Steelers will travel to Cincinnati this Sunday

 

The, so far, disappointing Pittsburgh Steelers will travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals this week in primetime on Sunday Night Football on NBC. The game will kick-off at 8:20 PM ET in Ohio and will feature two AFC North teams that know each other very well. The Steelers come into the game after a tough loss last Thursday to the Titans, which saw many of their offensive lineman go down and may have exposed the Steelers shaky defensive secondary. The Bengals also lost last week to the Cleveland Browns who may have exposed the Bengals issues at stopping the run.

The Steelers come into the game at just 2-3 on the season and would be in very unfamiliar territory with a loss. Since they played a Thursday game last week, they did get some extra time to get healthy. Hopefully they also used that time to study and figure out the problems they have had this season as well. They have had some significant issues with injuries that have really cost the team. The running game has been affected by the banged up Rashad Mendenhall and the Defense has struggled without the presence of Troy Polomalu. They must make the corrections and have other guys step up if they wish to avoid a 2-4 start.

The Bengals hope to stay afloat in the division with a win and could do so Sunday. They are back at home after a tough interstate road loss to the Browns last week. They have remained healthy and still have the pieces they want for the game, but have struggled stopping the run and getting success running the ball on offense. A strong game in these areas would certainly produce a win given their great offensive passing attack. Either way, this should be a tough hard-hitting game to watch this Sunday.

Steelers lose to Titans in final seconds

 

The Steelers lost their Thursday Night Football game against the Titans this Thursday in Tennessee in the closing seconds. The two teams really put on a great show as they both battled and remained close and competitive throughout. The Titans got a revival from veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, and were able to get some decent rushing from Chris Johnson who continues to try and get himself to the great production he has reached years prior. Meanwhile, the Steelers just did not look like themselves and were devastated by an injury bug in the contest.

The Steelers got out to an early lead 10-6 after the first quarter thanks to a big 82 yard scoring pass from Ben to Mike Wallace. The Titans were able to comeback in the 2nd quarter when they outscored the Steelers 10-0 however, and went into the half with a 16-10 lead. The Steelers then took the lead midway through the fourth quarter. It seemed that momentum had switched at the worst possible time and Pittsburgh would cruise to victory.

The Titans hung in, however, and were able to get a scoring TD of their own to tie the game up. This was despite some big drops in the end zone by Kenny Britt who had a bad case of the bobbles. Pittsburgh and Ben had the ball with a few minutes left though, which is usually a death sentence for opposing teams. They drove down and got their kicker into field goal range with a chance to take the lead with under a minute left in regulation on a 54 yard boot. The kick would have been his career long but he came up short and the Titans got the ball near the 50. They then hit a long gainer and got in range for the game winning field goal, which was up and good as time expired.

Steelers travel to Tennessee to take on the Titans tonight

The Pittsburgh Steelers will play tonight on Thursday Night Football on the NFL Network against the Tennessee Titans. The game will be played in Tennessee at LP Field with an 8:20 PM kickoff time. The Steelers come into the game with a 2-2 record and are coming off a hard-fought victory over the Eagles last week. Tennessee, on the other hand, comes into the game with just one win this year. That victory came in week 3 against Detroit at home.

Pittsburgh will be a bit banged up coming into Thursday’s game and will be without Troy Palomalu who re-injured his calf last week. Palomalu missed action weeks earlier with that same calf injury and was unable to make it through the game against the Eagles without having further difficulties. Despite this huge loss, the Steelers were able to put together a final drive that lasted about 5 minutes and marched down the field to set up a game-winning field goal that was made as time expired.

 

Tennessee has seen some glimpses of hope in their team, but has failed to make anything happen so far this season. Chris Johnson has not been the same since his holdout 2 seasons ago and the team’s defense has been poor. The Titans have seen some glimpses from CJ who must get back to his 2010 production to try and get this team some wins. The Titans have played a very tough schedule this year, however, and Pittsburgh is actually one of the easier games they have had to this point.

Steelers are back after a bye week to face the Eagles

The Pittsburgh Steelers come back much healthier after their week 4 bye week. The team figures to have Rashard Mendenhall, Troy Polamalu, and James Harrison all back from injury this week. All have been critical to the Steelers recent success in years and should be a tremendous help to a 1-2 Pittsburgh team that desperately needs a win. The team is to play at 1PM at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh against their in-state rival the Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday. The Eagles come into the game with a division-leading 3-1 record.

 

Mendenhall hopes to help an offense that has rushed for just an average of 65 yards per game this season. This has then greatly influenced the passing game in a negative way as they have longer downs and distances and need to make tougher plays. Defensively, Troy and James should be an amazing upgrade to a Pittsburgh defense that has uncharacteristically given up more than 100 yards per game this season. The Steelers defense has also gave up 25 points a game this year.

 

Trying to keep the Steelers down will be the Eagles who have battled all year winning games by the narrowest of margins. The Eagles have won 3 games by a combined 4 points this season. Last weak, they won 19-17 on Sunday Night against the Giants. Their single loss this season came on the road in Arizona to the Cardinals. This should surely be a good test for the Steelers and all their old friends that will be returning the Pittsburgh’s sideline.

PREDICTION: PIT 30 PHI 22

Steelers lose giving the Raiders their first win

The Raiders got their first win of the year last Sunday in Oakland against the Steelers. The game was back and forth with Oakland scraping and clawing behind all game until it mattered the most at the end. The Steelers started the game with a 14-7 lead after the first, but the Raiders were able to get into the game and make it a 17-14 game at the half in favor of the Steelers. Pittsburgh tacked on 14 more in the 3rd quarter however, and was up by 10 points going into the 14th quarter when Oakland began to make their comeback.

 

Oakland was able to score 13 points in the fourth quarter while holding the Steelers offense scoreless in that period. Their Offense saw Darrius Heyward-Bay go down with what ended up to be a sprained neck and concussion after a hard hit in the end zone that left him to be carted off the field. The team seemed to get stronger from this and began to move the ball well and tying the game with a few minutes left.

 

The Steelers would get their chance to go down the field and win the game with a field goal, but Oakland held and was able to get the ball back. When they did, they took full advantage and marched down the field getting Sebastian Janikowski into field goal range. He was able to get the ball placed on the grass, rather then dirt from the field’s baseball use, and hit the kick for the win.

Steelers will play Raiders on Sunday

The Steelers next task this season in week three will be the Oakland Raiders in LA. The Steelers were able to get a win last week against the Jets after losing week one to the Broncos. The team played very well against the Jets and eliminated their running game, which really affected the passing game of the Jets. The Raiders are 0-2 this year and come off a shellacking from the Dolphins in week 2. The Raiders have had zero luck running the football as well this season and could be in for a very long game despite being the home team.

Pittsburgh is currently in a three-way tie for first in their division and need a win to continue to try and strive in the division that sent three teams to the playoffs last season. The team has won despite changes to both their defense and offense this season, but still has a lot to prove considering their win came to an equally uncertain Jets team. Sunday should certainly provide some answers to questions about what type of Steelers team this is.

 

Oakland has been awful without a running game and can not seem to get yardage despite a wonderful running back in Darren McFadden. McFadden has done a lot out of the backfield to held QB Carson Palmer and Palmer has thrown the ball OK, but the running game gets it all going and it is non-existent. If Oakland is able to find it Sunday the game will be good, but I doubt they find it against the Steelers D.

 

PREDICTION: PITT  30 OAK 20

Steelers seek first win vs. Jets

The Jets will travel to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers on Sunday at 4:25 p.m. The Jets are coming off an amazing start to their season that many thought could not exist in harmony. The team put up 48 points against the Bills last Sunday to start their year off with a bang. Sanchez looked like he squashed all Tim Tebow conversation while Shonn Greene was very effective running the ball. Their upcoming game involves a more serious opponent in the Steelers, however, and will be a good test for the team moving forward.

Pittsburgh is coming off a loss to the Denver Broncos from last Sunday night. The team was unable to get much going against The Denver defense and was very ineffective running the ball. Passing did not come much easier while the man on the other side of the field (Manning) found receiver after receiver. In Pittsburgh’s favor this week will be the home-field advantage they will have. Heinz Field is one of the hardest places for opposing teams to play and the Steelers will surely be upset about their previous week’s loss.

 

The Jets, with a win, will really turn some heads and quiet down a media that could not shut their proverbial mouths all season long. The Jets certainly looked like they were tired of the Tebow and Sanchez talks and were tired of hearing about how their team is a circus. If they can continue that type of inspired play they should be just fine.

 

PREDICTION: NYJ 25 PIT 24

Pirates might be falling into downward spiral

The Pirates fell to the Padres on Wednesday and hopefully, for Pirate fans, are not falling much farther. It would be devastating if the Pirates began to slip at this point as they are so close to getting into the playoffs. The Padres, however, swept the Pirates, in this latest series. This really could not come at a more crucial time and the Pirates must make sure to get it together before things go too astray. The Pirates are still in good position with a 67-57 record but must make sure too get things in check and fast given their history.

The Pirates got just 4 hits Wednesday and the starting pitching really got off too a bad start. McDonald, who has been brilliant this year, gave up 3 runs in the first inning. He rebounded quickly and began to pitch very well, but was getting no help from the pirate’s offense. The Pirates only big offense came from a Sanchez homerun, which was his fourth of the season. McDonald earned the loss and falls to 11-6 this season.

The Padres got great pitching from Werner who earned his first win of the season. The Padres move to 56-70 with the win and are now 31-32 at home this season. Layne came in to close the game, which he did successfully to earn his first save. The Padres will not be playoff bound, but did a lot this week to try and play spoiler for the Pirates. They will have to try and continue to get moral victories throughout the year as they look forward to next season.

Pirates Hang with Dodgers

The Pirates scorched the Dodgers on Thursday in Pittsburgh 10-6 as they continue their series with LA. The team lost the day prior, but was able to get off to a fast start scoring 3 runs in the first inning. The Pirates improve to 65-53 on the season and are now 37-23 in home games. The Pirates are continuing to hang on to their playoff spot and hope to break a terrible streak of missing the playoffs this season. Pittsburgh fans have awaited this for quite sometime now and can almost taste it at this point.

The Pirates got 11 hits in Thursday’s contest including 3 homeruns. Jones went yard for the team twice while Alvarez added his 22nd diner of the season. Burnett had some struggles as he started from the mound for Pittsburgh, but he quickly settled down and was able to get his 15th win of the season. He should find himself in the running for the Cy Young award and has been a constant for the Pirates this season.

The Dodgers are still in first in their division and now know that they may have some good competition in the Pirates as both teams are hoping to make it into the playoffs. LA had 8 hits in Thursday’s game including 2 homers. The Dodgers fell behind early 3-0 after the Pirates initial 3 runs in the first. The Dodgers then took the lead in the top of the 4th, but quickly let it slip away in the bottom of that inning. They then gave up 4 runs to Pittsburgh in the 5th, which sealed their fate.

Steelers have a lot of Questions Marks

The Steelers head into camp with many more questions then answers this season, which is something the team has not had to deal with too much in recent history. The Steelers are in the middle of their training camp where many things are happening. While installing a new offense under new offensive coordinator Todd Haley, the offense must do so with some key pieces being affected. At the same time, the defense will be much different this upcoming season as some players have departed.

 

First, and foremost, it was reported that Ben Rothlisberger is believed to have a torn rotator cuff currently. Now been has played through plenty of pain, but this is an injury that directly effects his play on the field more then a bad ankle would. Behind Ben, Mendenhall is still coming back from a knee injury and may be a question mark early in the season. Ben is also awaiting his favorite receiver Mike Wallace to return. Currently Wallace is holding out.

Defensively the Steelers may be a little different as well. They lost some very familiar faces on defense this offseason and have a question mark at linebacker. Troy Palamalu can only do so much in the secondary with Ike Taylor. Up front they can also use some depth. Certainly things need worked out in Pittsburgh, but so far the team seems poised and none of the issues above seem like dire ones. The team is comfortable with Ben and Mendenhall’s injury issues and feels confident that Wallace will be in camp soon. They are also more then confident with any Dick Lebeau defense. 

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