Happy Friday once again and welcome to the Christmas weekend.
Monday the Pittsburgh Steelers will play the Houston Texans on the road and even though they already have a playoff spot locked up they won’t get a chance to rest any players to close out their regular season. The Week 15 loss to the New England Patriots still stings as that certainty was a game that was winnable. I look forward to seeing those two teams meet again in the AFC Championship game.
Before I forget, make sure you don’t forget to watch the “A Football Life’ episode later this evening as it will feature former Steelers wide receivers Lynn Swann and John Stallworth. It should be a great one on the eve of the 45th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception.
At the moment this post goes live, my wife and I will be out shopping for another local family we adopted for Christmas. We already provided Christmas for one family a week ago and felt so good about doing it afterwards that we decided to double-dip. We will deliver those goods on Saturday. See, I’m not that evil of a guy.
As usual, I have five questions for yinz to answer on this Friday night in the comments below the post and I hope several can participate this week.
Have a great weekend and a very safe and merry Christmas.
Peace and love, peace and love and go Steelers.
1 – Should the Steelers ultimately waive tackle Matt Feiler this weekend to make room for tackle Marcus Gilbert on the 53-man roster, will he clear waivers?
2 – Will JuJu Smith-Schuster (43 catches), Martavis Bryant (41 catches) and Jesse James (41 catches) each have at least 50 receptions at the end of the regular season?
3 – Steelers tight end Vance McDonald looks like he’ll be back on the field Monday against the Texans. With McDonald set to earn a base salary of $3.7 million in 2018, is he worth keeping around after the 2017 season ends?
4 – As things stand right now, Smith-Schuster is likely to be voted the teams 2017 Rookie of the Year over outside linebacker T.J. Watt. In your opinion, what does Watt need to do in the next two games in order to beat out Smith-Schuster?
5 – What is the weirdest or most-hated Steelers-related Christmas gift you have ever received?
Recap last week’s Friday night questions per David Orochena:
Question 1 – 7 receptions for 94 yards and zero touchdowns with a long of 23 yards for Gronkowski sounds awfully good now. What we got was 9 receptions for 168 yards and zero touchdowns (but a 2-point conversion) with a long of 31 yards. Thirty of 32 respondents were willing to take the proposal. Maybe a couple of incompletions on that last drive would have prevented a touchdown – coulda, shoulda, woulda….
Question 2 – The Steelers dominated time of possession (TOP); 35:07 to 24:53. Maybe a little less would have been better. Darrius Heyward-Bey gets out of bounds …. Alan Tman, LucasY59 & PaeperCup all predicted 35:00 of TOP and earned a point. Steelers should have scored that touchdown either by keeping with the original ruling or if Eli Rogers was not held on the last play – coulda, shoulda, woulda….
Question 3 – Vince Williams intercepted a Tom Brady pass and two sacks by Bud Dupree & Cam Heyward brought the total to three for points. Ten folks gained a point by pegging the total. If Sean Davis could have intercepted that other Brady pass deflected by Heyward – coulda, shoulda, woulda….
Question 4 – The Steelers did prevent the Patriots from scoring any touchdowns longer than 20 yards. The Patriots ended up with only six plays over 20 yards including a penalty against Artie Burns. LucasY59 & Reader783 were the only folks to predict a goose egg. Half of the 20 + yard plays came on the Patriots last two drives. The 23-yard pass interference was on a third and 3 from the Pittsburgh 44. Not sure that Justin Tucker makes a 62-yard kick though it is within his range. The other two were by Gronk on that last drive. Either a miss by Tucker if Burns not called or a drop on the shoe string catch by Gronk – coulda, shoulda, woulda….
Question 5 – Antonio Brown’s injury early in the game made this a gimme for the 28 respondents who voted for Le’Veon Bell & punt return total yardage. Wonder how close the yardage totals and the final score of the game would have been had not AB been hurt – coulda, shoulda, woulda….
Bonus – Fifteen (53%) folks said DeAngelo Williams did step over the line during his appearance on ‘Good Morning Football.’ There was a nearly even split between the seven who said he was not out of line and the six who said they did not watch the show. Interestingly, a fair number of people said that while he stepped over the line; they agreed with his comments.
LucasY59 scored 4 of 4 possible points to take honors for Week 15. Well done!
The Pro Bowl selections were announced this week and eight Steelers were voted in by fans, players & coaches. Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, Dave DeCastro, Maurkice Pouncey, Alejandro Villanueva, Ryan Shazier & Chris Boswell were all honored. Back in Week 11, we named 22 different players. Here they are with the percentage of ballots they were named on by Steelers Depot voters: Antonio Brown (93.18%); Cam Heyward (93.18%); David DeCastro (72.73%); Ryan Shazier (72.73%); Le’Veon Bell (56.82%); Maurkice Pouncey (43.18%); Vince Williams (27.27%); Chris Boswell (18.18%); JuJu Smith-Schuster (13.64%); Stephon Tuitt (13.64%); Ramon Foster (11.36%); Joe Haden (9.09%); Mike Hilton (6.82%); Javon Hargrave & TJ Watt (4.55%). Bringing up the rear with 2.28% of vote were Roosevelt Nix, Chris Hubbard, Marcus Gilbert, Tyler Matakevich; Tyson Alualu, Sean Davis, & Kameron Canady. None of us identified Ben Roethlisberger or Alejandro Villanueva as worthy of the Pro Bowl. What a difference a few weeks makes.
NOTE: The scoring for Week 11 was 1 bonus point for responding that week plus 1 point for every correct Pro Bowler named. A half point deduction was given for incorrect responses, so people would not be rewarded for naming the whole roster. The deductions could zero out correct responses but would not result in a negative score. Darth Blount47 and Phil Brennenman II each correctly named 6 of the 8 Pro Bowlers. However, Phil had more deductions. The leaders for Week 11 with 5.5 points were Darth Blount47, Alan TMan, heath miller, Doctor Noah, Douglas Andrews & Brenton deed. Kudos to all.
Leaderboard after Week 15 (includes Week 11 & Week 15 scores):
1st Place – Alan Tman with 33.5 points (Extends his lead)
2nd Place – Marcel Chris Chauvet with 29.5 points (moves up a spot with solid scoring)
3rd Place – Darth Blount 47 with 28.5 points (Stating his case)
4th Place – Reader783 with 28 points (hurt by poor scoring in Week 11; needs to rebound)
5th Place – DirtDawg1964 with 27 points (who let the Dawg out?)
6th Place – Matt Manzo with 26 points (breaks ahead of the pack)
7th Place – heath miller with 25.5 points (rockets up 6 places)
8th Place – SJT63 with 25 points (drops 4 places with weak Week 11)
9th Place – Josh Cummings with 24.5 (Moving on up …)
10th Place – (tie) LucasY59, Chris92021& Phil Brennenman II with 24 points (who in this pack is coming or going?)
13th place – Jeff McNeil with 23.5 points
14th Place – (tie), J. & Jaybird with 23 points (The J’s)
16th Place – (tie) Beaver Falls Hosiery & Pittfan with 22 points (big drop for yours truly)
18th Place – Kevin Schwartz with 20.5 points
19th Place – (tie) SkoolHouseRoxx, Michael Mosgrove, PaeperCup & RiversTKO with 19 points (the Caboose)