Sunday, December 31, 2006

Steelers 23, Bengals 17 (OT)

Pittsburgh closed out its 2006 season with a 23-17 overtime victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, the final play a long touchdown pass from QB Ben Roethlisberger to rookie WR Santonio Holmes.

The Steelers started the game with a high school-style runback on the opening kickoff, a play on which Holmes was roughed up by Cincinnati tacklers after the whistle.

Other notable moments included OLB James Harrison bodyslamming Bengals WR Chad Johnson, and Bengals QB Carson Palmer missing one play after taking a blow to the ribs by Steelers LB James Farrior, which drew a seemingly unwarranted roughing-the-passer penalty.

The Steelers finished the season 8-8, good for third place in the AFC North.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Steelers v. Bengals (what are the chances?)

In what might be Bill Cowher's last game as head coach of the Steelers, the Steelyard estimates that Pittsburgh has a 45 percent chance of defeating the Bengals. While Pittsburgh has typically fared well in Cincinnati (two wins last season) the Bengals have more to play for and are probably the better team right now.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Ravens 31, Steelers 7

Different day, different stadium, but a similar result as the first meeting between these two teams: Baltimore 31, Pittsburgh 7.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Steelers want Cowher to decide soon

A new piece in Pro Football Weekly claims that the Steelers' organization wants head coach Bill Cowher to make a quick decision in regards to whether he plans to return for the 2007 season.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Ravens v. Steelers (what are the chances?)

Despite the fact that the Steelers are a three point favorite, The Steelyard estimates that Pittsburgh has only a 35 percent chance of defeating the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Steelers 37, Panthers 3

Pittsburgh remains alive (barely) for a playoff berth thanks to its 37-3 defeat of the Carolina Panthers and today's loss by the Jacksonville Jaguars. During the Steelers' game, rookie safety Anthony Smith drew the ire of defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau and head coach Bill Cowher, after Smith did a little showboating during an interception return.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Porter fined $10,000 by NFL for remark

Steelers OLB Joey Porter was fined $10,000 by the NFL on Thursday for referring to Cleveland Browns TE Kellen Winslow Jr. with a slur that is associated with a person's sexual orientation.

After the Steelers beat the Browns 27-7 at Heinz Field last Thursday, Porter insulted Winslow while fuming about a fourth quarter play in which Winslow was penalized for a blatant late hit on Pittsburgh linebacker James Farrior.

Steelers v. Panthers (what are the chances?)

It appears likely that Carolina QB Jake Delhomme will be sitting out this week's game against the Steelers, with backup Chris Weinke starting in his place. However, the Steelers have been so bad on the road this season, that even so, The Steelyard isn't particularly confident about the prospects for a Pittsburgh victory. We estimate that the Steelers have a 55 percent chance of defeating Carolina this Sunday.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Steelers 27, Browns 7

RB Willie Parker set a Steelers' single-game rushing record, running for 223 yards and a touchdown in breaking a 36-year-old record. Parker eclipsed the 218 yards Frenchy Fuqua rushed for in 1970.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Browns v. Steelers (what are the chances?)

All I really had to do this week was copy and paste what I wrote about the Steelers-Browns matchup from three weeks ago...

The Steelyard estimates that the Steelers have a 65 percent chance of winning tomorrow's game vs. Cleveland. Of course, the game is virtually meaningless, at least in terms of playoff implications, as neither team has any chance of making the postseason. The loser of tomorrow's tilt becomes the odds-on favorite to finish last in the AFC North.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Myriad Roster Moves

The Steelers made several roster moves today, including the release of veteran RB Duce Staley, who has been inactive all season except for one game. The Steelers also announced that rookie WR Willie Reid has been placed on the team's reserve/injured list and will miss the remainder of the season.

Meanwhile, the team filled its open roster spots by signing veteran CB Chidi Iwuoma and WR Lee Mays.

Charges against WR Holmes dismissed

On Monday a judge dismissed charges of domestic violence and assault filed against WR Santonio Holmes this past summer. Holmes had been charged with assaulting LaShae Boone, the mother of one of his three children.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Steelers 20, Bucs 3

Tampa Bay kicked a field goal on the last play of the game, narrowly averting being shut out by the Steelers. In truth, the Steelers didn't so much win the game as much as the Bucs beat themselves. But without WR Hines Ward and S Troy Polamalu in the lineup, Steelers fans will take it.

Next game: Thursday night v. Cleveland at Heinz Field.