Happy Friday to all of yinz and welcome to the weekend that most of us have been waiting for since last year’s AFC Championship game ended.
The Pittsburgh Steelers will host the New England Patriots Sunday at Heinz Field and the winner of the game will more than likely ultimately finish as the No. 1 seed in the AFC. This is a much different Steelers team than the one that lost to Patriots last year in the playoffs. It figures to be a great game and certainly one that the Steelers can win.
Also, don’t forget that this weekend will include a few Saturday NFL games in addition to several college bowl games. In short, we have plenty of content on the way for you.
As usual, I have five questions for yinz to answer in the comments below this post on this Friday night and I hope several of you have time to do just that.
Have a great weekend and we look forward to seeing you on the site the next several days and especially on Sunday.
Peace and love, peace and love.
1 – If I could promise you that Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski would have a stat line on Sunday of 7 receptions for 94 yards and zero touchdowns with a long of 23 yards, would you take that, or would you bet that the Steelers defense could limit him to better than that?
2 – Do the Steelers need to win time of possession on Sunday in order to win the game? Predict their total time of possession without going over the ultimate number.
3 – What will the combined total of interceptions thrown by Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and times he is sacked on Sunday?
4 – How many total touchdown plays will the Patriots have on Sunday longer than 20 yards?
5 – Will the Steelers total defensive sack yardage combined with the total receiving yardage of wide receiver Antonio Brown be greater than or less than the total yards from scrimmage of running back Le’Veon Bell combined with the team’s total punt return yardage?
Bonus – Did former Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams go a little too far Thursday morning during his appearance on ‘Good Morning Football’?
Question 1 – Surprisingly, only half (18) believe the upholding of JuJu Smith-Schuster’s suspension was more egregious than the dismissal of George Iloka’s suspension (11). Four cited Gronk’s physical assault on a defenseless player. The NFL’s inconsistency on this issue is notorious. In the Ravens game Artie Burns is fined for removing his helmet while the NFL remained silent on a headshot to Jesse James and a helmet to helmet hit on Vance McDonald who were in the act of catching the ball which by definition by the NFL is a defenseless posture.
Question 2 – Kevin Reich, Michael Mosgrove, Alan Tman & newcomer John Hinton pegged Arthur Moats defensive snaps at 30%. The median response was 41% with answers ranging from 15-65%. It will be interesting to see how Mike Tomlin adjusts the snaps between Moats, Sean Spence & L.J. Fort against the Patriots. The loss of Ryan Shazier is looming large.
Question 3 – 20 of 36 correctly pointed out that Sean Spence would not record a solo special teams tackle. He did play 14 special teams snaps but was only credited with an assist which came from one of his 34 defensive snaps.
Question 4 – The Ravens almost doubled 82 rushing yards with the 152 they ran on Sunday night. 26 of 36 respondents got a point for taking the over. The Steelers linebackers looked slow in comparison to Alex Collins.
Question 5 – For a while, it looked like the four people who picked neither were going to win a point. The Steelers offense caught fire so the 19 folks who picked them to score over 30 eventually picked up the point thanks to four scores in the 4th quarter. More importantly, the Black & Gold picked up the win and another AFC North championship.
I was asked about pending questions from previous weeks. There are over 20 points available that have not been determined yet from previous weeks:
Week 1: 1. Will Jesse or Vance play more offensive snaps? Top %? (2 pts). 2. Combined sacks of Heyward, Tuitt, Hargrave & Alualu. 3. Patriots regular season record. 4. Steelers regular season record. 4. Name teams in AFC championship (2 pts)
Week 2: Number of wins for Cleveland Browns.
Week 9: 1. How many TD passes & INT’s will Ben throw in 2nd half of season (2 pts). 2. Steelers record in 2nd half of season. 3. # TD’s caught by Martavis Bryant 2nd half of season. 4. Which QB’s other than Brady are scary in 2nd half of season.
Week 10: 1. Who will have most sacks 2nd half of season. 2. TD’s/INT’s thrown by Ben (duplicate from previous week) (2 pts)
Week 11: Which Steelers will be named to Pro Bowl. (Hopefully they will not be able to play)
Week 12: 1. Will Sutton be used as punt returner? 2. Who should be emergency kicker (only scored if used) 3. Which teams scary in playoffs (only scored if played and lose or very close)
Week 13: Will Deebo play 20 defensive snaps in last 5 games.
Leaderboard after Week 13:
1st Place – Alan Tman with 27 points (just a point separating the leaders)
2nd Place – Reader783 with 26 points
3rd Place – Marcel Chris Chauvet with 24 points (broke ahead of the pack)
4th Place – (tie) Darth Blount 47 & SJT63 with 23 points
6th Place – (tie) Jeff McNeil, Chris9202, Matt Manzo & DirtDawg1964 with 21 points (the Dawg climbed 5 places to join this pack)
10th Place – (tie) LucasY59 & Beaver Falls Hosiery with 20 points
12th Place – Phil Brennenman II with 19.5 points
13th Place – (tie) Josh Cummings, J., SkoolHouseRoxx & heath miller with 19 points (2nd tier pack)
17th Place – (tie), Jaybird, Pittfan & Michael Mosgrove with 18 points (time to get serious boys)
20th Place – (tie) Kevin Schwartz, PaeperCup & RiversTKO with 17 points (welcome back to the leaderboard PaeperCup)