Kuhns for predicting Hunter as your star. On defense, Shane Mitchell’s pick of Anthony Chickillo was a good one. 5 tackles (2 for a loss); two sacks and a pass defensed. No one picked Jordan Dangerfield, but his two interceptions, 3 tackles and 2 passes defensed are worthy of mention.