• Midseason Review – Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Last season proved to be a reasonable, if unspectacular one, for the Pittsburgh Steelers – as they finished second in the AFC North Division and secured a playoff spot under long-serving coach Mike Tomlin. There was no shame in losing to eventual Super Bowl winners the Broncos, but how are the Steelers faring in the current season?

    Tomlin remains in charge of the Steelers for his tenth season, while Kevin Colbert has been the general manager for 17 seasons, giving them a consistency that is rare in the NFL. So far their results have been decidedly mixed this season, with 6 wins and 5 defeats from 11 games – although this is enough to ensure them second spot in the division. There is no question that they have been hampered somewhat by injuries to important players – with the likes of running back DeAngelo Williams and quarterback Bruce Gradowski missing games with fitness issues. The player who has been a stand-out for them this season, Ben Roethlisberger, has also missed matches due to injury – notably the 16-27 defeat to the New England Patriots – and this reaffirmed just how crucial he is to his team. Punter Jordan Berry has been another player who has enjoyed a very strong season for the Steelers thus far, but they have been let down by the performances of David DeCastro, who was re-signed with some fanfare during the off-season, and Jarvis Jones.

    The Steelers have produced a number of strong displays – most notably in the early part of the season – with the fine 43-14 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, complete with superb touchdown at the end of the first half, being one. Low points would be the poor all-round performances in the defeats to the Miami Dolphins and the Baltimore Ravens. Their mixed form has seen their odds for the Super Bowl rise from 8/1 at the start of the season to 14. Of course, this means the bookies still think they have a strong shot, but you may want to stick with playing $5 Million Touchdown at sites such as Spin Palace rather than risking it just now.

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  • Will The Steelers Make The Playoffs?

    DeAngelo Williams

    It was close but not close enough for Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2015-16 NFL season. With a 10-6 record, they finished second in the AFC North Division and sixth in the AFC Conference which earned them a Wild Card playoff place. After defeating the Cincinnati Bengals in the Wild Card playoffs, they then lost to the Denver Broncos, in the Divisional playoffs, who of course went on to win the Super Bowl. Following some strong draft selections, Tomlin will be hoping for more from his Steelers this season. For any fans of the NFL or sports betting, we take a look at the Steelers chances of making the playoffs this season.

    Recent Games

    Pittsburgh have had some very tough games this season that has seen them collect losses at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys and the New England Patriots. However, over the past three weeks, the Steelers have won three consecutive games to put themselves back in serious contention of reaching the playoffs. First of all they placed even more misery on the Cleveland Browns season with 24-9 win. They will meet the Browns again at the end of the season, but more on that later.

    Then came the Thanksgiving Day game against the Indianapolis Colts where Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown were all firing on all cylinders to earn an impressive 28-7 win. This past weekend saw them return to their home ground and take on the New York Giants. This was a huge coup for the Steelers, as the Giants had been on a six game winning streak and favorites to beat Pittsburgh. The Steelers, of course, had other ideas and silenced the critics on this occasion.

    Games Ahead

    With only four games left of the regular season, it really is now make or break time for the Steelers. First up is the Buffalo Bills who have had a very mixed season with a 6-6 record from their twelve games so far. So far the Bills have won and lost against the New England Patriots, which makes it impossible to predict which version of the Bills will show up on the day. Buffalo sit three places behind the Steelers in the AFC conference and they can still get into the playoffs themselves, but they need to put a run together now.

    Next up is the Cincinnati Bengals, who lost to the Steelers all the way back in week 2 of the season. With a 4-7-1 record, the Bengals sit in 13th place of the conference, and are all but eliminated from this season’s playoffs. A loss at the hands of the Steelers could terminate their season.

    The biggest test will undoubtedly be on Christmas day against the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens currently sit comfortably in third place of the conference, which means they are heading straight to the playoffs, as things stand. With a 7-5 record, Baltimore have been a very formidable outfit throughout the 2016 season.

    Finally, the Steelers will finish their season against the Cleveland Browns. The poor Browns sit at the bottom following a 0-12 losing streak, and they’ve never looked even close to snatching a win that could have turned their season around. This one should be a walk in the park for the Steelers.

     
  • Why This Offense Can Lead Pittsburgh Back To The Super Bowl

    Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger

    The Steelers may have lost a grand total of five regular season games already this season, but Mike Tomlin’s men are well equipped for Super Bowl success.

    Offensively, there is very little doubt that Pittsburgh boast the most dangerous unit in the National Football League and the Ben Roethlisberger-Le’Veon Bell-Antonio Brown trident have stepped up to the plate in recent weeks.

    Le’Veon Bell has single-handedly carried the offense since returning from suspension but he has only started to find pay dirt in recent weeks.

    With four touchdowns in his last three appearances and well over 500 scrimmage yards, Bell is the key component of Pittsburgh’s offense – but his presence helps to open up the running game for Brown, who caught three touchdown passes against the Indianapolis Colts.

    Without a shadow of a doubt, this Pittsburgh offense is as good as anybody else in the NFL and it is hard to back against them on current form. Mike Tomlin’s aggressive coaching style suits their potent offensive unit and fans will be starting to believe that they can go all the way to the Super Bowl despite their poor start.

    Betting Sports produced an article on Pittsburgh’s clash with New England earlier this season, and we could be set for a repeat in the AFC championship game this year; albeit with Ben Roethlisberger under center instead of Landry Jones.

    But the Steelers have also raised their game on defense in recent weeks – a key factor in the sudden rise in belief and momentum. Pittsburgh recorded eight sacks against AFC North rivals Cleveland Browns in Week 11 before forcing two turnovers in their victory over the Andrew Luck-less Colts on Thanksgiving Thursday.

    Ultimately, this defense is starting to make game-changing plays and the offense will relish the opportunity to see more time on the field.

    Pittsburgh aren’t necessarily the most complete side in the National Football League but they are certainly one of the most dangerous – and that gives them a fantastic chance of securing yet another Super Bowl ring.

    With Big Ben, Bell and Brown firing on all cylinders, the Steelers could be set to challenge deep into the postseason and a healthy defensive unit will only help to give Tomlin’s sparkling offense a greater chance of victory.

     
  • Best Steelers Performances Of 2016-17 So Far

    Being .500 past the halfway point of the season probably wasn’t what many Steelers fans anticipated back in September. But given the logjam that is the AFC North, that record is more than manageable in a division in which eight or nine wins could earn a playoff spot.

    Despite the average overall record, Steeler Nation has many extraordinary individual efforts to wave their Terrible Towels at this season.

    Through 10 weeks, here are some of the best of those (limiting ourselves to listing a player just once).

    DeAngelo Williams vs. Washington (Week 1)

    Great teams have a next man up mentality, and without Le’Veon Bell suspended in Week 1, DeAngelo Williams proved himself to be that man.

    In his most productive performance since last November, WIlliams collected 143 yards on 26 carries (5.5 average) and two touchdowns. The second of those was a 15-yard effort in the fourth quarter that put the game away.

    Ben Roethlisberger vs. Kansas City (Week 4)

    After suffering the franchise’s worst loss in nearly decades the Sunday prior, Big Ben unleashed his frustration on a Kansas City defense that had no answer for his arm. By the time the game was over, the future Hall of Famer had completed 22 of 27 passes for 300 yards and threw 5 touchdowns for the fifth time in his career.

    Big Ben lit up Kansas City for 300 yards and 5 TDs in Week 5

    Big Ben lit up Kansas City for 300 yards and 5 TDs in Week 5 – NFLSpinZone.com

    Roethlisberger spread the love around in the blowout, issuing TDs through the air to Markus Wheaton, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Jesse Games, and two to Antonio Brown.

    Cameron Heyward vs. Kansas City (Week 4)

    Cameron Heyward was perhaps inarguably the team’s defensive MVP the first half of the season and many blame his absence since then (torn pectoral) for the defense’s mid-season skid.

    In that Week 4 waxing of the Chiefs, Heyward terrorized the Kansas City offensive line. The team’s sack leader the previous two seasons, Heyward recorded three more that Sunday along with 7 total tackles and two passes defended.

    Sammie Coates vs. New York Jets (Week 5)

    Although in recent weeks he’s seen most of his snaps playing on special teams due to having broken fingers, receiver Sammie Coates had such a great start to the season that it made some question if he could overtake Antonio Brown’s role as #1 target by season’s end. Coates had a 40+ yard catch in each of Pittsburgh’s first five games and through that span his 421 yards were just 26 off the pace of Brown.

    Who knows what kind of season Sammie Coates would have had if not for injuries, but his Week 5 performance against the Jets will remain one of the year's best

    Who knows what kind of season Sammie Coates would have had if not for injuries, but his Week 5 performance against the Jets will remain one of the year’s best – FlyWarEagle.com

    Against the Jets in Week 5, the Auburn alum brought in six catches for 139 yards and 2 TDs, including a 72-yard bomb on Pittsburgh’s first drive of the game. That very same game he suffered a laceration in his hand and while he might not be lining up out wide the rest of the season, the promise he’s shown should last long into next year.

    Le’Veon Bell vs. New England (Week 7)

    With backup Landry Jones starting in place of Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell needed to step up in a big way. Although it wasn’t enough in the end to survive with a win, nothing more could have been asked from the back that displayed his immense versatility and then some in the loss.

    While the Patriot defense did a decent job at bottling him up on the rush, Bell still managed 81 yards on 21 carries. He really shined though when receiving dump passes from Bell, catching 7 passes for 106 yards.

    Ryan Shazier vs. Baltimore (Week 10)

    The Steelers and Ravens matchup in Week 9 was expected to be so close, that most online sportsbooks didn’t even issue a point spread for the game. That is why online sports betting and gambling has become very popular – no one can predict what will happen! Whether it’s in play sports betting or taking part in an online casino game like slots. Who can guess the outcome? But if you are the lucky person that is willing to take on the challenge, the rewards overpower the risk factor. Now that online gambling is available in nearly every country including the USA and Canada, everyone has a chance to get involved!

    The game ultimately wasn’t as close as the 21-14 final score indicated, but the losing effort was not reflective of the parts that Ryan Shazier and really most of the linebacking corps played. As a unit they held the Ravens to 50 yards of rushing, no touchdowns on the ground, and sacked Joe Flacco three times. Shazier in particular had a noteworthy day, recording nine tackles (6 solo), 2.5 TFL, half a sack, and a hit on Flacco.

    Stephon Tuitt vs. Cleveland (Week 11)

    A week after his defensive unit was lambasted by the press as being one of the worst in recent team history, defensive end Stephon Tuitt silenced his critics with a career day. Sure, it was only against the Browns, but Tuitt’s 2.5 sacks, 2 TFL, and 4 hurries were the highlight of an overall dominant performance from the defense that had 8 total sacks and allowed just 33 rushing yards on the entire day.

    Stephon Tuitt sent Josh McCown to the sideline with a monster hit in Week 11

    Stephon Tuitt sent Josh McCown to the sideline with a monster hit in Week 11 – SteelersWire.USAToday.com

    Tuitt’s performance specifically caught national attention, particularly for the way he treated Browns QB Josh McCown. The ferocious downfield hit he laid on him the fourth quarter forced McCown out of the game (and possibly the season) with a concussion.

     
  • With The New Season Of NFL Underway, Where Will The Steelers Finish?

    Le'Veon Bell

    It’s almost the halfway point of the regular NFL season, and at this point a number of NFL fans will have a more realistic belief of where their team will finish. Some teams are storming ahead and look like safe bets to reach the Super Bowl, while a number of other teams will need a drastic change in their fortunes if they hope to get there. Furthermore, the recent NFL International Series has been the focal point of a number of NFL blogs. The series has been a huge success in bringing the NFL to attention in the UK with three fantastic games being held in London throughout October.

    Sadly, the Pittsburgh Steelers were not one of the teams involved in the tour, so English fans may have to wait a little longer to see them in person. However, they have been enjoying a very positive season thus far, but where will they finish?

    Key Players

    There is a magic combination between quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back Le’Veon Bell. Last season they complete 58 snaps between them, making them the third best offensive unit and Steelers fans have been salivating at the thought of what they might achieve this season. At the very least, Pittsburgh will be hoping to go one better than last year and get into the AFC Championship final. It’s not quite been all sunshine and lollipops so far for the terrific trio, as Bell missed the first three games through a suspension, but as soon as he was back in game 4, he picked up right where he left off. Then recently, Ben Roethlisberger has been out injured with a torn meniscus, and underwent surgery on the 17th October. Landy Jones was filling in during the most recent game against the New England Patriots, and even though he made touchdown, he just isn’t Big Ben.

    There is good news however, following the Steelers recent bye week, Roethlisberger has been back in training recently and could be fit to return in their next game against the Baltimore Ravens.

    The Games Ahead

    Up next for the Steelers is a trip to the Raven, who are without a win in four games, and Pittsburgh will fancy this one, even if they have to do it without Big Ben. But there is a stern test waiting for the Steelers in week 10 when they take on the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys look like early favourites for the Super Bowl, and that’s mainly due to rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott who have been playing out of their skin and taking the NFL by storm. Having won six games out of seven, Dallas sit at the top of both their conference and division, but if Pittsburgh can get their main three all at peak fitness, Big Ben, Bell and Brown have a chance of stopping the Cowboys in their tracks.

    The Steelers have been in very good shape so far. They currently sit in 4th place of their Conference this year, which as things stand would see them progress comfortably to the play-offs. But this Steelers team have the potential to go all the way, they just need the results.

     
 
 
 
 

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