Happy Friday to all of yinz once again and welcome to the last weekend of September.
By now, hopefully all of you have recovered from the Pittsburgh Steelers loss last Sunday to the Chicago Bears, who were blown out Thursday night by the Green Bay Packers. Here’s to hoping we don’t have to circle that loss later in the season.
On Sunday, the Steelers will play the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium with the AFC North lead up for grabs. The games between theses two teams have historical been very close but with that said, the Steelers have lost their last four games to the Ravens in Baltimore. Charlie Batch was the last Steelers quarterback to register a win in Baltimore, by the way.
It sure will be tough to talk about a 2-2 Steelers all next week as several of you probably had the team going 6-2 in their first eight games ahead of the regular season getting underway. In short and while obvious, they really need to beat the Ravens on Sunday. As of the time of this post, the Steelers are favored by 3-points.
I don’t know about all of you, but I’m really looking forward to watching the Friday night game between USC and Washington State as it will feature a battle of two highly-rated quarterbacks in Sam Darnold and Luke Falk. We should see quite an aerial show tonight at Martin Stadium in Pullman, WA.
Also, I plan on taping the John Madden ‘A Football Life’ that airs later tonight on the NFL Network as that looks like it will be worth seeing.
As usual, I have five questions for readers to answer on this Friday night and I hope several of you have time to participate. It only takes a few minutes of your time.
Have a safe weekend and enjoy the football awaiting you over the course of the next several days.
Peace and love, peace and love!
1 – Steelers wide receiver Justin Hunter claims he’ll dress Sunday against the Ravens. Assuming that’s ultimately the case, will he register more than 39 yards receiving in the game?
2 – Should Hunter indeed dress on Sunday, which wide receiver is most-likely to be inactive?
3 – In the eight games that he’s started against the Ravens in Baltimore during his career, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has averaged 244 yards passing. Will he exceed that average Sunday in Baltimore?
4 – It sounds like Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown will return punts Sunday against the Ravens. If he does, will his longest return be greater than 20 yards?
5 – The over/under for total points scored on Sunday in the game between the Steelers and Ravens is 42½. Are you taking the over or the under?
Question 1 – What a great question. The Bears gouged the Steelers with over 220 yards rushing and James Harrison was nowhere to be found on the field of play. We predicted Deebo would play between 4% to 60% of the defensive snaps. A lot of fans have expressed a wish he had played more than the 5% that he did play. The median response was 20% but Ted Webb pegged it and got a point.
Question 2 – We resoundingly rejected the notion of James Harrison being a healthy scratch by a 42-3 vote. If that holds all those folks will get a point at the end of the regular season.
Question 3 – Javon Hargrave & Anthony Chickillo got a sack a piece. 32 folks thought the Steelers would record at least 4 sacks. The 13 folks who said no got a point. Additionally, the 15 folks who named the Gravedigger and 20 who named Chickillo will also get points for correctly naming the sackers. No one collected 3 points but 12 different folks did get 2.
Question 4 – Markus Wheaton did play but you wouldn’t know it from the stat sheets since he failed to catch any of the 4 passes targeted to him. That gave the 8 people who said he would be 0 for 0 an easy 2 points.
Question 5 – Interestingly 43 folks named one of the listed games as the most inexcusable but only 28 named an upset loss that was “easiest to swallow.” So, for some, no excuses acceptable for any upset loss. The disappointment was spread evenly over four of the listed games that the Steelers were favored to win by more than a touchdown: The 2009 Browns (11) game because; well it’s the Browns and drove a stake in any playoff hopes. The 2014 Tampa Bay (9) game as this was one of only two wins all season for the hapless Bucs. The 2009 Oakland (9) game. Win this game and Steelers have momentum going to Cleveland and likely a top seed. Instead a loss against a 3-8 team and they miss the playoffs. The 2015 Baltimore (9) game. (I was there and Steelers fan were in abundance). Didn’t prevent a playoff appearance and we did beat the Bengals in the 1st round but this is the Ravens after all. Steelers fans were ready to rock M & T Stadium but were kept silent as the Crows ended the Steelers streak of six straight games scoring 30 or more points – when’s the last time that happened? The 2016 Miami (11) game seemed the easiest to take since they ended up a playoff game where the Black & Gold gained revenge. Next was 2015 Baltimore (6) game since they play the Steelers so tough especially at home. The 2009 Kansas City (5) game since their home field advantage is huge every year. No points for this question but was fun to read the comments.
BONUS Question- A lot of folks forgot to answer this question but 10 folks got a point for predicting Stephon Tuitt would not play.
Jeff Papiernik & Alan Tman exploded for 5 points each this week to take honors.
Here is the season leaderboard through week 3 (there are 11 points that have not been awarded)
1st Place AlanTman – 9 points
2nd Place (tie) Reader783 & Jeff Papiernik – 8 points
4th Place Beaver Falls Hosiery Company – 7 points
5th Place Josh Cummings – 6 points
5-way tie for 6th place with 5 points (Jeff McNeil, SJT63, Marcel Chris Chauvet, Luneth Gardens & Michael Mosgrove)