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Call of the Game: Bryant's first quarter touchdown

Steelers.com Videos - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 9:00am
Ben Roethlisberger connected with Martavis Bryant for a 27-yard touchdown.

Roethlisberger honored to honor Rooney

Steelers.com News - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 9:00am
Ceremony preceding win over Minnesota 'very appropriate'.

Steelers dominant defensive performance shouldn’t be downplayed due to Case Keenum

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 8:10am

The Steelers’ defense got a huge break when quarterback Sam Bradford was ruled out of Week 2 with an injury. But that didn’t stop them from doing exactly what they planned against backup Case Keenum—Dominate.

I had the good fortune to attend the Steelers Week 2 matchup against the Vikings at Heinz Field on Sunday.

On my way to the stadium, I learned that Sam Bradford would miss the game due to a knee injury. I must admit, I never thought I'd see so many people relieved that the 8-year quarterback, and former first-overall draft pick, would be out of action.

When I discovered Case Keenum would be stepping under center for Minnesota, my first reaction was to send a few "Hahaha!" texts to my friends and family, but then I thought back to December 2015, when the Ravens signed Ryan Mallett off of the street just days before Pittsburgh’s Week 16 matchup in Baltimore, and the Steelers’ defense subsequently made Mallett look like Johnny Unitas.

But as Sunday's game commenced, I was quickly reminded that this isn't your slightly-older-brother's defense any longer; this is a unit comprised of youth, athleticism and the ability to take advantage of a compromised offense.

It's not about the breaks you get in sports, it's what you do with them. After limiting Keenum to 167 yards passing, and the Vikings’ entire offense to 237 in a 26-9 victory on Sunday, one gets the sense that the Steelers’ defense won't be allowing many sub-par quarterbacks to perform like Hall of Fame legends in the foreseeable future.

In fact, if this unit keeps progressing at the rate one would hope, and given the infusion of young talent in recent years, there might be a time when the top quarterbacks in the NFL consistently struggle to handle the black-and-gold’s ultra-talented defensive line (e.g if Stephon Tuitt gets healthy sooner rather than later, look out!). Additionally, the Steelers’ ultra-athletic and deepening linebacker corps (assuming that T.J. Watt‘s groin injury is less serious than Tuitt's biceps issue) plus that ever-improving secondary might add further to the challenges faced by opposing quarterbacks. From my vantage point in Section 228, Artie Burns looked like a budding shutdown cornerback.

Maybe I'm just looking at things through black-and-gold-colored glasses, but Pittsburgh's defense seemed so fast and aggressive on Sunday that it's hard to imagine Bradford having much better luck than Keenum did.

The proof will be in the pudding as 2017 progresses, and the quarterbacks on Pittsburgh’s schedule will change from sub-par to elite. But as I look ahead to the next opposing passer the Steelers will have to face in Chicago in Week 3—either starter Mike Glennon or number one pick Mitch Trubisky—I have confidence Pittsburgh's defense will do the job and do it well.

Is the Steelers’ defense a finished product? Not at all, but it's certainly getting closer to being one each and every week.

Steelers vs. Vikings Week 2: Knee-jerk reactions after Pittsburgh’s latest victory

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 7:00am

With little thought or analysis, one BTSC writer offers his initial reactions to Pittsburgh's Week 2 win over Minnesota

The Steelers beat the MinnyVikes at home in their season opener by the score of 26-9, but if you look at the stats, you might think the Steelers weren't as impressive as they actually were.

I'm not going to type this twice, but I should, the spirit of the knee-jerk-reaction article is to express my gut reactions without true analysis and fact checking. So, I’ll shoot first and apologize later, but here are the nuggets that immediately appeared in my head:

  • It might not be everything you wanted offensive-wise, but the game plan today was so much more inventive and the cohesion was evident. It furthers my belief that last week's win was a rust-shaker. Wasn't that the summer song of 1993?
  • I'm going to grade the offense higher than usual because I thought they were pretty efficient. Fans want more TDs, but six scoring drives resulting in 26 points will do the job in most games.
  • Offensive stats skewed the big picture in this game. Fans, and Fox announcers, made it seem like the offense was completely stalled in the first half. However, 70-plus yards of pass interference penalties don't get credited to the offense. If those passes would have been caught, the stats would have looked better.
  • I'd like to blame it on wind blowing dirt in my face indoors, but I'm not ashamed to say that Ben Roethlisberger's entrance with the flag honoring the late, great Dan Rooney brought tears to my eyes.
  • I'm not perfect, but here's something that annoys the pants off of me. No. 10’s name is not "Martavius," it’s Martavis Bryant. Mar-tay-vis. Some fans have been getting it wrong since 2014 and Ronde Barber completely butchered it today.
  • The defense was dialing up the pressure. Their play is more inspired now than in any recent year.
  • Cam Heyward is playing at Pro Bowl level. He’s proof-positive that we need to give some players enough time to come into their own. He looked every bit the leader of the defense today.
  • I wonder if Todd Haley is having second thoughts about not sitting upstairs in the coaching box. He got lit up today on the sideline, and Ben Roethlisberger chuckled.
  • I can see Le'Veon Bell morphing back to his old self with each carry. He's going to break out in Chicago.
  • JuJu Smith-Schuster needed that TD badly today. He's a talent who’s destined to be a fan favorite soon. He just needed to get the penalty monkey off of his back from last week.
  • "Dirty Red" is an upper-echelon special-teamer already.
  • The secondary is doing its job. They shut down some talented receivers today. I’d just like to see them break out with a big interception day. They deserve their share in a stat-driven day and age.
  • I feel bad for Sam Bradford. His injury really hampered his team today and he gets bit way too often by the injury bug.
  • I don't sweat a Chris Boswell appearance whatsoever.
  • T.J. Watt's injury is said not to be serious and I really hope that's the case.

...

That's all for the knee-jerk reaction report. Before you start blasting in the comment section, read my disclaimer above...twice. Now, I'm going to watch highlights, read analysis and start preparing retractions.

Thanks for reading.

Podcast: Steelers moving in the right direction after Week 2 win

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 6:15am

The BTSC podcast “Steelers Final Score” returned Sunday night to talk about the team’s latest Week 2 win over the Vikings.

Join Bryan Davis and Anthony Defeo from BTSC for the post game extravaganza known as "Steelers Final Score".

The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Minnesota Vikings in their home opener 26-9, and SFS will break down all of the highs, and lows, from the game.

Check out a rundown of the show:

- Knee Jerk Reactions

- Grades: Varsity Letters and JV

- Game Balls

- and MUCH MORE!

If you missed the live show, you can hear it in a multitude of ways. You can hear it in the player above, by heading over to our BlogTalkRadio page, on iTunes by searching “The Standard is the Standard” and on various podcast platforms for Android users.

...

The show is sponsored by Frank Walker Law, the top criminal defense firm to call in western Pennsylvania and West Virginia and home to one of the nation's top-100 ranked trial attorneys in Frank Walker. For his PA office, call 412-212-3878 or to reach his WV office call 304-712-2089. You should also checkout his website frankwalkerlaw.com to see how he can help you in your time of need. Frank Walker Law: Real Talk, Real Experience, Real Results.

WATCH: Video highlights from the Steelers' 26-9 win over the Vikings

post-gazette.com - Steelers/NFL - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 5:44am

Catch the highlights from the Steelers’ 26-9 victory against the Vikings on Sunday:

Steelers take to Twitter to celebrate their Week 2 win over the Vikings

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 5:10am

The Pittsburgh Steelers were successful in keeping their record perfect in Week 2, and it’s time to check out what players were saying on social media following the game.

Week 2 is now in the rear-view mirror, and the Pittsburgh Steelers move ahead with a spotless record.

After beating the Minnesota Vikings in Week 2 of the 2017 NFL regular season, the Steelers had plenty to celebrate in their 26-9 win over their NFC North opponents. While staying ‘perfect’, check out what current and former players had to say about the victory on social media.

(Editor’s Note: This article may be updated as more players take to Twitter the days following the win.)

Great Team Win. Love my brothers feel good to get another one!!! 2-0 #shalieve #steelers pic.twitter.com/IODGLJphFE

— Ryan Shazier (@RyanShazier) September 18, 2017

@mvp86hinesward pic.twitter.com/WcappubLjt

— JuJu Smith-Schuster (@TeamJuJu) September 18, 2017

Call God 2-0 pic.twitter.com/ZaSfVNgE1t

— JuJu Smith-Schuster (@TeamJuJu) September 17, 2017

2-0 let's go!!!

— Joe Haden (@joehaden23) September 17, 2017

Let's GO Steelers!!! Appreciate the love in Heinz Field!!! ✊

— Joe Haden (@joehaden23) September 17, 2017

Love sharing these moments with the people who matter most! #2-0 #HereWeGo #DontCrossTheMoats pic.twitter.com/gHYfs6o6pB

— Arthur Moats (@dabody52) September 17, 2017

A Blessing! Dreamed of this moment! All Glory To God!!! #SteelersNation let's keep goin! pic.twitter.com/SfBNBYDBd3

— JuJu Smith-Schuster (@TeamJuJu) September 17, 2017

Crazy not to have Pop Rooney come around and shake hands after a great win. Rip DMR

— Vincenzo Williams (@VinnyVidiVici98) September 17, 2017

Great team win today. Thanks fans for showing out in our 1st home game.

— Vincenzo Williams (@VinnyVidiVici98) September 17, 2017

"When you're a hammer everything looks like a nail."

— Vincenzo Williams (@VinnyVidiVici98) September 17, 2017

Labriola on the win over the Vikings

Steelers.com News - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 10:59pm
Two weeks into the season, the defense has been a reason the Steelers are 2-0.

Labriola on the win over the Vikings

Steelers.com News - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 10:59pm
Two weeks into the season, the defense has been a reason the Steelers are 2-0.

Podcast: 'Steelers Final Score' returns tonight at 9:00 p.m. EST

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 7:40pm

Join BTSC for post game reaction after Steelers home opening win over the Vikings

Join Bryan Davis and Anthony Defeo from BTSC for the post game extravaganza known as "Steelers Final Score".

The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Minnesota Vikings in their home opener 26-9, and SFS will break down all of the highs, and lows, from the game.

Check out a rundown of the show:

- Knee Jerk Reactions

- Grades: Varsity Letters and JV

- Game Balls

- and MUCH MORE!

You can listen to the show live by logging onto our BlogTalkRadio page at 9 p.m. EST, but WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! What did you think about the game, the upcoming regular season or whatever you want to talk about Steelers related. Simply Dial (347) 850-8581 anytime during the show to make your voice heard!

...

The show is sponsored by Frank Walker Law, the top criminal defense firm to call in western Pennsylvania and West Virginia and home to one of the nation's top-100 ranked trial attorneys in Frank Walker. For his PA office, call 412-212-3878 or to reach his WV office call 304-712-2089. You should also checkout his website frankwalkerlaw.com to see how he can help you in your time of need. Frank Walker Law: Real Talk, Real Experience, Real Results.

HIGHLIGHTS: Bryant's Week 2 highlights

Steelers.com Videos - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 7:00pm
The best plays from WR Martavis Bryant against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 2.

Paul Zeise: Steelers pass rush has been so good that it's masking other defensive flaws

post-gazette.com - Steelers/NFL - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 6:45pm

The Steelers’ defense had only two sacks Sunday in a 26-9 win against the Vikings at Heinz Field. That is amazing, to be honest, because it sure seemed like they recorded a whole lot more. That’s because Vikings quarterback Case Keenum seemed to be on the run far more than he was able to comfortably stand in the pocket.  

Cam Heyward sets the tone for Steelers in win vs. Vikings

post-gazette.com - Steelers/NFL - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 6:29pm

Joe Greene, the Steelers’ Hall of Fame defensive tackle, was on hand against the Minnesota Vikings to help celebrate the memory of the late Dan Rooney and serve as honorary captain before the game.

T.J. Watt Injury: Steelers rookie doesn’t believe groin injury is serious

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 6:18pm

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost outside linebacker T.J. Watt to a groin injury, and fortunately the rookie doesn’t feel it isn’t serious.

The Pittsburgh Steelers were victorious over the Minnesota Vikings in Week 2 of the 2017 NFL regular season, and as great as that news is, not all news was positive coming out of the Steelers’ camp following the game.

One of the biggest disappointments after the game was the groin injury to rookie linebacker T.J. Watt. After the game, Mike Tomlin was vague about the injury, but when Jeremy Fowler of ESPN talked to Watt following the game, the rookie said he doesn’t feel the injury is serious.

“T.J. Watt said he doesn't expect his groin injury to be serious and isn't worried about it but will find out more in the next day or so.”

It may just be a player staying positive, or it could be an injury which Watt knows won’t have him shelved for the long-term.

It should be noted the Steelers didn’t rule him out immediately, rather listed him as questionable until the game was out of reach and then listed him as officially out of the contest.

The nature of any muscle strain, or pull, is the risk of re-injury — especially a groin injury. For what Watt has to do on any given snap, he needs to trust his body and not be concerned with re-injuring a muscle like a groin.

With that said, the true test for Watt will be his practice participation this week. If Watt practices, even on a limited basis, on Wednesday, that is a great sign. If he is a full participant Thursday or Friday, it would be a great sign he is ready to play in Week 3 vs. the Chicago Bears.

Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest on this injury, as well as other injury news, as the team prepares for Week 3.

Gene Collier: Anybody around here have a copy of those football rules?

post-gazette.com - Steelers/NFL - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 6:15pm

Tuck this way down on the list of the thousands of reasons Dan Rooney was so sorely missed in the first alleged real football game at Heinz Field since his passing in April, but because he wasn’t around Sunday to see Steelers 26, Vikings 9, I missed a chance to ask him if this was the worst NFL game ever played.

Ron Cook: Martavis Bryant's latest touchdown catch was a long time coming

post-gazette.com - Steelers/NFL - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 6:12pm

It had been a long time since Martavis Bryant caught a touchdown pass in an NFL game. The date was Jan. 9, 2016, the opponent the Cincinnati Bengals in a wild-card playoff game at Paul Brown Stadium. Bryant maintained possession of a Ben Roethlisberger pass in the corner of the end zone as Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick swiped at the ball, palming it in his right hand and pinning it against his legs as he got both feet down before doing a flip out of the end zone.

Joe Starkey: Dan Rooney tributes all around — but none quite like the tailgate party near his house

post-gazette.com - Steelers/NFL - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 6:00pm

The day ended with Ben Roethlisberger dedicating a 26-9 victory to the late Dan Rooney and handing the game ball to Dan’s eldest son, Steelers president Art Rooney II, who pledged to give it to his mom.

Le'Veon Bell on Heinz Field ovation: 'It meant a lot to me'

post-gazette.com - Steelers/NFL - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 5:57pm

Le’Veon Bell has more than 1 million followers on his Twitter and Instagram accounts, and he hasn’t been immune to the criticism he has received from Steelers fans. He reads the comments in his notifications and is well aware the paying customers haven’t been thrilled about his decision to turn down $12 million annually.

Steelers turn in performance Dan Rooney would have loved

post-gazette.com - Steelers/NFL - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 5:44pm

Dan Rooney would have loved it.

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