Happy Friday and Happy December as well to all of yinz.
The Pittsburgh Steelers will play five regular season games in the month of December with their first being a road Monday night game against the Cincinnati Bengals. After that, they will play the Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots, Houston Texans and Cleveland Browns to close out their 2017 schedule.
With the Steelers playing Monday night we’ll all be afforded the opportunity to sit around all day Sunday watching the rest of the NFL Week 13 games. I’m really looking forward to watching the Ravens play the Detroit Lions and you know who I’ll be pulling for in that one. Additionally, the game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Minnesota Vikings figures to be a great one to watch as well.
Ahead of Sunday’s games, however, we’ll be treated to several college conference championship games starting Friday night and into Saturday. Personally, I’ll be pulling for Georgia to beat Auburn and for Miami to beat Clemson. In summation, it’s shaping up to be a great football weekend with the culmination of it coming Monday night with the game between the Steelers and the Bengals.
As usual, I have five questions for yinz to answer on this Friday night and I hope several can take time to do just that in the comments below.
Have a great and safe weekend and peace and love to all you.
1 – Which will be greater Monday night, the Steelers total penalty yardage, or total rushing yardage by running back Le’Veon Bell?
2 – Steelers linebacker James Harrison has played all of 29 defensive snaps in the teams first 11 games. Will he play at least 20 in the team’s final five games?
3 – Will the Steelers total combined offensive 3rd down versions, offensive red zone conversions, defensive sacks and defensive turnovers Monday night be greater than or less than 14.5?
4 – Which NFL team will current New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning play for in 2018?
5 – Name your favorite college football team and the biggest issue you currently have with them.
Question 1 – The consensus of the Steelers Depot readers that responded was that the suspension of Marcus Gilbert for four games is serious but not critical. Most recognize that Gilbert is a better blocker especially on passing downs than Chris Hubbard. However, most also believe that Chris Hubbard has been a capable substitute in the five games he has already started and could likely start on many other teams. The timing of the suspension was also seen as fortunate since he should be fully healed and rested for the playoffs. The median response was 6 on s scale of 1-10.
Question 2 – Martavis Bryant and Eli Rogers combined for 61 receiving yards. This was well below 100 but would have been closer if not for several dropped balls. 17 folks (41%) took the under while 24 Pollyanna’s (59%) took the over and got zilch. Martavis did get his first touchdown of the season and almost a second but drew a penalty instead. Eli also picked up an important 3rd down pass so they both contributed to the win.
Question 3 – Cameron Sutton did not get in the game and Antonio Brown remains the punt returner. Still five games to go for the 23 people (56%) who believe Sutton will return a punt to get a point. Same for the 18 (44%) who say he won’t.
Question 4 – After averaging just 32.3 yards a punt against the Packers folks may just want to see if Mike Tomlin will experiment with another player punting. As for an emergency kicker, let’s hope it is not necessary – that 57-yarder to beat the Packers was money. We did name 14 current Steelers who might fill in as a kicker if necessary. Ben Roethlisberger led the pack with 11 votes (27%) with most remember his punting duties earlier in his career. James Harrison got 6 votes (15%) with his versatility as a long snapper and kick returner cited. AB’s all-around athleticism and a sighting of him kicking the ball at Latrobe got 8 votes (20%). Frankly, I think they should just go for two-point conversions if Boswell not available; no emergency kicker is going to make a longer kick so games better be out of reach by the end of the game.
Question 5 – To AFC teams other than the Patriots has us concerned the most: The Ravens (12 votes/29%) and the Jaguars (20 votes/48%). The Ravens familiarity and past performance along with the Jaguars pummeling of the Steelers and their stout defense and rushing attack were the dominant reasons. Three folks feared no other teams. The Bengals (2), Chargers (3), Chiefs (1) & Titans (1)) were also mentioned.
Clarification although no scoring for any of the questions in Week 11; people will get points for any players initially named to the Pro Bowl; everyone that answered the questions got a participation point. Also, from Week 9, three people got a point this week for naming Brett Hundley as a quarterback not named Tom Brady that scared them in the 2nd half of season. The Packers gave the Steelers a run for their money and Hundley performed much better than expected. Congrats to Steel Realist Paul, Pittfan & Michael Lloyd you get a point. We’ll see if Dalton, Flacco, Savage or Kizer threaten the Steelers at all.
Leaderboard after Week 12:
1st Place – Alan Tman with 22 points (no change between 1st & 2nd)
2nd Place – Reader783 with 21 points
3rd Place – (tie) Jeff McNeil, Darth Blount 47, SJT63 & Marcel Chris Chauvet with 19 points (big pack trailing the 2 leaders)
7th Place – (tie) LucasY59 with 18 points (losing ground)
8th Place – (tie) Chris92021 & Josh Cummings, Beaver Falls Hosiery, Matt Manzo, SkoolHouseRoxx with 17 points (2nd tier pack trying to push up)
13th Place – Phil Brennenman II with 16.5 points
14th Place – (tie), DirtDawg1964 with 16 points (fell 4 spots)
15th Place – (tie) J., Jaybird, & Michael Mosgrove with 15 points
18th Place – (tie) Johnny Loose, heath miller, RiversTKO & Kevin Schwartz with 14 points