Monday, December 5, 2016

Which Players Should the Penguins Protect when the Vegas Expansion Draft Comes Along?

   Which Players Should the Penguins Protect when the Vegas Expansion Draft Comes Along?
By: Jeff Stewart

              It was an excellent summer for the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Fresh off their Stanley Cup championship, there was much to celebrate.   However, just 10 days after the Penguins lifted the Stanley Cup the NHL announced their plans to create an expansion team in Las Vegas. This came along at the worst possible time for the newly crowned Penguins.  Each team is able to choose to protect either 7 forwards, 3 defensemen, and 1 goalie. Or 8 skaters(forwards and defensemen) and 1 goalie.  This may seem like it will come as a big blow to the young Penguins team which looked like it was built for success in the coming years.  However, it will all be ok Penguins fans!  Let's go through who the Penguins should keep.

            I believe the first choice is the best for the Penguins, 7 forwards, three defensemen, and 1 goalie.  

FORWARDS:
 Guaranteed Protected: 
 Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel, Patric Hornqvist 

Those choices were pretty obvious. Now, we only have three openings left and things get a lot more interesting. 

Carl Hagelin-  We have yet to pick a left-winger and he was a part of the dominant HBK line this past postseason. Adding his young age into the mix, he can become a star for Pittsburgh in the coming years.

Nick Bonino- I'd really like to keep all three players from the HBK line.  They are all very explosive and work well together.  If you keep all three Coach Sullivan will have to make one less line.

Conor Sheary-  We only have one left winger and I don't know how much longer the 37-year-old Chris Kunitz can go.  Sheary played pretty solidly with Sid last year.  He's 24 and has shown glimpses of greatness. 

DEFENSEMEN- 
We will be able to keep only three defensemen, so we need to choose wisely!
Guaranteed Protected:
Kris Letang, Oli Matta

There is only one slot left, with six players to choose from this position will leave Jim Rutherford in a pickle. 

Ian Cole- I personally like Ian Cole more than Daley, Dumoulin, and Pouliot. He is 27 years of age so he still has lots of hockey left in him.  He played really well last year and I expect him to get better.  I also believe we can get 2 if not all 3 of the players I chose Cole over in the expansion draft.

GOALIES:
This decision will be the biggest decision for the Penguins before this draft.  Do we keep the 32-year-old Marc-Andre Fleury, who has had lots of experience and success, or do we take the 2nd year goaltender who lead the Penguins to the Stanley cup, Matt Murray?   The Penguins may be able to keep both because if a player is in his first or second professional years the player can't be sent to the expansion draft no matter what.  However, there is still confusion as to whether or not the rule refers to 2 NHL years or 2 years playing professional hockey.  I see the rule as 2 professional years, in which case Murray would not be safe from the draft.  This is a tough decision that even I am still flip-flopping from. 

Matt Murray-  If I made a decision right now, I would choose Murray.  He is so young and has a lot of potential.  I would hope that the Pens would somehow be able to get Fleury in the expansion draft.  I am a little cautious with Murray with his little experience.  Yet Fleury still has solid years left as well. 

If the Penguins are able to keep Fleury and Murray together I think it will be a great team and the Penguins will be able to rest their goalies comfortably knowing they have another that can do just as well. 

                 In conclusion, the Pittsburgh Penguins are in great shape to retain a championship contending team after the expansion draft. Hopefully we are able to get more than just the 10 I mentioned. Until then it will be interesting to keep an eye on. Go Pens!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

College Football Playoff: Final predictions

Today is the day. In about an hour, we will know who is in and who is out. So, here is what we think will go down at noon today.

#1: Alabama
Joe/Jeff/Brad/Ryan
No explanation needed. The Tide are a semi-pro team that is playing college football. They have been the most dominant team in America all year, and are clear favorites to win yet another national title.

#2: Clemson (Joe/Jeff) Ohio State (Brad/Ryan)
The Tigers are a lock for the playoffs. They did lose to Pitt, but nonetheless, they have been dominant far more often than not. Clemson is as good as any non-Saban coached team in America, and they deserve this #2 spot.

My cousins Brad and Ryan believe that Ohio State deserves to stay at #2. Yes, the Buckeyes have one of the most impressive resumes in the country, but they did not win their conference, and because of that, I believe they need to drop a few spots if they still are to make the playoff.

#3: Washington (Joe, Brad) Clemson (Ryan) Ohio State (Jeff)
Yes, the Huskies didn't have the toughest schedule in the world. But I feel that they have proven themselves to be a playoff worthy football team. They beat Utah on the road. They dominated a good Washington State team on the road in a rivalry game, and they beat a very good Colorodo team in the PAC 12 title game on Friday. The Huskies came into that PAC 12 title game ranked #4, and I think after that performance, it would be unjust to knock them out of the playoff.

#4: Ohio State (Joe) Clemson (Brad) Washington (Jeff/Ryan)
Regardless of weather or not my Nittany Lions deserve to be in the playoff, I sadly think that Penn State will be left out. Ohio State won a lot of big games, only has 1 loss, and draws a lot of money. Therefore, I don't see the Buckeyes dropping all the way from #2 to #5. I understand that Penn State is the champion of the nations toughest conference. I understand that they beat Ohio State head to head. However, I don't see the committe shutting the Buckeyes out. They have one of the nations best resumes, and that is what will get them in.

#5: Penn State
What I said above. I hope to write more about Penn State's situtation in a later post.

#6: Michigan
Michigan is as a good as any team in the country that isn't Alabama. However, they lost to Iowa, and the lost to Ohio State. They did not make the Big 10 title game, and unlike Ohio State, they have as many losses as the team that did. So sorry, Michigan. No playoffs for you.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Penn State- Wisconsin: 3 Keys to a Big 10 Title

Hello all. In case any of you are wondering, I will not be going into detail about Penn State and the College Football Playoff. I have decided to be like James Franklin and only focus on what is straight ahead, which is the Wisconsin Badgers. Here are 3 things Penn State can do to beat the Badgers and go to the playoff or Rose Bowl

Key #1: Stop the run
The Wisconsin Badgers are not a good passing team. I think the fact that they have juggled between two quarterbacks (Alex Hornibrook and Bart Houston) proves that. However, the Badgers do have a decent running game. Corey Clement is a workhoarse, and he is the leader of the Badgers offense, with 1,140 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns. Another thing the Badgers do very well are jet sweeps, as receiver Jazz Peavy is one of the biggest weapons in the Big 10. Dare Ogunbowale and Bradrick Shaw are also weapons that Paul Chryst will use on Saturday night.

Penn State's defensive line has, for the most part, done a solid job at stopping the run, and although I expect the Badgers to get their fair share of yards, I also expect the Nittany Lions to hold their own.

Odds of Execution: Fair

Key #2: Contain T.J. Watt
He'll probably always be the second best player in his family, but T.J., brother of J.J., is a beast in his right. The Junior linebacker is one of the best defensive players in the country, and he can change the game with one play. The Nittany Lions must keep Watt from wrecking the whole damn night, because he is capable of doing just that.

Odds of Exeuction: Solid 

Key #3: Trace McSorley
Just Trace Mcsorley. While many see Saquon Barkley as the most important man in the Penn State offense, nobody has more pressure on them than the quarterback. McSorley has played in some big games, in this his first season as a colligiate starter, but nothing close to what will go down in Indy on Saturday Night.

The two questions that I have about McSorley are;
1. Can he handle the moment?
2. Can he throw the football?
I have no doubts that McSorley can handle the moment, as he is not the type of kid to get rattled. However, I am concerned about the strength of Wisconsin's defense. The Badgers have one of the best units in college football, and it's probably the biggest challange Penn State's offense has faced since the Michigan game.

Although there is reason for doubt, this team knows how to find a way, and I believe Trace McSorley will find a way.

Final Prediction
It will be a tough, low-scoring game, but I believe that Penn State is the more balanced team. The Nittany Lion offense is a machine, and I think if they can score 21 points against this tough Badger defense, they will win the game. I just don't think Wisconsin's offense will be productive enough to get them over the hump, which is so rare to say about a Paul Chryst coached team.

Penn State will win. This is our moment. This is for Nittany Nation. These will be the Big 10 Champs. Get ready to smell to roses (or face Alabama).

Penn State 21, Wisconsin 17.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Steelers Reaction: Quality play, or inferior competition?

By: Joe Smeltzer
There's nothing quite like writing about Pittsburgh Steeler football on a Tuesday. 
Photo creds to lockhaven.com


In case you are not up to date with "the great football team," The Steelers could be starting to turn the corner. After an ugly string of losses that lasted over a month, Pittsburgh won two games in a five- day stretch, defeating the Cleveland Brows and Indianapolis Colts, both on the road, by a combined score of 52-16. While the Steelers certainly warrant credit for doing their jobs well, should we heap that much praise on them? Or, does a lot of it have to do with their poor level of competition?

The Cleveland Browns are the Cleveland Browns. Only this year, they are slightly worse than the average Cleveland Browns are. I need not explain why a 0-12 football team is terrible, so I'll spend a little more time talking about the Indianapolis Colts and their situation.

The Colts are not an awful football team. Coming into Thursday Night's contest, Indy was 5-5. However, the Colts became a terrible football team when their prized quarterback, Andrew Luck, was ruled out for Turkey Day with a concussion. Scott Tolzien started, and the Colts were no better on Thursday than the Browns were on Sunday.

Although it's difficult to decipher how good the Steelers were over the past week, I think it was evident that their defense has improved tremendously. Sunday in Cleveland was a particularly impressive performance, as Pittsburgh posted eight sacks and allowed just 33 yards on the ground.

To me, the biggest reason to be encouraged by the Steelers defense is the youth. Artie Burns, Javon Hargrave, and Sean Davis are three rookies who have been getting significant playing time for Keith Butler. Burns and Hargrave are two players who have shown serious potential. Burns is an athletic corner who seems to be getting better and better as the season goes on. Hargrave is a beast, who can play anywhere he wishes on the defensive line.

Davis has been a little different. There have been times where the rookie from Maryland has played well, but as we saw in the final minute of that terrible Dallas loss, he still has to get better mentally.

The 3rd year defensive end from Notre Dame, Stephon Tuitt, is playing like a beast, lining up everywhere, punishing the quarterback, and earning AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors. While the Steelers defense is not championship material quite yet, with young players like Hargrave, Burns, Tuitt and Bud Dupree, who made his season debut on Sunday, I believe that they are on the right track.

Ironically, the Steelers celebrated offensive attack has been the worst part of their team over the past two games. All I need to say to back up that point is that this offense, which was supposedly the greatest in the history of the league coming into the season, score one- one! Touchdown against the Cleveland Browns. That is a problem, and it needs to be solved. The O has been inconsistent all season, and you never know what you're gonna get on Sunday. The best part of the Steelers offense recently has unquestionably been runningback Le'Veon Bell, and hopefully the rest of the boys can follow Bell's lead and put up 30+ consistenly like Big Ben talked about. 

So, how should Pittsburgh Steelers fans feel about their team right now? In my opinion, they should feel OK. Not great. Not awful. Just fine.

Steelers fans are very demanding, and they have good reasons to be upset about their immortal beloved right now. The Steelers are a 6-5 team that has 9-2 talent. They were a sexy Super Bowl pick coming into the season, and they have been average. That is unacceptable, and Pittsburgh should be better than what they are.

On the flip side; the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to win the AFC North.

That's not as much a compliment to the Steelers as it is an insult to the rest of this god awful division. The Steelers could conceivably go 3-2 the rest of the way and still skate away with a division crown. The only credible threat to the Black and Gold right now is the hated dirty birds. If Pittsburgh can take care of Joe Flacco and the boys at Heinz Field on Christmas Day, then they will for sure be the division champs. Although it would be somewhat misleading given the weakness of the AFC North in 2016, winning a division title is always a goal, and it would be lovely to accomplish this aim.

The Steelers are playing good football. Maybe it's a small sample size, maybe the competition was crap, but they are playing good football, and this is the type of year when playing good enough to get into the playoffs can get you places. There is one elite team in the AFC, and that is the almighty New England Patriots. In my mind, any team can make a run.

You know about the Kansas City Chiefs? The team that's 8-3 and on fire? Well, these Pittsburgh Steelers wrecked that team by a score of 43-14 less than two months ago. Sure, that magnificant performance seems like a long time ago, but it still shows how much damage this team can do.

The Steelers are what they are. They are not a consistently great football team the way they were in 2005, 2008 and even 2010. But when they get hot, they get hot. And the just might be getting hot at the right time. So, to answer my own question, I believe that the Steelers have been playing good football in addition to their recent opponents being terrible, and the stats, especially on defense, back up that statement. There's a lot of football left to be played, fans, and all we can do is sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.



Sunday, November 27, 2016

Nfl Week 12 Preview/Predictions part II

We going old school (graphic creds to Brad W. Stewart

By: Joe Smeltzer
This is Part II

Fun cities, lousy football
Rams (4-6) at Saints (4-6)
*Disclaimer* all of our picks for the Bengals-Ravens games are for the Ravens, who were once the Browns. 


I would label this as my "who the hell cares?" game of the week, but that would be too much disrespect towards the great Drew Brees. The Rams are a trainwreck that gets uglier and harder to watch as the weeks go on. Jeff Fisher, bad news may be on the doorstep for you when this season is over. Brad is the only one who believes in Jeff Fisher, as you can see by the graphic above. Sorry, Jeff. Brad can't save your job.

Saints 27, Rams 17

Bring back the Oil
Tennesse (5-6) at Chicago (2-8)
Houston Oilers #1

Yuck. Well, this game is meaningless. But Marcus Mariota is very talented, while the Chicago Bears are very awful. I know it is in Chicago, but the combination of Mariota and DeMarco Murray will be deadly on this Sunday.

T.C. Williams Titans 30, Chicago Bears 14

Ayeeee
Arizona (4-5-1) at Atlanta Falcons (6-4) 

The Cardinals were a good football team in 2015. The Cardinals are not a good football team in 2016. Although the Falcons have been somewhat inconsistent, today will be a day in which the Birds will fly high in Dixie Land. Julio Jones will catch eight passes for 111 yards and reel in 2 TD's, and the Falcons will inch closer to that NFC South title. 

Falcons 35, Cardinals 24

Will the Browns win?
Ha. No. 


Talking Proud 
Jags (2-8) at Bills (5-5) 
I once thought that Jacksonville was a potential sleeper. Alas, I did. But they are what they are. Blake Bortles still has an attractive wife, but he also loses. A lot. Buffalo, on the other hand, talks proud and has LeSean McCoy, who will not be stopped by a little thing like an injured thumb hold him back. Sammy Watkins also makes his return, and frankly, my dear, I just don't give a damn about that. Jeff has the Jags pulling an upset because Buffalo doesn't have "a good offense". Sorry, Jeffery. Jacksonville doesn't have a good franchise


Bills 30, Jags 22

The AFC South is garbish 
San Diego (4-6) at Houston (6-4) 
Does that look out of bounds to you?

The AFC South stinks. While the Texans are, at least in my opinion, a pretty solid football team, I don't think that they are good enough to be considered a lock to win their division. But they are, and San Diego is in the cellar of the competitive AFC West. The Texans have a right to feel a little cheated with the way things went down in Oakland on Monday Night, and they will avenge that loss against another team from Cali that does not have Derek Carr (sorry, Phillip Rivers. The kid runs the state). My cousin Jeff has the Chargers winning because his "gut" tells him so. Well Jeff, your gut is not wise. 

Texans 33, Chargers 22

Who the Hell Cares?
Bengals (3-6-1) at Ravens (5-5) 

The AFC North stinks. Both of these teams are meh. Not that I'm complaining as a Steelers fan, but yuck. This division has fallen on hard times, and so has my interest for both of these teams.
Ravens some points, Bengals less points

Castro is dead!
Castro is dead! Kaepernick is a scrub, and the Dolphins are playing great football. Miami's already great weekend will just continue to get better.

Dolphins 33, 49ers 17

Upset city?
Seattle (7-2-1) at Tampa (5-5)
These Bucs will be no cakewalk for the Legion of Boom. Tampa is a tough football team that is still fighting for supremacy in the NFC South, and they are at home. However, I have a feeling that this is just one of those games where the favorite is on the ropes before the underdog runs out of gas. Seattle will be clinging to a 19-14 lead in the dying seconds, with Jameis Winston leading the Bucs on a potential game-winning drive. Winston will falter, throwing a pick to, guess who? #25 Richard Sherman, in the Endzone, to thwart an upset bid. Believe that.

Seahawks 19, Bucs 14

Will the Patriots lose?
Negative 

AC/DC strikes again
Panthers (4-6) at Raiders (8-2) 


Cam Newton was once thought to be the future of the National Football League. That was yesterday. Derek Carr IS the future of the National Football League. That is today. Carr and Cooper will club Carolina. How's that for alliteration?

Raiders 33, Panthers 27 (always has to be close with Oakland)

The AFC West is pretty good
Chiefs (7-3) at Broncos (7-3)

If this contest were at Arrowhead Stadium, I would see things a little differently. However, it is at Mile High. The Broncos don't have a quarterback, but they do have a world class defense, and life will not be fun for Alex Smith on Sunday Night. It will be close, but I see Denver's pass rush getting to Smith enough to make a big difference. Kansas City will score but 10 points on this night, and Denver will score more than that. My cousin Brad is the only one of us who picks Kansas City. Therefore, he is the only one of us who will be wrong. 

Broncos 17, Chiefs 10. 

Going against logic
Packers (4-6) at Eagles (5-5)
However, I just don't see the Green Bay Packers, who Curley Lambeau built, Vince Lombardi ruled, and Mike Holmgren resurrected before leaving for more money, going down without a fight. Do I believe Green Bay is still in the hunt for the NFC North? No, I don't. But do I see them temporarily stopping the bleeding? Yes.

Packers 20, Eagles 14

Friday, November 25, 2016

Ohio State-Michigan: Preview/Prediction

It's the best rivalry in college sports. It's just that simple. No rivalries are as long, as historical, and as meaningful as Ohio State-Michigan. From Fielding Yost and Chic Harley to Paul Brown and Tom Harmon, to Woody and Bo, Tressel and Carr, and finally, Meyer and Harbaugh. Since these teams first met in 1897, we've seen Michigan pummel the Buckeyes so badly that it inspired an alma mater from the other side. These two empires have combined for 19 National Titles, 77 Big 10 Titles, and 10 Heisman winners. We've seen fights, snow, a Heisman pose, and a "Ten Year War" filled with legends, paranoia, and damn good football.

College Football has plenty of rivalries, sure. But on Saturday, November 26th, on 411 Woody Hayes Dr., only one game matters. It's #2 vs. #3. It's a chance to stay alive in the chase for a national championship. It's "The Game."


Now, let's talk matchups.

Ohio States O-Line vs. Michigan's D-Line
Add caption

While the Buckeyes offensive line has been holding its own over the past few weeks, I still think that Michigans D-Line will cause some problems. Chirs Wormley, Ryan Glasgow, and Taco Charlton are all very talented, and Michigan's three-man front is as good as any in the land. It will be interesting to see how the at times shaky Buckeye O-Line can handle them. Oh, and #5 Jabril Peppers plays linebacker. He's pretty good.

Edge: Michigan 

Michigan's O-Line vs. Ohio State's D-Line 
The rivalry was dominated by Michigan, until Chic Harley came along. (Photo creds to The Columbous Dispatch)

Michigan's offensive line has done well for most of this season, but recently, they have lagged. Ohio State's defensive line, led by Sam Hubbard, will need to neutralize Michigan's various weapons in the ground game. It's a tough battle, but because of Michigan's uncertain QB situation (we will get to that), the Wolverines may have to run the ball more than usual. I don't think the Wolverines run game can carry the load enough to roll up the points the way they usually do. If Michigan's offense was at full strength, I might give them the edge. But because they may not be, I think the lack of variety in Michigan's play calling created by Wilton Speight's injury will hurt them, and the Buckeye front seven will take advantage.

Edge: Ohio State

Ohio State's Secondary vs. Michigan's Receivers
"They're tearing down Michigan's coveted M Club banner!" Wolvarines announcer Bob Ufer screamed in horror before he 1973 contest. (Photo creds to Pick Six Previews).

On paper, this should be the best matchup of the day. Ohio State's secondary is loaded, as Malik Hooker, Gareon Connley, and Marshon Lattimer are elite performers. Michigan's receivers are also charged, as Jehu Chesson, Amara Darboah, and tight end Jake Butt are all fantastic in their right. If I were sure that Speight was ready to go and hit his receivers consistently, I would call this a push. But since we don't know what we will see at quarterback for the Maize and Blue, I'll give the ballers in the Buckeye defensive backfield a slight edge.

Edge: Ohio State 

Michigan's Secondary vs. Ohio State's Receivers
"Hello Heisman"!

Here, Michigan has the Buckeyes beat. Jourdan Lewis is one of the best corners in the country, and he spearheads a secondary that may be the very best in the country. Ohio State is not known as a passing team, so don't expect the Bucks to test the UM defensive backfield frequently.

Edge: Michigan

Special Teams 
Bo Schembechler's biggest win over Ohio State was his first one, when the Maize and Blue stunned the #1 ranked Buckeyes, 24-12, on November 22nd, 1969 (Photo creds to SI.com)

According to http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/feist, Michigan has the second best special teams unit in America, while Ohio State has the 31st. I think that solves this issue. Oh, and that Jabril Peppers guy is pretty good.

Edge: Michigan 

Quarterbacks 
Troy Smith defeated the #2 Wolvarines in 2006, and precedded to win that years Heisman. (Photo creds to OhioStateBuckeyes.com)

A healthy Wilton Speight vs. J.T. Barrett? Push. A questionable Wilton Speight and/or John O'Korn, who was piss poor last week against Indiana? I'm going to give the edge to Barrett.

He may not be quite what he was in 2014, but the junior Buckeye quarterback is established, and he knows what to do in big games. This is the biggest game of J.T. Barrett's life to this point, and I think he will be up to the task.

Edge: Ohio State

Runningbacks
Tom Harmon is the only opposing player to get a standing ovation in the Horseshoe (or at least the most important one). 

This category is a tough call. For the Buckeyes, Mike Weber, Curtis Samuel, and J.T. Barrett are all big running threats, while for Michigan, Devon Smith, Chris Evans, Jabril Peppers and Eddie McDoom can all run the football. Michigan has a deeper core of running backs, while Ohio State has a more talented group. So, I think it's only fair to call this a push.

Edge: Michigan

Final Prediction
I am expecting a defensive battle that could go either way. However, as with all sporting events that I predict, there are a few deciding factors.

The first factor is that Ohio State is at home. It's a classic sports cliche, but it's true; Homefield advantage is import, especially when it's a place as loud and proud as Ohio Stadium is. The second factor is current form. Michigan is two weeks removed from a crushing defeat in Iowa city, and they did not look overly impressive last week in their win over 20-10 win over Indiana (albeit weather was a factor). The third and final factor, and what is the true tiebreaker in my eyes, is Wilton Speight.

Will he start? Will O'Korn start? How healthy will Speight be? Is Speight not big enough to handle this moment anyway? There are just too many question marks at the quarterback position for me to feel comfortable about picking Michigan to win. Therefore, after doing my homework and thinking things through, I feel that Ohio State is the safe pick, and they are the right pick. As a Nittany Lions lifer who wants to see his team play in the Big 10 title game, they better be the right pick.

Ohio State 19, Michigan 13

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Steelers-Colts: 3 Keys to victory

The face of a champion (Photo creds to NFL.Com)
Hello, all. I am back with my "3 keys to victory" for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Pittsburgh has a turkey day tilt with the Indianapolis Colts tonight, and things got a little easier when we found out that Andrew, son of Oliver, would be out with a concussion. The Steelers should win this one, and here are three things that they can do to ensure victory.

Key #1: Score some points 
Photo creds to CBS Sports

Sure, the Steelers beat the Cleveland Browns last Sunday. But they scored one- yes, 1, offensive touchdown against that garbish defense and football team. Right now, this offense is not living up to its reputation, and that needs to change starting tonight. Luckily, the Colts defense is not very good, either. Therefore, I expect the O to bounce back and put up some quality numbers.


Odds of execution: Solid

Key #2: Stop Frank Gore


Yes, Andrew Luck is out, and yes, that significantly limits the Colts passing attack. But make no mistake, the Steelers run defense without Cam Heyward has not been good. The Colts have a future Hall of Famer named Frank Gore in the backfield, and Frank Gore knows how to run the football. Gore can also catch passes out of the backfield, so don't be surprised if Scott Tolzien throws several short passes to #23. In a nutshell, Gore can hurt the Steelers both in the air and on the ground, and if the Colts have a productive night offensively, he will be the main reason why.

Odds of execution: Moderate 

Key #3: Don't follow the script 

The Steelers should win this game. We all know what tends to happen in games the Steelers SHOULD win. If the Steelers play their game, against an inconsistent Colts team with a backup QB, they should be okay. But if they play down to their competition as they often do, they will be in trouble

Prediction
Scott Tolzien had a good career as a Wisconsin Badger. Unfourtanly for Tolzien, I don't think tonight's game is going to outweigh taking Bucky to the Rose Bowl in 2010. If the Steelers pass rush looks anything like they did on Sunday, then they will win this football game. The Steelers have lost 4 of 5. But they are playing against an inferior team with a backup QB and a weak offensive line. If the Steelers lose this football game, then lots and lots of worry should follow.
Steelers 32, Colts 17