• “Pacman” Jones’ mouth keeps chomping, says Antonio Brown was “faking” injury

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    Adam “Pacman” Jones just can’t keep his mouth shut.  After his now infamous sideline cry and social media rants following the wild card game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers, Jones has continued to appeal that he was an innocent party and that he and his teammates were unnecessarily targeted for penalties.  And today, Dan Patrick decided to give him an open mic.  Jones went on a several minute rant with his biggest revelation being that Antonio Brown was faking injury after being hit by Vontaze Burfict.  Jones told Patrick in a phone interview that Brown “winked”, indicating he was faking, and that Brown deserved an award for his performance.

    Brown has been under the NFL’s concussion protocol since being helped off of the playing field at Paul Brown Stadium on Saturday.  In what looked to be a blatant hit on a defenseless receiver, Burfict collided with Brown without noticeable hesitation in the open field.

    “By rule, as they told me when I went down to New York, that is a penalty. Personally, I don’t think it is because I don’t think you can get out of the way fast enough,” Steelers linebacker James Harrison reportedly said after the game on NFL Network (per CBS Sports).  Harrison played with Burfict for one season and told Gerry Dulac, “There are times when (Burfict is) out of control, but there are times where he’s out of control but he’s calculated with it…there’s a fine line.”  After seeing the hit on television, Harrison said, “It’s a penalty.”

    Burfict faces a suspension for the hit on Brown. He could also be further disciplined once the league reviews video of Burfict using his knee to pound Ben Roethlisberger in the right shoulder after he forced the quarterback to the ground.

     
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  • Between the Hashmarks: Steelers Self-Destruct Against Ravens

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    What happened to the hot Pittsburgh offense?  Where was the Steelers defense that shutout the Denver Broncos in Week 15?  Against Baltimore, in a game that had zero implications for the Ravens, the Steelers were looking to clinch a playoff spot for 2015.  Instead, they were flatter than a DeflateGate ball and handed Baltimore a gimme.  It was ugly.  Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams was easily the Steelers’ best weapon on both sides of the ball – even if he saw zero defensive snaps.  It begs the question:  What is going on in Pittsburgh?

    Mentally, the Steelers did not even seem to be in the game.  Ben Roethlisberger was not at the top of his game.  Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton and Martavis Bryant were severely limited by a Ravens defensive backfield that was riddled with injuries.  The offensive line couldn’t keep Roethlisberger from getting sacked – but give credit to Big Ben for holding onto the ball for an eternity adding to the reason for those results.  On defense, they gave up big plays in the run and pass game.

    This game resembled an episode of the Walking Dead.  Zombie-like play from Pittsburgh was so far from the type of performance needed to be considered a legitimate team heading into a possible playoff berth.  After they self-destructed, the Steelers must win against the Browns to have a shot at all.  Steelers fans, after viewing a horrifying performance, have to be wondering if they’ll be taking down their decor and putting the jerseys on mothballs until 2016.

    The Kansas City Chiefs and New York Jets both won their games this week, taking control of their destiny in the wild-card race.  Pittsburgh just handed Baltimore two easy wins this season – games that Baltimore only deserved because the Steelers had zero adjustments, zero pep and an energy level that was better suited for nap time that game time.

     
  • Steelers: All Signs Point to Healthy Roster VS Ravens

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    The Pittsburgh Steelers released their injury report on Friday with only two players that missed practice time due to nagging issues: tight end Matt Spaeth and safety Mike Mitchell. Both are listed as probable for Sunday’s rivalry game with the Baltimore Ravens. All other players on the list were placed there for non injury-related purposes. Typically, this has been time given off to veteran players.

    All signs point to the Steelers being in shape in time for what is always a physical on-field contest with their AFC North rivals. The ice baths will be ready after the Week 16 battle that has playoff implications for Pittsburgh and an opportunity for Baltimore to sweep the series in 2015.

     
  • Steelers Receiver Antonio Brown Snags New NFL Record

    Steelers WR Antonio Brown makes a touchdown catch against the Denver Broncos (Dec, 2015 - Getty Images)

    Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Antonio Brown has been on a streak this season, putting together one fantastic game after another.  On Sunday, against the Denver Broncos, Brown snagged a new NFL record in receiving stats.  Brown became the only player (since 1970) to record two 15-reception games in a single season with 16 catches against the Broncos and 17 against the Oakland Raiders (Week 9).

    Brown’s 116 receptions this season has moved him into the number two spot in franchise history with the Steelers.  The only player ahead of him – himself (logging 129 receptions in 2014).

    He has become the second wide receiver in NFL history with three consecutive seasons with 1,500 yards from scrimmage (behind Jerry Rice 1993-1995).

    Brown is also the second player in NFL history to record three straight 110-catch seasons, joining Wes Welker (2007-2009).

    In Week 15, Brown crossed the 1,500 yards in a season mark in back-to-back seasons, becoming the first Steelers player to do so in team history.

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  • Steelers Come Back To Beat Denver, 34-27

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    The Pittsburgh Steelers had their fans in an absolute hair-pulling situation in Week 15 against the Denver Broncos.  After a disastrous first half, the Steelers came out of the locker room at halftime to come storming back in a 34-27 win.  The 17-point deficit the Steelers overcame was their largest since October 5, 1997 against the Baltimore Ravens when they were down by 21 but came back to win, 42-34.

    The Steelers started the game with the first offensive possession resulting in a punt only to watch the Broncos (Hillman) lose the ball and Mike Mitchell recover it.  That put Ben Roethlisberger in the driver’s seat to set up a DeAngelo Williams rush into the end zone for the first points of the game.  After the initial success, the Steelers allowed Brock Osweiler to run up the score with little resistance.

    Osweiler was able to repeatedly toss easy throws that set up an 18-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas, a 61-yarder to Sanders, run unimpeded for a score and then find Thomas again for a short six.  The Steelers defense suffered due to extremely soft coverage and looked completely overwhelmed by a Denver offense that hadn’t scored an offensive touchdown in eight quarters of previous play.

    By halftime, the Broncos led the Steelers 27-13.

    Oh, to be a fly on the wall in the Steelers locker room at halftime because whatever was said or done worked once Pittsburgh took the field in front of a record-breaking Heinz Field crowd.  The crowd got loud and the Steelers woke up.

    The Broncos got the ball first in the second half, but exchanged a couple of three-and-outs with the Steelers before Roethlisberger orchestrated an eight-play drive that ended with a nine-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown.  The Steelers went on to score 21 unanswered points and pitch a defensive shutout for the win.

    Roethlisberger gave every Steelers fan a scare when he forced a pass late in the game that resulted in an interception.  Questions will be raised about why he even went for the toss to Williams in a situation where the Steelers could have run the clock to the final seconds by rushing – and Big Ben would be the first one to tell you he wished he’d held the ball or just throw it into the turf.

    The Steelers defense held strong and got the ball back, dumping Osweiler for the second time in the game and taking away the easy pass.

    Roethlisberger finished the game with 40 completions for 380 yards and three touchdowns (2 interceptions).  Two of those touchdowns went to Brown who had 16 receptions for 189 yards.  Markus Wheaton had six catches for 62 yards and a touchdown.

    Steelers placekicker Chris Boswell went two-for-two on field goals and was perfect on extra points attempted.

    Ryan Shazier was the recipient of an Osweiler interception and Will Allen led the Steelers in tackles, adding a forced fumble on the afternoon.  Cam Heyward and Lawrence Timmons earned a sack apiece.

    The Steelers move to 9-5 on the season by putting together a three-game winning streak.  They face the Baltimore Ravens in Week 16 and finish the regular season on the road against the Cleveland Browns.  Both the Ravens and Browns were eliminated from playoff consideration on Sunday.

     
 
 
 
 

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