You are here

Links

Friday Night Steelers Six Pack of questions and open thread: Week 4 Edition

Behind the Steel Curtain - 2 hours 20 min ago
Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

There is always something to talk about when it comes to the Black & Gold!

It’s Friday again, so it’s time for the six pack of questions. It seems as if Jeff and Dave come to a consensus in cutting to the chase...

This week, I, Dave, will be tasked with the questions up for discussion.

The rules are still the same...

Quick rundown of the ground rules.

  • I’ll ask at least four questions strictly related to the Steelers.
  • The rest of the questions could be about anything.
  • Be respectful.
  • Have fun talking about the Black-and-gold.

Procedural Note: Since the title feature has gone away, please feel free to leave your usual title as the first line of your response and even bold it if you can for the ease of others.

So here we go! With the formalities out of the way, it’s time to jump on in. Hopefully this party is exactly what you’re looking for on a Friday night. Here goes:

1. The Steelers offense has struggled to put up points so far in 2022 (although a lot of the NFL is not scoring as the Steelers’ 18 PPG is ranked 19th in the NFL). Is there a realistic amount of points they could score this week to make you feel confident in the offense moving forward? If so, how many?

2. There are six players on the Steelers who have registered a sack in 2022: Alex Highsmith (4.5), Cam Heyward (1), T.J. Watt (1), Robert Spillane (1), Arthur Maulet (1), and Larry Ogunjobi (0.5). Who do you think will be the next player to add to the list?

3. The Steelers are averaging 22 rushing attempts per game in 2022. How many attempts would you like to see this Sunday vs. the Jets?

4. In Week 3, Steelers fans had to wait almost halfway through the fourth quarter before Pat Freiermuth had a target. When do you think Freirmuth will see his first target against the Jets?

5. Give me your boldest prediction about this coming game on Sunday. It can be anything (realistic) from scores, stats, or other scenario. (The BOLDEST yet still correct response will get a shout out on one of our podcast this week).

6. I’m stealing this from Missi Matthews (who since deleted her tweet, but oh well)... Tomorrow is the 43rd anniversary of the iconic Mean Joe Greene Coca-Cola commercial. If you were in charge of creating a commercial, what current Steelers player would you use to sell your product?

Stay safe out there!

And it wouldn’t be a Friday night unless we said...

HERE WE GO STEELERS!

PODCASTS

We added some new shows and a new platform to our podcasts...if you haven’t checked out our full lineup of morning, noon, and evening shows, give them a try by listening below!

Steelers Injury Report: Akelllo Witherspoon ruled out for Sunday’s game

Behind the Steel Curtain - 5 hours 37 min ago
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

With one cornerback ruled out for the game, the Steelers had another one land on the injury report.

The Pittsburgh Steelers had a number of injuries coming out of their Week 3 defeat, many of which were not known until Mike Tomlin’s press conference on Tuesday. As the Steelers take the practice field for their final day of preparation for the New York Jets, there was one new player added to the report. In the final injury report of the week courtesy of the Steelers PR department, Ahkello Witherspoon has been ruled out and is the only injury designation for the game.

Steelers PR Department

What many had believed to be the most significant injury on the list was the concussion to All-Pro safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. Tuesday was the first time any issue with Fitzpatrick was reported. Having the extra few days with the Steelers playing on Thursday night looks like it may be enough for Fitzpatrick to get on the field Sunday. The first step is for Fitzpatrick is to be symptom free and then get on the field and increase his activities without symptoms. All week, Fitzpatrick was a full participant which was a great sign for him moving forward. On Friday, Fitzpatrick was not given an injury designation for the game and is good to go for Sunday.

An injury that was known coming out of last Thursday’s game was the hamstring issue with Ahkello Witherspoon which kept him off the field throughout the fourth quarter. For all three practices of the week, Witherspoon was unable to take the field and has been ruled out for Sunday.

Another injury of concern that was new to the report on Friday was the other starting cornerback, Cameron Sutton, who was a limited participant with a groin injury. Although Sutton does not carry any injury designation for Sunday’s game, it is still concerning to have another starting cornerback dealing with an injury. How effective Sutton will be in Sunday’s game or if the injury will affect how much he’s able to play remains to be seen.

Another injury many were keeping an eye on is that of punter Pressley Harvin who is dealing with hip inflammation. In order to make sure the Steelers have all their bases covered, they signed Jordan Berry to the practice squad on Tuesday. In all three practices this week, Harvin was able to participate fully and has no injury designation.

Another player mentioned by Coach Tomlin in Tuesday’s press conference was Kevin Dotson dealing with an ankle injury. Having it be an ankle which cost him a portion of the 2021 season as well as this preseason, it’s uncertain at this time if it is a re-aggravation of the same injury or a new issue. Regardless of if it was a new injury or not, it appears to be a moot point as Dotson has been able to practice fully all week and is good to go for Sunday.

The new player added to the injury list on Thursday was defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi. Steelers fan had no need to alarm with Ogunjobi‘s absence as he was listed as being not injury related and simply getting rest. As expected, Ogunjobi returned to action on Friday and has no injury designation.

As for the Jets’ injury report, you can see the names below courtesy of Steelers.com.

New York Jets Participation/Injury Report, Week 4

Game Status

LB Quincy Williams (Ankle) - Out

CB Brandin Echols (Hamstring) - Questionable

Friday, September 30

LB Quincy Williams (Ankle) - DNP

CB Brandin Echols (Hamstring) - FP

DL John Franklin-Myers (Toe) - FP

QB Zach Wilson (Knee) - FP

NFL Odds and Predictions: Picking all the Week 4 games against the spread

Behind the Steel Curtain - 7 hours 35 min ago
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Several of the BTSC staff pick all the NFL games both against the spread and over/under point totals

The 2022 NFL season is now underway! There were two undefeated teams remaining at 3-0 entering the week, but now there is only one team who can exit the week 4-0 as the Miami Dolphins already fell to the Cincinnati Bengals. On the other end of the spectrum, The Las Vegas Raiders are the only 0-3 team as the Houston Texans are also winless at 0-2-1.

For the 2022 NFL season, nine members of the BTSC will be picking every game against the spread and the over/under point totals. This feature will show all the games for the week including games on Thursday and Monday. Those specific game picks will be featured in the open thread articles for each game. Please remember we are not experts on betting or any kind of sports gamblers. We are just a group of Steelers’ fans saying who we think will come through each week.

We are using the same program as the last two years called Tallysight. It allows us to show picks in a much more “friendly to the eye” manner. To understand how it works, the default tab is for our picks against the spread. To see the over/under picks, click the “O/U” tab in the upper left. Also, make sure you scroll on the graphic to see all the picks. If there are quotation marks next to a pick, it means the person making the selection made a comment about the game.

Last week, there were only three people who did better than .500 when picking against the spread. Bradley, Shannon, and I each finished at 9-7. Bringing up the rear was Matty at 6-10. Jeremy currently leads for the season against the spread at 29-18 while I’m just behind at 29-19 as Jeremy had a push in one of his games.

It was Geoffrey who topped the over/under picks last week going 9-6 just ahead of Shannon at 8-7. I brought up the rear at 5-10. For the season, Jeff and Shannon are tied for the lead at 25-22 just ahead of Geoffrey at 24-23. Combining both against the spread and the over/under, Jeremy is in the lead at 50-43 just ahead of me at 50-45.

So here are the picks for the games for Week 4 of the NFL season. Please feel free to list your choices in the comment section below and play along! Odd are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.

FILM ROOM: Devin Bush played his best game since 2020 in Week 3

Behind the Steel Curtain - 8 hours 35 min ago
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

What should Steeler fans expect from Devin Bush going forward this season?

Devin Bush was looking like he was ascending to being a very good inside linebacker early in the 2020 season. He was a major player in the Steelers pass coverage, his speed and agility allowing the Steelers to be more aggressive with other players, especially Vince Williams and Mike Hilton.

Those two combined for 5 sacks, 8 QB hits and 15 tackles for a loss in the first 5 games of the Steelers 2020 season. The rest of the season? One sack, one QB hit and seven tackles for a loss. The Steelers defense was able to leverage his coverage ability to attack relentlessly with Vince Williams and Mike Hilton, and they reaped the benefit in big plays.

It spread through the rest of the defense as well. The Steelers recorded 24 sacks in those first five games, and seven players had at least 1.5 sacks. In the next 11 games the Steelers recorded 32 sacks. That’s 5.8 sacks per game when they had Devin Bush, 2.9 per game without.

The Devin Bush that returned in 2021 was a very different Devin Bush, and the Steelers were a defense in need of run support, and not a top coverage linebacker. Devin Bush wasn’t a top coverage linebacker in 2021 either, he didn’t have the same quickness or speed he had his first two seasons.

In the 2022 preseason Devin Bush looked awful. He played tentatively and seemed to be actively avoiding contact. He looked worse than he did in 2021 by a good margin. Bush looked a little better in the first two weeks of the season but didn’t look very good while splitting snaps with Robert Spillane.

Then the Steelers went to Cleveland on Thursday night, and Devin Bush delivered his best game since 2020.

Steelers at Browns, 1st quarter, 15:00

Devin Bush (#55) is the inside linebacker farther to the bottom of the screen.

That’s the polar opposite of the Devin Bush we saw in the preseason. Bush reads the play, aggressively engages the offensive tackle, then twists him into the path of the runner to shrink the run lane. This is as good as we’ve ever seen from Devin Bush taking on offensive linemen.

Steelers at Browns, 1st quarter, 11:04

Devin Bush (#55) is the inside linebacker to the left side of the screen.

Devin Bush sees something in this play, and signals to Myles Jack to alter their alignment. It’s Alex Highsmith that makes this play, but Bush recognizes what is coming, and engages the guard right away to help stretch the run.

Devin Bush isn’t Vince Williams, he doesn’t move the lineman backwards or get off the block and penetrate, but he willingly engages and holds the line well here.

Steelers at Browns, 2nd quarter, 13:34

Devin Bush (#55) is the inside linebacker farther to the bottom of the screen.

Bush sees the blocking and attacks the run lane before the handoff even occurs. He meets the pulling guard at the line of scrimmage and is able to elude the block and gets to Kareem Hunt. Here’s another angle.

This is a great run defense job by Bush. This is the player Steelers fans saw in 2019, the one who was too quick for blockers and frequently made plays against the run.

Steelers at Browns, 3rd quarter, 4:17

Devin Bush (#55) is the inside linebacker farther to the bottom of the screen.

Another aggressive attack, and you can see Devin Bush grab ahold of Nick Chubb (looks like he gets hit by a car) to help bring him down.

Check out a different angle.

Bush does a great job getting into the run lane and being part of the pile that is required to stop Nick Chubb. Nick Chubb is one of the hardest backs to bring down, so every player and every arm that can get involved matters.

Steelers at Browns, 4th quarter, 10:55

Devin Bush (#55) is the inside linebacker farther to the right side of the screen.

Bush does a great job moving laterally to get to Kareem Hunt, working through an attempted block to reach Hunt. Even more impressive is Bush being able to cancel Hunt’s attempted truck move to stand him up and then slam him at the one-yard line. On a day with a lot of above the line run defense plays from Devin Bush, this one stands out due to his individual effort and the fact that it brought up 4th down.

Steelers at Browns, 4th quarter, 9:33

Devin Bush (#55) is the inside linebacker that starts the clip on the O in the Browns end zone.

Bush is the linebacker in the hole for the Steelers, but he gets moved out of it by a double team of offensive lineman, something most linebackers, but especially Devin Bush isn’t going to beat. He does hold up the blocking enough to give his teammates a chance to stuff Chubb, but a great twist from Chubb as he falls puts the ball in the end zone.

That’s six plays where Devin Bush stood out in a positive way, from his willingness to engage blockers, his read and react time and that aggressiveness paying off multiple times with good run stops.

A few of those plays show his main weakness as a linebacker, and that is his size. Bush is a smaller linebacker who relies on quickness more than size and strength, and there are times he can’t.

Steelers at Browns, 2nd quarter, 9:44

Devin Bush (#55) is the inside linebacker on the hashmarks to the top of the screen.

This is one of the worst plays from Devin Bush from Week 3. Donovan Peoples-Jones is a physical receiver, and he gets into Bush’s chest and is able to keep him blocked long enough for Kareem Hunt to pick up the first down.

That’s not the only time Bush’s size caused him trouble either.

Steelers at Browns, 2nd quarter, 3:21

Devin Bush (#55) is the inside linebacker farther to the bottom of the screen.

Devin Bush gets stiff-armed here by a much bigger player in David Njoku and a dump off ends up a big gain. Bush is usually at his best in coverage, but here Njoku is able to square up to him and break a tackle. I’ll also point out that Bush has a lot of plays where he gets to the ball carrier quickly but doesn’t secure a solo tackle. The other plays his teammates were able to help finish the play, this time it was just Bush and Njoku was able to break the tackle attempt. Often the difference between an assisted tackle and a broken tackle is how fast your team mates are swarming the football. You can see on this play that several Steelers are watching Devin Bush try to tackle Njoku and do the same when Tyson Alualu tries to bring him down immediately after.

When you point out Devin Bush being blocked by a wide receiver as Kareem Hunt picks up a first down, you also have to mention Alex Highsmith being blocked on this play by the same receiver as Njoku breaks two tackles.

While Bush missed this tackle, he was solid in coverage for most of the game.

Steelers at Browns, 2nd quarter, 14:49

Devin Bush (#55) is the inside linebacker farther to the bottom of the screen.

Bush does a good job in zone of covering the slot receiver, then passing him off to the deep help.

Steelers at Browns, 2nd quarter, 14:27

Devin Bush (#55) is the inside linebacker to the right side of the screen.

This play resulted in the throw to Amari Cooper after he had run out of bounds. But before Jacoby Brissett scrambles, he looks to his tight end David Njoku and checks off of that read because Bush is there. The most common result you get with Bush in coverage is the quarterback looking somewhere else. Bush hasn’t gotten back to where he was early in the 2020 season as a cover linebacker, but he’s still a good one.

Devin Bush hasn’t lived up to the expectations that come from being the highest drafted linebacker in Steelers history, and being tied with Rod Woodson as the second highest drafted Steeler defender since 1969, behind only Joe Greene. No one is going to dispute that Bush isn’t on the same level as Steelers greats.

But what Devin Bush is right now is a very good #2 inside linebacker. With the addition of Myles Jack, Devin Bush doesn’t have to be that star linebacker. Devin Bush in week 3 did a good job in coverage, he filled run lanes and took on blockers. Bush and Myles Jack accounted for 13 solo tackles and 10 assisted tackles combined, and while a lot of those tackles were farther downfield than we’d like, we are seeing promise that the Steelers won’t go back to relying on Minkah Fitzpatrick to lead the team in tackles like he did in 2021 and in Week 1 of 2022. Seeing his tackles drop to 6 in Week 2 and 4 in Week 3 is a good thing.

There are a good number of things that need to improve on the Steelers defense, but if Devin Bush can continue to play as well as he did in Week 3, we can check his name off of that list. And if his play continues to improve, then the Steelers will be even better for it.

Steelers bring back a cornerback to the practice squad

Behind the Steel Curtain - 10 hours 14 min ago
Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After being released last week, Mark Gilbert returns.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have been shuffling their 16-man practice squad a lot in recent weeks, and the main reason being the fact the team has injuries to players at specific positions. A great example of this is how the team brought back former punter Jordan Berry to the practice squad due to Pressley Harvin III dealing with hip discomfort after the Week 3 loss to the Cleveland Browns.

With Ahkello Witherspoon hampered with a hamstring injury, the team clearly saw a need to add depth in the defensive backfield. Getting that depth was by bringing back a familiar face, Mark Gilbert who was released last week.

We have signed DB Mark Gilbert to the practice squad and released C Ryan McCollum from the practice squad. @BordasLaw https://t.co/WXPv8HuKmc

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) September 30, 2022

Mark Gilbert was an undrafted free agent by the Steelers in 2021 out of Duke. Failing to make the 53-man roster, Gilbert landed on Steelers practice squad. Gilbert was signed during the season to the active roster of the Detroit Lions where he appeared in eight games and played 47 defensive snaps and 27 snaps on special teams. Gilbert had three tackles, a forced fumble, and a pass defensed in Detroit. After failing to make their 53-man roster in 2022, the Steelers signed Gilbert on September 1 to their practice squad.

On September 20, the Steelers released Gilbert from the practice squad in order to re-sign wide receiver Jaquarri Roberson.

The Steelers adding Gilbert back to the practice squad maybe an indication as to the overall health of a Ahkello Witherspoon moving forward. With cornerbacks Quincy Wilson and Josh Jackson already on the practice squad, having a third cornerback was a luxury the Steelers moved away from last week when they needed help in another position. With Witherspoon not practicing either Tuesday or Wednesday, the Steelers felt the need to add another cornerback into the mix.

In order to make room on the practice squad for Gilbert, the Steelers Released Center, Ryan McCollum. The Steelers claimed McCollum off of waivers for the Detroit Lions ahead of their second preseason game this past August.

Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain as the Pittsburgh Steelers continue their preparation to face the New York Jets this Sunday at Acrisure Stadium.

EXPERT PICKS: Majority of experts are behind the Steelers vs. the Jets

Behind the Steel Curtain - 11 hours 35 min ago
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Time to check in and see who the experts like in Steelers vs. Jets Sunday in Week 4.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets are slated to face off in Week 4 of the 2022 regular season, and there are a lot of narratives between these two teams. For the Jets, they will have their starting quarterback, second year pro Zach Wilson, back under center for the first time since early in the preseason. Will he show up, and show out? Or will there be noticeable rust? As for the Steelers, they turn the page to a new quarterback, and a new era of Steelers football. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the team, and there remain huge question marks, especially on offense, as they press on into the regular season.

For those who follow the current betting lines, the Steelers opened as 3.0-point home favorites, and, according to DraftKings Sportsbook, that line hasn’t moved since being announced late Sunday evening.

(Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.)

At this point, it is time to check in and see who the pundits, who call themselves experts, like in this showdown in Pittsburgh this Sunday.

For the majority of sites, like ESPN, Yahoo! Sports and SB Nation, the people who do nothing but pick straight up or vs. the spread, the majority of them like the Steelers at home in Week 4. Sure, there are a few outliers who are taking the Jets, but the majority are in with Pittsburgh this Sunday.

Those are sites where people just check a box on a website and move on with their lives. However, there are some who spend more time pouring over these picks, and provide some analysis than just a winner and loser.

For CBS Sports Pete Prisco, he like the Steelers to do enough to win Sunday.

The Steelers will have been rested for 10 days as the Jets come to town. The Pittsburgh offense has struggled in a big way, but this could be the game it gets going. The Jets have issues on defense. Pittsburgh will win it as Mitch Trubisky quiets the Kenny Pickett talk.

Pick: Steelers 24, Jets 17

As for Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News, he too likes the Steelers in the AFC matchup Sunday in Pittsburgh.

It looks like the Steelers won’t get one more shot at old Ravens rival Joe Flacco as Zach Wilson is expected to return and start for New York. The Steelers insist on sticking with Mitchell Trubisky over rookie Kenny Pickett, which gives them the veteran edge, even though a Wilson-Pickett matchup would give this game more of a young QB groove. The Steelers will keep things simple with a rebound outing for the T.J. Watt-less defense and running game to avoid the upset at home.

Pick: Steelers win 23-17 and cover the spread

For BJ Rudell of ProFootballNetwork, he likes the Steelers both vs. the spread, and on the moneyline.

I keep asking this each week: how much longer will Mitch Trubisky be under center? The answer probably is “not much longer,” as their next four opponents will be the Bills, Bucs, Dolphins, and Eagles. Oh, and three of those will be on the road. I predict head coach Mike Tomlin will replace his starting QB during the Week 9 bye.

Of course, it’s not all Trubisky’s fault. Najee Harris (3.2 yards per carry) has regressed behind a porous offensive line — the same line Jaylen Warren has run through quite well (4.7 ypc). This has to be a get-right game for Pittsburgh. Otherwise, for all intents and purposes, their postseason hopes will be dashed.

As for New York, Zach Wilson will make his triumphant return (or at least “a return”) on Sunday. The Jets are similar to the Steelers, in that one “very good” QB could put them on another level. Hopefully, Wilson will be that QB. But one key difference: the Jets’ running game is light years more effective on the ground and through the air. The problem is that Wilson might not be at his best in his first game since last season.

Against-the-spread prediction: Steelers

Moneyline winner: Steelers

These are just a few sites who make weekly NFL picks. When you think about all those sites not listed above, this is when we turn to our friends at NFL Pick Watch, a site dedicated to tracking NFL expert picks by the week. They take all expert picks and put them into an easy-to-read graph for fans to enjoy. When it comes to the Steelers vs. Jets game, a whopping 88% of NFL experts like the Steelers to hold serve and win on Sunday.

What do you think about the upcoming game? Will the experts have it right? Or are they way off? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the Jets in Week 4.

The Jets might be the Steelers last chance to prove they’re not the “lesser competition” in 2022

Behind the Steel Curtain - 12 hours 50 min ago
Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images

Is being a 3-point underdog enough to be considered “lesser competition” for a Steelers team that has performed like one of the worst in the NFL through three weeks?

When you hear someone ask, “Is this going to be a Mike Tomlin game?” what do you think of?

Do you automatically assume this person is talking about the many times the Steelers have been underdogs with Tomlin as their head coach but still prevailed?

It is true that the Steelers' record as an underdog during Tomlin’s 16-year tenure as head coach is rather impressive. Unfortunately, he’s a little more famous, or infamous, for the many times his teams have lost games when they were expected to win rather handily.

This Sunday, when the underdog Jets come to town for a 1 p.m. matchup at Acrisure Stadium, may have the makings of such a game.

But are the Steelers (1-2) that much better than a New York team that was expected to struggle mightily coming into the season and is only a Browns’ Week 2 meltdown away from being 0-3?

The oddsmakers, who have established the Steelers as three-point home favorites, certainly don’t think so. Doesn’t the home team automatically get favored by three points before everything else is factored in?

If that’s the case, the oddsmakers must feel that being in Pittsburgh is the Steelers' only real advantage on Sunday.

This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to the Steelers and how much they’ve struggled through the first three weeks of the 2022 regular season.

Pittsburgh is near the bottom of every offensive category, averaging just 15.6 points per game minus Minkah Fitzpatrick’s pick-six in the season-opening upset of the Bengals.

Speaking of the defense’s prowess, it hasn’t shown much of it since T.J. Watt was lost for an indefinite period of time with a pectoral injury he suffered late in the Week 1 win in Cincinnati; in two games without Watt, the Steelers defense has tallied just two sacks and one takeaway. As for that run defense? It looks every bit as porous as it did in 2021.

Furthermore, the team is currently embroiled in a predictable (if you know the history of Steelers fans and media) quarterback controversy, with Mitch Trubisky now being subjected to the kind of treatment previously reserved for the likes of Mark Malone.

Obviously, Tomlin, along with offensive coordinator Matt Canada, have faced fierce criticisms from Steelers fans and the media, who are pretty darn sure that one or both must go yesterday.

I don’t know about you, but the 2022 Pittsburgh Steelers don’t seem like a team that should consider any opponent to be “lesser competition.”

The Steelers don’t look or play like a team that should be expected to beat anyone. Their supporters don’t seem to feel that way. The media isn’t convinced.

As for those oddsmakers? Isn’t it amazing how often they set the line just right?

With all of that in mind, this Sunday might be the Steelers' one and only opportunity to prove that they’re not just another bum from the neighborhood, that, if they are hitting on all cylinders, they should be able to easily handle a team like New York.

Would it be fool’s gold, however, especially with such a daunting slate of games against much stiffer competition on the horizon?

That’s a question for another time, and can only be answered once the Steelers answer a more important one this Sunday at Acrisure Stadium:

Are they actually the “lesser competition” in the NFL in 2022?

Behind Enemy Lines: BTSC’s Q&A with Gang Green Nation

Behind the Steel Curtain - 14 hours 5 min ago
Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Preparing for the Steelers and Jets Week 4 showdown, I asked Gang Green Nation some burning questions leading up to the AFC showdown.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for Week 4 of the 2022 regular season with a visit from the New York Jets at Acrisure Stadium. A tough task for the Steelers who have lost two straight games and enter the contest with a 1-2 record.

With this being such a big game, not like every game isn’t a big game, I was able to ask MacGregor Wells of Gang Green Nation, SB Nation’s New York Jets website, five questions leading up to the game.

Check out the Q&A below, and be sure to check out DraftKings Sportsbook for all your betting needs this season.

When it comes to the Jets quarterback situation, is there anything you like about Joe Flacco’s game which makes you want him to be the guy under center in Week 4 in Pittsburgh, or is the fan base wanting Zach Wilson back ASAP?

I’m not sure I can speak for the entire Jets fanbase, but judging from the discussions at Gang Green Nation, I would say most Jets fans have seen enough of Joe Flacco and are eager to get Zach Wilson back under center. This isn’t so much about being convinced Wilson is going to be great (there are still serious questions about his future), as much as it is about being convinced Flacco is no longer a starting caliber quarterback in the NFL. Flacco is as immobile a quarterback as you can find in the NFL, his arm isn’t what it used to be, he no longer throws a great deep ball, he seems afraid to try to fit the ball into tight windows, and in general he appears to be looking for the check down on most plays. The result has been a Jets offense stuck in neutral. It’s difficult to win that way. Wilson may not be any better. He struggled through much of his rookie season. But for better or worse, Wilson was the #2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft and the Jets need to play him, both because he offers at least a chance at being much better than Flacco level, as well as to determine how the Jets want to approach the draft next year.

The Jets’ offensive line has been beat up, especially at tackle. How has the group held up in protecting the quarterback. On top of that, how should the Steelers’ defense attack the New York offense to stop their production?

The Jets offensive line has been mediocre at best in protecting the quarterback. The tackle position has been a sore spot. Starter Mekhi Becton went down with a season ending knee injury before the season got underway. The Jets signed Duane Brown to replace Becton, and he went down with an injury before the season got underway. Now George Fant has ben placed on IR with a knee injury, and the Jets are reduced to starting Conor McDermott, a 30 year old journeyman who really doesn’t belong in the NFL, at left tackle, and Max Mitchell, a 4th round rookie who was originally slated to warm the bench in a developmental year, starting at right tackle. It’s a mess. Mitchell has held his own as much as you can expect for a 4th round rookie, but he’s hardly a huge strength yet for the Jets. McDermott is a turnstile at left tackle. Attack him with your best pass rushers and watch the sacks and pressures pile up.

The New York defense seems to be a hit-or-miss unit. They have some great players, and some tremendous young talent, but what is the way for the Steelers offense to move the ball against the Jets?

The best way to move the ball against the Jets is to concentrate on getting your weapons isolated in coverage against Jets safeties and linebackers. The Jets do not have any safeties or linebackers who are above average in coverage, and most are well below average. Any team with decent targets at tight end and running back should have a field day throwing to those guys against the Jets safeties and linebackers.

In addition, Jets opponents have taken advantage of blown coverages by the safeties to complete a number of big plays downfield.

Who are some under-the-radar players Steelers fans might want to keep an eye on, and who might make an impact in the game Sunday?

When the Jets are on defense I would keep an eye on defensive lineman John Franklin-Myers. He was a waiver wire pickup when the Rams cut him a few years back. After spending his first year with the Jets on injured reserve, Franklin-Myers has been getting better and better. He can play inside and on the edge, and he puts a good deal of pressure on the quarterback. Cornerback D.J. Reed, signed by the Jets in free agency this past offseason, has also been playing extremely well. He might surprise Steelers fans with how effective he is in coverage.

On offense, I’m not sure he’s under-the-radar as the 10th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, but Garrett Wilson has surprised Jets fans with how quickly he has taken over the WR1 spot for the Jets. Almost over night he’s become the go to guy in the Jets passing game. Wilson very much looks the part of a #1 receiver in the NFL, at least as much as we can determine after a tiny three game sample size.

The Steelers are 3-point home favorites, at the time of this being written, and it is the first time they’ve been favored in a game this season. Do you see the Jets being able to at least keep it close, or even pull off the upset on the road? How do you see the game playing out?

I confess I am not at all a fan of Mitchell Trubisky. The Steelers are a great franchise with a proud history, and they have some great players, but I find it difficult to fear an offense led by Trubisky. I will be surprised if the Jets don’t at least keep this game competitive, because I can’t see Trubisky leading an offensive explosion. Nonetheless, the Jets have problems of their own, with a turnstile at left tackle and a quarterback who struggled mightily last year and hasn’t played, outside of a few preseason snaps, since last season. The Steelers have traditionally given the Jets all kinds of trouble, and it isn’t easy beating the Steelers at home. So, though I think an upset here is not out of reach, it’s not the way to bet. I’m guessing the Steelers find a way to win a low scoring contest.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for their Week 4 matchup vs. the Jets this Sunday in Pittsburgh.

How to watch Steelers vs. Jets: Time, TV Schedule, and game information

Behind the Steel Curtain - 14 hours 35 min ago
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

All the information needed to watch, listen, stream, or follow the Steelers game on Sunday against the Jets in Pittsburgh.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming home for their second game at Acrisure Stadium for the 2022 regular season. After dropping their last two games, the Steelers look to get back on track. But the New York Jets will have something to say about it as they are looking improve on their 1-2 to start their season as quarterback Zach Wilson is set to make his debut.

Will the Steelers offense bring everything together for a more consistent performance? Can the Steelers defense slow down the Jets running game? Can the Steelers get their first win without T.J. Watt?

This Sunday will answer these questions as the Steelers look to get their 2022 season back in a positive direction. Make sure you get all the information you need below so you can enjoy the Steelers Week 4 showdown. The latest odds are per DraftKings Sportsbook.

Week 4:

Game: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New York Jets

Date: Sunday, October 2

Kickoff: 1:00 P.M. ET

Venue: Acrisure Stadium, Pittsburgh, PA

Odds: Pittsburgh (-3); O/U (41.5)

Weather: Live weather update

TV Channel: Broadcast locally on KDKA-CBS with Greg Gumble and Adam Archuleta as commentators and EJ Ross as the sideline reporter. Check the national broadcast map to see if the game is on in your area.

Online: NFL Game Pass offers live games for international viewers (excluding USA, Canada, and China) and replays of every game upon conclusion with a paid subscription. A subscription to NFL Sunday Ticket gives access to stream games as well. fuboTV also allows you to stream NFL games online with a subscription. NFL Game Center will update the action on a play-by-play basis.

Radio: Steeler Nation Radio with Bill Hillgrove, Craig Wolfley, and Max Starks. The broadcast will be live on WDVE 102.5 FM and WBGG 970 AM in the Pittsburgh area or check the list of Steelers Radio Affiliates. Viewers can listen anywhere in the world online via Steelers.com, but the Steelers Official Mobile App does have geographical restrictions. The Steelers broadcast is also available on Westwood One radio or SiriusXM Radio on channel 233 or channel 108.

You can also follow Behind the Steel Curtain on Twitter or in the game thread article to catch all of the highlights. Be sure to check back with BTSC after the game for our post-match roundup, and subscribe to BTSC Steelers Radio on YouTube to catch The Steelers Post Game Show with Jeff Hartman, Bryan Anthony Davis, and Dave Schofield.

Podcast Roundup: All the latest of the BTSC family podcasts

Behind the Steel Curtain - 15 hours 35 min ago

Get the latest BTSC podcast content in the ‘Podcast Roundup’.

Steelers 2022 is ongoing and we here at BTSC, and our podcast platform, are here with you every step of the way. In the past we have given you the podcasts in individual articles on the BTSC website, but we’ve decided to go with a ‘Podcast Roundup’ article which has the latest three podcasts for your enjoyment. The reasoning behind this is to take up less space on the site for the great written content we have at BTSC.

With that being said or typed, enjoy the shows below with a brief description of each show:

What Yinz Talkin’ Bout: Performance Doesn’t Matter

What Yinz Talkin’ Bout is the conversation about the Steelers conversation. Hosts Kyle Chrise (@KyleChrise) & Greg Benevent (@GregBenevent) expose the hottest and most toxic black and gold takes on the internet. This week, every Steelers fan seems to know exactly what the team NEEDS to do to succeed. But we’ll make a shocking thesis: performance doesn’t ultimately matter when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steeelers. Find out why history trumps stats, tape and even vibes when it comes to Mike Tomlin-led teams. Plus, speed-artist and custom-cleat designer Cody Sabol joins us with the behind-the-scenes story about Tomlin’s sneaker-inspired motivational message.

Rundown of the show:

  • Toxic Takes
  • Why history trumps stats
  • Special Guest: Speed-artist and custom-cleat designer Cody Sabol
  • Much, Much More

Take a deep dive into the world of Steelers social media from a yinzer perspective as BTSC proudly presents a very unique show that highlights “What Yinz Talkin’ Bout”.

The Steelers Preview: Steelers have a lot to prove in Week 4 vs. the Jets

The Steelers have only proved that they have issues and problems after starting off 1-3. So, they have so much to prove, and the proving ground is Acrisure Stadium against the New York Jets. This is just one of the subjects that will be discussed and speculated on in the latest edition in the flagship show of the BTSC family of podcasts with BTSC Senior Editor Jeff Hartman, Editor Dave Schofield, and Podcast Producer Bryan Anthony Davis.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • News of the Week
  • So much to prove in Week 4 vs. the Jets
  • Injury Report
  • Over/Under
  • Trivia
  • Final Thoughts
Let’s Ride Friday: Screw style points, the Steelers just need a win in Week 4

A lot of their fans are looking for the Steelers to flash electricity this week against the emerging New York Jets, but it’s not about style points. A win is paramount. BTSC Senior Editor Jeff Hartman outlines it all on the latest episode of “Let’s Ride”.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • News and Notes
  • A win > style points
  • A visit from Jeremy Betz in the All Betz Are Off segment
  • Hart to Heart
  • and MUCH MORE!

Jeff Hartman of BTSC walks you through everything you need to know regarding the black-and-gold.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL/IN/LA/MI/NJ/PA/WV/WY), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 888-789-7777/visit http://ccpg.org/chat (CT), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 877-8-HOPENY/text HOPENY (467369) (NY), visit OPGR.org (OR), call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN), or 1-888-532-3500 (VA). 21+ (18+ NH/WY). Physically present in AZ/CO/CT/IL/IN/IA/LA(select parishes)/MI/NH/NJ/ NY/OR/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. See terms at sportsbook.draftkings.com

Be sure to check out this and all episodes on the following platforms:

Apple Users: CLICK HERE

Spotify: CLICK HERE

Google Play: CLICK HERE

Bengals vs. Dolphins: Thursday Night Football picks, odds and open thread

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 09/29/2022 - 7:00pm
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Thursday Night Football is here! Check out the latest odds, picks and more.

The 2022 NFL regular season is here, and it’s Thursday which means it’s time for Thursday Night Football. Considering the game is streamed only on Amazon Prime, it’s the start of something new when it comes to watching football. But when it comes to storylines, there are plenty surrounding this game.

As for the game itself, below you’ll see some vital information for you to enjoy the contest. You’ll get odds for the game, check out our staff picks for the game and to use this comment section as an open thread for the game.

Let’s take a closer look...

How to Watch:

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Miami Dolphins
Date: Thursday, Sept. 29
Venue: Paycor Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
TV: Amazon Prime
Streaming: Amazon Prime

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

CIN: -3.5
O/U: 48
Moneyline:
CIN: -195
MIA: +165

Staff Picks:

The AFC is a highly competitive conference, and the Dolphins are one of just a handful of teams who remain perfect heading into Week 4. For as well as the Dolphins are playing, coming off a wild win over the Buffalo Bills in Week 3, the Bengals have been a huge disappointment. It is tough for the road team on a short week, and you have to wonder if the Dolphins will have some fatigue after their win last Sunday. Will the Bengals were in the Super Bowl last year show up? Follow along with other Pittsburgh Steelers fans in the comment section below as the open thread.

In the meantime, be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold. And continue counting down the days until the Steelers host the New York Jets in Week 4 of the regular season at Acrisure Stadium.

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.

Steelers Injury Report: Akelllo Witherspoon unable to practice again on Thursday

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 09/29/2022 - 3:04pm
Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Steelers starting corner missed his second-straight practice.

The Pittsburgh Steelers had a number of injuries coming out of their Week 3 defeat, many of which were not known until Mike Tomlin’s press conference on Tuesday. As the Steelers take the practice field for their second official day of preparation for the New York Jets, there was one new player added to the report. In the second injury report of the week courtesy of the Steelers PR department, two players were unable to practice.

Steelers PR Department

What many had believed to be the most significant injury on the list was the concussion to All-Pro safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. Tuesday was the first time any issue with Fitzpatrick was reported. Having the extra few days with the Steelers playing on Thursday night looks like it may be enough for Fitzpatrick to get on the field Sunday. The first step is for Fitzpatrick is to be symptom free and then get on the field and increase his activities without symptoms. On Wednesday, Fitzpatrick was a full participant which was a great sign for him moving forward. On Thursday, Fitzpatrick was once again a full participant which is a great sign for him being able to play this week.

An injury that was known coming out of last Thursday’s game was the hamstring issue with Ahkello Witherspoon which kept him off the field throughout the fourth quarter. For the first two practices of the week, Witherspoon was unable to take the field and is not looking good for Sunday.

Another injury to keep an eye on is that of punter Pressley Harvin who is dealing with hip inflammation. In order to make sure the Steelers have all their bases covered, they signed Jordan Berry to the practice squad on Tuesday. In Wednesday’s and Thursday’s practice, Harvin was able to participate fully.

Another player mentioned by Coach Tomlin in Tuesday’s press conference was Kevin Dotson dealing with an ankle injury. Having it be an ankle which cost him a portion of the 2021 season as well as this preseason, it’s uncertain at this time if it is a re-aggravation of the same injury or a new issue. regardless of if it is a new injury or not, it appears to be a moot point as Dotson has been able to practice both Wednesday and Thursday in a full capacity.

The new player added to the injury list on Thursday was defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi. Steelers fan have no need to alarm with Ogunjobi‘s absence as he was listed as being not injury related and simply getting rest.

As for the Jets’ injury report, you can see the names below courtesy of Steelers.com.

New York Jets Participation/Injury Report, Week 4

Thursday, September 29

LB Quincy Williams (Ankle) - DNP
CB Brandin Echols (Hamstring) - LP
DL John Franklin-Myers (Toe) - FP
QB Zach Wilson (Knee) - FP

The Steelers could do a lot to help quiet the media “noise”

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 09/29/2022 - 1:39pm
Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images

By just providing the stock answers during media availability, the Steelers could help their own cause greatly.

There is a famous scene in the movie Bull Durham where Kevin Costner’s character Crash Davis is teaching young flame thrower “Nuke” LaLoosh about how to respond to media when asked questions. In other words, he is teaching him how to give those stock answers which won’t give the media anything to run with in regards to stories.

While many might watch this scene and think it might be just for comedic relief, you see in athletics how this is standard practice. Media ask the questions, athletes and coaches provide the answer without saying anything even remotely controversial.

When it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers, their leader, head coach Mike Tomlin, is a wordsmith. A master at saying everything, while saying nothing at all. This approach trickles down to the players, and former players like Ben Roethlisberger had mastered analyzing what the intended question is searching for, and not providing the ammunition needed.

With Roethlisberger gone, Mitch Trubisky has been the man in the crosshairs of the media, and his manipulation with questions has been as questionable as some of his decision making. Following the Steelers’ Week 2 loss to the New England Patriots, when Trubisky was asked about utilizing the middle of the field, his answer was how they, which everyone assumed was the play caller, needs to call plays to put players in the middle of the field.

As an outlet ran with the quote, you’d think there would have been a lesson learned. That’s questionable.

On Tuesday, Tomlin talked about the “noise” surrounding the team, and he was talking about the questions from the media.

When you were talking about the offense and the improvement, you said “We’ll continue to tune out the noise.” What’s the noise?

“Questions from you guys, which I anticipated, and that’s why I wanted to display the resolve that I want our team to display.” Tomlin said.

Wednesday, Trubisky was again in front of the microphones, and he was asked about the play-calling. Here was the exact question:

You mentioned Matt calling the game and you mentioned noise. There’s a lot of noise that the offense isn’t happy with how Matt’s calling games. Is that accurate?

It is at this point where you expect that stock answer. Think about how someone like Tomlin would answer a question like this. But Trubisky, who is staying true to the way he handles questions like these, gives the following answer:

“I think that’s going to happen when you’re not scoring as many points as people think you should.” Trubisky said, ultimately eluding to the offense being unhappy with Canada’s play calling.

“But we went back and looked at the film, we talked through it as an offense and as players and as the coaches. The plays are on film. Before you start pointing fingers, you’ve got to look at yourself and see what you can do better. For me, it’s getting the ball to the playmakers, being on time, being good with my footwork and those types of things. And everybody else can do that at their position. The plays are on film, and if we make more plays, then it looks better. It looks better on film, and we score more points. So, we’ve just got to focus on doing our job, being detailed in our work, pulling together as a unit and having each other’s back.”

Ultimately, this response is not horrendous, but also unnecessary. When the team is 1-2, and struggling to do anything positive on offense, giving the media any answer which could increase the aforementioned “noise” is a bad decision.

However, not all of Trubisky’s comments were slanted and left open to interpretation. Here were his comments on the improving offensive line.

“They’re getting better each week.” said Trubisky. “They’re continuing to take steps and that gives me a lot of confidence back there. So, we’ve got to continue to get better at every position group and the offensive line has done a great job. I think their chemistry has really shown and their communication upfront. They’ve taken steps week after week and they’re going to be the heart and soul of our team. You love to see that as a quarterback and just as an offense in general.”

Trubisky’s comments on what the approach of the offense is heading into Week 4.

“Let’s go. Let’s pick up on the details. Let’s continue to stay motivated. And we’re closer. We’re closer. We’re not where we want to be, but we’ve got to continue to put in the work, continue to be detailed and just continue to pull together, and hopefully we’ll get better results than what we’ve had.”

Some will call this nit-picking, and that’s understandable; however, there is also a facet to this equation where Trubisky isn’t helping himself. He has to see the position he is in, with a first-round pick waiting in the wings, and the immense media and fan scrutiny he is seeing through three weeks of the regular season. Whether such scrutiny is warranted isn’t the issue. The issue is not giving those people fodder for which to feed.

Trubisky’s comments, all of them including the comment after the Week 2 loss, have been more innocent than anything else, but you do have to wonder if/when someone speaks to Trubisky about helping himself. Don’t leave these things up for interpretation. Give the stock answer and live a week without everyone looking over quotes with a fine-toothed comb.

As an example, look at offensive coordinator Matt Canada. Canada dials up answers like a seasoned pro, never divulging anything and leaving the media both befuddled and frustrated.

If Trubisky’s on-field play improves, it will ease the scrutiny for both the quarterback and play caller in the short term. If his play continues to struggle, there is a strong chance those microphones will be in another signal callers face sooner, rather than later.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the New York Jets in Week 4 of the regular season.

POWR RANKINGS: Steelers plummet after 2nd straight loss

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 09/29/2022 - 11:30am
Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

A look at the NFL Landscape after a wild Week 3.

The NFL in 2022 is seemingly a weekly contest of who can give away a game the worst. In week 3, there were an abundance of candidates, including two powerhouses in Buffalo and Kansas City, who, as it turns out, can look just as bad on offense as anyone on the right day. Sunday was that day, and underdogs took advantage.

Don’t be fooled, however. The good ones always figure it out, and due to the fluky nature of a few of these losses, those teams were not penalized with as much gusto as some fans of their conquerors might like. For example, despite defeating the presumed Super Bowl favorites, the Miami Dolphins do not jump the Bills in this exercise.

As it pertains to the Steelers, their stock is cascading quickly after 2 straight losses where the offense looked completely inept for the majority of the time, and the defense couldn’t quite hold up to its lofty expectations sans TJ Watt. There comes a time when a coach like Mike Tomlin must show that he’s one of the best in the business. This is that time. If Pittsburgh loses to the moribund New York Jets in the “friendly?” confines of Acrisure Stadium, you can bet golden bridges will be burnt and ledges will be leapt from.

Anyway, on to the rankings. This week, we’ll be looking at each team’s biggest strength as we approach the quarter mark of the season.

1. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

Previous: 4

Biggest Strength: Jalen Hurts versatility as a passer and runner is unstoppable to date. It opens up everything for this offense and allows the talented pass-catchers to run amok in opposing secondaries.

2. BUFFALO BILLS

Previous: 1

Biggest Strength: Hard not to say Josh Allen, but this defense has looked impenetrable at times even without half their starters, and it’s one of the biggest reasons they do not drop below the Dolphins despite losing to them.

3. MIAMI DOLPHINS

Previous: 7

Biggest Strength: Jaylen Waddle has actually benefited from the presence of Tyreek Hill, and both players’ speed make them a literal nightmare for the opposition.

4. LOS ANGELES RAMS

Previous: 6

Biggest Strength: Matt Stafford to Cooper Kupp is unstoppable.

5. GREEN BAY PACKERS

Previous: 8

Biggest Strength: This defense works well in unison, providing enough pressure up front to allow the secondary to shut down opposing passing games.

6. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

Previous: 2

Biggest Strength: Mahomes continues to be a magician, putting his team in position to win every week. A bad week for 15 is so rare it’s shocking, as it was on Sunday.

7. BALTIMORE RAVENS

Previous: 9

Biggest Strength: Lamar Jackson is on an absolute tear. combining confidence as a passer with his lethal running game is dangerous for the league.

8. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Previous: 3

Biggest Strength: That defensive line takes away running games, rendering offenses one dimensional. They need it to prop up a “meh” offense so far.

9. MINNESOTA VIKINGS

Previous: 11

Biggest Strength: Pass catcher depth is real in Minnesota. Considering Justin Jefferson’s struggles the past two weeks, having players like K.J. Osborn step up is huge.

10. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

Previous: 5

Biggest Strength: Justin Herbert has no business playing with his cracked rib cartilage, but he’s just on another level in his ability to throw deep under pressure.

11. DENVER BRONCOS

Previous: 12

Biggest Strength: The Broncos defense has shut down offenses for 3 straight weeks, including a Kyle Shanahan group that is always dangerous.

12. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

Previous: 23 *RISER OF THE WEEK

Biggest Strength: It’s a tie between the Defensive and Offensive lines, who are absolutely crushing opponents and driving the “out-of-nowhere” Jags to relevance.

13. CLEVELAND BROWNS

Previous: 17

Biggest Strength: Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt continue to dominate the entire flow of the game. Against Pittsburgh, they took over and there was nothing to do but watch.

14. DALLAS COWBOYS

Previous: 15

Biggest Strength: The Defensive line wrecks opposing offensive lines and entire offensive game plans.

15. CINCINNATI BENGALS

Previous: 19

Biggest Strength: The pass catchers are a rare group in Cincy, with anyone of the top 3 WRs able to break one at any moment.

16. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

Previous: 10

Biggest Strength: It’s hard to pinpoint a real game-changing strength after 2 ugly losses, but the Defense keeps this team in games.

17. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

Previous: 13

Biggest Strength: Mac Jones’ scrambling ability? Seriously, the defense got scrambled by the Ravens on Sunday, but Mac Jones’ ability to extend the play and work the sidelines kept them in this game.

18. TENNESSEE TITANS

Previous: 24

Biggest Strength: It’s Derrick Henry if they’ll ride him like they did Sunday to a big win that keeps the ship from totally sinking. At least this team has an offensive identity. Hard to find that for many of the teams to follow.

19. NEW YORK GIANTS

Previous: 14

Biggest Strength: Saquon Barkley is back for real and can make it work even behind a capital T terrible offensive line.

20. DETROIT LIONS

Previous: 20

Biggest Strength: D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams are giving team’s fits and opening up a Jared Goff led passing game that has looked lethal at times.

21. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

Previous: 25

Biggest Strength: Stephon Gilmore is proving to be worth the investment, and he single-handedly shut down Travis Kelce for much of their improbable win over the Chiefs.

22. PITTSBURGH STEELERS

Previous: 16

Biggest Strength: The Steelers aren’t really playing winning football in any phase right now, but the pass catchers continue to be a bright spot, although Mitch Trubisky and Matt Canada are finding it hard to make efficient use of them in a winning fashion.

The offensive line has been pretty good through the start of the young season, especially in Pass Pro, where Trubisky is rarely touched in the pocket. The majority of the sacks the team has surrendered have been on poor calculations by Trubisky when fleeing the pocket.

To win against the Jets, Matt Canada is going to have to trust Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren to guide this offense to victory. The passing game can’t win on it’s own.

23. ARIZONA CARDINALS

Previous: 18

Biggest Strength: Kyler Murray. Does any team rely more on their QB to play at an All-Pro level on every down to be successful than Arizona?

24. CHICAGO BEARS

Previous: 29

Biggest Strength: The running game is in good hands with David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert running roughshod on opponents. I talked about identity a little bit ago. Here’s another team with a true identity moving forward.

25. ATLANTA FALCONS

Previous: 30

Biggest Strength: Young pass catchers Kyle Pitts (TE) and Drake London (WR) have opened up this offense. They are playing winning football every week so far. It’s on the Defense to finish out some of these games as they did Sunday vs. Seattle.

26. CAROLINA PANTHERS

Previous: 31

Biggest Strength: A big win over a division rival was spurred by a defense that shut down the Saints running game and flummoxed QB Jameis Winston when it counted in scoring position.

27. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Previous: 21

Biggest Strength: The WR room is feisty, with Rookie sensation Chris Olave stretching the field and taking advantage of Winston’s big arm.

28. WASHINGTON COMMANDERS

Previous: 26

Biggest Strength: Another team, another WR room that looks the part. Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel are feasting on secondaries, and Rookie Jahan Dotson looks every bit the 1st round pick he was made to be in April.

29. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Previous: 28

Biggest Strength: Geno Smith is actually playing pretty good football, highlighted by a level of accuracy I don’t think many of us thought he had in him.

30. NEW YORK JETS

Previous: 27

Biggest Strength: The Defensive line shuts down running games, forcing teams to beat them through the air. So far, though, Baltimore, Cleveland, and Cincinnati have all had varying levels of success in the passing game. Can the Steelers follow suit?

31. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS

Previous: 22 *FALLER OF THE WEEK

Biggest Strength: Pass catchers again. Not much else to like from a disappointing Raiders squad so far, that can’t seem to close out games on either side of the ball.

32. HOUSTON TEXANS

Previous: 32

Biggest Strength: It’s a rough ride in Houston so far, but Dameon Pierce looks like a building block for this team. He runs hard and has good vision. Arrow pointing up for the former Gator.

Who’s too high? Too low? What did I get right? Let me know about it in the comments section!

Mike Tomlin cites weekly improvement, but will it result in a Steelers win Sunday?

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 09/29/2022 - 10:00am
Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are improving by the week, but that doesn’t mean it will equate in a victory Sunday vs. the New York Jets.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are struggling in many ways heading into a Week 4 matchup with the New York Jets and a 1-2 record; however, head coach Mike Tomlin has been stressing the improvement of the team.

Obviously, the improvement hasn’t equated in more wins, but on Tuesday during his weekly press conference, Tomlin talked about the promise his team is showing.

“There are a lot of things that we need to do better.” Tomlin said. “There are a lot of things that we’d like to do better. I think the best way to sum up my evaluation of it, whether it’s the collective unit or components of the unit, is that we’ve been better with every outing and so it’s reasonable to expect those improvements to continue.

“We haven’t done enough to win the last two football games, so there’s reason for alarm as it pertains to that, but largely I’m seeing improvements in all areas, whether it’s individuals or whether it’s the collective. It’s our job to tune out the noise and to remain committed to the path that we’re on and work to get better in an effort to change the outcome of these games. I expect our guys not to blink and to continue to work, so I have to display that as a leader, and I intend to.”

When speaking about specific positions, and in particular the improvement of said positions, none garners more attention from the fan base than quarterback. Mitch Trubisky’s play was better in the Week 3 loss to the Cleveland Browns on Thursday Night Football, but he has yet to do enough to silence the criticism and the calls for Kenny Pickett.

Regardless of what many fans/media are suggesting, Tomlin is pleased with what he’s seen from Trubisky in the first three games of the regular season.

“In all areas.” Tomlin said when asked about where he’s seen the most improvement in Trubisky’s game. “In decision making, where he’s going with the ball, the time in which he’s making decisions, the prudent use of mobility, whether it’s by schematics or by adlib, but just generally in all areas.”

When the Steelers host the Jets on Sunday at Acrisure Stadium, it is only natural to hear fans chanting and clamoring for Pickett to enter the game. It would take a Herculean effort from Trubisky just to quiet the chants. It’s almost inevitable. But you do have to wonder if the passion for change shown by the fans could be viewed as a negative within the organization.

Not to Tomlin. He appreciates the passion of the fans, no matter what.

“Our fans are not an issue, man. We love our fans and the enthusiasm that they bring. We’re not going to make that a negative. They care. And that’s an awesome thing.”

When it comes to the fan base caring, Tomlin is spot on. The fans care to the extent they are willing to voice their displeasure with the direction of the team in every possible way. At the games, on social media and any other way they can suggest what the team could possibly do better to improve.

But the improvement Tomlin speaks of, while present, has to be enough to change the outcome of games. Has the offensive line improved? Absolutely, but does it matter if they lose? Has the secondary been a bright spot on occasion? No doubt about it, but what does it mean if they can’t win football games.

Improvement is important, but at this juncture in the season, and with a 1-2 record, it will be imperative the results accompany the improvement. The proof is in the pudding, as they say.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Jets this Sunday for a 1pm ET kickoff.

Previewing the Steelers vs. Jets Week 4 showdown

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 09/29/2022 - 8:30am
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Steelers are hosting the New York Jets in Week 4 of the 2022 regular season.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets are two teams who don’t know each other well, even though they are AFC foes. For these two AFC teams, the game in Week 4 is as big as a Week 4 game can get. Throw in the fact the Steelers have lost two games in a row, and this game gets even more attention.

Here is the game preview for the Steelers and Jets for their Week 4 matchup in Pittsburgh.

Teams (Records)

Pittsburgh Steelers: 1-2
Cincinnati Bengals: 1-2

Odds (Courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook)

Steelers (-3.0)
OVER/UNDER: 40.5
Moneyline: Steelers -170; Jets +145

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.

Last 5 Games in series

3-2 in favor of the Steelers

Matchup History

Pittsburgh Steelers lead series 20-6-0

Injury Report (Note: This will be updated throughout the week as more injury reports are released) Steelers

Wednesday, September 28

P Pressley Harvin (Left Hip) - FP
CB Ahkello Witherspoon (Hamstring) - DNP
S Minkah Fitzpatrick (Concussion) - FP
OL Kevin Dotson (Ankle) - FP

Jets

Wednesday, September 28

LB Quincy Williams (Ankle) - DNP
CB Brandin Echols (Hamstring) - LP
DL John Franklin-Myers Toe) - LP
QB Zach Wilson (Knee) - FP

News and Notes

The Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets will face off at Acrisure Stadium in Week 4 of NFL action. On paper, and according to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Steelers are favored to win this game at home, but nothing is certain with these 2022 Steelers.

The Steelers, coming off a Thursday Night Football loss to the Cleveland Browns in Week 3, are sticking with Mitch Trubisky at quarterback. Meanwhile, the Jets are getting their starting quarterback back in the lineup as Zach Wilson has been cleared to play and will make his 2022 debut on the road vs. Pittsburgh.

When you look at the defenses in this matchup, both are stout, yet are far from complete. The Steelers will be without T.J. Watt for the third week after he was placed on Injured Reserve (IR) after injuring his pectoral muscle after Week 1. New York is dealing with their share of injuries on defense, including along their offensive line.

In a battle of 1-2 teams, which team will come out of Week 4 with an even 2-2 record, and which will fall to 1-3 and have an uphill climb to get back to anything resembling relevance within a highly competitive AFC? Only time will tell...

Related Articles Podcasts

Be sure to check out the many BTSC podcasts in the player below:

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold for all the coverage of their game with the Jets in Pittsburgh in Week 4 of the 2022 regular season.

Previewing the Steelers vs. Jets Week 4 showdown

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 09/29/2022 - 8:30am
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are hosting the New York Jets in Week 4 of the 2022 regular season.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets are two teams who don’t know each other well, even though they are AFC foes. For these two AFC teams, the game in Week 4 is as big as a Week 4 game can get. Throw in the fact the Steelers have lost two games in a row, and this game gets even more attention.

Here is the game preview for the Steelers and Jets for their Week 4 matchup in Pittsburgh.

Teams (Records)

Pittsburgh Steelers: 1-2
Cincinnati Bengals: 1-2

Odds (Courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook)

Steelers (-3.0)
OVER/UNDER: 40.5
Moneyline: Steelers -170; Jets +145

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.

Last 5 Games in series

3-2 in favor of the Steelers

Matchup History

Pittsburgh Steelers lead series 20-6-0

Injury Report (Note: This will be updated throughout the week as more injury reports are released) Steelers

Wednesday, September 28

P Pressley Harvin (Left Hip) - FP
CB Ahkello Witherspoon (Hamstring) - DNP
S Minkah Fitzpatrick (Concussion) - FP
OL Kevin Dotson (Ankle) - FP

Jets

Wednesday, September 28

LB Quincy Williams (Ankle) - DNP
CB Brandin Echols (Hamstring) - LP
DL John Franklin-Myers Toe) - LP
QB Zach Wilson (Knee) - FP

News and Notes

The Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets will face off at Acrisure Stadium in Week 4 of NFL action. On paper, and according to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Steelers are favored to win this game at home, but nothing is certain with these 2022 Steelers.

The Steelers, coming off a Thursday Night Football loss to the Cleveland Browns in Week 3, are sticking with Mitch Trubisky at quarterback. Meanwhile, the Jets are getting their starting quarterback back in the lineup as Zach Wilson has been cleared to play and will make his 2022 debut on the road vs. Pittsburgh.

When you look at the defenses in this matchup, both are stout, yet are far from complete. The Steelers will be without T.J. Watt for the third week after he was placed on Injured Reserve (IR) after injuring his pectoral muscle after Week 1. New York is dealing with their share of injuries on defense, including along their offensive line.

In a battle of 1-2 teams, which team will come out of Week 4 with an even 2-2 record, and which will fall to 1-3 and have an uphill climb to get back to anything resembling relevance within a highly competitive AFC? Only time will tell...

Related Articles Podcasts

Be sure to check out the many BTSC podcasts in the player below:

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold for all the coverage of their game with the Jets in Pittsburgh in Week 4 of the 2022 regular season.

3 games to watch in Week 4 which give perspective on the Steelers future opponents

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 09/29/2022 - 7:15am
Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

There are several NFL games this week which will help get a better understanding of teams the Steelers face later in 2022

With the Pittsburgh Steelers back to playing at 1 PM on Sunday, they will be playing at the same time as a number of other key matchups. Additionally, there are other prime time matchups involving some of the Steelers upcoming opponents. When Steelers Nation looks to see what else has gone on around the NFL, there are a few matchups which could give some insight into things to come.

First off, lets check out how the three games from last week ended up. Two of the games were determined by multiple scores while the other cam down to the end. When it comes to the betting lines for the game, the following information is the current consensus spread this week as reported by DraftKings Sportsbook.

Buffalo Bills (19) at Miami Dolphins (21)

Despite the Bills doubling up the Dolphins in multiple key stats such as yards gained and time of possession, it ultimately came down to the Bills missed opportunities. They missed a field goal in a key moment of the game, fumbled a snap on an attempted spike which they then had to throw for a pass which ended the first half and did not give them a field goal opportunity, and they also couldn’t spike the ball at the end of regulation. The infamous “butt punt” almost gave the Bills a chance, but it wasn’t enough.

Baltimore Ravens (37) at New England Patriots (26)

The Patriots scored a touchdown on the opening position of the second half to take the lead, but it was all downhill from there as Mac Jones continued to throw interceptions late in the game. The Ravens have put up enough points this season to move to 2–1 despite being the last ranked defense in the NFL in terms of yards surrendered.

Cincinnati Bengals (27) at New York Jets (12)

The Bengals finally saw their offense wake up as Joe Burrow threw for three touchdowns and no interceptions. But as much as Cincinnati needed to get their offense going, it was their defense who kept New York out of the end zone and only surrendered four field goals.

For Week 4, here are the three games which could give the most perspective on what the Steelers can expect with some of their future opponents:

Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals Thursday at 8:15 PM on Amazon Prime
Spread: CIN (-4)

Can Miami find magic again for a third-straight week? After their improbable come back against the Ravens and then coming out on the right end of a game Buffalo blundered, they now will take them role of being put in a terrible spot of having to travel on a short week for Thursday Night Football. With the Steelers still having to face the Bengals after their bye and having to travel to Miami in a few weeks, I’m not sure which team I would rather see win this game.

Buffalo Bills at Baltimore Ravens Sunday 1:00 PM on CBS
Spread: BUF (-3)

The Bills and Ravens have a lot in common they both handed games away to the Miami Dolphins. Now these two offensive juggernauts square off in a game that could have a lot of implications in January. More importantly, the Bills are the Steelers next opponent after Week 4 and it will be interesting to see how they handle Lamar Jackson and company.

Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday at 8:20 PM on NBC
Spread: KC (-1)

The Steelers don’t play the Kansas City Chiefs this season, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are two weeks away from coming to Acrisure Stadium to play the Steelers. For this reason, seeing how the Buccaneers defense stacks up against Patrick Mahomes will give a bigger picture as to how elite they truly are.

So there are the three main matchups which can give Steelers fans an indication as to the quality of upcoming opponents in 2022. With each passing week, a little bit more understanding about each team is able to be determined.

Obviously the Steelers game itself will tell fans the most about the season. But which of these other games will be the most telling as it pertains to the 2022 Pittsburgh Steelers? Make sure you vote in the poll and give your thoughts in the comments below.

I now demand an apology for my ‘Worst Steelers Take of 2021’ Award

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 09/29/2022 - 6:00am
Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images

The 2022 Pittsburgh Steelers are still a team that is totally unwatchable, something that they spent all of 2021 proving. The Steelers were so unwatchable in 2021, that I wrote an article about it. Was I congratulated for my honesty? No. Instead, I was roundly criticized and given an infamous award.

Late last December, as I watched the Steelers mail it in in a 36-10 drubbing at the hands of the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium, I finally decided that I had seen enough of this football team.

I was going to be open and honest about how difficult it was to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers all throughout the 2021 campaign—really, how hard they had been to watch since 2019—and put my thoughts in an article for all to consume.

The “Always Gloom and Doomers,” the folks who were saying the team sucked even during the 13-3 campaign of 2017, would surely appreciate my work, especially considering Pittsburgh’s offense had been barely functional since Halloween of 2020—or three years after fans wanted Todd Haley, and his 25.4 points per game attack, fired.

Yes, much like Jerry Maguire and his mission statement/memo, I was getting super emotional as I finished off an article titled, “The Steelers aren’t even worth watching anymore.

“Nothing left to do but sit back and watch the kudos start rolling in,” I thought the second my article went live.

Not so fast.

I was lambasted. I was called a bad fan, an embarrassment. I was harassed and emailed. I even had a falling out with Plip Pipper, the man I always consulted with when it came to all things salary cap-related.

Shortly after the Steelers' 2021 campaign ended with a surprising entry into the NFL postseason, followed by a not-so-surprising second drubbing at the hands of the Chiefs, I was asked to appear on BTSC’s What Yinz Talkin’ Bout Podcast, hosted by Kyle Chrise and Greg Benevent, where I would be given the “Worst Steelers Take of 2021" Award for my aforementioned article about how god-awful the Steelers were to watch last year.

I was proud of the award. I was thrilled to be interviewed by Kyle and joked with him a bit—he’s a funny comedian—but I didn’t back away from my belief that the 2021 Pittsburgh Steelers were simply unwatchable.

I thought my award and appearance on Kyle’s podcast had closed the door on that article and my opinion of the 2021 Pittsburgh Steelers.

But I wasn’t prepared for my opinion to go viral thanks to the high-profile nature of Kyle and Greg’s podcast.

Soon, the emails began to flood in by the dozens. Hate emails, of course—mostly just contained to the subject line, which seemed weird and a little impractical.

It would have been okay had the harassment been limited to emails, DMs and weird Facebook messages by folks calling themselves Michael Pettaway.

Nope.

One day in January, weeks after my article and award, I came home to a house that had been totally vandalized with graffiti.

“I brake for 36-10!”

“Watching the Steelers is a privilege!”

“Trader!” (Sadly, even graffiti vandals get that word wrong, which may explain why they turned to a life of crime in the first place.)

“Look, it all comes down to coaching. Fact is, Teflon Tomlin has been riding the coattails of Bill Cowher for years and won his Super Bowl with the previous coach’s players. This is something the author refused to acknowledge in his so-called article. The Steelers have as much talent as any team in the league, but Dumblin isn’t able to get the most out of his players. When will Teflon Tomlin be held accountable? When will the author criticize him and not just the players?”

That last one was pretty extensive and well-thought-out for a graffiti vandal. Gave me something to think about, for sure, but why did this person only refer to me as “the author”? I mean, if you’re going to vandalize a man’s home, at least learn his name.

Fast-forward to today.

It’s the end of September, as the Steelers (1-2) prepare for a Week 4 matchup against the Jets at Acrisure Stadium on Sunday.

But while the name of the Steelers’ venue has changed since I wrote my infamous article last December, the quality of their play has not.

This team is still unwatchable through three games of the 2022 campaign—maybe even more unwatchable than all of 2021.

The Steelers are averaging 18 points per game through three weeks—15.6 if you take away Minkah Fitzpatrick’s pick-six in Week 1. If the Steelers were unwatchable while averaging 20.2 points per game in 2021, what does that make them now?

The bottom line is this: I demand an apology from Kyle and the rest of the Steelers fans who harassed me for my opinion on the Steelers’ entertainment value in 2021.

Will an apology by Kyle, a retraction of the award, be enough, or should I take legal action?

Would money be enough, however? I don’t think so.

No, maybe I can ask for a settlement that would require all Steelers fans to watch this team while sober for the remainder of the 2022 season (I don’t know how Shannon White does it).

Perhaps they can be forced to choose between watching the Steelers' offense and watching the paint dry on the walls behind their flatscreen televisions.

If I wanted to get truly vindictive, I could demand that all fans who subjected me to pain and suffering have to sit through endless hours of “I don’t want to say I told you so, but...” snark from El Rocco.

That’s right, I’ll go THERE.

Maybe I won’t ask for anything. Perhaps just knowing that I was right is all the compensation I truly need.

In the end, that’s what being a sports fan is really all about, anyway, right?

Go Steelers!

I now demand an apology for my “Worst Steelers Take of 2021" Award

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 09/29/2022 - 6:00am
Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images

The 2022 Pittsburgh Steelers are still a team that is totally unwatchable, something that they spent all of 2021 proving. The Steelers were so unwatchable in 2021, that I wrote an article about it. Was I congratulated for my honesty? No. Instead, I was roundly criticized and given an infamous award.

Late last December, as I watched the Steelers mail it in in a 36-10 drubbing at the hands of the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium, I finally decided that I had seen enough of this football team.

I was going to be open and honest about how difficult it was to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers all throughout the 2021 campaign—really, how hard they had been to watch since 2019—and put my thoughts in an article for all to consume.

The “Always Gloom and Doomers,” the folks who were saying the team sucked even during the 13-3 campaign of 2017, would surely appreciate my work, especially considering Pittsburgh’s offense had been barely functional since Halloween of 2020—or three years after fans wanted Todd Haley, and his 25.4 points per game attack, fired.

Yes, much like Jerry Maguire and his mission statement/memo, I was getting super emotional as I finished off an article titled, “The Steelers aren’t even worth watching anymore.

“Nothing left to do but sit back and watch the kudos start rolling in,” I thought the second my article went live.

Not so fast.

I was lambasted. I was called a bad fan, an embarrassment. I was harassed and emailed. I even had a falling out with Plip Pipper, the man I always consulted with when it came to all things salary cap-related.

Shortly after the Steelers' 2021 campaign ended with a surprising entry into the NFL postseason, followed by a not-so-surprising second drubbing at the hands of the Chiefs, I was asked to appear on BTSC’s What Yinz Talkin’ Bout Podcast, hosted by Kyle Chrise and Greg Benevent, where I would be given the “Worst Steelers Take of 2021" Award for my aforementioned article about how god-awful the Steelers were to watch last year.

I was proud of the award. I was thrilled to be interviewed by Kyle and joked with him a bit—he’s a funny comedian—but I didn’t back away from my belief that the 2021 Pittsburgh Steelers were simply unwatchable.

I thought my award and appearance on Kyle’s podcast had closed the door on that article and my opinion of the 2021 Pittsburgh Steelers.

But I wasn’t prepared for my opinion to go viral thanks to the high-profile nature of Kyle and Greg’s podcast.

Soon, the emails began to flood in by the dozens. Hate emails, of course—mostly just contained to the subject line, which seemed weird and a little impractical.

It would have been okay had the harassment been limited to emails, DMs and weird Facebook messages by folks calling themselves Michael Pettaway.

Nope.

One day in January, weeks after my article and award, I came home to a house that had been totally vandalized with graffiti.

“I brake for 36-10!”

“Watching the Steelers is a privilege!”

“Trader!” (Sadly, even graffiti vandals get that word wrong, which may explain why they turned to a life of crime in the first place.)

“Look, it all comes down to coaching. Fact is, Teflon Tomlin has been riding the coattails of Bill Cowher for years and won his Super Bowl with the previous coach’s players. This is something the author refused to acknowledge in his so-called article. The Steelers have as much talent as any team in the league, but Dumblin isn’t able to get the most out of his players. When will Teflon Tomlin be held accountable? When will the author criticize him and not just the players?”

That last one was pretty extensive and well-thought-out for a graffiti vandal. Gave me something to think about, for sure, but why did this person only refer to me as “the author”? I mean, if you’re going to vandalize a man’s home, at least learn his name.

Fast-forward to today.

It’s the end of September, as the Steelers (1-2) prepare for a Week 4 matchup against the Jets at Acrisure Stadium on Sunday.

But while the name of the Steelers’ venue has changed since I wrote my infamous article last December, the quality of their play has not.

This team is still unwatchable through three games of the 2022 campaign—maybe even more unwatchable than all of 2021.

The Steelers are averaging 18 points per game through three weeks—15.6 if you take away Minkah Fitzpatrick’s pick-six in Week 1. If the Steelers were unwatchable while averaging 20.2 points per game in 2021, what does that make them now?

The bottom line is this: I demand an apology from Kyle and the rest of the Steelers fans who harassed me for my opinion on the Steelers’ entertainment value in 2021.

Will an apology by Kyle, a retraction of the award, be enough, or should I take legal action?

Would money be enough, however? I don’t think so.

No, maybe I can ask for a settlement that would require all Steelers fans to watch this team while sober for the remainder of the 2022 season (I don’t know how Shannon White does it).

Perhaps they can be forced to choose between watching the Steelers' offense and watching the paint dry on the walls behind their flatscreen televisions.

If I wanted to get truly vindictive, I could demand that all fans who subjected me to pain and suffering have to sit through endless hours of “I don’t want to say I told you so, but...” snark from El Rocco.

That’s right, I’ll go THERE.

Maybe I won’t ask for anything. Perhaps just knowing that I was right is all the compensation I truly need.

In the end, that’s what being a sports fan is really all about, anyway, right?

Go Steelers!

Pages

Subscribe to Steelers Fans of Minnesota aggregator