Happy Friday to all yinz once again and welcome to Wildcard weekend.
With the Pittsburgh Steelers on a playoff bye this week, we can now look forward to watching four Wildcard games in relative peace. We’ll know by Sunday evening whether or not the Steelers will host the Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, or Tennessee Titans a week from Sunday in the Divisional Round.
Even though the Steelers were on a bye this week, the team still had a dose of drama thanks to offensive coordinator Todd Haley being involved in a New Year’s Eve incident at the Tequila Cowboy. Personally, I’m not sure I could correctly recite all of the mini dramas the Steelers have had this season and in order in less than two minutes. Here’s to hoping that the Haley incident is the final one for at least this season.
As usual, I have five questions for you to answer in the comment section below on this quiet Friday evening. I also added a bonus question this week.
I hope all of you have a great weekend and make sure to look for our Wildcard round discussion threads on the site starting Saturday.
Peace and love, peace and love and Go Steelers!
1 – Assuming the Steelers ultimately make it to the Super Bowl in a few more weeks, which one of the 6 NFC playoff teams do you think would provide them the steepest competition in Minnesota? (Eagles, Vikings, Rams, Saints, Panthers, or Falcons)
2 – Will Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak land a head coaching job this offseason?
3 – How many total points will be scored in all four Wildcard playoff games this weekend? The closest to the actual number without going over receives 10 points and second place gets 5.
4 – Do you view the Friday morning ESPN story about the New England Patriots as being a major distraction for them, a minor distraction, or no distraction at all? Also, if you read the story, share your main takeaway from it.
5 – With the regular season now over, would you give Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell the $14.54 million franchise tag during the offseason even if you knew ahead of time that no contract extension would ultimately be signed and that he would holdout all of training camp and the preseason just as he did this year?
Bonus – Who wins the National Championship game between Alabama and Georgia?
Question 1 – Over 74% of respondents (23 of 31) believe the team should NOT have cut James Harrison after his second request around Week 8. The reasoning is that he had been paid a guaranteed salary and was insurance in case of injury. This saga will continue to be debated. Though a growing number want to move on.
Question 2 – Cam Sutton and Brian Allen were the two back-up players we were most excited to see play. Both got 9 votes. Sutton only got 3 defensive snaps but that was enough to gain his admirers a point. Brian Allen was limited to special teams only so no points for his supporters. Others voted for Landry Jones (6), Stevan Ridley (5), Anthony Chickillo (1) & Josh Dobbs (1). All got a point except for Josh Dobbs who did not get to play.
Question 3 – The Ravens were the team that 14 folks thought had the best chance of beating the Patriots. Another 8 thought the Chargers with Philip Rivers were. All were wrong. If the Chiefs beat the Titans this weekend; the 8 folks that picked them will get a point.
Question 4 – The Steelers were over 4.5 with 6 sacks. Only 11 folks got this right.
Question 5 – Landry Jones only had one TD pass against the Browns so was under 1.5. Even less people – only 7 got this right. 24 folks took the over.
With the end of the regular season a lot of results came in from previous weeks:
Week 1: Jesse James played in 81.92% of offensive snaps compared to 24.5% by Vance McDonald. 13 got a point for picking James to play more. Chris92021 got a point for being closest to percentage of snaps played. Steeler-Drew & Kevin Schwartz got points for predicting that Heyward, Tuitt, Hargrave & Alualu would combine for 21 sacks. Also, 11 folks predicted the Patriots 13-3 record while 13 predicted the Steelers 13-3 record. There are two more points to be won for this week. Many predicted a Steelers vs Patriots AFC championship – we’ll find out who was right soon.
Week 9: Ben ended up with 18 TD passes and 5 INT’s in last eight games of season. Reader783 & Larry Kraus pegged the TD count while 19 folks got the INT number right. 16 folks also predicted a 7-1 Steelers 2nd half season record.
Week 10: 15 people correctly predicted that Cam Heyward would lead the team in sacks in the last half of the season (two only get half credit since they picked two players). Eight predicted that it would be 7 sacks. Also, Ben’s TD & INT’s was a repeat question. Reader783 picked up another point on Ben’s 18 TD’s and 9 folks the INT number.
So, all previous weeks have been tallied up with just Weeks 1, 12 & 17 having answers still to be determined.
Leaderboard after Week 17:
1st Place – Alan Tman with 38.5 points
2nd Place – Darth Blount 47 with 36.5 points (back point surge within 2 of lead)
3rd Place – DirtDawg1964 with 35 points (on Darth’s heels)
4th Place – Jeff McNeil with 33.5 (McNeil up 8 spots in 2 weeks!)
5th Place – (tie) Marcel Chris Chauvet & Josh Cummings with 32.5 points
7th Place – (tie) Reader783, SJT63 & LucasY59 with 32 points
10th Place – Chris92021 with 31.5 points
11th Place – Matt Manzo with 31 points
12th Place – Pittfan with 30 points
13th Place – (tie) heath miller & Jaybird with 29.5 points
15th Place – Phil Brennenman II with 29 points
16th Place – J. with 27.5 points
17th Place – NONAME with 27 points
18th Place – Kevin Schwartz with 26.5 points
19th Place – Beaver Falls Hosiery with 25 points
20th Place – Ted Webb with 24.5 points (Welcome to the leaderboard)
Dropped off leaderboard for now: Michael Mosgrove (21.5), SkoolHouseRoxx (24), & PaeperCup (20)
Wes Lee (22.5) & JohnB (22.5) almost there.