Sunday, September 25, 2016

Steelers-Eagles: 3 Keys to Victory

Hello, all. In a few hours, the battle of the keystone state will take place between PA's two NFL teams. Of course, those are the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philidelphia Eagles. Here are 3 big things that the Steelers need to do to defeat the birds in the volitale enviorment of Lincoln Finincial Field.

Key #1: Bring Wentz back to reality
Photo creds to www.espn.com

The Philidelphia Eagles are 2-0, and they have won both of their games by a convincing margin. Although these were against two weak teams in Chicago and Cleveland, the Eagles are flying high at the moment, and none are soaring more than their rookie QB, Carson Wentz. As much as I like the 6'5 specimen from North Dakota State (Big Ben 2.0)? I would love to see him humbled at the hands of Cam Heyward and the Steelers defense this afternoon. The more Wentz struggles, the less points the Eagles will score. The fewer points the Eagles score, the greater the chance is of a Steelers victory.


Odds of excution: Fair

Key #2: Fire the big guns
Photo creds to clutchpoints.com

The Steelers have tons of star power on the offensive side of the ball. As should be common sense, Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown playing well are crucial to the Steelers chances. In last week's win over Cincinnati, neither Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown or DeAngelo Williams played particularly well. Luckily, it was a crappy day outside, so the Bengals offense struggled as well, and the Steelers were able to escape with a victory. They might not be so lucky in Philly.
Odds of excution: Should be good, but I have a bad feeling because.....

Key #3: Don't play down to the competition
Don't let the 2-0 records fool you. The Steelers are the better team in this game, and if you're an intelligent Steeler fan, this is a scary thing to think of. For whatever reason, over the past few years, the Steelers have had a tendency to play down to their competition. In short, they lose games that they should win. Today's game in Philly has trap game written all over it. In my opinion, the perfect trap game consists of the better team;
1. Playing on the road
2. Playing against an inferior opponent
3. Coming off a big win

You can place a big fat checkmark by all 3 of these, and ultimetly, that leads to my prediction that you yinzers are not going to like


Final prediction

I'm not going to give a detailed X's and O's explanation of why I think the Steelers will lose this game because I do not have one. The Steelers are the better team in virtually every phase of the game, and if this were at Heinz Field, I would predict the Steelers to win by 10+ points. But it is a road game in a hostile environment, and because of the elements of a trap game listed above. I think today will be one of those days where Steeler fans everywhere say ''why the hell do we always do this?''

Eagles 31, Steelers 24

Saturday, September 24, 2016

NFL Week 3 Preview/Predictions

 


 




Hello, all. Welcome to our preview for Week 3 of the 2016 NFL Season. The graphic above, coutrasey of my cousin Bradley William Stewart, is pretty self explainitory, so let's get into why we think what we think. If you're wondering why I did not write about why the Eagles would beat the Steelers in this article, I have a seperate post planned for that in the coming hours. 

First place Baltimore Ravens?

Ravens (2-0) at Jags (0-2) 
Joe: I think so. The Ravens were a stepchild to the Steelers and Bengals coming into the season, but if they beat Jacksonville, which I think they will, and Philly beats Pittsburgh (I think they will), the dirty birds will sit all alone at the top of the AFC North. Jacksonville has gotten off to a horrid start, and I don't think Baltimore's solid defense will make life any easier for Blake Bortles and the boys. Jacksonville, you will continue to disappoint me.

Jeff: Another close game, but the Ravens have found ways to win in the past and I think it will happen again.



Ravens 24, Jags 10

Captial Punishment 
Redskins (0-2) at Giants (2-0)

Joe: 
As I have mentioned before on this blog, I do not like the New York Giants, which is why it pains me to say that there is a high chance that they start out the 2016 season 3-0. Washington stinks, and as much as I don't like Odell Beckham Jr., I expect him to torch Josh Norman at least once. The Giants are better than the Redskins, and they are at home, so expect the G-men to be 3-0.

Giants 35, Redskins 20

Jeff: Redskins- This might be one of the best games of the week, but I see Kirk Cousins leading a game winning drive in the final minutes.


This would have been enjoyable in the 1960s 
Lions (1-1) at Packers (1-1)

Joe: 
Yes, there was a time when both of these NFC North foes were elite NFL franchises. Well, at least one of those teams still is. Aaron Rodgers is coming off a disappointing loss at Minnesota, and he is pissed. The woeful Lions defense will feel the wrath of A-Rod, and the pack will roll.
Packers 34, Lions 14

Jeff: Packers- No brainer

Who the hell cares
Browns (0-2) at Dolphins (0-2)
Whatever I predicted on the graphic, that's what I predicted. I don't care enough about this crap to explain myself.

The ''game that won't suck'' game of the week
Vikings (2-0) at Panthers (1-0)

Joe: 
This will be a fun game to watch, but what I feel will be the difference is the play of the two quarterbacks. Cam Newton is a beast, and Sam Bradford, at this point, is still nothing special. I think that Newton will significantly outplay Bradford, and with the loss of Adrian Peterson, the Vikings will have no stud running back in which to turn. The Panthers being at home doesn't hurt, either.
Panthers 30, Vikings 21

Panthers- The Panthers have struggled in the second half this year but I look for that to end this week. All the Vikings can do is pass with AP out, so opposing defenses won't have to stack the box.

This game won't suck, either 
Broncos (2-0) at Bengals (1-1) 

Joe: These two teams are experiencing conflicting emotions. The Broncos are flying high after putting on a defensive clinic against Andrew Luck and the Colts, while the Bengals are pretty peeved after a bitter defeat at the hands of the hated Steelers. Because of this, I think Cincy will be focused and ready to go at Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday. I also believe that Trevor Siemian will have a rough afternoon vs. the Bengals defense, as he still has some learning to do in this league. Denver is bound to experience a reality check at some point, and Andy Dalton will be the man to give them the first one of the season.

Jeff:  Cincy can't lose two in a row if they want to try and get ahead of the steelers in the AFC North race. They won't lose to the Broncos in a close game.

Bengals 24, Broncos 14

Rex on the way out?
Bills (0-2) at Cardinals (2-1)

Joe: Sorry, Bills fans. The firing of offensive cooridnater Greg Roman will not solve your problems. With every loss, Rex Ryan takes one step closer to the door. Arizona will only add to Rex's misery, because they are a good team.

Jeff: The Cardinals have one of the best offenses in football. Arizona has eteran QB and WR, as well as one of the best RB's in the game. All of this talent going against the Bills? Easy win for the Cards.

Cards 38, Bills 21

Meaningless, but exciting
Raiders (1-1) at Titans (1-1)

Joe: Derek Carr vs. Marcus Mariota. That is an exciting QB matchup, but at the same time, there is a very high chance that neither of these teams makes the playoffs. There seems to be one game each week that is between two teams that are not in the NFL's elite, but nonetheless, still makes for an exciting contest, and I think Raiders-Titans will be that matchup this week. The AC/DC combination of Amari Cooper and Derek Carr will prove to be too much for Dick LeBeau's defense, and Oakland will win a thriller because I feel that their young, exciting offense will prevail.

Jeff: Raiders- Derek Carr has been dominant, and I look for that to continue vs the Titans

Raiders 35, Titans 31

Let's not kid ourselves
Rams (1-1) at Bucs (1-1)

Joe: 
Yes, the Rams beat the Seahawks. But they still have a lot of problems, while Tampa is still a team on the rise inspite of them getting embarssed in the desert on Sunday. Jameis Winston is still very good, and Case Kennum is not.

Bucs 35, Rams 14

Jeff- I think that Tampa may have a super bowl contending team if the right things happen. This is a must win and I think they will win
Let's not kid ourselves Part II
49ers (1-1) at Seahawks (1-1)

Joe: ''Hey, the 49ers beat the Rams, and the Rams beat the Seahawks, so that means the 49ers can beat the Seahawks, right?'' No. That's not how it works. The Seahawks are not dead yet, and they are hungry after getting clowned in LA last week. The 49ers will feel the wrath of the 12th man.

Jeff: Seattle's d will crush everyone including Colin Kaepernick who is sitting on the bench because he is a terrible QB and person in general

Seahawks 28, 49ers 7

The '"AFL throwback'' game of the week
Jets (1-1) at Chiefs (1-1)

Joe: KC has not looked impressive in their first two games, and frankly should be 0-2. The Jets, on the other hand, could easily be 2-0, so I don't think anyone could argue that NYJ has been better to start the season. However, Arrowhead Stadium is a rocking joint, and the Chiefs are a night/day different team at home. Matt Forte and Brandon Marshall will both have a drop off from week 2 in Buffalo, and the Jets will overall be a little flat compared to what they were in week's one and 2. The Chiefs will come out firing, and a late NYJ rally will stall to seal the win for KC.


Chiefs 24, Jets 17

Jeff- These two teams are evenly matched. Enjoy this close game, but I think the Jets will get the upper hand towards the end.



Arnold will be disappointed 
Colts (0-2) at Chargers (1-1)

Joe: 
As awful as Indy has been through 2 weeks, they are too talented to start out 0-3. As for San Diego, thier shalaccking of Jacksonville last week was a bit of a fluke. The Kennen Allen-less Bolts will get a reality check in front of their hometown fans courtasy of Mr. Luck and Mr. Moncrief

Colts 34, Chargers 20

Bring back Faith Hill
Bears (0-2) at Cowboys (1-1)
The Bears are a mess. Dak Prescott is a stud. The Cowboys are fun to watch and fun to write about, and they will have fun beating up on the artists formally known as the ''Monsters of the Midway''.

Jeff: Chargers- I don't like picking the Colts at anytime, . So I have to go with the Chargers here
.
Make Monday Night Football Great Again
Falcons (1-1) at Saints (0-2)
The Falcons will win this one, but that's not the point. The point is that Monday Night Football deserves a game between two teams that are actually going somewhere every once in a while. Screw Hank Williams Jr. I just want more good football.


Thursday, September 22, 2016

NFL Week 2 Review

Hello, all. Week 3 of the 2016 NFL season is upon us, so why don't I reflect on what transpired in Week 2? Here is the best, and worst, of the National Football League over the past week.

The Best
Team: Denver Broncos
Photo creds to www.slate.com

Coming into this season, I believed that the Denver Broncos were the #3 team in the AFC, and I still think that this will be the case come seasons end. However, of the American Football Conference's ''Holy Trinity'' (Pittsburgh, New England, Denver), the Broncos have been the most impressive through 2 games. The have beaten two potential playoff teams in Carolina and Indianoplis, and have beat up two marquee QB's in Cam Newton and Andrew Luck. The Steelers and Patriots have also been impressive, but not quite in the way that Denver has. I still think that things will change, but for now, Broncos fans should be feeling pretty good about themselves.

The Worst
Team: Jacksonville Jaguars 


Oh, Jacksonville. How you have let me down. I thought you guys were going to make some noise in 2016. There's still a lot of football left, but it's sure looking like I was wrong. Losing 38-14 (and it wasn't even that close) to a bad San Diego team speaks for itself, as does starting out 0-2. Maybe Gus Bradley can figure things out. Maybe Blake Bortles will become the superstar that he can be. But for now, the Jags suck again.

The Best
Game: Jets-Bills
Photo creds to www.dailycamera.com

This was a tough one, as Cowboys- Redskins and Packers-Vikings both made strong cases for the best game of Week 2. But I'll give this honor to the first game of the week because;
1. It may be the only time I get a chance to crown the Thursday Night game as game of the week
2. It was exciting
3. The Bills are a trainwreck, and it's becoming comical.
The Jets pulled out a 37-31 win, and Matt Forte looked like Jim Brown 2.0. Offense is awesome, and this game had plenty of it. Rex Ryan refusing to take accountability afterward by firing offensive coordinator Greg Roman when it's Ryan's defense that has not lived up to the hype, sums up the horrid state of Buffalo at the moment. Talking proud, they are not.

The Worst
Game: Bucs-Cardinals
Photo creds to www.buccaneers.com


I love Jameis Winston. I think he's going to be an excellent player in this league. But he was horrendous on Sunday. 4 INT's speak for themselves. So does a 40-7 scoreline. U-G-L-Y, Tampa ain't got no alibi. That was ugly.

The Best 
Performer: Matt Forte
Talk about turning back the clock. At 31, Forte was thought to be past his prime. Well, if Thursday night at Ralph Wilson Stadium was any indication, those skeptics were mistaken. As referred to earlier, Forte was a beast on Thursday, carrying the ball 30 times for 100 yards and 3 TD's. Just awesome.

The Worst
Performer: Jameis Winston
I despertaly wanted to give this to Andrew Luck, but the more I thought about it, the more I remembered that while I watched Luck's performance at Mile High on Sunday afternoon, I was more amazed at the talent on Denver's defense than I was appaled at Luck's ineptidude. While Tampa Bay's boy wonder, Jameis Winston was playing against an excellent defense in his own right, 4 INT's are awful no matter how you splice it. As poor as Luck was on Sunday, his team was in it till the end, and he only threw 1 INT, which is easier on the eyes. Winston's Bucs lost by 33, and his performance was uglier to watch in my opinion

Surprises 
Most Surprising (Good)
Team: Minnesota Vikings 

Watch out for the Vikings. I know most experts and casual fans alike foresee the Pack attack taking back the NFC North, and they have good reason to believe that. But if Sunday night is any indication, the defending champs will be right there. If you had told me at 7:30 on Sunday evening that the Vikings would lose Adrian Peterson, and still find a way to beat Aaron Rodgers in primetime, I would have probably laughed in your face or at least gave you a strange look. But Sam Bradford was able to do just that, and it will be interesting to see if the former #1 overall pick can come close to living up to his legend that he began at Oklahoma University. Losing one of the game's best players is obviously a concern, but I think Minnesota has the firepower, especially on defense, to make things interesting in the NFC playoff picture.

Most Surprising (Bad) 
Team: Cleveland Browns
I know, I know. Ripping the Cleveland Browns is a cop out. But what happened on Sunday afternoon at First Energy Field had so many elements of surprise that I had to include it here. The Browns getting out to a 20-0 lead was a surprise. Isiah Crowell running for an 85-yard touchdown was a surprise. The Ravens coming back and winning 25-20 was a surprise. Everything was a surprise in this game. What is not a surprise is that the Browns are doomed, and heaven have mercy on their souls.

And that's all for week 2. On to week 3.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Steelers 24, Bengals 16: A different way to win


Hello all. On Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers got a big  victory over the hated Bungles at Heinz Field. As with every game, there were things that went right, and things that went wrong. I'm here to talk about those things. Let's go.

Offense 
What went right 
In spite of the crap weather conditions that the Steelers juggernaut had to work with, they did have their fair share of explosive plays. Ben Roethlisberger hit Sammy Coates just twice- for a total of 97 yards. That's the kind of day it was for the Steelers. Not a whole lot happened, but when something did happen, it was huge. Roethlisberger reverted to what he did often from 2004-08 self, which was to play substandard, but at the end of the day, make the big plays and get the win.

What went wrong
24 points for the this Steelers offense is pretty anti-climatic. Although #7 found a way to bring home the W, there is no denying that he was not himself on Sunday. Of course, the crappy weather conditions contributed to the lackluster performance of Roethlisberger and the rest of the Steelers offense, but Ben knows he has to make sure that Week 2 was an aberration. Antonio Brown was nonexistent, catching four balls for just 39 yards. DeAngleo Williams did have a respectable 94 yards on the ground, but he did so on 32 carries for a lackluster 2.9 yards per carry average. The Steelers offense was just never able to explode the way they did on opening night in Washington, but I feel that this performance will prove to be a fluke, and the Steelers offense will rise again.


Overall
It's only fair to give the Steelers a mulligan. It was a rainy day, and both teams passing performances suffered as a result. The Steelers have the best offense in the NFL, and Le'Veon Bell is coming back in less than two weeks, so buckle up.

Defense 
What went right
Ross Cockrell came to play. Photo creds to bluedevilnation.net

Last season, the Steelers fell into a stretch where their usually shaky defense was stout, while their usually explosive offense was shaky. Sunday was one of those games. The Steelers D came to play, and they played the smash-mouth, hard-nosed Steeler football that, until a few years ago, was usual in the Steel City. Wille Gay had a few hard hits. Cam Heyward drilled Andy Dalton. Ryan Shazier was an absolute carnivore on the field. The Steelers defense played well, and my choice for game MVP is the unheralded cornerback, Ross Cockrell. Cockrell had the daunting task of guarding one of the NFL's best athletes in A.J. Green and held the former Georiga Bulldog to 2 catches on eight targets and 38 receiving yards. Hats off to Cockrell. If this kid can learn how to tackle properly, there is no reason that he can't become a solid corner in this league.


What went wrong 
Not a lot negative to say here. Artie Burns got schooled by Giovani Bernard on a touchdown run, and Sean Davis missed some tackles. Other than that, the Steelers D was A-OK.

A negative from Sunday was that the Steelers got some favors from the officiating crew. Late in the 3rd quarter, Andy Dalton drove the Bengals down to the Pittsburgh 3-yard line. On 3rd down, Dalton threw a pass to his tight end, C.J. Uzomah, in the end zone, where he was forced out of bounds. The referee ruled that the pass was incomplete, but replays showed that Uzomah was able to get one knee down in the endzone with possession of the ball. By rule, this should have been a touchdown.

The second break that the Steelers got happened on the last meaningful play of the game. Just after the 2:00 warning, with Cincinnati driving into Steelers territory, Dalton found rookie Tyler Boyd for a short gain down to the Pittsburgh 33. Boyd was hit by James Harrison and fumbled the ball, which was recovered by Robert Golden. The crew reviewed the play, and it damn sure looked like Boyd's knee was down. But referee Pete Morelli saw no conclusive evidence, and the Steelers had the ball and the win.

While the Steelers were the better team and deserved to win the game, it's never good to have refs play a factor. Nonetheless, officials are human, and things like this happen.

Overall
It might not have been as dominant of a performance from the Steelers as we saw on opening night in Washington, but at the end of the day, a win over a heated rival is always sweet. The Steelers are the most dangerous team in the AFC, and nothing that happened on Sunday has changed my mind on that.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Steelers-Bengals: 3 Keys to Victory

Photo creds to www.espn.com
Hello, all. The NFL's hottest rivalry in 2015 will be in action at Heinz Field tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully, the Pittsburgh Steelers can defeat the hated Bungles for the 3rd straight time. Accomplishing that is easier said than done, and here are three things the Steelers need to do to make that happen. Without further ado, here is Joe Smeltzer's first 2016 edition of ''3 Keys to Victory''.


Key #1: Pressure Andy Dalton
Photo creds to profootballtalk.nbcsports.com

It doesn't take an expert analysis to point out that for a team to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers this season, trying to shut down their offense might not be the most likely option. In short, if you want to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, you have to score some points. The Cincinnati Bengals are capable of doing this, and the Steelers pass rush will need to make life hell for Cincy's QB, Andy Dalton. The Bengals offense consists of a lot of ''vertical'' plays, which, in short, are several receivers going down the field at once. While this strategy can be deadly when it works, one thing that Keith Butler can look to exploit is that  these plays require Dalton to hold onto the ball for a little bit. The longer it takes Dalton to release the ball, the longer the Steelers have to put pressure on him. If the Steelers can get to Dalton, there chances of victory increase dramatically.
Odds of excution: Fair

Key #2: AB: Burn whoever 
Photo creds to www.postgazette.com

Fans of football are in for a treat, as two of the best receivers in the world will be present in the Steel City in Cincy's AJ Green and, of course, Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown. AB's performance will be critical in any Steelers game, but especially one of this magnitude. In big games like this, you must have your big guns firing. Whoever is covering AB, whether it be Dre Kirkpatrick or Adam ''Packman'' Jones, better be in for a long day. If they are, I'm feeling pretty good about the Steelers chances.

Odds of Excution: Solid

Key #3: Be the bigger men

In case you've been living under a rock, the Steelers-Bengals rivalry has developed into a pretty ugly affair, with cheap-shots and overall dumb football aplenty. If the Bengals resort to playing this ugly style, the Steelers must not let it get their heads. They must play smart football, and not worry about being tough guys. I know that they have thicker skin than Cincinnati does in this regard, so I am confident that the Steelers can be the smarter team.

Odds of Excution: Fantastic 

Final Prediction


This is a ballgame that could go either way, but if I had to bet, I'd say the Steelers take this one. The Steelers looked two impressive in Week 1 for me to believe that they will lose in Week 2, and the home-field advantage will also be a factor. It will be close, but the Steelers are a better team than the Bengals, and they will prove to be slightly better on Sunday. The Steelers of the recent past have had early season struggles, and 2016 will be a little different.

Steelers 28, Bengals 23

Thursday, September 15, 2016

NFL WEEK 2 Preview/Predictions

 
 

*Disclaimer: I will talk about Steelers-Bengals in a seperate preview*

Thursday
8:30
 ''Rex Ryan cares way more than he should'' game of the week
Jets (0-1) at Bills (0-1) 
This will be a tough game for the New York Jets regardless, as they are playing on the road against a tough Bills defense. But the reason I see Buffalo winning this game is due to Rex Ryan and his obsession with his old club. If the Bills go 2-14, and their only wins are against the New York Jets, Rex Ryan will at least be somewhat satisfied. Of course, Ryan also could be coaching for his job tonight, so he has no options.

Bills 28, Jets 24

Sunday
1:00
Who the hell cares part I
Titans (0-1) at Lions (1-0)

Both Matthew Stafford and Marcus Mariota are exciting QB's to watch. That's about the only thing this matchup has going for it.

Lions 35, Titans 23

The ''too easy to label as ''Who the hell cares''? game of the week
Ravens (1-0) at Browns (0-1)

The Ravens are an improved football team that will contend for a playoff spot. The Browns are the Browns, and now they are without RGIII. Ravens in an ugly one.

Ravens 28, Browns 10

Rivalry of the Week
Cowboys (0-1) at Redskins (0-1)

One of the NFL's best rivalries takes place at FedEx Field on Sunday afternoon. Both the Cowboys and Redskins had disappointing losses in Week 1, but I think Dallas is the better team. Dak Prescott will have his coming out party this week, and Big D will prove to be just too damn talented for Dan Snyder's boys to handle.

Dolphins (0-1) at Patriots (1-0) 
Will Tom Brady's suspension hurt the Patriots this week
No. 

This could get ugly
49ers (1-0) at Panthers (0-1)

Don't let that 28-0 opening night win fool you. The San Fransico 49ers are not a good football team, and that will be evident on Sunday. Say what you want about Cam Newton, but the guy is a competitor, and himself as well as his teamates are very pissed about losing that game in Denver. The 49ers will be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Panthers 42, 49ers 21

If you smell what the Brock is cooking
Chiefs (1-0) at Texans (1-0)

This will be a fun one. It will be interesting to see how the Texans offense matches up against KC's solid defensive unit. If this game were in the deafening Arrowhead Stadium, I would foresee a Chiefs win. But since KC is on the road, and since I think Brock Osweiler is going to be a stud, I like Houston in a close one.

Texans 28, Chiefs 21

4:05

The Hunt for Red September
The great Tom Clancy

Buccaneers (1-0) at Cardinals (0-1)

Tampa Bay is a young team on the rise, and they are a sleeper  in the NFC South. However, I expect Bruce Arians to regroup his troops after a crushing Sunday Night loss to New England at home. Teams like the Cardinals won't lose 2 in a row often, and this won't be an exception. The Bucs are good, but they ain't that good just yet.

Cards 35, Bucs 21

4:05

This could also get ugly
Seahawks (1-0) at Rams (0-1)
It looks like it's gonna be a long year for the LA Rams. I hope that this game is not a blowout, considering that it is the first pro football game played in Los Angeles since 1994. However, the Seahawks offense is bound to find itself after a poor performance against Miami on Sunday. Thomas Rowles will go off, and the LA fans will wish their team was still in St. Louis


Seahawks 34, Rams 10

4:25
Sorry, Rutz
Falcons (0-1) at Raiders (1-0) 
Falcons will lose this one.

David: Falcons have no pass rush, no running game, and Derek Carr is young, brilliant and has a terrific offense to helm. Raiders roll.

Meaningless, but entertaining 
Jags (0-1) at Chargers (0-1)
Jacksonville is an young, exciting team that will definatly be improved. They have a future All-Pro at QB in Blake Bortles, an electric offense, and a young defense that will be electryfing in 1 or 2 years. However, I don't think they are a playoff team just yet. The Chargers stink, but Philip Rivers and Blake Bortles should make for an exciting QB dual. I think that Jacksonville is more talented on offense, and that's what this shootout will come down to.

Jags 38, Chargers 35

RIP Peyton
Colts (0-1) at Broncos (1-0)

Please pray for Andrew Luck. If you haven't been watching, the Denver Broncos tend to kick the hell out of high-profile quarterbacks. Luck will fall straight in line.

Broncos 24, Colts 10

Bring Back Faith Hill

Packers (1-0) at Vikings (0-1)
Aaron Rodgers in prime time? Hard to bet against that.

Packers 34, Vikings 17. 


Bring back Hank Williams JR.
Eagles (1-0) at Bears (0-1)

It is ridiclious how bland Monday Night Football games have become. While I would like to pick the Eagles since I really like Carson Wentz, since I see Philly beating the Steelers in Week 3, I do not see Philly starting 3-0. Winners will be the Bears, but honestly, who cares?

Rutz: Bears surprise people at home with a more inspired performace than week 1. Carson Wentz underwhelms in his first road game

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Stelers 38, Redskins 16: Off to the races

Photo creds to www.si.com
Hello, all. Monday night, the Pittsburgh Steelers kicked the hell out of the Washington Redskins. I'm here to talk about the many things that went right, as well as the few that went wrong. Let's get into it


What went right


Offense
Two words; powder keg. The Steelers have the best offense in the NFL, and I don't think there is any argument at the moment. Antonio Brown is the best wide receiver in the NFL, and I don't think there is any argument at the moment (sorry Odell Beckham fans). As good as the Steelers offense was on Monday, I don't think a lot of it was surprising. We all know how deadly the Roethlisberger-to-Brown combination is, and we are all aware how good of a running back DeAngelo Williams has turned into. The only thing that surprised me about last night, aside from the Norman vs. Brown matchup never happening, was how good the offensive line was. I knew that the Steelers were capable of big things up-front, but I did not think that they would jell that smoothly the first week of the season. There can still be an argument made about who has the best offensive line in the NFL (I still think it's Dallas), but the Black and Gold have defiantly thrown their name into the hat in the conversation.




In our offical 2016 Steelers season preview, my cousin Brad predicted rookie Eli Rodgers to have a breakout opening night at wide receiver. Rogers delivered, catching six balls for 59 yards and a whacky touchdown reception. I still think that, when Markus Wheaton is healthy, the #3 receiver job is Sammy Coates' to lose, but Rogers sure made a solid first impression to Todd Haley on Monday Night.


Speaking of Haley and the coaching staff, how about that play calling? 4th and short? Throw the ball, convert, and score. That's what you call fortitude. Many have been critical of Mike Tomlin's in-game coaching over the past few years, but he got it right on Monday night, and that's a big reason why this city has such a positive vibe over its football team.


I have been critical of DeAngelo Williams in the past due to what I feel is his unnecessary mouthing off on social media. But when it's game day, Williams is da man. 171 All-Purpose yards and two touchdowns speak for themselves, and the fact that he did it as a 33-year old backup deserves a tip of the hat. At this point, I don't think it's a stretch to say that, by the end of this season, if Williams and Le'Veon Bell can stay in good health, #34 and #26 could be talked about as the best 1-2 runningback punch in Steelers history.


I won't speak too much on Big Ben or AB. They are both badass, and that's all you need to know.


All in all, I don't think I can say anything about the Steelers offense that hasn't been said already. They will score more than Tiger Woods and Wilt Chamberlin's love child.


What went wrong
Offense
Uh, Jesse James needs to improve on his blocking. But hey, it's week one. James will be okay.

Defense
I'm still skeptical of Ryan Shazier's injury possibility, but the man is a boss when healthy. Shazier posted six tackles, forced a fumble, intercepted a pass, and did an excellent job at containing standout tight end, Jordan Reed. Shazier was, without question, the Steelers defensive MVP on Monday night.


Aside from Shazier, Robert Golden looked solid at safety, posting six combined tackles, and Javon Hargrave seems to be making a case for the Steeler's long-term answer at nose tackle.


What went wrong
The secondary still needs to improve. I know Kirk Cousins didn't play as well as his 329 yards passing would indicate, but Washington was able to get back into the game early in the 4th quarter, and the defense cannot let that become a pattern. However, it is only week one, and I still expect the Steelers secondary to be an improvement from 2015.


Overall, the Steelers defense was ok, and if this offense reaches Big Ben's goal of averaging 30 PPG, the defense being ok will be okay for this team.

Overall
Big Ben and AB are the greatest passing duo in Steelers history, and according to ESPN's Steven A. Smith, they may be the best duo in NFL history. While I wouldn't go quite that far yet, the Steelers will be, if nothing else, the most exciting team in the NFL. Enjoy the ride, Steeler nation. Enjoy the ride. 1-0.