Happy Friday to yinz and welcome to the eighth weekend of the 2018 NFL regular season.
The Pittsburgh Steelers enter this weekend as the leaders of the AFC North division thanks to all three of the other AFC North teams losing last weekend. The Steelers now exit their Week 7 bye week with a home game against the Cleveland Browns, who have had four of their first seven games this season go into overtime. The Browns 53-man roster now looks quite a bit different than the one they fielded back in Week 1 against the Steelers and especially on the offensive side of the football.
A Sunday loss by the Steelers to the Browns would certainly go down as one of the team’s most disappointing defeats in the last several seasons.
I’ll be around the house all weekend hanging yet another television along with some new window blinds on Saturday morning. I might, however, find time to sneak out to a casino later tonight around midnight to count a few cards and listen to some music.
As usual, I have five questions for yinz to answer on this Friday night and I look forward to reading all the replies. Have a great and safe weekend and we look forward to entertaining you with quite a bit of pre and post-game content the remainder of this weekend and into Monday.
Peace and love and go Steelers!
1 – How many Steelers players (non QBs of course) will total 75 yards or more from scrimmage against the Browns on Sunday? Name them all correctly for 5 bonus points.
2 – Will the Steelers score an offensive touchdown in the first quarter Sunday at Heinz Field against the Browns?
3 – True or false: The Steelers offense will start at least one offensive possession against the Browns on Sunday inside the Cleveland 40-yard-line.
4 – Will Browns running back Duke Johnson have more than 49 total yards from scrimmage against the Steelers defense on Sunday?
5 – Multiple choice for the other Sunday afternoon AFC North games featuring the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals:
a) Both teams will win
b) Only the Ravens will win
c) Only the Bengals will win
d) Neither team will win
Question 1 – It was almost a perfect weekend in the AFC North. The Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals all lost their games. The only thing that would have made it better was the Steelers winning a game. Alas, it was their bye week. Only 22.8% of Steelers Depot respondents correctly predicted that all three would lose. However, it is noted that many folks indicated they would have answered D but for tactical reasons chose different answers to avoid lessening the Steelers chances of gaining ground. Your sacrifice for the greater good is much appreciated.
Question 2 – The Bengals received 60.7% of the vote as most overrated team in the AFC North. The Ravens followed with 21.4%, Browns 10.7% and the Steelers 7.1%. The prevailing reason the Steelers was chosen was the early Super Bowl contender hyperbole. Folks acknowledged the Ravens stingy defense but believe Joe Flacco will soon come back to earth. Likewise, with Andy Dalton of the Bengals. Other citations were the weak offensive line and lack of team discipline of Cincinnati. As for the Browns, well, they are just the Browns – let’s hope that continues Sunday. (no points awarded for this question)
Question 3 – Steelers Depot respondent predicted that rookie wide receiver James Washington would catch anywhere between 3-13 passes in the next four Steelers games. The median response was eight receptions for Washington which would average two a game. Points for this question will be awarded after the Steelers play the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Question 4 – These next two games are especially important if not critical for the Steeler to win and increase their chances to qualify for the playoffs in 2018. Even casual Steelers fans realize that Sunday’s game versus the Cleveland Browns is a trap game. It’s a home game that the Steelers should win handily but will the Browns catch them looking ahead to the Ravens game? Will Mike Tomlin have the team prepared to play or will he continue allowing them to underperform against weaker opponents? The game in Baltimore will be very tough. Since 2011, the Steelers are 2-5 versus the Ravens at Baltimore. Marcus Gilbert has been missing practice and the crow’s defense has been one of the best in the NFL this season. Add the fact that the Steelers failed to acquire Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals and this may be a track meet with Ravens receivers racing uncovered toward the endzone. Nevertheless, 75.4% of respondents predict the Steelers will sweep these two games.
Question 5 – The grades are in and Ben Roethlisberger earned a 2.95 GPA. That’s a pretty solid B on the 4-point scale. A passing grade but still room for improvement. As I would tell my sons when they would present me with a report card with straight A’s, “How come you don’t have any A plusses?” But that is what the average Steelers fan expect of the Black & Gold.
Folks, it was a bye week and we had the least number of responses so far this season. Let’s go, time to get with the program. Just 3 points to be awarded for this week but we won’t know who will get the 5-point bonus for getting all three correct for a few weeks.
The Leaderboard after Week 7:
|Beaver Falls Hosiery||28||4th||-1|
|Johnny Loose||27||5th (tie)||-2|
|6 ring circus||27||5th (tie)||+3|
|IC in Cincy||25||11th (tie)||-1|
|Wes Lee||25||11th (tie)||-1|
|Ted Webb||25||11th (tie)||+3|
|Matt Manzo||25||11th (tie)||+3|
|Marcel Chris Chauvet||24||17th (tie)||-3|
|Greg Payne||23||20th (tie)||-1|
*new to leaderboard