Well, the NFL Conference Championship games will take place on Sunday and unfortunately the Pittsburgh Steelers won’t be playing the New England Patriots in the AFC one. Personally, I’m still a little bit in shock that the Steelers lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars last Sunday at Heinz Field. Even though the Jaguars beat the Steelers fairly easily in Week 5, I certainly didn’t see a repeat of that happening. They didn’t just get beat, they got their butts kicked and especially their defense. Oh well, on to next season, right?
On Saturday, two college All-Star games will take place and so I look forward to taking both of them in. Next weekend, the Senior Bowl will take place in my old stomping grounds and our very own Alex Kozora will be on hand once again providing first-hand reports after the practices are over.
As for the games on Sunday, I’ll obviously be rooting for the Jaguars and the Minnesota Vikings to win but my wallet might have a few issues with that. We now get to see if defense can indeed win a championship this year. Who would have thought back in Week 2 that Vikings quarterback Case Keenum would ultimately be playing in the NFC Championship game? Not me, that’s for sure. As for the AFC side the Jaguars and Patriots were responsible for three of the Steelers four losses this season, so at least there’s that.
As usual, I have five questions for yinz to answer during this quiet Friday night and I hope several take part in the weekly exercise.
Have a great rest of your weekend and peace and love to all of yinz!
1 – Based on what you currently know about the recent double tardiness of Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell ahead of Sunday’s home playoff loss to the Jaguars, how would you have handled that situation from a discipline standpoint if you were head coach Mike Tomlin?
2 – Without doubling up on a position, list the Steelers top five positional needs when it comes to the 2018 NFL Draft from most needed to least needed.
3 – Name the one draft eligible player you are most looking forward to seeing us do a breakdown on in the coming weeks.
4 – The Steelers running game during the 2017 season certainly wasn’t up to par. Where do you place most of the blame at for that?
5 – Without going over the actual number, how many combined total points will be scored in the two Sunday NFL Conference Championship games and the Saturday East-West Shrine Bowl? – 1st place =10 points, 2nd place = 5 points, 3rd place = 2 points.
Question 1 – Le’Veon Bell had 67 rushing & 88 receiving yards for 155 total yards. JuJu Smith-Schuster had only 5 yards receiving so even including his 23 return yards adds up to 183 total yards. Blake Bortles 214 passing, and 35 rushing yards easily eclipsed them. Matt Manzo & Brian Tollini were the only ones to collect 5 points on this question.
Question 2 – Roosevelt Nix played 5 offensive snaps. No one was over Vance McDonald and Chris Hubbard’s 140 combined snaps. Kakello34 who predicted 71 with Lambert58’s 68 next grab the 10 & 5 points respectively. Most of us probably did not anticipate Marcus Gilbert’s injury after only 15 snaps so that Chris Hubbard had to play almost whole game with 67 snaps and that Vance McDonald would be used so heavily as his previously high game in snaps was 37 and in regular season against the Jags only had 15 snaps. McDonald played 68 snaps. Maybe he was going to be the secret weapon in the playoffs.
Question 3 – 87 combined points went way over 41. 12 of 34 respondents picked up 5 points.
Question 4 – 23 of 34 say the Steelers will apply the franchise tag to Bell. 24 of 34 say Bell will not sign a long-term extension prior to training camp. Stay tuned for more of As the Steelers Turn.
Question 5 – A tale of two conferences. In the AFC, no one predicted the Jaguars winning and 32 of 34 picked the Patriots. In the NFC, 8 of 34 picked the Vikings and 10 of 34 picked the Eagles.
The outstanding questions from Weeks 1 & 12 were answered. Way back in Week 1, 40 of 46 respondents predicted the Steelers would be in the AFC championship. 20 gave the nod to the Patriots. No one picked the Jags. In Week 12, 20 of 41 respondents said that the Jaguars were the AFC team other than the Patriots they did not want the Steelers to face in the playoffs. We just saw why and those folks all earned a point.
The Division Week had 24 possible points which is huge. Newcomer to the Friday Night Questions Kakello34 scored 16! He has come out of nowhere and is already in 24th place after only 3 weeks. Scoring for the Friday Night Questions will continue up to the Friday before the Super Bowl and then a winner declared. Keep at it folks.
Leaderboard after Division Week:
1st Place – Alan Tman with 46.5 points (who is going to catch this man?)
2nd Place – DirtDawg1964 with 43 points (a new challenger for #1)
3rd Place – LucasY59 with 41 points (leapfrogs the pack)
4th Place – Matt Manzo with 39 points (blistering pace melted the snow)
5th Place – (tie) Darth Blount 47 & Chris92021 with 38.5 points (Darth fading as Chris bursts)
7th Place – (tie) Marcel Chris Chauvet & Josh Cummings with 36.5 (steady but losing ground)
9th Place – Kevin Schwartz with 35.5 points (Kevin surges up from 17th last week)
10th Place – SJT63 with 35 points (it’s show time!)
11th Place – Jeff McNeil with 34.5 points (slipping away after flirting with the top)
12th Place – (tie) heath miller & Jaybird with 33.5 points (no change)
14th Place – Reader783 with 33 points (the mighty are fallen)
15th Place – (tie) Pittfan, Phil Brennenman II & SkoolHouseRoxx with 32 points (a blast from past leaderboards reappears)
18th Place – Wes Lee with 31.5 points
19th Place – Michael Mosgrove with 30.5 points (He’s back!)
20th Place – J. with 28.5 points (hanging on)
Horse with No Name, Ted Webb & Beaver Falls Hosiery fell off the leaderboard.