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Updated: 1 hour 34 min ago

Podcast: Can the Steelers sink the Raider’s ship?

Sun, 09/19/2021 - 9:00am

Check out our latest weekly venture with an international flavor. Put another shrimp on the barbie and check out Steelers Touchdown Under with two blokes from Australia, Matty Peverell and Mark Davison.

Here we go! The Steelers have been prepping for their home opener all week, but was beating Buffalo an abberation or the start of something big in 2021? Can the Steelers stay on course and sink the Raiders ship? Filling in for Matty Peverell this week will be Geoffrey Benedict and Kevin Tate joining Mark Davison, as they bring a global perspective to the Steelers in 2021, and what to expect as the team kickoff their campaign for a seventh Lombardi.

This is what will be discussed on the latest episode of Touchdown Under, the Australian sensation from the BTSC family of podcasts that’s now moved over to its live YouTube home.

Check out the rundown of this week’s show:

  • The boys preview this week’s game against the Raiders and surprises to look out for
  • Audience Q&A
  • Plus MUCH MUCH MORE!

If you missed the live show, be sure to check out the YouTube clip here, and be sure to subscribe to our channel by clicking HERE:

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

Apple Users: CLICK HERE

Spotify: CLICK HERE

Google Play: CLICK HERE

If you’re old-school and just want the audio, you can listen to it in the player below.

Part 1:

Part 2:

STAFF PICKS: Predicting the winner of Steelers vs. Raiders

Sun, 09/19/2021 - 8:00am

The staff at BTSC share their thoughts and predict the outcome of the Steelers game against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 2.

The 2021 regular season is upon us, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 2. While the Steelers get ready for their home opener, it is time for the BTSC staff to put on their prognostication hats and guess the winner of the contest.

Who will get closest? We will be keeping tabs, so let’s get the picks. Check out the staff picks below, and even a pick from an enemy guest!

Jeff Hartman

Many are predicting the Steelers to blow out the Raiders, and while I would be happy with this result, I don’t see it going down in that fashion. I think the Raiders, with Waller leading the way, will make this a close game. Ultimately, the Steelers’ defense will prove to be too much and the home team will leave victorious, and covering the 5.5-point spread.

Pick: Steelers 27, Raiders 20

Dave Schofield

It’s the Steelers’ defense which will continue to drive the train. I was never exactly sure why people weren’t sold on this unit throughout the offseason, let alone with their other late additions. As long as the Steelers don’t have to score too much early in the season, they can be successful. I think the Steelers end up with the same point total as last week but with the offense getting both touchdowns this time around.

Pick: Steelers 23 Raiders 13

Bryan Anthony Davis

If the 2021 Raiders have nine lives, they may have used them all up on Monday Night Football against the Baltimore Ravens. That was a 2 AM win and I’m not so sure how impressive it really was. But the same could be said about the Steelers in Buffalo. I expect a win out of the black and gold, but not in a runaway.

Pick: Steelers 27, Raiders 23

Michael Beck

The Raiders are coming off an emotional victory in overtime, flying across the country, and are battered by injury. Everything that could go the Steelers way is for this game. There will be no excuse for the Steelers not to take care of business. They should win this game handily.

Pick: Steelers 31, Raiders 10

K.T. Smith

The Raiders threw the ball 59 times last week against Baltimore. Meanwhile, the Steelers descended upon Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen whenever he dropped back to pass like flies at a picnic. Something has to give. The Vegas offensive line is banged up. Unless they can run the football, it’s going to be difficult for Carr against the Pittsburgh pass rush. That, and a competent afternoon from the offense begets a 2-0 start for the Steelers.

Pick: Steelers 27, Raiders 19

Geoffrey Benedict

Neither offenses do much through three quarters, but after Chris Boswell nails his second field goal of the game, Derek Carr does what Derek Carr does best and gives the Raiders a 7-6 lead in the 4th quarter, only to see Ben Roethlisberger hit Najee Harris for a long receiving TD to win the game.

Pick: Steelers 13, Raiders 7

Rich Schofield (Big Bro Scho)

After shocking the world last week by beating the Bills, the Steelers get to come home to play in front of the Heinz Field fans. The defense remains dominant and the offense continues to build off of its second half success last week. The Raiders play tough and physical but in the end are no match for the Steelers.

Pick: Steelers 24, Raiders 14

Shannon White

The Raiders have always given the Steelers fits, especially when the Steelers had to travel to the West Coast. This matchup is at the friendly confines of Heinz Field, with a full stadium for the first time since 2019. Huge advantage for the Steelers.

The Raiders have a talented offense, led by Pro Bowl TE Darren Waller, but the Steelers elite pass rush will harass QB Derek Carr into 2 or 3 turnovers on the afternoon. The Steelers offense will capitalize on the resulting field position.

Pick: Steelers 27, Raiders 23

Andrew Wilbar

The Raiders tend to be one of those teams that the Steelers could have issues putting away, but the depth at the offensive skill positions will be too much for Vegas’ secondary to handle. Plus, the Raiders completely remodeled their offensive line this offseason, and the Steelers proved the potency of their pass rush last week. Expect Derek Carr to be on his back a lot.

Pick: Steelers 27, Raiders 17

Matty Peverell

Bring on the Vegas Raiders! While T.J. Watt— who is not from this Earth— won’t get to play in the UFO or giant robot vacuum cleaner (depending on your visual interpretation), he’s playing at his adopted home of Heinz Field and boy is this asteroid ready to leave an impact! The Raiders will trouble the Steelers more than many might think, but the black and gold defense will get one, if not two defensive scores, to put this game out of reach for the most overly represented team amongst Australian NFL fans.

Pick: Steelers 30, Raiders 17

Mark Davison

Last week on Steelers Touchdown Under my co-host Matty and I picked every game throughout the 17 game season. Matty asked the question who wins the Las Vegas Raiders or Pittsburgh Steelers? Quickly I announced the Steelers will win 45-0. A few days later during the Scho Bro show with Dave and Rich I backed up what I said. Foolish enough as it sounds, I’m a man of my word and I believe the Steelers win big here. The Steelers need to treat this opponent as a five star matchup. However If the Steelers show up like they did vs. the Bills then this offense is ready to explode and the defense will turn off Derrick Carr’s ignition.

Pick: Steelers 45, Raiders 0

Anthony Defeo

Will the Steelers overlook the Raiders? Quite frankly, I don’t think they’re in a position to overlook anyone. Even if they were totally up for this game, I still don’t think they’re loaded enough to necessarily win. But I do think the Steelers will win. The Raiders come to town missing some key players due to injury. Plus, there’s the whole deal of flying cross-country for a 1 p.m. game.

Pick: Steelers 21, Raiders 17

Matt Holder (Silver and Black Pride Contributor)

Riding high off of a Week 1 victory, I’ve gotta be a homer and go with the Raiders. I think it will be an ole’ fashion slug-fest.

Pick: Raiders 20, Steelers 16

What is your prediction? Let us know in the comment section below, and feel free to tell the contributors above why they are dead wrong, or spot on!

How the Raiders’ offense plans to counter the Steelers’ defense in Week 2

Sun, 09/19/2021 - 7:00am
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Steelers and Raiders square off in Week 2, and it is time to look at how the Raiders’ offense will counter the Steelers.

When the Pittsburgh Steelers play a team like the Las Vegas Raiders, an AFC rival, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the matchup.

Sure, fans know the big name players from their conference foe, but a lot can change from one year to the next.

With that said, I reached out to Silver and Black Pride’s contributor Matt Holder and asked him a series of questions about the upcoming game. He was more than generous to provide answers to these questions, and in this article I asked him what the Raiders’ plan to counter the Steelers defense in Week 2 will be.

How will Derek Carr and company try to move the ball against the stout Steelers defense?

Check out his answer below, and be sure to follow Silver and Black Pride for the latest news and notes from the other side of the fence leading up to the game at 1 p.m. ET.

When the Raiders have the ball, how will they try to move the ball?

“Given the Raiders’ offensive line issues and the Steelers’ pass rush, I expect to see a lot of quick passing game and probably out of a more spread/shotgun look and a good amount of RPOs. In the running game, I expect them to try and attack the edges and use more wide receiver and bubble screens as an extension of the rushing attack. Basically, try and stretch the Steelers’ defense out and play basketball on grass.

It would make no sense, or would be a pretty dumb game plan, to try and run right at Cameron Heyward, Tyson Alualu and Chris Wormley with backup guards and a center that has less than five starts to his name. It’s the same logic for trying to drop back and throw deep. You’ve got a rookie right tackle going against the highest-paid defender in the league, so unless there’s max protection and a lot of help for Leatherwood, expect Jon Gruden to try and dink-and-dunk his way down the field.

However, I am excited to see how Miller holds up against Highsmith and Ingram since Miller has grown a lot since his rookie season and is on the rise. I think this matchup will be a good barometer for him.”

This truly will be one of the biggest keys to victory for both teams. If the Steelers can harass Derek Carr like they did Josh Allen in Week 1, there is a good chance the Steelers start the season 2-0. However, if the Raiders are able to protect Carr, and give him time to deliver the ball to targets like Darren Waller, anything is possible.

How do you see this game shaking out? Let us know 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 upcoming Week 2 game.

Chase Claypool fined for personal foul vs. the Bills in Week 1

Sun, 09/19/2021 - 6:30am
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers WR was fined for a personal foul call during the Week 1 win over the Buffalo Bills.

The Pittsburgh Steelers won in Week 1 when they beat the Buffalo Bills 23-16 in Orchard Park, NY, but not everything coming from the Steelers was good news. Especially for second year wide receiver Chase Claypool.

Claypool found out this weekend his game check from Week 1 was $8,354 dollars less after he was fined by the NFL for a personal foul penalty during the first game of the regular season.

This from Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network:

Crackdown continues:

The NFL fined #Jaguars LB Myles Jack $20,600 for two separate unsportsmanlike conduct violations in last week's loss to the #Texans.

Meanwhile, #Steelers WR Chase Claypool was fined $8,354 for unsportsmanlike conduct in an early dustup against the #Bills. https://t.co/u8QQI3sHFA

— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 18, 2021

Claypool was flagged not for taunting, but for pulling another player off a pile. This is something the league has targeted the past few seasons in an attempt to stop players from trying to police the game themselves. Often times, according to the league, this action resulted in further penalties and ‘extracurricular activities’.

Since Claypool has been fined once, if there is a next time the fine will be more, and this will continue until a suspension is deemed to be warranted. Let’s hope it never gets to that point.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers as they prepare for the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 2 of the regular season at Heinz Field.

Hey, Steelers, stop showing us pictures of your players boarding planes, trains and automobiles

Sun, 09/19/2021 - 6:00am
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The PR ploy of posting social media pictures of the Steelers as they arrive to and from places has officially jumped the shark.

It was a number of years ago when I first started noticing the “official” social media pictures of your Pittsburgh Steelers as they arrived somewhere or were heading someplace.

Whenever the Steelers arrived at training camp, the airport, the bus station or a professional football stadium, we were bombarded with pics on multiple social media platforms.

I thought it was pretty funny and even interesting at first. “Oh, that’s a fly suit AB is sporting,” I might have said to myself or to the Internet. “Man, those are some big headphones Cam Heyward is using.” “That’s a pretty cool and tricked-out car Chris Boswell just arrived at training camp in.”

But it got old pretty quickly. How could it not? There are only so many times you can watch professional football players walk to and/or from trains, buses and automobiles. There are only so many airports you can see them arrive at with their luggage in tow. There are only so many times you can comment on their fashion sense as they walk around in non-Steelers garb.

Those social media pics of your Pittsburgh Steelers departing and arriving may have gotten old fairly fast for grumpy people like me, but that didn’t stop the organization’s PR department from continuing this practice on the regular.

In fact, you see these pictures being posted to the Steelers official Facebook page now more than you ever have; I’ve been accused of clickbait a time or 2,000 during my days as a writer, and I don’t want to charge the Steelers with such a crime, but what else can it be? After all, these meaningless pictures often generate dozens of mostly meaningless and pointless comments.

Below are some examples:

“My guy!”

“That’s my quarterback!”

“Who’s that?”

“Nice suit!”

“He’s cute!”

“No suit?”

“Do you think Jack Lambert would have ever arrived at the airport in such a ridiculous outfit? Yes, old Jack Splat enjoyed his occasional on-field brawl, but, by golly, he sure knew how to dress like a professional on road trips.”

“If the 49ers offered the Steelers Jimmy Garoppolo for their 2022 first-round pick, do you think they’d make that deal?”

“OH, YEAH? WHO WOULD YOU REPLACE TOMLIN WITH? OTHER THAN BELICHEAT, NAME A MORE SUCCESSFUL HEAD COACH OVER THE LAST 15 YEARS!”

“Who’s that?”

“He’s cute!”

Seeing those pictures and reading those comments always makes me angry. Why? For starters, I’m on Facebook, which often predisposes one to fits of rage. Secondly, I put my pants on the same way those guys do every morning; do you think I like seeing these millionaire athletes walking around in designer pants that cost more than I make in a year?

Anyway, jealousy and covetousness, aside, do you think it’s really a story when your football team arrives at the airport to board a plane for a road game? Wouldn’t it be a bigger story if the team just decided not to make the trip and stayed home and played video games? To paraphrase the famous Twitter personality, JosABanks, when the COVID-infested Ravens were seemingly doing everything in their power to get their matchup against the Steelers at Heinz Field postponed last December: “Baltimore is sending two empty planes to Pittsburgh. Wake up, sheeple!”

I’m no commissioner, and I haven’t read every NFL rule, but I’m pretty sure if the Steelers no-showed a bunch of games, that could lead to a sanction or two. Maybe even worse.

In fact, if I’m the NFL at that point, I’m saying to the Steelers, “Listen, Steelers, here’s the deal, you don’t get to be a team no more on a kinda you keep sending empty buses to opposing stadiums—even to Heinz Field. People are beginning to notice.”

I realize the NFL likes to help us stay engaged 365 days a year, but the actual season generates more than enough to keep fans invested while they wait for the next Steelers game—including grades, PFF rankings, power rankings, what jerseys to buy/wear, articles, Steelers podcasts, Twitter fights involving rival Steelers podcasters, Twitter fights involving rival Steelers reporters, Twitter fights involving rival Steelers fans after Mark Madden posts that gif of JuJu and Ebron dancing, etc.

Look, we get it, Steelers, your players often arrive to and from places, and when they do, they look handsome and/or wacky in their non-Steelers garb.

Trust me, the next time the Steelers go on the road to play a game, we’ll all be confident in the fact that the players and coaches will show up to perform. You don’t have to inform us of everything all the time.

Distribution Map: Check out if you will get to see the Steelers vs. Raiders game

Sun, 09/19/2021 - 5:30am

The Steelers are hosting the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 2. Will you get to see it?

If you were like me, before I decided to sign up for the DirecTV Sunday Ticket package every week I was wondering whether I’d be able to watch my beloved Steelers in the comfort of my own home, or if I’d have to go elsewhere to watch the game.

Before there were websites devoted to this, it meant a lengthy trip on the television guide screen to see which game was scheduled to air, but now it’s just a click away.

So, will you get to see the Steelers and the Raiders go head-to-head in Week 2? Check out which games you’ll see in your local viewing area.

For those who want to know which game they’ll see, check the map below, courtesy of 506 Sports:

Week 2 CBS

RED: Steelers vs. Raiders
GREEN: Browns vs. Texans
YELLOW: Jaguars vs. Broncos
BLUE: Jets vs. Patriots

So, are you lucky enough to be able to watch the game live in your own home, or are you one of many who will have to find other means to view the game? Either way, today is the day to get pumped!!

HERE WE GO!!

Podcast: The Steelers aren’t in any position to overlook the Raiders

Sun, 09/19/2021 - 5:00am

There is plenty to discuss on the latest episode of the popular podcast Steelers Friday Night Six Pack w/ Tony.

Is there a chance of the Steelers overlooking the Raiders this Sunday at Heinz Field? Even if they don’t, that wouldn’t guarantee a win. Speaking of wins, how about that Week 1 triumph over the heavily favored Bills? Hear all of that and more on this edition of Steelers Friday Night Six Pack! Join Tony Defeo on those those subjects, engaging in Pittsburgh pro football talk and much, much more.

Check out the rundown of the show below, and be sure to comment what you think in the comment section.

  • Steelers News and Notes
  • The Steelers aren’t in any position to overlook the Raiders
  • Steelers Q&A
  • and MUCH MORE!

If you missed the live show, be sure to check out the YouTube clip here, and be sure to subscribe to our channel by clicking HERE:

If you missed the live show, be sure to check out all episodes on the following platforms:

Apple Users: CLICK HERE

Spotify: CLICK HERE

Google Play: CLICK HERE

If you’re old-school and just want the audio, you can listen to it in the player below.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Saturday Night Open Thread: Ya gotta see the show!

Sat, 09/18/2021 - 6:00pm
Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

Come and join this merry band of Steelers’ faithful for some lively debate about our Steelers, good food and the merits of the odd cold beverage.

Ok, raise your hand if you honestly thought we would be talking about being 1 and oh tonight! All of you that are sitting here with raised hands are full of ‘it’.

Regardless, of the how’s we are indeed undefeated. This is why we say ‘on any given Sunday’ or better yet to steal from Greg Lake and co, otherwise known as Emerson, Lake and Palmer, ‘Ya gotta see the show’!

If you missed the game solely because you thought it was a guaranteed “L” your penance shall be to declare this as a bonus thought and suffer the pain of our finest here teasing you as if you were a browns fan!

  1. T.J. was T.J. and Cam was Cam. They were who we thought they were, even without Tuitt. The 84 Bears hold the all time sack record with 72. Can this group come close, or better yet, eclipse that mark?
  2. Play Coach Canada tonight and give us your game plan on stopping the Raiders formidable pass rush. How successful do you think your plan will be?
  3. Given the Steelers’ horrible record when they go out west to play the Raiders, how much of an advantage do you think being at home is?
  4. How many games before young Najee pops off for a 100 + yard game? Will it be the result of many 4-6 yard runs, or will it be the result of him popping a big one of 40+?
  5. This week Rolling Stone Magazine came out with a their list of the 500 greatest songs of all time. ‘Respect’ as sung by Aretha Franklin was deemed to be No. 1. Is it even possible to really have a No. 1 song? Is it really ‘Respect’? Shouldn’t they have at least narrowed it down to genre? Share your thoughts.

Have a BAD Week: A look back at the Steelers week from a black-and-gold mind

Sat, 09/18/2021 - 2:05pm
Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

BTSC’s random thought renegade is back with his bizarre look at the Steelers week that was.

BTSC continues their recap of the past week’s events for our readers. But where they went wrong was asking the one narcissistic writer that would put a bizarre spin on it to do it. So let’s all take a look at a BAD week in the Burgh together.

Sunday 9/12
  • There was a host of speculation and conspiracy theories when, ten minutes after Buddy Johnson was listed on the inactive list, Robert Spillane’s name was suddenly on the list with Johnson getting a helmet. It was akin to the “magic bullet” conspiracy or the “second spitter” theory from Seinfeld until it was learned that Spilly had suffered a shin injury in pre-game warmups. That’s why there was a change in status.
  • The Steelers defeated the Buffalo Bills by the score of 23-16 on Sunday. The improbable victory by the visiting team was felt most by the psychopathic followers of the home team, the Bills Mafia. The brisk and sullen manner in which said fans exited the stadium made Cincinnati “esca-losers” look like they were loitering at a Sheetz.

Things you love to see https://t.co/34TrugjNcL

— BTSC Steelers (@btsteelcurtain) September 12, 2021 Monday 9/13
  • The Las Vegas Raiders used up all nine of their lives in one of the most bizarre games that I’ve ever seen in all of my years of watching “the football”. It reminded me of when I was intentionally trying (but ultimately failed) to lose board games to my children when they were seven. At one point, I was wondering if Jon Gruden and his silver and black minions were ordered by Vegas goons to blow the game on purpose. It was very satisfying however, as it benefited the Steelers this week. Now the Raiders go from heroes to foes of Steelers’ Nation. Rooting for teams in games involving anybody other than the Steelers hurts my brain.
  • Speaking of the 52nd opener of Monday Night Football, how awesome was this?
Tuesday 9/14
  • This set yinzers and certain BTSC staff members ablaze speculating that UNC quarterback Sam Howell is the definitive next signal caller for the Steelers. It’s called scouting people. The team is going to look at good players at every position. It’s in their freaking job description!!!!

Great catching up with @steelers GM Kevin Colbert and all of the NFL scouts that came to practice today. pic.twitter.com/MtABCRXbhM

— Mack Brown (@CoachMackBrown) September 14, 2021
  • The win against the Bills marked another 4th quarter comeback for Big Ben Roethlisberger. He now ranks 3rd all time, tied with Drew Brees with 36 fourth quarter comebacks. He trails only Peyton Manning with 43 and Tom Brady’s 39.
Wednesday 9/15
  • So now we all know the reason cardiologists and psychiatrists have such nice houses in Pittsburgh.

The Steelers 5 wins when trailing at halftime are tied for the most in the NFL since the start of 2020.

Pittsburgh has won 4 games when trailing at the end of the third quarter since the start of 2020, which also is the most in the NFL...#BertschyBits https://t.co/01rPOsqMLx

— Michael Bertsch (@SteelersPRMike) September 14, 2021 Thursday 9/16
  • Steelers fans were crushed when they learned that Devlin “Duck” Hodges was returning to football, but not to the Steelers and not even in the National Football League. Does anybody in Canada want a vintage Hodges No. 6 rookie jersey, size 2X? I’ll take a pound of Canadian Bacon for it, a cassette copy of Loverboy Greatest Hits for it and whatever they call an Arby’s Bacon Cheddar in the Great White North. Do they even have the meats in Canada, eh?

Migrating North

We've signed QB Devlin “Duck” Hodges to a three-year contract.#RNation | : https://t.co/JBcwz0AJPo pic.twitter.com/QW9dAG0Kcf

— Ottawa REDBLACKS (@REDBLACKS) September 16, 2021 Friday 9/17
  • The Indianapolis Colts were announced as the first team to be the subjects of an in-season installment of HBO’s Hard Knocks. That to me sounds like a horrendous idea to introduce cameras into your facilities in the middle of an NFL campaign. Welcoming hookers, firearms and unlimited Arby’s Beef ‘N Cheddars into the locker room might be less disruptive. My bet is that the Steelers would rather do the latter before the former.
  • The Steelers won’t see Josh Jacobs this weekend, as the running back was added to the crowded injury list for the Raiders. But the Steelers had new additions to their final injury report that caused frayed nerves and grey hairs in Steelers’ Nation when Joe Haden and Devin Bush headlined their list of walking wounded.

This was the significant week that was for the Steelers, mixed-in with my black-and-gold loving life. I’m sure next week will be full of Steelers happenings as well, so we’ll have to do this again. Have a great week, but better yet have a BAD one.

For a deeper look and listen, check outHave a BAD week in the podcast below:

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

Apple Users: CLICK HERE

Spotify: CLICK HERE

Google Play: CLICK HERE

If you’re old-school and just want the audio, you can listen to it in the player below.

Podcast: The Steelers need a strong 4 quarters to kick gift-horse Raiders in the mouth

Sat, 09/18/2021 - 2:00pm

Get ready for the Steelers’ home opener against Las Vegas with pregame analysis from BTSC’s Bryan Anthony Davis and K.T. Smith

Steeler Nation has a renewed confidence in a team that never quit and found themselves in the second half against Buffalo in Week 1. Week 2 brings the Las Vegas Raiders into Heinz Field. Can the Men of Steel put together more than one good half in the same contest? Join Bryan Anthony Davis and Kevin Smith for Here We Go, the Steelers Pregame Show. The BTSC duo break down the contest like no one else does to get you ready for the game.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • News and Notes
  • Steelers vs. Las Vegas league rankings
  • Raiders players to watch
  • Keys to a Steelers victory
  • Predictions

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

Apple Users: CLICK HERE

Spotify: CLICK HERE

Google Play: CLICK HERE

If you’re old-school and just want the audio, you can listen to it in the player below.

Stacking wins to start the year is key for the Steelers making the playoffs

Sat, 09/18/2021 - 1:00pm
Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

Continuing to win early in the season is the Steelers top priority if they want to fulfill their championship aspirations

The Pittsburgh Steelers started the season 1-0 over the Buffalo Bills in Week 1. But, continuing to win these early season games can push the Steelers into a playoff spot later on in the year. There was never any doubt that the Pittsburgh Steelers had the toughest schedule in football this year based on 2020 results, and the way it is structured the team will have its biggest challenges late in the 2021 season. Not only do the Pittsburgh Steelers have to run through most of their AFC North matchups in the back half of the season, but the Steelers will be road warriors when the weather turns cold.

The Steelers next three opponents include the facing the Las Vegas Raiders and the Cincinnati Bengals at home, before traveling to a Green Bay to face a dysfunctional Packers team that looked completely lost in Week 1. From there they take on the Seahawks and Broncos at home before going on a Bye Week followed by the team finally getting their revenge matchup with the Cleveland Browns in Week 8. The way the first half of the season is set up the Steelers can, and should, hold a record somewhere between 5-2 and 7-0. While the latter is an ambitious number to achieve, getting to that mark should give the Steelers enough breathing room to cake walk into the playoffs and zero in on another AFC North crown.

While it is easy to overreact to the state of the NFL after just one game, looking at the Steelers schedule today rather than in when it was first released feels a lot less daunting. The NFC North and the Tennessee Titans looked abysmal, the Ravens and Raiders have run into injury issues, the Browns and Bengals both look beatable, while the rest of the AFC West teams and Seattle Seahawks still look very good. All of the sudden the Steelers really only have a handful of games where they shouldn't be the favorite. Those games, however, all fall in the back half of the season.

Don't be surprised if the Steelers drop a couple games late in the year again, but winning those ‘five star matchups’ are what make legendary teams. If the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to become champions, they will have to win their fair share of these type of games. Starting the year off with a road victory over the Bills put this team well on their way to doing just that. But one upset victory in the first week of the season isn't enough. The Steelers need to continue to stack wins, and doing it early in the year —on paper— will be easier to accomplish than late in the season.

But what do you think? What will be the Steelers record when they take on the Browns in Week 8? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

A Raiders player no one is talking about who could impact the outcome vs. the Steelers

Sat, 09/18/2021 - 12:00pm
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Las Vegas Raiders square off in Week 2 and this player could play a big role in the outcome.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Las Vegas Raiders renew their rivalry in the Steelers’ home opener in Week 2 at Heinz Field, and the battle of the AFC teams certainly has a lot of headlines swirling around it.

Will the Steelers’ running game ever become a strength of the offense?

Can the Pittsburgh defense continue to be dominant every game?

Are the Raiders for real, or was their Week 1 win over the Baltimore Ravens just a fluke?

Among those story lines are players who aren’t talked about often, but can certainly play a role in the outcome of the game. This week I was fortunate enough to ask Silver and Black Pride’s contributor Matt Holder several questions leading up to the big game Sunday.

One of those questions was if he could give me a player who isn’t being talked about, but could play a big role in who wins and loses the game. He didn’t disappoint and gave a player Steelers fans should become acquainted with heading into Week 2.

Cornerback Nate Hobbs. Hobbs played really well in the preseason and was getting some buzz for that, but he was rather quiet against the Ravens and people’s attention has turned elsewhere now that the lights are brighter and everyone else is playing. However, I think the fifth-round pick’s performance will go a long way in determining the outcome of the game.

Hobbs is untested against top competition and this will be a good measuring stick to see if he’s someone the Raiders can count on to win right now, or still needs some development.

If Hobbs is deemed as untested, he certainly will get a big test vs. the likes of JuJu Smith-Schuster, Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson and even Najee Harris if Hobbs rotates outside with the dynamic running back when he splits out wide.

This will likely be a matchup to keep your eye one, especially with defenses almost daring the Steelers to beat them down the field before they start to back off the line of scrimmage. If the Steelers can hit on a few deep passes, it should open up their offense tremendously, and that would make for tough sledding for the Raiders coming off a short week and traveling across country for a 1 p.m. ET kickoff.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the upcoming game between the Steelers and Raiders this Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ET.

College Gameday: 2022 Potential NFL Draft Prospects and Open Thread 

Sat, 09/18/2021 - 11:05am
Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

College football is back and so we start the look into the 2022 prospect watch list

Welcome to Week 3 of the college football season.

I’ll start by saying I have nothing against “The Ohio State University” but I’m not gonna lie, I love it when one of the mainstays in the College Football Playoffs lose. I like the thought of having some new teams make the dance and it makes the CFP committee squirm a little.

Don’t worry, there is still time to somehow get Ohio State and Clemson back into the playoff picture.

Don’t look now, but there is a team that wears similar colors to that of the Steelers and boasts a solid defense that are moving quickly up the rankings. Coincidence? The Iowa Hawkeyes have moved into 5th in the AP poll.

Although not a highlighted game, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Oklahoma Sooners #3 game. The rivalry started back in 1912 and due to multiple realignments (yadda yadda yadda) the two storied universities rarely meet anymore. The Huskers and Sooners have met 86 times - Oklahoma 45 wins, Nebraska 38 wins and they have tied 3 times. Game is being played in Oklahoma and can be seen at noon on FOX.

Cincinnati Bearcats #8 at Indiana Hoosiers Noon ESPN Cincinnati

Desmond Ridder #9 QB 6’4” 215lbs - Okay I’ll admit I have a huge Draft Crush on this young man, it dates back to the 2020 college season. He was high on my radar that year but he decided to go back to school, probably a smart move on his part.

The young man was quoted as “there is unfinished business” You have to respect that, I know I do. Cincinnati was knocking on the doorstep of the CFP last year and if they handle business he may get his chance to put the Bearcats one step further and into the final four.

What’s not to like, he has the height, size and a cannon for an arm. If you like your quarterback with some mobility, he will not disappoint. He isn’t blessed with tremendous speed( Lamar Jackson) but due to his height he has long strides that eat up the ground. Let me say he isn’t a flight first guy he will continue to look down field or maneuver within the pocket to try and complete those passes.

Ridder is able to change arm angles to find windows in tight spaces and has decent accuracy but he will need to work on ball placement at the next level. And while I love his arm strength he needs some work on touch throws. He isn’t a finished product but there are intangibles that just aren’t teachable and he checks off many of those boxes.

Right now he is scattered between the teens and all the way down to the middle of the second round throughout the varying boards. He has a couple of tough games upcoming with Indiana this week and Notre Dame on the 2nd of October. I know there are several members of our great community that are on the Ridder Bandwagon, take a look and see for yourself.

Alec Pierce #12 WR 6’3” 208lbs

Josh Whyle #81 TE 6’6” 245lbs

Myjai Sanders #21 EDGE 6”5” 255lbs

Ja’Von Hicks #3 SAF 6’2” 205lbs

Ahmad Gardner #1 CB 6’3” 200lbs

Indiana

Matt Bedford #76 OT 6’6” 310lbs

Ty Fryfogle #3 WR 6’2” 205lbs

James Head #6 EDGE 6’5” 262lbs

Micah McFadden #47 ILB 6’2” 232lbs

Tiawan Mullen #3 CB 5’10” 180lbs - Keep an eye out for this guy

Alabama Crimson Tide #1 at Florida Gators #11 3:30 CBS Matchup Watch

Kaiir Elam #5 CB Florida vs John Metchie lll #8 Alabama

Not sure how often these two will be paired because of scheme but both are considered first round picks in the upcoming draft.

Elam has size and length and matches that with an aggressive style of play. The Florida junior is considered one of the top players at his position and could roll off the board inside the Top 10.

Metchie lll has speed for days and and is a solid route runner. Some are projecting him as a slot guy at the next level but he will line up outside as well.

Auburn Tigers #22 at Penn State Nittany Lions #10 7:30 PM ABC

In the famed “White Out” a battle between the Big 10 and SEC. One thought on this game, can Penn State find a way to get Jahan Dotson more touches.

Penn State

Rasheed Walker #53 LT 6’6” 320lbs

Jahan Dotson #5 WR 5”11” 184lbs

Jaquan Brisker #1 SAF 6’1” 200lbs

Ellis Brooks #13 ILB 6’1” 241lbs

Brandon Smith #12 OLB 6’3 240lbs

Auburn

Bo Nix #10 QB 6’3” 214lbs

Zacoby McClain #9 OLB 6’0 219lbs

Owen Pappoe #0 ILB 6’1” 226lbs

Smoke Monday #21 SAF 6’3” 199lbs - Has to be one of the coolest names in college football

Roger McCreary #23 CB 6’0 190lbs

Arizona State Sun Devils #14 at BYU Cougars #23 10:15 ESPN Arizona St.

Jayden Daniels #5 QB 6’2’ 200lbs

Dohnavan West #61 Center 6’4” 300lbs

Merlin Robertson #8 LB 6’3” 240lbs

Chase Lucas #24 CB 6’ 185lbs

BYU

James Empey #66 Center 6’4” 303lbs

Gunner Romney #18 WR 6’2” 195lbs

Tyler Algeier #25 RB 5’11” 220lbs

Let us know what games you are watching and who you think would look good in the Black and Gold. As always Stay Safe and Go Steelers!

Podcast: 5 reasons the Steelers and Pittsburgh are better than the Raiders and Sin City

Sat, 09/18/2021 - 11:00am

Join BTSC’s newest podcast, the Steelers Power Half Hour for weekly Steelers Power Rankings in may a black-and-gold category

Welcome to the Steelers Power 1⁄2 Hour. Join BTSC’s Chris Pugh, Joe Frost and Paul Yanchek for weekly power rankings as it pertains to the Pittsburgh Steelers. This time it’s a fun, tounge-in-cheek look at reasons why the Steelers and Pittsburgh are so much better than the Raiders and Las Vegas.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • Ranking reasons to hate the Raiders and the city they call home
  • and MUCH MORE!

Chris, Paul and Joe of BTSC walk you through everything you need to know regarding the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Check out all episodes on the following platforms:

Apple Users: CLICK HERE
Spotify: CLICK HERE

Google Play: CLICK HERE

You can listen to the show in the player below.

Trying to pinpoint the weaknesses with the Raiders heading into Week 2

Sat, 09/18/2021 - 10:00am
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers and Raiders go head-to-head Sunday, and there are weaknesses to exploit within the Raiders offense and defense.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have another tough test ahead of them in Week 2 of the 2021 regular season when they host the Las Vegas Raiders at Heinz Field for their season opener. The Raiders are 1-0 after a thrilling overtime victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football, and with players like Maxx Crosby and Darren Waller coming to town, the Steelers could have their hands full.

With all the talk about the big name players for Vegas, it isn’t as if their roster is perfect. In fact, there are plenty of issues on both sides of the ball. Every unit has their weaknesses. This week I was able to ask Matt Holder of Silver and Black Pride several questions leading up to the Week 2 matchup. One of those questions was where he thought the weakness on the Raiders’ offense resided.

Here is what he said about the offense:

The offensive line is definitely a weak point for the Raiders. They’re really young upfront and with Denzelle Good out and Richie Incognito questionable, Kolton Miller could be the most senior member of the group and he’s only in his fourth season. I’m definitely worried about how Las Vegas stacks up in the trenches compared to the juggernaut Pittsburgh has.

The Raiders’ offensive line, going against the stout Steelers’ defensive front, should have their hands full on Sunday, but what about the Las Vegas defense? Where are the kinks in their armour?

Defensively, it’s a similar story in the secondary. Casey Hayward is a proven veteran, but Trayvon Mullen is just in his third season, Johnathan Abram is too but he missed his entire rookie season, and Tre’von Moehrig and Nate Hobbs are rookies. I’d say that’s probably the Raiders’ weakness defensively compared to the Steelers, especially with JuJu Smith-Schuster going against the rookie Hobbs in the slot. Hobbs was a preseason superstar and earned a starting spot, but he didn’t see anybody nearly as good as JuJu.

When you hear someone who follows the Raiders like us at BTSC follow the Steelers say the weakness on the defense is in the secondary, you get excited. However, it will come down to the Steelers’ offensive line protecting Ben Roethlisberger and giving him time to deliver passes downfield to those dynamic wide receivers.

The best defense for a weak secondary is with a dynamic pass rush, and the Raiders’ defensive front harassed Lamar Jackson early and often in prime time in Week 1.

Will the Steelers be able to exploit these weaknesses when facing the Raiders? That has yet to be seen, but if the Steelers want to hold serve at home, and advance their record to 2-0, they will need to win the battle in the trenches and make the Raiders pay for these mismatches.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for Week 2 of the 2021 regular season.

Predicting the Steelers’ inactive list for Week 2 vs. the Raiders

Sat, 09/18/2021 - 9:00am
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers have one player ruled out with another three who are questionable.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have their first game of the 2021 NFL season under their belt and are ready to continue the season at Heinz Field. After getting a feel for the inactive list last week, the nature of the depth chart has shown us how things may shake out early in the season. The biggest factors now are injuries and players with a questionable status.

The rules in the 2021 season when it comes to the players active on game day have been carried over from last season. As long as a team has eight offensive lineman who will be dressing for the game, they could have 48 players on their active roster rather than the 46 in previous seasons. If the Steelers elevate any players from their practice squad, their inactive list would increase by the same number of players. Until the Steelers announce an elevation, we will assume it is only five players but will adjust the projection if necessary.

Game Status

Out:
DT Carlos Davis (knee)

Questionable:
CB Joe Haden (groin)
LB Devin Bush (groin)
TE Zach Gentry (ankle)

Here are the possibilities to end up inactive for the Steelers against the Raiders on Sunday:

Definitely:

DT Carlos Davis- Missing the last two days of practice this week, Davis was ruled out on Friday.

Most Likely:

QB Dwayne Haskins- Having Haskins on this list every week is a good thing for the Steelers. If he’s not, things are not going well.

G Rashaad Coward- With the Steelers having Coward inactive last week, it appears he’ll be the offensive lineman on the sidelines unless there’s an injury or a change in the roster.

Possibly:

CB Joe Haden- He was listed as questionable on Friday, so there’s a possibility Joe Haden is inactive on Sunday. It would be nice if the Steelers updated the list on Saturday again this week to remove his status.

LB Devin Bush- Ditto everything about Joe Haden.

TE- Zach Gentry- Further down the depth chart, the availability of Gentry will most likely be known on Saturday. If the Steelers think Gentry won’t be able to go, they will likely elevate Kevin Rader from the practice squad.

LB Buddy Johnson- It was believed Johnson was inactive last week for about nine minutes as it was incorrectly reported because of a last second switch. With no status for Spillane, chances are Johnson goes back on the list.

CB Ahkello Witherspoon- The answer for Week 1 was Witherspoon wasn’t the best option yet for the Steelers to utilize him, and we’re not sure when that time will be.

CB Arthur Maulet/Justin Layne- If Witherspoon gets the helmet, there’s got to be someone else who does not. If and when that is the case, it’s likely either Layne or Maulet who he replaces.

Unlikely:

G B.J. Finney- There’s a chance the Steelers could change up their philosophy of which lineman they have active, but I’m going to assume they are stuck in their ways until they show otherwise.

DT Isaiahh Loudermilk- With Carlos Davis out, Loudermilk should be the recipient of the additional helmet UNLESS the Steelers elevate Henry Mondeaux from the practice squad and make Loudermilk an additional inactive.

Projected Inactive List:
  1. Carlos Davis
  2. Dwayne Haskins
  3. Rashaad Coward
  4. Buddy Johnson
  5. Ahkello Witherspoon

As is now the case in the NFL, this list is depending on no practice squad elevations. I’m playing the role of optimist and all the questionable players will be available. Therefore, it will be three names that are the same as last week with Davis replacing Loudermilk and Johnson replacing Spillane. If Joe Haden can’t go I assume Witherspoon would get the helmet, likewise it would be Johnson in place of Bush. As stated before, If Gentry is out I look for a Kevin Rader elevation.

As always, feel free to list your projected inactives in the comments below.

The Steelers defense will face a very different test in Week 2 vs. the Raiders

Sat, 09/18/2021 - 8:00am
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

While Buffalo attacked the Steelers with quickness, the Raiders are big and fast.

The Buffalo Bills played a lot of snaps against the Pittsburgh Steelers without using a running back, tight end or a full back. The Bills love to go wide receiver heavy, and they took it even farther in Week 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Personnel usage shows offensive philosophy

A quick snap count breakdown shows it clearly.

The Bills played 85 offensive snaps in week 1.

Total RB snaps: 74, 0.87 RBs per snap.
Total TE+FB snaps: 52, 0.61 per snap.
Total WR snaps: 296, 3.48 per snap.

3.48 WRs per snap is crazy. The Steelers averaged 2.65 WRs per snap in week 1, close to the 2.73 WRs per snap they averaged in 2020 when they had the worst run game in the NFL.

The Bills were going to be receiver heavy, but facing a Steelers team with questionable depth in their secondary, the Bills went all in to force the Steelers to play Devin Bush and Joe Schobert less and guys like Tre Norwood, Arthur Maulet and James Pierre more.

The Los Vegas Raiders snap counts show a very different approach.

The Raiders played 86 offensive snaps in week 1.

Total RB snaps: 86, 1 RB per snap.
Total TE+FB snaps: 161, 1.87 per snap.
Total WR snaps: 182, 2.12 per snap.

A very different look than the Bills. The Bills had over 5 times as many WR snaps as TE+FB snaps, the Raiders had only 21 more WR snaps than TE+FB snaps.

The Raiders used their TE and FBs more than three times as often as the Bills. It wasn’t score based either. The Raiders held the lead for 0 seconds in their win against the Ravens. The second they finally took the lead the game ended. They weren’t going heavy and running to milk the clock with a lead. And the Bills led for over 3/4ths of their game against the Steelers. Their personnel usage was far more about identity and talent than it was game situation.

The Steelers will adjust to the Raiders offense

In week 1 the Bills were the perfect team to exploit a Steelers secondary that had serious question marks. The Steelers secondary stepped up and more than answered the challenge, they were fantastic. In week 2 the Steelers won’t be using nickel and dime defense the vast majority of the game, and are likely to be spending a lot of time in their 3-4 sets with only 4 defensive backs on the field.

That means the Steelers, who carried 5 defensive lineman on the active roster in week 1, will be having that defensive line depth tested with Stephon Tuitt on injured reserve.

The Steelers Starting front 3 will be Cameron Heyward, Tyson Alualu and Chris Wormley. But they will need to rotate those players. Cameron Heyward had an immense impact in week one, but the Steelers were able to rotate him off the field to keep him fresh, Heyward only played 66% of the week one snaps. They could do that because they had 5 lineman, and only played two on most snaps. In fact the Steelers played their defensive lineman a combined 174 snaps in week one. That’s 2.05 per snap, or 81 snaps with 2 defensive lineman and 4 snaps with 3.

If the Steelers only dress 5 defensive lineman this week, they will need to play Heyward, Alualu and Wormley a lot more than they did in week 1, and will need to play both Carlos Davis and Isaiah Buggs more than the 25 combined snaps they received against Buffalo.

The Steelers left Isaiahh Loudermilk inactive for week 1, it is likely they will be activating him against the Raiders, and they could go as far as to call up Henry Mondeaux from the practice squad to carry seven defensive lineman in the game, something they did a decent bit in 2020.

Size and speed are game-changers too

The difference goes a bit farther than just position usage though. The Bills aren’t just WR heavy, their main offensive weapons are all shorter, shiftier players. Check out their top 4 offensive weapons by snaps played.

Stefon Diggs, 79 snaps, 6’0” 190 lbs.
Emmanuel Sanders, 79 snaps, 5’11” 180 lbs.
Cole Beasley, 77 snaps, 5’8” 174 lbs.
Devin Singletary, 64 snaps, 5’7” 203 lbs.

Those are their main offensive weapons, and accounted for 39 of 48 targets (81.25%). The tallest one is Stefon Diggs at 6’0” and 190 lbs. and two measure in at 5’8” or less.

Now look at the Las Vegas Raiders top weapons by snap count.

Darren Waller, 81 snaps, 6’6” 255 lbs.
Bryan Edwards, 57 snaps, 6’3” 212 lbs.
Henry Ruggs III, 56 snaps, 6’0” 190
Hunter Renfrow, 47 snaps, 5’10” 185
Foster Moreau, 46 snaps, 6’4” 250
Kenyan Drake, 41 snaps, 6’1” 211
Alex Ingold, 23 snaps, 6’1” 240

I added Moreau, Drake and Ingold because they will likely play significant roles in week 2. Looking at the Raiders targets, players 6’1” and taller accounted for 35 of 52 targets (67.3%)

While the Bills were attacking the Steelers by spreading the field with wide receivers and attacking space with small, shiftier receivers, the Raiders attack vertically with size, and speed. The Raiders are old school with an approach of fast outside receivers that back up the defense, paired with Josh Jacobs powerful running, a tough FB in Alex Ingold who is also a receiving threat (4 catches, 22 yards in Week 1), and their main threat, a 6’6”, 255 lb. tight end with great hands and route running who runs a 4.46 forty yard dash, the same time the Steelers 6’1” 207 lb. All-Pro safety Minkah Fitzpatrick recorded.

With speedy receivers backing up the safeties and the run game pulling the linebackers forward, the threat Darren Waller creates in the middle of the field is a big problem.

How will the Steelers respond?

I’m not Mike Tomlin, Keith Butler, or Teryl Austin, and I don’t have a crystal ball or “unnamed inside sources”, but there are a few things that seem clear to me that we will see in week 2.

First off, the Steelers are going to be playing a lot of 3-4 sets to counter the Raiders personnel groups. That means there’s no nickel backs to get in on defending Waller. That job is going to fall to a linebacker, likely Joe Schobert or one of the outside linebackers. But don’t panic, a linebacker on Darren Waller is just one half of the coverage, as there will be a safety behind Schobert on those plays to bracket Waller. You can watch for that on the broadcast, and look for the leverage of the linebacker covering Waller, that will tell you where they have help, and what routes they are responsible for defending themselves.

The other option will be a safety on Waller. While on the surface that looks like a better match up, it means that safety will largely be on an island against a physical freak of a target with ridiculous size and reach. It also means the Steelers have only one safety deep with Joe Haden and Cameron Sutton largely on islands with the Raiders speedy outside receivers. Those receivers aren’t great, but with deep balls you only need one to flip the field or break a game open. When the Steelers are in 3-4 and use a safety on Waller it will likely be Terrell Edmunds up and Minkah Fitzpatrick deep, with the possibility of the Steelers rotating Tre Norwood in some, but I doubt the Steelers would trust either Norwood or Edmunds in single-high safety too often against the speed of the Raiders.

Expect the Steelers to switch up and disguise coverage. But more importantly, expect them to rely on pressure up the middle of the pocket to prevent the quarterback from stepping into deep throws. It stood out on film that while the Ravens were getting pressure off the edge on the Raiders, they weren’t getting as much up the middle, and they gave up a good number of plays when Derek Carr was able to step up in the pocket, avoid the rush and take shots downfield (138 yards, 1 TD on 13 deep passes in Week 1). If Derek Carr can’t step into his deep throws, those throws won’t be as good, and covering those receivers deep won’t be as challenging.

With Stephon Tuitt out and the Steelers likely playing 3-4 sets, it is doubtful the Steelers will repeat their lack of blitzing from week 1. Rushing 4 men out of 3-4 sets means at least one of the outside linebackers or defensive lineman have to drop into coverage. While an outside linebacker being part of a bracket coverage on Darren Waller will happen, it isn’t an all-game strategy. But the real focus will be on the interior line and their ability to generate pressure in the middle of the line. First off because that disrupts the Raiders ability to run, letting the rest of the defense focus more on defending Darren Waller, but also to disrupt Derek Carr’s ability to throw balls on target downfield.

That means whatever the Steelers are doing to defend the Raiders offense this week, the real story will be Cameron Heyward, Tyson Alualu and the defensive line depth, and winning the battle in the trenches. Old school football.

Ben Roethlisberger’s statistics after Week 1 reminiscent of the 2020 Steelers offense

Sat, 09/18/2021 - 7:00am
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Is the Steelers’ 2021 offense heading down the same path as the 2020 offense?

Despite starting 11-0 to the 2020 regular season, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense would like to keep last year in the past. It was last season when the Steelers sported a shiny undefeated record, but failed to do anything exceptionally well.

They didn’t run the ball well.

They didn’t pass the ball extremely well.

But if there was one thing they did well, it was throw the ball quickly, and short. Last season Ben Roethlisberger was near the bottom of the league in everyone’s favorite new statistic “air yards”.

For those who track these statistics, like ESPN’s NextGen Stats, the Steelers Week 1 win over the Buffalo Bills was eerily similar to the same type of statistics Roethlisberger put up last season.

Take a look:

“Ben Roethlisberger was the quickest to throw at 2.3 sec [in Week 1]. Coincidentally, Big Ben’s average time to throw in the 2020 regular season was 2.3 sec, the quickest among all QBs. He was the 2nd most aggressive passer, throwing into a tight window on 31.3% of his passes. Despite throwing into a tight window at a high rate, Roethlisberger continued his tendency to throw short passes, averaging 5.7 air yards/attempt, tied for 4th shortest in Week 1. Through all of 2020, Roethlisberger averaged 7.1 air yards/attempt, 10th shortest among all QBs.”

Fans of the black and gold expected something new when Matt Canada took over the offense for Randy Fichtner, but are we just seeing more of the same?

To be fair, it is just one week, and the Steelers had to come from behind to win the football game. This can certainly throw off any offensive coordinator’s best laid plans, but anyone who watched the Week 1 game couldn’t help but think to themselves how this looked like a newer version of the old offense.

This is what Matt Canada had to say about how many shotgun snaps Roethlisberger had in Buffalo last Sunday.

“It’s based upon how the game goes, and I think there’s a lot of speculation about what we wanna do and how we wanna do it. We wanna run the football. We don’t wanna drop back, per se, and have so many dropped back pass protections. Are we under center, are we in the gun, are we running it? All those things, we’re trying to do schematically as we go to protect our line, but if we have to drop back so many times to win a game, we’re gonna do it. If we have to be under center, we’re gonna do it.”

The Steelers’ defense proved they will game plan in a variety of ways to beat an opponent, and the offense will have to deploy the same line of thinking in Week 2 when the Las Vegas Raiders come to Heinz Field for the team’s home opener. Let’s hope the Steelers offense isn’t just more productive, but also more diverse and dynamic. It all starts up front, but if the offense reverts back to 2020 mode when things go awry, that might not be the best safety valve.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the Raiders this Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

Take a step back in time with these new retro Starter Steelers Jackets

Sat, 09/18/2021 - 6:00am

Check out these retro starter jackets, on pre-sale NOW!

The Pittsburgh Steelers are in the midst of the regular season, and with the holidays getting close, you might want to start thinking about the Steelers fan in your life who would love some new swag. With a new season can come the desire to get some new gear to wear. Some like jerseys, while others prefer other gear.

This is where the company HOMAGE comes in. They make tremendous vintage gear for the sports fan, and they just released their Pittsburgh Steelers line.

Check out their latest product, a retro Starter jacket which takes you back to the days of Chuck Noll. They are on pre-sale NOW, but check out the design:

Looking to get one for yourself, or someone you know? You can buy it below:

So, as you prepare for the season, don’t forget to get yourself some fresh new swag. Hopefully, the Steelers put their best foot forward and have a tremendous 2021 season and bring home a 7th Lombardi trophy!

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the upcoming 2021 regular season.

Did you know we have a BTSC Apparel store? You can get this product, and many others including the classing BTSC design shirt, in the link below!

BTSC Apparel Store

Friday Night Steelers Six Pack of questions and open thread: Week 2

Fri, 09/17/2021 - 5:45pm
Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

There is always something to talk about when it comes to the black-and-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, Jeff, 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. Steelers vs. Raiders. Such a storied rivalry. What is your favorite/worst memory of the rivalry?

2. Which member of the offense do you feel needs to step up, or improve, their game from Week 1 to Week 2 for the Steelers to beat the Raiders?

3. Likewise, which member of the defense do you feel needs to step up, or improve, their game from Week 1 to Week 2 for the Steelers to beat the Raiders?

4. After the Week 1 win, what concern that you had this offseason/preseason has been silenced...at least for a week?

5. What is your prediction for the final score between the Steelers and Raiders this Sunday?

6. It’s the home opener for the Steelers, whether you are tailgating at Heinz Field or at home, what is your go-to dish to make for the party?

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 Jeff’s morning show Let’s Ride, Bryan and Tony’s Steelers Retro Show or Dave’s Steelers Stat Geek, or even the new evening shows, give them a try by listening below!

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