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Knee-Jerk Reactions to the Steelers 17-14 loss to the Patriots

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 09/18/2022 - 3:15pm
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Steelers offense had two possessions down by three in the fourth quarter but could not manage a first down.

Knee-jerk reactions are immediate responses to a situation without taking the time to analyze the situation. That’s something as sports fans that we typically do. Especially if you are a full blood Yinzer, or even just a part Yinzer. As is the custom, I compile my knee-jerk thoughts and publish them immediately after each Steelers game (my son Kyle might have a few things to say as well). It’s my version of running my mouth first and apologizing later (or not). So with that being said, I’m going to employ that philosophy here during Week 2 of the NFL Regular Season.

1st Quarter

  • Steelers to receive the opening kickoff. Here we go.
  • Real quick the Steelers get to a third down, need to convert. Don't do it and they go three and out.
  • Big Press booms that kick. Muffed! Steelers aren't able to recover and it goes for a touchback.
  • The defense quickly gets New England into a third long. Will we see the soft zone?
  • Oh look— soft zone gives up an easy completion over the middle for a first down.
  • What do you know New England converts a second third down. That would now be a third and eight and a third and four.
  • Another 14 yard pass and the defense is getting shredded currently. Are we sure that's not Tom Brady back there?
  • The swear jar is starting to fill up already. Where's the defense the Steeler showed last week?
  • Defense ends up playing bend but don't break and will force New England to try a field goal.
  • Short field goal converted. Patriots 3, Steelers 0.
  • Is it me or does Najee not look anything like Najee of last year?
  • Okay I'm not sure what happened on that play but the referees are calling it a fumble and the Patriots returned it for a touchdown. Thank God that review got it correct and the Steelers maintain possession and a first down.
  • Jaylen Warren with his first carry, running hard and picking up a first down.
  • Thought the Steelers should have been rushing to the line and going quarterback sneak on third and one, instead they take their dear sweet time and then have to call time out because the play clock is running out.
  • The Steelers pick up the first down but on the next play Trubisky's pass was tipped by a Patriot and then picked off. The offensive struggles continue.
  • On third down, Jones throws deep and Minkah picks it off!
  • End of the first quarter. Patriots 3, Steelers zero.

2nd Quarter

  • Najee converts his third straight run into a first down.
  • That's interesting. The Steelers had a third and 10 and actually threw the ball more than 10 yards.
  • Trubisky held the ball too long and then wasn't smart enough to throw it away and take the sack on first down. Now the Steelers will play from well behind the chains.
  • They called that catch by Diontae a first down. The Steelers hustle up and run a play to make sure it wasn't challenged.
  • Najee with a second effort picks up the first down.
  • On third down and four Trubisky had no time, as he planted on his back foot and had two Patriots on top of him. That will bring out Boz for the field goal try. It's good. Steelers 3, Patriots 3.
  • I hate that skycam thing that they use, especially on kickoffs.
  • If that's not a flag for grounding then I don't know what is. The flag does finally come out and they're going to get them for grounding.
  • Third down and long will we see the soft zone? It looks like it in the setup of the defense. Holding on New England. They completed short of the first down, but I'd take the penalty and the Steelers do.
  • Turns out the Steelers might have been better off declining that penalty, as on 3rd and 26th the Patriots are closer to the first down than they were before. I expect to see the Patriots go for it here on 4th and two.
  • I'm surprised Belichick punted there. It goes into the end zone for a touchback.
  • Steelers quickly end up in third and three. Nice catch and control by Claypool.
  • Come on Dan Moore.
  • That was a dangerous floating pass in the middle by Trubisky. Lucky it was just knocked down and the Steelers will punt.
  • Leal with a great defensive play on first down. He was playing in the outside linebacker spot on that play.
  • How in the world did they not call a false start on New England on that play? The tackle moved a full second before the snap.
  • Apparently when Dan Moore moves one foot that's a false start but when a Patriot tackle takes three steps back that's not a false start.
  • Witherspoon had great coverage but doesn't come up with it and the Patriots score touchdown. That was all set up by the officials failure to call the most obvious false start I've seen since the Chargers were in town. Patriots 10, Steelers 3.
  • It’s a George Pickens sighting!
  • Trubisky is flushed from the pocket could have thrown it away and save the time but instead takes a sack. I'm surprised we aren't hearing the chants for Kenny Pickett.
  • Mitch has taken three sacks in the first half, only one of which should have happened.
  • That's the half. Patriots 10, Steelers 3. Patriots receive the second half kickoff.

3rd Quarter

  • Patriots are moving the ball, but I'm getting tired of seeing their offensive line hold on every pass and not get flagged.
  • Third down and seven was nice to see a couple Steelers get run over by the running back to give up the first down. Tell me that Bill Belichick doesn't know the Steelers weaknesses.
  • The defense holds and the Patriots try a 52-yard field goal. It's missed to the open end of the stadium and the Steelers take over.
  • The Steelers offense has moved the ball a little bit, but they just don't feel like it's got real continuity.
  • Steelers have to burn a time out on offense. Hope they don't wish they had that one back at the end of the game.
  • Trubisky getting booed after that third down play. And I can't say I blame the fans— he sits, sits, sits so long that when he finally checks it down. The defender is on top of Warren right as he catches the ball.
  • It started. I hear the Kenny chants going.
  • Boswell knocks through the field goal. Patriots 10, Steelers 6. The offense needs to get it together and score some touchdowns.
  • Cam Sutton drops an easy interception! Gotta have those.
  • Luckily 3rd down pass not converted.
  • Gunner O gives a gift back to his former team on the punt. Throw on an unnecessary roughness penalty on the Steelers and the Patriots are down at the 10 yd line. That's the kind of play you can't give up to a Bill Belichick coached team.
  • The Patriots punch it in. You can't expect the defense to continue to hold up when put in such a short field. Patriots 17, Steelers 6. This is probably a lot more than the Steelers offense is able to overcome.
  • Finally the offense feels like it's getting some momentum. The hurry up has helped.
  • End of the third quarter. Patriots 17, Steelers 6.

4th Quarter

  • First play of the 4th quarter is Trubisky to Muth for the touchdown! Steelers go for two and for the moment it is converted. Patriots 17, Steelers 14.
  • It's sad when I can see the Steelers defense is in zone and the offense makes a slight motion and I know exactly where they should go with the football and they do for a nice gain. If I can see it I would imagine that opposing quarterbacks can see it as well
  • Hey, look at that— there was actually a holding call against New England.
  • Third down and at nine. Steelers of course give it up for a first down.
  • There has been next to no pressure on Mac Jones the entire game. Boy I miss T.J.
  • Defense finally holds on a third down and forces a punt.
  • Gunner chooses not to catch it this time and the Patriots down the ball at the 10 yd line.
  • Why does Trubisky look like he is falling backwards on every throw?
  • Steelers quickly in a third and long, and in typical fashion they throw a 1-yard pass that is tackled immediately. That's not fooling anybody. There come the Kenny chants again.
  • Great time for Big Press to hit a 39-yard punt.
  • Defense holds to a three and out. Nice play by Edmunds.
  • The Patriots are going to make the Steelers offense have to drive the ball to even have a chance to tie the game.
  • The offense manages a three and out. I don't see how the offense will be able to do anything they need to to win this game.
  • When the Steelers are in zone and have absolutely no pass rush, it is easy pickings for the offense.
  • Patriots are bleeding the clock, and the Steelers are not tackling runners.
  • The Patriots are just running the ball and running out the clock. And there's not a thing that the defense has been able to do about it.
  • Broken record here. Big run for the Patriots.
  • 2 minutes to play. The offense of the Steelers going three and out on their last two drives is turning out to be more than the defense is able to make up for.
  • The Steelers having to burn that time out earlier in the half looks like it will have an impact here at the end of the game.
  • Patriots pick up a first down and will be able to take a couple knees and run the clock out.
  • After the thriller last week the Steelers come out and lay a big goose egg for this one.
  • After 2 weeks of weak offensive performances, even the announcers are saying that the talk of when to bring in Kenny Pickett will be beginning in Pittsburgh.
  • Final score Patriots 17, Steelers 14.

There you have it, my knee jerks. so I will sit on this for a day analyze it and then to talk about it on The Scho Bro Show. CAN’T WAIT!!!

FINAL: Offensive ineptitude equate to a 17-14 loss to Patriots

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 09/18/2022 - 3:00pm
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Steelers fall to 1-1 on the season after their home opening loss to the Patriots.

The Pittsburgh Steelers entered Week 2 coming off an exciting, overtime win vs. AFC North rival Cincinnati Bengals last Sunday. Entering the game 1-0, you’d think the team would have favored against the 0-1 New England Patriots, but the oddsmakers disagreed, having the Steelers as 3-point underdogs in the regular season home opener at Acrisure Stadium.

The Patriots won the opening coin toss, choosing to defer their possession to the second half. Mitch Trubisky and the offense took over after the touchback, and it was the typical three-and-out to start the game. Pressley Harvin boomed a punt which was bobbled at the one-yard line, but went into the end zone for a touchback.

Starting at their own 20-yard line, Mac Jones and the Patriots’ offense took over, and the meticulously moved the ball down the field, converting several third downs throughout the process, but the Pittsburgh defense stood tall in the red-zone and held the Patriots to a field goal. The Nick Folk kick was good, making the score 3-0.

On the Steelers’ next possession, a rhythm started to develop and the offense moved the ball into New England territory for the first time. Jaylen Warren was able to get some traction on the ground, but when the team was threatening, Mitch Trubisky’s pass intended for Diontae Johnson was intercepted. It was the first interception of the season for Trubisky, and the first turnover for the Steelers.

The Pittsburgh defense decided to take matters into their own hands, and it was by way of a Minkah Fitzpatrick interception. It was Fitzpatrick’s second interception of the season, and gave the offense the football at their own 34-yard line.

PICKED BY @minkfitz_21‼️

#NEvsPIT on CBS pic.twitter.com/C4temzVUyw

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) September 18, 2022

To start the second quarter, the Steelers put together their best drive of the day. While the drive was highlighted by Najee Harris tough yards, and huge 3rd down conversions to Dionate Johnson, the drive stalled once it reached the red-zone. The Steelers had to settle for a Chris Boswell field goal, which was good, to make the score 3-3 with 8:35 left in the half.

After a three-and-out, Trubisky and the Steelers offense was back on the field with 6:25 left in the second quarter. While they were able to gain a first down, a third down pass intended for Pat Freiermuth fell incomplete and forced another Pressley Harvin punt.

Mac Jones and the Patriots continued to move the ball down the field with relative ease, and the drive was capped off with a Jones pass to Nelson Agholor for the touchdown with 22 seconds left in the second quarter. The point-after was good, making the score 10-3.

New England started the second half with the football, and it looked like the Patriots’ offense was going to pick up right where they ended the second half. However, the opening drive to the second half stalled and Bill Belichick sent out Nick Folk for a 52-yard field goal. The kick sailed wide right, and the Steelers dodged a bullet.

Mitch Trubisky was able to orchestrate a scoring drive off the missed kick, but the drive resulted in nothing more than another Boswell field goal. The 52-yard field goal made the score 10-6 with 5:47 left in the third quarter.

The Patriots’ next drive looked like it ended when a 3rd and 7 pass fell incomplete, but the ensuing punt was fumbled by Gunner Olszewski and recovered by New England. Following a personal foul penalty on the Steelers, the New England drive started at the 10-yard line. Three plays later Damien Harris plunged into the end zone for the touchdown, making the score 17-6.

With 2:50 left in the third quarter, Pittsburgh’s next drive, desperately needing an answer, was highlighted by Najee Harris both catching and running the football. A Gunner Olszewski end around moved the ball into New England territory, and Diontae Johnson got the offense into the red-zone. On a 3rd and 3, Trubisky hit Pat Freiermuth for the touchdown.

MUUUUUUUUTH ‼️ @pat_fry5

#NEvsPIT on CBS pic.twitter.com/ontn7utNoD

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) September 18, 2022

The Steelers elected to go for a two-point conversion, and the pass to Diontae Johnson was completed to make the score 17-14 with 14:50 left in regulation.

New England’s drive, which could have equated in a dagger to the Steelers’ comeback hopes, ended near midfield and giving the ball back to Pittsburgh. The next drive started at their own 10-yard line, and it lasted just three plays.

The next Patriots possession started at the 50-yard line, and it too lasted no more than three plays. A touchback gave the Steelers the ball back at the 20-yard line with 8:03 left in the 4th quarter, but the see-saw of three-and-outs continued.

Mac Jones and company took over, and they turned to their ground game to make the difference. Getting the ball back with 6:30 minutes left, they used the ground game to not just gain yardage, but to grind out the clock. Already in field goal range at the 2-minute warning, the clock, and the score, were on the Patriots’ side. Facing a 3rd and 3, with the game on the line, Pittsburgh gave up 5 yards and that carry iced the victory.

The loss moved the Steelers record to 1-1 on the season, as they now prepare for the Cleveland Browns on Thursday Night Football in Week 3. Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers.

Steelers vs. Patriots, Week 1: 3rd quarter in-game update

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 09/18/2022 - 2:18pm
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back on the gridiron! See what is happening during the team’s late game.

1st Quarter In-Game Update

2nd Quarter In-Game Update

New England started the second half with the football, and it looked like the Patriots’ offense was going to pick up right where they ended the second half. However, the opening drive to the second half stalled and Bill Belichick sent out Nick Folk for a 52-yard field goal. The kick sailed wide right, and the Steelers dodged a bullet.

Mitch Trubisky was able to orchestrate a scoring drive off the missed kick, but the drive resulted in nothing more than another Boswell field goal. The 52-yard field goal made the score 10-6 with 5:47 left in the third quarter.

The Patriots’ next drive looked like it ended when a 3rd and 7 pass fell incomplete, but the ensuing punt was fumbled by Gunner Olszewski and recovered by New England. Following a personal foul penalty on the Steelers, the New England drive started at the 10-yard line. Three plays later Damien Harris plunged into the endzone for the touchdown, making the score 17-6.

Pittsburgh’s drive, desperately needing an answer, was highlighted by Najee Harris both catching and running the football. A Gunner Olszewski end around moved the ball into New England territory, and Diontae Johnson got the offense into the red-zone. The third quarter ended with the Steelers facing a 3rd down inside the 15-yard line.

Steelers vs. Patriots: Second-half live updates, injury news and open thread

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 09/18/2022 - 1:30pm
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Steelers are back on the gridiron! The 2022 season continues with the Steelers and Patriots locking horns in Week 2. Keep tabs on all things Black-and-gold with our updates and open thread.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back on their home field for the first time in the 2022 regular season as they prepare to face off against the New England Patriots.

Throughout the game, be sure to check back here for score updates, injury news and any breaking news from those on the sidelines following the team live.

For those wondering, you can enjoy some lively commentary with the best Steelers fans across the globe in the open thread for all BTSC members in the comment section below. Let’s remember to keep it clean, respect everyone’s thoughts and ideas, and ultimately remember we’re all here for the same reason—to root on the Steelers!

So enjoy the game and be sure to follow BTSC for all the latest news surrounding the team throughout the game and afterwards!

HERE WE GO STEELERS!

If you have time, and want to check out any of our podcasts, listen in the player below:

Steelers vs. Patriots, Week 1: 2nd quarter in-game update

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 09/18/2022 - 1:24pm
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back on the gridiron! See what is happening during the team’s late game.

1st Quarter In-Game Update

To start the second quarter, the Steelers put together their best drive of the day. While the drive was highlighted by Najee Harris tough yards, and huge 3rd down conversions to Dionate Johnson, the drive stalled once it reached the red-zone. The Steelers had to settle for a Chris Boswell field goal, which was good, to make the score 3-3 with 8:35 left in the half.

After a three-and-out, Trubisky and the Steelers offense was back on the field with 6:25 left in the second quarter. While they were able to gain a first down, a third down pass intended for Pat Freiermuth fell incomplete and forced another Pressley Harvin punt.

Mac Jones and the Patriots continued to move the ball down the field with relative ease, and the drive was capped off with a Jones pass to Nelson Agholor for the touchdown with 22 seconds left in the second quarter. The point-after was good, making the score 10-3.

The 10-3 score would stand heading into halftime, and New England slated to start the second half with the football.

Steelers vs. Patriots, Week 1: 1st quarter in-game update

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 09/18/2022 - 12:38pm
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back on the gridiron! See what is happening during the team’s late game.

The Pittsburgh Steelers entered Week 2 coming off an exciting, overtime win vs. AFC North rival Cincinnati Bengals last Sunday. Entering the game 1-0, you’d think the team would have favored against the 0-1 New England Patriots, but the oddsmakers disagreed, having the Steelers as 3-point underdogs in the regular season home opener at Acrisure Stadium.

The Patriots won the opening coin toss, choosing to defer their possession to the second half. Mitch Trubisky and the offense took over after the touchback, and it was the typical three-and-out to start the game. Pressley Harvin boomed a punt which was bobbled at the one-yard line, but went into the end zone for a touchback.

Starting at their own 20-yard line, Mac Jones and the Patriots’ offense took over, and the meticulously moved the ball down the field, converting several third downs throughout the process, but the Pittsburgh defense stood tall in the red-zone and held the Patriots to a field goal. The Nick Folk kick was good, making the score 3-0.

On the Steelers’ next possession, a rhythm started to develop and the offense moved the ball into New England territory for the first time. Jaylen Warren was able to get some traction on the ground, but when the team was threatening, Mitch Trubisky’s pass intended for Diontae Johnson was intercepted. It was the first interception of the season for Trubisky, and the first turnover for the Steelers.

The Pittsburgh defense decided to take matters into their own hands, and it was by way of a Minkah Fitzpatrick interception.

The Steelers offense had the ball to end the first quarter...

Steelers vs. Patriots: First-half live updates, injury news and open thread

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 09/18/2022 - 11:45am
Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

The Steelers are back on the gridiron! The 2022 season continues with the Steelers and Patriots locking horns in Week 2. Keep tabs on all things Black-and-gold with our updates and open thread.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back on their home field for the first time in the 2022 regular season as they prepare to face off against the New England Patriots.

Throughout the game, be sure to check back here for score updates, injury news and any breaking news from those on the sidelines following the team live.

For those wondering, you can enjoy some lively commentary with the best Steelers fans across the globe in the open thread for all BTSC members in the comment section below. Let’s remember to keep it clean, respect everyone’s thoughts and ideas, and ultimately remember we’re all here for the same reason—to root on the Steelers!

So enjoy the game and be sure to follow BTSC for all the latest news surrounding the team throughout the game and afterwards!

HERE WE GO STEELERS!

If you have time, and want to check out any of our podcasts, listen in the player below:

Who is the Steelers’ X-Factor in Week 2 vs. the Patriots?

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 09/18/2022 - 11:00am
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Who is the X-Factor for the Steelers in their Week 2 game vs. the Patriots?

The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the New England Patriots in Week 2. It is the Steelers’ first home game, and, hopefully their second victory.

When looking at the matchup between AFC foes, there are players who can be viewed as ‘X-Factors’.

What is an ‘X-Factor’?

I would describe an ‘X-Factor’ as a player who can truly alter the outcome of the game, single-handedly. Not just a plug and play type player, but a player who always has to be accounted for, no matter what.

As a clear-cut example of what an ‘X-Factor’ player would look like, think Troy Polamalu. Polamalu’s skill set made him a force to be reckoned with on every play. So, who are the ‘X-Factors’ for the Steelers Week 2 game vs. the Patriots?

Let’s take a look...

Jeff Hartman

X-Factor: Mitch Trubisky

Why: Last week I went with T.J. Watt as the Steelers’ X-Factor for the game vs. the Bengals, but this week I had to look to the offense. When looking at the offense, who needs to step up more than the quarterback?

I’m not suggesting Trubisky was bad last week. He wasn’t. He was safe, and he was calculated. Overall though, he was very average. It was the first game of the regular season, so you figure there is an acclimation period, but the Steelers need better quarterback play to beat the Patriots at Acrisure Stadium Sunday.

Before those who want to blame the offensive line chime in, understand Trubisky was sacked just once last week, and it was when he decided to run out of bounds for a 2-yard loss, equating in a sack. He had time, but wasn’t able to deliver outside of the two overtime drives. Let’s hope that is where the offense picks up on Sunday, and Trubisky is able to utilize the middle of the field and hit on some downfield passes to spark the offense early and often.

It’s the only way the “Kenny” chants will subside this Sunday in Pittsburgh.

Dave Schofield

X-Factor: Alex Highsmith

Why: While it would be easy to list players such as a Malik Reed in Jamir Jones to step up in the absence of T.J. Watt, I’ll look for the other player starting at outside linebacker who had 3.0 sacks last week to make some noise at the position. Alex Highsmith had the best game of his career a week ago, and it’s now time for him to be the man on the edge over the next several weeks. What better time to start then in the home opener against an offense that has yet to get going. While other players such as Minkah Fitzpatrick and Cam Heyward need to keep doing the things they do, it’s the ability of Alex Highsmith to put some pressure on the quarterback from the edge they could make the difference in Week 2.

Who would be your X-Factor for the Week 2 game Sunday? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

David Anenih added to the inactive list for the Steelers in Week 2

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 09/18/2022 - 10:33am
Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

With a practice squad elevation on Saturday, it’s Anenih who is added to the same inactive list from last week.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have released their inactives for their home opener against the New England Patriots. Due to no players being ruled out due to injury, the list is made up of all healthy scratches. With new roster rules which began in 2020, teams will only need to have five players inactive each game unless they elevate any players from the practice squad. With the elevation of Delonate Scott coming from the Steelers on Saturday, the six-man list comes courtesy of Steelers.com.

Steelers Inactives

No. 2 QB Mason Rudolph
No. 53 G Kendrick Green
No. 82 WR Steven Sims
No. 92 DE Isaiahh Loudermilk
No. 93 LB Mark Robinson
No. 96 LB David Anenih

The new player to the list this week is outside linebacker David Anenih who was added to the Steelers 53-man roster on Thursday from the Tennessee Titans practice squad. Having to be signed to the active roster when coming from the practice squad of another team, it’s understandable the Steelers decided to elevate Delontae Scott and have Anenih inactive after only getting two practices in Pittsburgh.

With the Steelers only having two quarterbacks active on game day, it’s not surprise Mason Rudolph is on the inactive list. Carrying nine offensive linemen, the NFL rules allow 48 players to be active as long as eight of them are on the offensive line. Therefore, the additional lineman who is inactive for the Steelers in Week 2 once again is guard/center Kendrick Green.

Because the Steelers have six wide receivers all healthy and available, it is too much of a luxury to have them all active on game day. Although he earned a spot on the 53-man roster, Steven Sims is not on the active game-day roster for the second-straight week.

One position group the Steelers have kept on their 53-man roster is having seven defensive linemen. With the Steelers only typically having five defensive linemen active on game day, they have chosen to go with the six again in Week 2. For this reason, Isaiahh Loudermilk did not get a helmet for the second-straight week to start the season.

Another position on the defense where the Steelers possibly have one more player than needed on game day is at inside linebacker. For the second-straight week, rookie Mark Robinson is inactive.

As for the Patriots inactives, they can be seen below courtesy of Steelers.com.

Patriots Inactives

No. 4 QB Bailey Zappe
No. 24 DB Joshuah Bledsoe
No. 25 CB Marcus Jones
No. 63 G Chasen Hines
No. 96 DT Sam Roberts

Bold and Bizarre predictions for Steelers at Patriots

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 09/18/2022 - 9:30am
Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Much to the chagrin of most, BTSC’s Nostradumbass predicts the Steelers’ matchup vs. New England.

The Steelers host the New England Patriots in their 2022 home opener and there’s a lot to digest. With inquiries, story lines, and more, I’ve compiled a list of predictions (some basic, and some utterly idiotic) to look for in this challenging road contest.

For those new to the article I sometimes come close, but ultimately whiff on most of my predictions. Let’s see if I can get lucky this week.

  • Art Rooney II, proving that he is a man of the people, stands atop the scoreboard at Acrisure Stadium and douses fans with the contents of two bottles of ketchup, one in each hand. There was much rejoicing until when one eagle-eyed fan noticed a Hunts bottle instead of Heinz.
  • Not caring anymore, Bill Belichick leads a camera crew into the Steelers warmups and pregame meetings.
  • Since the Chiefs played on Thursday, Boujee Smith-Schuster surprises the team with a visit, humps Robert Kraft’s leg and crashes the media buffet.
  • Known for his chugging ability, Mitch Trubisky attempts to down a blender full of Primanti Brothers’ Cap and Cheese Smoothie. Rumor has it a change of jersey and underwear is necessary.
  • When it’s time to announce the quarterback during introductions, Ben Roethlisberger bursts past Trubusky to the confusion of the crowd. PR Director Burt Lauten has to retrieve the former No. 7.
  • Trubisky goes 26 for 38 and 210 yards. The Steelers QB1 throws two touchdowns, and is intercepted once.
  • After Mitch’s first incompletion, Kenny Pickett chants emanate from Actisure.
  • Pat Freiermuth leads the team with 12 catches on the afternoon.
  • Chase Claypool, on the receiving end of one of those Trubisky touchdown passes, leads the offense in a celebration that includes them all taking a big swig of their preferred sports beverage and simultaneously spewing it in the air. This is in commemoration of the 152nd anniversary of the discovery of Old Faithful in 1870 by the Washburn Expedition. Old Faithful geyser was named for its frequent and somewhat predictable eruptions, which number more than a million since Yellowstone became the world’s first national park in 1872.
  • Najee Harris gains 46 on the ground and 40 as a receiver out of the backfield and scores the Steelers lone rushing touchdown.
  • The Steelers get three sacks on the afternoon despite the absence of T.J. Watt. Malik Reed gets two and Alex Highsmith the other.
  • The Steelers, on the strength of a Harris rushing touchdown, scoring catches by Claypool and Diontae Johnson, and three Chris Boswell field goals are victorious by the score of 30-19. There is much rejoicing.

Will any of this actually happen? I’ll bet at least one or two. Heck, maybe every one of them. Be sure to post your predictions — basic or bizarre — below.

Mitch Trubisky got the job done vs. the Bengals, and that’s what matters

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 09/18/2022 - 8:30am
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The Steelers were able to win in Week 1, and Mitch Trubisky was able to get the job done.

The Pittsburgh Steelers don’t need Mitch Trubisky to play Superman for success in the 2022-2023 season. The organization needs him to perform just the way he did in Week 1 vs. the Cincinnati Bengals. He played mistake-free football, in regard to ball protection, game management, and making plays to contribute to a Steelers win.

Against the Bengals, Trubisky was 21-of-38 for 194 yards yards with nary an interception or fumble. He even held onto the football when an unnoticed Bengals’ defender took a hard chop at his arm from behind on a scramble.

I expected the defense to play strong, they can actually play Superman and they did vs. the Bengals, but the offense was a different story. No one knew what to expect from Trubisky and company.

As we know, in today’s big-money NFL, starters, most notably quarterbacks, don’t play much in preseason games. These starters are too valuable to lose in a meaningless game. Consequently, Trubisky looks as if he is shaking off a little rust like most Steelers’ starters were last Sunday in Cincinnati, OH.

It’s pretty much a given that first two weeks of each regular season are de facto preseason games (games 3.5 and 4) in that key players are still getting acclimated to 2022 game action, speed and plans. This is especially true in Trubisky’s case. He is literally transitioning from a backup to Josh Allen in Buffalo last year, to this year’s starter in Pittsburgh. With that being the case, it isn’t just going from backup to starter which is a big step, but also learning an entirely new playbook and scheme along with the change.

Trubisky is still working out the kinks; however, he got his first win and first 4th quarter comeback as a Steeler last Sunday, live on WKRP (in Cincinnati). He looked at the man in the mirror, and flaunted the resilience necessary in key moments, which the Steelers needed to move the ball into scoring position. None more important than the two drives in overtime putting the offense in field goal range, but especially the drive which led to Chris Boswell’s game-winning kick in overtime.

Rumble, young man, rumble.

Trubisky did all that the Steelers need him to do: Protect the ball, get warmed up/acclimated and find a way to win.

With that being said, Trubisky just needs to keep doing what he’s doing.

Win baby!

Next up? The regular season home opener vs. the New England Patriots at Acrisure Stadium. Here’s to hoping Trubisky winning is a growing trend in Pittsburgh.

STAFF PICKS: Predicting the winner of Steelers vs. Patriots

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 09/18/2022 - 8:00am
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The staff at BTSC share their thoughts and predict the outcome of the Steelers game against the New England Patriots in Week 2.

The 2022 regular season is here, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the New England Patriots in Week 2. While the Steelers get ready for their first home game of the season, 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:

Jeff Hartman

The Steelers are coming off a crazy, and riveting, win in Week 1 over the Bengals, and you have to think their return back to Pittsburgh will be a welcome sight. But we thought that in 2021 when they returned home after beating the Buffalo Bills on the road only to lose to the Las Vegas Raiders. Now, their long-time nemesis, the New England Patriots, stand in the way of their 2-0 start. While I think the Patriots are a good team, I think the Steelers are better in almost all phases I have the Steelers’ defense providing enough short fields for the offense to navigate their way to victory.

Pick: Steelers 23, Patriots 17

Dave Schofield

I’m not falling for this again! Last year I picked the Steelers to lose their opening contest as they were big underdogs on the road and they came through with the win. Then I turned around to pick them to win at home the next week, as did EVERY other BTSC staff member making picks, and they lost. The 2022 season is following suit so far, so I must not. I must break the cycle. I must make a change. This is for you, Steelers’ Nation. You’re welcome.

Pick: Patriots 17, Steelers 14

Bryan Anthony Davis

The New England Patriots are always going to be a dangerous team, especially when Bill Belichick is the head coach. I just feel like for the home opener that the Steelers can get it together and go to 2-0. I feel like the defense is going to continue to dominate, even without T.J. Watt. They’re not going to get brakes this week like they did last week, however if the offense of line gets it together, giving Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren some room to run, Mitch Trubisky and his stable of receivers could thrive.

Pick: Steelers 30, Patriots 19

K.T. Smith

Last season, the Steelers opened with a road upset at Buffalo then came home and laid an egg in Week 2 against the Raiders. This year, they opened with a road upset at Cincinnati then came home and…

I’m not really sure what comes next. The Steelers are bad on offense and great on defense. That screams mediocrity. Can a mediocre team start 2-0? Well, when the opponent is the New England Patriots, who are equally inept at moving the football, I think so. For fans who enjoy punts, this should be a beauty. But, in the end, I think the Steelers make enough meaningful plays to earn the victory.

Pick: Steelers 20, Patriots 16

Geoffrey Benedict

A great chance for the offense to rebound from their disappointing Week 1 performance. The question is how quickly can the offense gain some chemistry and work together effectively. I’m not worried about the defense, but without T.J. Watt the offense will need to do much more than they did against the Bengals.

Pick: Steelers 24, Patriots 20

Rich Schofield (Big Bro Scho)

The Patriot’s defense is not of the same mold as the Bengals, so the offense will have the opportunity to improve on what was a lackluster performance last week. I also feel the Patriots offense does not possess the number and quality of weapons the Steelers had to face last week. The Defense does have to figure out how to get it done without DPOY T.J. Watt on the field for the next few weeks, but the Patriots might be a good offense to go up against to start doing that. That being said the Pats still have the Hoodie roaming their sidelines, and we know he has a knack for getting it done against the Steelers. In the end, superior talent wins out and the Steelers get the W.

Pick: Steelers 23, Patriots 19

Shannon White

Back in my younger days, the Steelers used to own the Patriots. Then the Brady/Belichick union happened, and the Patriots have dominated the Steelers ever since. I realize that Tommy Boy and the Hoodie are no longer an item, but as long as Belichick roams the sidelines, the Patriots are dangerous. This game features two great head coaches in Mike Tomlin and Belichick, but even the best coaches have to have the horses to win the race. Thankfully, I believe that the Steelers have the more talented horses.

Pick: Steelers 23, Patriots 17

Jeremy Betz

No T.J. Watt, no problem for the Steelers defense this week against a struggling Patriots attack. The Steelers will have to find ways to manufacture pressure without the 2021 DPOY, but I believe in Teryl Austin and Brian Flores to scheme up a winning plan on that side of the ball.

For the offense, it’s about figuring out how to get Najee Harris going effectively early on in the contest. That will open up the entire offense, where I believe the Steelers pass-catchers are a mismatch for New England’s inexperienced secondary.

Pick: Steelers 24, Patriots 17

Bradley Locker

I was very surprised to see the Steelers listed as underdogs for this contest given how this matchup plays into Pittsburgh’s strengths. All offseason, the Patriots’ offense has been under fire, from having no defined coordinator to few established playmakers. Those concerns became very real on Saturday, when New England scored just seven points, collected only 271 yards and posted -8.28 expected offensive points. Even without T.J. Watt, Cam Heyward, Alex Highsmith, Minkah Fitzpatrick and the rest of Pittsburgh’s stout defense should generally contain the Patriots’ offense and elevate Mike Tomlin’s squad to victory (yet again).

Pick: Steelers 20, Patriots 13

Kyle Chrise (What Yinz Talkin’ Bout)

Here’s the easiest prediction to make about Sunday: this game will be remembered as the day the fans chanted “Kenny” at the first sign of offensive adversity. Mitch won’t just be going up against Bill Belichick, he’ll be facing the fickle whims of the Acrisure Army. They’re looking for any reason to give Kenny the keys. It’s going to take the power of “Renegade” to remind fans who they’re rooting for. Meanwhile, Boswell’s game-winning campaign continues.

Pick: Steelers 16, Patriots 13

Anthony Defeo

Former Major League baseball pitching great and current Red Sox color analyst, Dennis Eckersley, recently described the Pirates’ roster and approach to rebuilding as a “hodgepodge of nothingness.” You could say the same thing about the offense the New England Patriots will bring to Acrisure Stadium this Sunday. The Steelers may be without T.J. Watt for some time. Still, they may have enough firepower to stifle the offense of the Patriots, a team that decided to use a first-round pick on a quarterback in 2021—Mac Jones—but didn’t bother to give him any explosive skill-position players to work with. New England does have a stout defense, but I look for the Steelers' defense to have the better unit on Sunday and be the difference in a close win.

Pick: Steelers 17, Patriots 14

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!

Fantasy Football Starts and Sits: Patriots at Steelers

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 09/18/2022 - 7:00am
Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Who to start and sit from the Steelers matchup this week.

So, Fantasy Football is not a perfect science. I proved that in spades in last week’s poor excuse for a start/sit article. My best work was easily labeling the Steelers defense as the only HARD SIT of the week. They proceeded to put up 26 fantasy points against the high-powered Bengals.

Another beauty was listing Najee Harris in the MUST START column. Were you going to start him? Yes, you were. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have seen the signs of a potential poor performance and warned you accordingly. The Steelers Offensive Line is a problem that doesn’t appear to be going away, and Najee suffered for it in Week 1.

The relatively lackluster performances by the Steelers pass catchers doesn’t concern me as much. The Bengals Defense isn’t often mentioned among the league’s best, but it deserves more clout than it gets. The “Stripes” boast a solid front 7 and a bevy of cerebral contributors in the secondary. This Steelers offense will find some rhythm, and players like Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool figure to be more in the mix as Fantasy starters when it does.

Anyway, let’s get to the Start and Sit rankings for Week 2 against the New England Patriots. The Pats are always a challenge defensively, although the secondary has some holes I think the Steelers can exploit. As for the Patriots fantasy assets, it isn’t as if Brady and Gronkowski and Moss are still there. In fact, the sit list might be pretty full this week for a matchup that should be a defensive struggle in Pittsburgh. Here we go:

MUST START

D/ST: Steelers

The Steelers defense was a buzzsaw in week one, and an uninspiring Patriots offense led by a compromised Mac Jones at QB (Back) is smack in the middle of a reboot. The weapons don’t scare you, and despite missing T.J. Watt for this game, the Steelers have plenty of star power to make life miserable for New England.

DFS VALUE OF THE WEEK

WR Diontae Johnson

Despite racking up 12 targets in the Week 1 win, DJ was underwhelming in his final stat line. That is being reflected harshly in his cost for DFS players in Week 2. Johnson is available cheap this week, but his workload remains top notch, and the Patriots’ secondary is beatable. Expect a better result from DJ in Week 2, and at a great value for DFSers.

START

TE: Pat Freiermuth

The ‘Muth had a solid game in Week 1, catching 5 balls for 75 yards and a long of 31. Number 88 was Mitch Trubisky’s most reliable target in Cincy, and it is reasonable to expect that to continue against New England. Freiermuth could feast against the Patriots’ suspect Linebacker group and should get a lot of the initial looks when the Steelers are in the Red Zone. Start him with confidence this week.

FLEX CONSIDERATION

WR: Chase Claypool, Jacoby Meyers

Claypool usage was encouraging for Fantasy Owners in Week 1, but he failed to really break anything into a big gain. With a more comfortable Trubisky another week into the season, I like Claypool as a boom or bust flex option this week.

Meyers has a higher floor than Claypool in this matchup, but not the upside. Despite the Steelers defensive dominance in Cincinnati, Jamar Chase and Tyler Boyd both had great Fantasy stat lines against Pittsburgh, and Meyers has the trust of Mac Jones. He’s a fine low-risk flex.

SIT IF YOU CAN

QB: Mitch Trubisky, Mac Jones

RB: Damien Harris

WR: George Pickens, Kendrick Bourne

TE: Hunter Henry

D/ST: Patriots

Let’s get the QBs out of the way: neither Trubisky or Jones is a good fantasy option considering the current depth at the position and the types of offenses they run. Unless you had to roll the dice on one of these guys on the Waiver wire (looking at you, Dak Prescott owners), let ‘em ride the pine.

Damien Harris ran well when given the chance in Week 1, but the kicker is he was only given 9 chances. The Steelers run defense performed well against Joe Mixon last week, limiting the dynamic back to 3.2 yds/carry on 27 attempts. Pittsburgh knows that New England’s best chance of making this a game is on the ground, and they’ll sell out to stop the run in this game. That fact, along with the backfield timeshare Harris finds himself in with fellow RB Rhamondre Stevenson, rest Harris this week if you can.

George Pickens should be sat until we see him more involved in the game script. Trubisky tried forcing the ball his direction a couple times to no avail. Give it time, but the Steelers dynamic rookie will touch the ball at some point. Just maybe not in a fantasy relevant way for a while.

Kendrick Bourne had ONE catch on ONE target for 31 yards against Miami, and until this offense figures some things out, he’s not consistent enough for fantasy purposes.

Hunter Henry has the unenviable task of facing the Steelers safety tandem this week. We all know about Minkah Fitzpatrick, but Terrell Edmunds is easily the most underrated player on the Steelers ROSTER. Yeah, I said it. Henry should get some looks from Jones, but I don’t expect them to correlate to fantasy relevance in Week 2.

The Patriots Defense is good, but their not flashy, and I expect the 2022 version of the Steelers to be pretty safe with the football. Turnovers and sacks are the keys to big fantasy days for D/ST’s and the Patriots should struggle creating either in this matchup.

HARD SITS

RB: Rhamondre Stevenson

WR: Nelson Agholor

Stevenson was a popular late round flyer in fantasy drafts, and he may develop some fantasy value down the road, but for now, he isn’t worthy of consideration, especially against what should be a stingy Steelers D.

Agholor just doesn’t seem to fit in this Patriots offense. There’s no room for him on fantasy rosters right now, let alone your starting lineup.

There you have it. Just remember, if you heed my advice and it goes well, I’ll own it! But if it goes south…that’s on you, friend.

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

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 09/18/2022 - 6:00am

The Steelers are playing the Patriots 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 Patriots 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:

RED: Patriots at Steelers
BLUE: Dolphins at Ravens
YELLOW: Colts at Jaguars
GREEN: Jets at Browns

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 Roundup: All the latest of the BTSC family podcasts

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 09/18/2022 - 5:00am

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 two 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:

Steelers Touchdown Under: Will the Steelers fight or flight against the Patriots?

Join Matty Peverell and Mark Davison who will share their predictions for the Steelers’ performances against the Pats, as they bring a global perspective to how the Steelers can achieve success and chase a seventh Lombardi.

  • Steelers News and Notes
  • Fight or Flight

Listen to the show below

Tune into the latest episode of Touchdown Under, the Australian sensation from the BTSC family of podcasts.

Last Minute Thoughts before the Steelers host the Patriots

There’s always a lot of material rolling trough a Steelers fan’s cranium on Game Day. What’s the injury report telling us? Did something happen that I missed? Am I going to even see the game in my broadcast area? What’s the line if I want to bet my mortgage on the game? At BTSC, we’re no different. Join BTSC with our last minute thoughts as you prepare to wave that Terrible Towel. This week, Dave Schofield gives his last minute thoughts right before the Steelers home opener against the Patriots. .

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

Apple Users: CLICK HERE

Spotify: CLICK HERE

Google Play: CLICK HERE

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

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 09/18/2022 - 4:30am
Sam Greene-USA TODAY Sports

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

The Steelers’ season ended over seven months ago and a new one is about to begin with the Steelers prepping for their final preseason game. Of course, there’s plenty of news coming out of Latrobe. BTSC continues their recap of the past week’s events for our readers. So, let’s all take a look at the week in the ‘burgh together.

Saturday 9/10

Wasn’t expecting to write anything this morning but then I saw that Mike Tomlin got the whole Steelers team all-black Air Forces one day before the season opener. Allow me to explain for those who aren’t as in-tune with meme culture ( Najee Harris’ IG): https://t.co/SwPDjD4N5r pic.twitter.com/gLDtO8yyqU

— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) September 10, 2022

Awesome move by Tomlin. My editors don’t buy me black shoes. Maybe I’m not degenerate enough.

Sunday 9/11

Bad clock management: The #Bengals lost to the #Steelers on a 53-yard FG with no time left.

Cincy played for the tie when they punted with 1:03 left. They still had 15 more seconds to milk on the play clock.

That was the deciding factor in this game. pic.twitter.com/wmvYJ8qufV

— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) September 11, 2022

Sweet win. Sweeter that it happened in Cincy.

Steelers believe TJ Watt tore his pec and he is scheduled to undergo scans Monday to confirm diagnosis, per source.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 11, 2022

The price of doing business on the field. It just sucks to see somebody that great sidelined.

Great team win! Black Air Force energy was definitely with us #HereWeGo

— Chris Wormley (@Chris_Wormley43) September 11, 2022

The players believe in the Air Force Ones. Could this be the new rallying crying for the Steelers?

Monday 9/12

Source: All the tests on Najee Harris’ foot were negative and the #Steelers believe there’s a “good chance” he will play Week 2 vs the #Pats. https://t.co/55FfAiHJlY

— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) September 12, 2022

Good news, But don’t bring a guy back if he’s not on 100%.

There's some optimism today in Pittsburgh that OLB and Reigning Defensive Player of the Year T.J. Watt did not experience a full pec tear and will be able to return after sitting for a month or so, per league source. Still awaiting word from the team.

— Jonathan Jones (@jjones9) September 12, 2022

I’m cautiously optimistic. But see above.

Tuesday 9/13

Steelers have signed former Commanders LB Ryan Anderson and TE Rodney Williams to the practice squad and released TE Justin Rigg and WR Jaquarii Roberson to make room.

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) September 13, 2022

Welcome fellas!

Doctors determined this afternoon that Steelers’ LB T.J. Watt does not surgery on his torn pectoral and he now is expected to miss about six weeks, per source.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 13, 2022

That’s a silver lining after a cloudy day of injury news.

Big number for CBS with Bengals-Steelers in national window.

17.4 million viewers is best for network in Week 1 since NFL returned to CBS in 1998.

+21% from week 1 in 2021.

Sunday doubleheader was CBS’ 3rd best for Week 1 since 1998.

— Austin Karp (@AustinKarp) September 13, 2022

Don’t think for a second that it’s Cincy that brings in the viewers. That’s almost as much as my last open mic night on YouTube.

As of now, #Cowboys do not plan to pursue significant trade for a QB barring unforseen change, per source. Cowboys won't take any possibility completely off table, but with Dak Prescott's improved timeline and Cooper Rush's familiarity with offense, team feels it can be patient

— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) September 13, 2022

For those of you that think Mason is going to be a Cowboy again. He’s not.

Mike Tomlin on Jaylen Warren's first game: "He didn’t urinate down his leg, that’s a great place to begin."

— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) September 13, 2022

That’s usually how I measure my success at work.

.@Browns show off their new midfield logo at FirstEnergy Stadium pic.twitter.com/ioYJ7XrFGS

— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) September 13, 2022

How cheesy. I hope the Steelers don’t get any ideas about doing the same thing with Steely McBeam.

Cameron Sutton had 4️⃣ forced incompletions vs the Bengals.

That’s twice as many as any other defender had in Week 1 ⭐️ pic.twitter.com/4FTJChsF1h

— PFF PIT Steelers (@PFF_Steelers) September 13, 2022

Cameron Sutton is for real.

Wednesday 9/14

Minkah Magic @minkfitz_21 has been named Week 1's AFC Defensive Player of the Week‼️

: https://t.co/xWa4Ed1TGh pic.twitter.com/QKslgtVNyt

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) September 14, 2022

Sunday was a career year for some players.

Nothing screams "in your head" more than this photo. #RideorDieCrew #Steelers https://t.co/gsl0lk4mhl

— Jeff Hartman (@JHartman_PIT) September 14, 2022

Two Words: Rent free.

Thursday 9/15

We have signed LB David Anenih to the 53-man roster from the Tennessee Titans’ practice squad and placed LB T.J. Watt on the Injured/Reserve List. @BordasLaw

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) September 15, 2022

For once a Titan LB coming to Pittsburgh instead of the other way around.

Mac Jones is not practicing today due to illness, according to the Patriots.

— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) September 15, 2022

Actually, I want Mac Jones to play. It’s the Baker Mayfield effect.

Friday 9/16

Some of many pregame highlights for #Steelers 2022 home opener vs. N.E.:
-National Anthem: Donnie Iris
-Flyover: 2 Navy F-5N Tiger II; Sundown Flight
-Terrible Towel Twirl: Led by actor Patrick Fabian (Better Call Saul)
-Fans encouraged to be in their seats by 12:30 p.m.

— Burt Lauten (@SteelersPRBurt) September 16, 2022

Donnie Iris Rocks!!!!l

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.

Saturday Night Open Thread: Running with the Devil

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 09/17/2022 - 6:00pm
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

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

As I sit here at my computer writing tonight’s article, I am laughing at myself and life.

Over the past few months I have been willingly putting myself through what many have told me is needless torture. I have been training for a half marathon. I have been putting in the work and my reward so far is double doses of runner’s knee, double doses of Achilles tendonitis, and and a friendly reminder of having an old man’s back. To be clear, I will not be featured on the cover of Runners magazine EVER.

Anyway, last night I ended up over at my brother’s house as my other brother (who lives out of town) was in town for the night. The hosting brother was in the mood to ‘celebrate’. What we were celebrating was never truly established but those can be the best celebrations. Complicating my decision to fully embrace and partake in the celebration ritual was the fact that I was supposed to ‘do’ my long run this morning.

What is the saying? “Plans are made to be broken”? Yup, the long run has been rescheduled for tomorrow.

Life is short girls and boys, enjoy it!

  1. Another 1 pm game. I personally find games at 1 to be rather annoying, especially in the fall. The sun is still reminding us of summer and sitting in the front of the TV while the sun is shining and the temps are above 50 just seems wrong. However, watching the Steelers game live under those circumstances is just about perfect. What are your thoughts about playing in this time slot?
  2. Cheatroits... give us your favorite stand out moment while playing against the Dark Hoodie and Co. And, yes, Jesse James caught that ball!
  3. If Trubisky continues to run the offense like Week 1, when do you pull him AND who do you replace him with?
  4. Last week the defense was a turnover machine! This week is likely to be a different story as Bellicheat teams are historically good with ball security. What is a reasonable turnover count for tomorrow’s game?
  5. Let’s give this music thing another go ‘round. List your top 3 (or 5 or 10) albums.

Steelers elevate linebacker Delontae Scott off the practice squad for Week 2

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 09/17/2022 - 3:06pm
Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images

It will be the second game Scott is set to appear with the Steelers with the last coming in Week 11 of 2021.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are playing their first regular season game in Acrisure Stadium on Sunday at 1 PM against the New England Patriots. With no players currently on the injury list, the Steelers have elevated one player from the practice squad in outside linebacker Delontae Scott.

We have elevated LB Delontae Scott from the practice squad to the Active/Inactive Roster for Sunday’s game against the Patriots. @BordasLaw https://t.co/jmZDbgMnTZ

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) September 17, 2022

Earlier this week, the Steelers signed outside linebacker David Anenih off of the Tennessee Titans practice squad. With two other options from their own squad to elevate them on game day, the Steelers are adding Scott for the needed depth due to T.J. Watt landing on the Reserve/Injured List for this week.

Scott spent the 2021 season on the Steelers practice squad and was elevated for one game against the Los Angeles Chargers. In the game, Scott played seven defensive snaps and two special team snaps but logged no statistics. During the 2022 preseason Scott played 75 snaps on defense for the Steelers over three games where he had five tackles and a sack. Wearing number 50 last season and this preseason, Scott is set to wear #91 according to Steelers.com as 50 is now used by Malik Reed.

With the elevation of one player from the practice squad, the Steelers will now have six players inactive on Sunday. The Steelers must announce there inactive players 90 minutes ahead of kick off, which will be approximately 11:30 AM on Sunday.

Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain as the Steelers take on the New England Patriots Sunday at 1 PM at Acrisure Stadium.

The BTSC Delorean: Looking back at the most memorable Steelers vs. Patriots contests

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 09/17/2022 - 1:30pm
Photo by Greg Crisp/Getty Images

BTSC takes a look at the very best games in the history of the Steelers and the Patriots.

Do the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers have a long and storied history? They do now. The rivalry dates back to 1972, and the series includes 33 games. No matter the record of either team, they both always seem to put on a fantastic show with great storylines attached. The Steelers hold an advantage in the regular season with a record of 15-13, but a 1-4 record in the playoffs gives the Pats a 17-16 lead in the series. The Steelers had a huge 12-5 lead until the Belichick arrived. But then, the Pats have gone 12-4 against the Steelers, including beating the Men of Steel six of the previous seven. There have been so many great games in the history of the two franchises that the AFC Championships of 2004, 2016, the 1997 Divisional Playoffs and a tremendous 1974 December contest did.t make the list.

Here’s a brief tale of the tape:

Points: Patriots 752, Steelers 695

Wins: Patriots 17, Steelers 16

Home Record: Steelers 12-10, Patriots 7-4

Shutouts: 1 - Patriots 34, Steelers 0 (10/19/1986)

Biggest Win Margin: 10/19/1986 - Patriots 34, Steelers 0

Closest Game: 01/03/1998 - Steelers 7, Patriots6 (1997 AFC Divisional Playoff Game)

Overtime Games: 3 - Steelers 3, Patriots 0

Postseason Record: Patriots 4, Steelers 1

September 3, 1979 - Steelers 16, Patriots 13 (OT)

The defending champion Steelers had a tough task against a playoff team on the road in New England to start the quest for an unprecedented fourth Super Bowl-winning season. Terry Bradshaw threw for 221 yards and a touchdown and John Stallworth caught five passes for 95 yards. But it was Sidney Thornton, who scored on the ground and in the air, who ended up starring for the visitors. No. 38’s 21-yard catch from Bradshaw in the fourth sent the game into overtime, Where rookie Matt Bahr avenged his missed extra point earlier with a field goal to win it.

January 5, 1997 - Patriots 28, Steelers 3 (1996 AFC Divisional Playoff Game)

This first ever playoff game between New England and Pittsburgh was hard to watch in a number of ways. Not only were the Steelers outplayed and embarrassed on the field, but the fog in Foxboro was so thick, making visibility pea-soup poor. The Patriots scored touchdowns on three of their first four possessions, while the Steelers offense never got out of the starting blocks. Pitt’s Curtis Martin found the end zone three times, while the Steelers found the Pats, not themselves repeating, as the AFC representatives in the Super Bowl.

December 13, 1997 - Steelers 24, Patriots 21

This was absolutely one of this author’s favorite games of all time played in the regular season. In a crucial Saturday contest to determine seeding and even playoff contention in Week 16 between the Steelers and the Curtis Martin-less Pats, Kordell Stewart got the visitors from Pittsburgh got off to a rocky start going 0 for ten with two interceptions that led to New England touchdowns and a 14-point deficit in the Second Quarter. When Kordell Stewart followed a long Jerome Bettis run with a touchdown and two Norm Johnson field goals got the Steelers within one point in the final quarter, disaster seemed to strike for the visiting Men of Steel. David Meggett “intercepted” a pass intended for a teammate from his own quarterback for a 49-yard score and a 21-13 lead with 10:31 remaining. The Steelers offense sputtered and Drew Bledsoe was in position to run out the clock after forcing the Steelers to burn their timeouts. On a 3rd-and-7 with 2:10 remaining, Bledsoe erred when he didn’t notice Kevin Henry moving into the picture of a wide open Meggett. The Pats veteran QB threw it right to the Steelers defensive end and the big man was off. His lateral to Orpheus Roye for the touchdown was called off, but the Steelers had the ball deep in enemy territory. After a clutch fourth down catch by Yancey Thigpen, Stewart found Mark Breuner for the score and Thigpen again for the two-points to send the game into overtime. There, Norm Johnson won the game with a field goal. This game was crucial, because it forced New England to travel to Pittsburgh a few weeks later in divisional play, where they fell 7-6 in Three Rivers.

January 27, 2002 - Patriots 24, Steelers 17 (2001 AFC Championship Game)

The Steelers finished the 2001 regular season at 13-3 and, after a thorough beating of Baltimore in the AFC Championship Game, were home at Heinz Field as the No. 1 seed against visiting New England. Special Teams were a big issue for the Men of Steel, as Troy Brown’s 55-yard punt return for a touchdown and Antwan Harris’ 49-yard blocked field goal return for another score put the Steelers in a huge hole. Losing Tom Brady early in the game didn’t hurt the visiting Patriots too much, as Drew Bledsoe found David Patten in the corner of the end zone right before the half for an 11-yard score. The Steelers made a game of it in the second half after being down 21-3, but Kordell Stewart’s three interceptions were debilitating and it almost seemed like the New England defense knew the Steelers’ every move on offense. With this being during the heart of Spygate, they actually did.

October 31, 2004 - Steelers 34, Patriots 20

The New England Patriots had a historic 21-game winning streak coming into this game on All Hallows Eve in 2004 and a rookie playing in only his fifth NFL contest snapped it. Without Corey Dillon and Deion Branch, Tom Brady struggled to get his offense going, as his pick-six to Pittsburgh corner Deshea Townsend gave the Steelers a 21-3 second quarter lead after Roethlisberger threw two touchdown passes to Plaxico Burress in the first. Jerome Bettis and Duce Staley led the rushing attack with a combined 190 yards (Duce 125, Bus 65 and a TD), while Joey Porter led the defensive onslaught with three sacks. Unfortunately, the rematch in the AFC Championship less than three months later was memorable for the wrong reasons. The Patriots ended the Steelers and Big Ben’s season of magic with a 41-27 defeat of the Steelers in Heinz Field.

November 30, 2008 - Steelers 33, Patriots 10

It didn’t matter that Tom Brady was knocked out in the 2008 season opener, a win in Massachusetts is a huge deal. Facing backup quarterback Matt Cassel, the Steelers fell behind 10-3 in the second quarter. But the smothering Steelers defense dominated the home team by forcing five turnovers, recording 5 sacks (two by eventual NFL Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison), shutting out the Pats in the final 36 minutes and Ryan Clark’s knockout of Wes Welker. Santonio Holmes caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from Roethlisberger right before Halftime. Then an 11-yard touchdown pass to Hines Ward, three Jeff Reed field goals and a touchdown run by Gary Russell made the difference as the Steelers defeated the Pats in rainy New England to help keep them out of a playoff tournament in which the black and gold emerged Super Bowl Champions.

December 17, 2017 - Patriots 27, Steelers 24

Jesse James caught that ball! Grapes are sour. Enough said.

December 16, 2018 - Steelers 17, Patriots 10

This was a very satisfying win for Steeler Nation, as it would be Ben Roethlisberger’s final win over Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the Patriots. It wasn’t a perfect game for No. 7, as Ben threw for 235 yards, two scoring passes and two interceptions to Vance McDonald and Antonio Brown. But he did utilize the legs of rookie Jaylen Samuels, who ran the ball 19 times for 142 yards. The game is best known for Joe Haden picking Brady off with 7:43 remaining and a chance for the serial tormentor to take the lead. Then the Steelers stopped another flourish with :33 seconds left to seal the victory.

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

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 09/17/2022 - 12:00pm
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

No players have been ruled out due to injury once again, so the choices of who does not get a helmet Sunday may look a lot like last week.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for their first home game of the 2022 NFL season. As the season rolls on, the true nature of the depth chart will come a little more into focus. So for Week 2, trying to predict who the Steelers will have on their inactive list at 11:30 AM Sunday should be much more predictable. Or will it? Regardless, I’m still going to give it a shot.

The rules in the 2022 season when it comes to the players active on game day have been carried over from the last two seasons. 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 (UPDATE: The Steelers have elevated Delontae Scott for Sunday’s game)

Game Status

No players with an injury status

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

Definitely:

None (No players have been ruled out)

Most Likely:

QB Mason Rudolph- Chances are it would take some sort of prior announcement for this to be any different.

WR Steven Sims- I don’t see how the Steelers change their mind on the order of the wide receivers after only one week.

LB Mark Robinson- If Robinson was going to get a helmet, it would have been last week as Marcus Allen was making his way back for missing the preseason. But Allen was the choice so Robinson stays inactive going forward unless there’s an injury.

Possibly:

G Kendrick Green- The only reason I have Green in this category is in case the Steelers thought they might want an extra center if they’re at all concerned that Mason Cole’s ankle is something he could reaggravate. It’s a bit of a stretch, but I needed something.

OT Jesse Davis- If it’s not Green, it’s likely Davis. I thought it might be Trent Scott, but he got the snaps as the jumbo tight end in Week 1.

DT Isaiahh Loudermilk- It was tough to see the second-year player on the sidelines and not participating, but the Steelers simply have too many players on the defensive line to dress them all. It was him last week, so he’s the leader to do it again.

DT Montravius Adams- If the Steelers were going to rotate who was the odd man out on the defensive line, I would say Adams would be the next guy as he only played five snaps in the game last week.

OLB David Anenih- I’m throwing this one in here just for an outside-the-box thought. The only way the Steelers could get Anenih was to sign him to the 53-man roster. If they think Ryan Anderson, who was available to go on the practice squad, may be more up to speed to help this week, they could elevate Anderson on Saturday and have Anenih inactive.

Unlikely:

LB- Marcus Allen- The special-teams factor is what will give Allen a helmet over Robinson for now. But if Robinson fills in for anybody who’s injured going forward, he could earn the right to keep the spot.

DT DeMarvin Leal- I mentioned the notion of rotating which defensive lineman is inactive. I’m not sure the Steelers would do that, but I just put it out there. And if that was their choice, the rookie could have a game off if the Steelers like a certain matchup better with Loudermilk. But I doubt it.

Projected Inactive List:
  1. Mason Rudolph
  2. Steven Sims
  3. Mark Robinson
  4. Kendrick Green
  5. Isaiahh Loudermilk

Yes, I’m going with the same inactive list as what it was last week. I only got two out of five in Week 1 in Rudolph and Sims as I was hoping Robinson would get a hat. Both Green and Loudermilk surprised me as I had them on the radar but in the unlikely category. But now that this is what the Steelers have set as the precedent, injury is likely the only thing to change this up. And for the second-straight week, the Steelers have no players with an injury status for the game. So I’m going with rolling with the same list.

UPDATE: The Steelers have elevated Delontae Scott off the the practice squad for Sunday’s game.

With the elevation and now six players needed to be inactive, the new prediction is as follows:

Projected Inactive List:
  1. Mason Rudolph
  2. Steven Sims
  3. Mark Robinson
  4. Kendrick Green
  5. Isaiahh Loudermilk
  6. David Anenih

The addition of Scott to the active roster means the Steelers probably haven’t been able to get David Anenih acclimated enough for Sunday’s game. I look for him to be inactive this week and see how the situation plays out for Week 3.

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

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