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3 matchups that will define Steelers vs. Colts

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 11/26/2022 - 9:00am
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

This game has no shortage of great positional battles.

Following Pittsburgh’s home defeat to the Bengals last Sunday, the Steelers get an additional day to prepare for their next foe: the Indianapolis Colts. Sitting at 3-7 with only seven games left this year, it’s do-or-die time against Jeff Saturday’s 4-6-1 team.

The Steelers put their seven-game winning streak against Indy on the line Monday night from Lucas Oil Stadium. Although history has been dominated recently from a black-and-gold perspective, these three matchups between position groups and/or players will play significant roles in determining this affair’s outcome.

The Steelers’ IOL vs. the Colts’ DL

Without question, Indianapolis boasts two of the more disruptive interior defensive linemen in the NFL in DeForest Buckner and Grover Stewart.

Buckner, a two-time Pro Bowler, is one of just 11 defensive linemen to play 540+ snaps this year; his 76.6 Pro Football Focus grade is fifth among such D-linemen, while his 33 pressures are second on the Colts.

Further, Stewart has played to the tune of a 75 PFF rating, and he’s tied for the league lead among DL with 31 stops. In his sixth year out of Albany State, Stewart has continued to fly under the radar but consistently shows up with monster disruptive plays like this.

Given Indianapolis’ prodigious interior defensive talent, it falls on the shoulders of Kevin Dotson, Mason Cole and James Daniels to mitigate them as best as possible. Given the foot injury that he suffered in Week 11, Cole did not practice on Thursday; moreover, Cole and Daniels were limited on Friday. Such injuries only make this that much more of an uphill climb.

While Daniels has been relatively steady in both pass protection and run blocking, Dotson and Cole have been rather inconsistent. The three (or their backups) must not only protect Kenny Pickett from pressure up the middle, but also free up some space for Najee Harris.

Alex Highsmith vs. Bernhard Raimann

Highsmith has proven to be one of the better and more refined edge defenders in the NFL this year. The third-year man ranks 15th in PFF grade among edge rushers to see 400 or more snaps, and his nine sacks are tied for fifth in the NFL.

Sure, T.J. Watt draws the bulk of the attention via double teams and chips, but Highsmith has proven that he cannot be left one-on-one. The Charlotte product has four pressures in each of the last two games with Watt and won AFC Defensive Player of the Week after a sensational performance against the Saints.

On the other side of the token, Indianapolis’ left tackle position has been a revolving door in 2022. Initial starter Matt Pryor got the nod in the first five games, but then Bernhard Raimann and Dennis Kelly have each protected the blindside. Since Saturday took over before Week 10, it’s been Raimann’s job to lose.

With Watt opposing Braden Smith, one of the more consistent right tackles in football, Highsmith must impose his will upon the rookie Raimann, getting pressure on Matt Ryan and helping to wrap up Jonathan Taylor.

Levi Wallace/Cam Sutton/Arthur Maulet vs. Michael Pittman Jr.

After a dazzling performance against the Saints’ receivers, Pittsburgh’s secondary struggled mightily against Cincinnati — and particularly Tee Higgins. The 6-foot-4 wideout set a season high with nine catches for 148 receiving yards, besting whichever corner wearing black and gold lined up against him.

The Steelers will face another big-bodied receiver this week in Pittman, who quietly has posted 67 catches for 678 yards. The USC alum found success against Darius Slay and James Bradberry a week ago, notching six receptions for 75 yards.

Presumably without Ahkello Witherspoon for the seventh game this year, it is incumbent on Wallace and Sutton to stop the 6-foot-4 receiver as much as possible. Also, given that Pittman runs 26.3% of pass snaps from the slot, Maulet may be lined up against him on occasion — in which case, one should probably expect some slot fades.

The Steelers held Pittman in check during his rookie season, limiting the WR to three catches for 38 yards in 2020. If Pittsburgh wants to emerge victorious on Monday night, a similar performance will need to be in order.

Steelers fans lose confidence as they blame Mike Tomlin for the poor start

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 11/26/2022 - 7:30am
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers fan base isn’t feeling confident about the team, or the head coach moving forward.

The Pittsburgh Steelers had their fans feeling good this past offseason. The free agent moves made and the 2022 NFL Draft class had the black-and-gold faithful feeling good. Then you throw in the fact the team went 3-0 in the preseason, and you’d believe confidence was brimming with the fan base. But throughout the preseason, several issues popped up with the team in all facets. Nonetheless, the hope was they’d fix it while they won football games.

As you can imagine, Steelers fans weren’t brimming with confidence heading into their Week 1 game vs. the Cincinnati Bengals in Ohio. Nonetheless, the team found a way to upset the Bengals 23-20 in overtime and move their record to 1-0.

Such a crazy game, and victory, you’d think this would create a big bump in fan confidence, right?

Not so much.

What started next was a skid to forget. The Week 2 loss to the New England Patriots, one where the offense essentially failed to show up, caused the Steelers fan base to lose faith, and in a hurry. Following the Steelers Week 3 loss to the Cleveland Browns on Thursday Night Football, confidence in the team remained low.

But, have no fear, hope was on the way! Everyone assumed it would come via a win over the Jets in Week 4, but that didn’t happen. However, hope, as it turns out, was found in the second half of the Steelers loss to the New York Jets. When Kenny Pickett entered the game as the starting quarterback it caused a rise in fan confidence throughout the fan base. Yes, even in a losing effort.

How long did the Pickett surge in confidence last? Well, after the 38-3 shellacking against the Buffalo Bills in Week 5...not very long. However, the roller coaster ride which is Steelers fan confidence continued after the team upset the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 6 at Acrisure Stadium.

What has been the going trend with the team’s up-and-down season, the Steelers followed up the win at home with a dude against the Miami Dolphins in prime time in Week 7. While the team’s loss in Week 8 to the Philadelphia Eagles was disheartening, the fan base received an injection of hope when the team traded Chase Claypool to the Chicago Bears for a 2nd Round 2023 NFL Draft pick. After the Week 9 bye, the Steelers did something they hadn’t done much, and that’s win. A dominating Week 10 win, combined with the return of T.J. Watt to the lineup, has fans feeling good about the direction of the organization.

In Week 11 a 37-30 loss to the Bengals has the roller coaster ride of fan confidence moving once again.

As a part of SB Nation’s Reacts poll, sponsored by DraftKings Sportsbook, every fan who takes the poll, which equates to a lot of fans, were asked a simple question:

Are you confident in the direction of the team?

How far did confidence fall after the Week 12 loss? Well, as you’d imagine. Take a look at where the confidence was, and where it is now, below:

Preseason Confidence: 91%
Pre-Regular Season Confidence: 81%
Week 1 Confidence: 80%
Week 2 Confidence: 20%
Week 3 Confidence: 21%
Week 4 Confidence: 52%
Week 5 Confidence: 22%
Week 6 Confidence: 54%
Week 7 Confidence: 36%
Week 8 Confidence: 35%
Week 9 Confidence: 21%
Week 10 Confidence: 57%
Week 11 Confidence: 23%

With confidence on the downturn, it felt obvious to ask a follow-up question. This follow-up question was all about who the fan base blamed for the team’s 3-7 start? The options were the following:

  • Mike Tomlin
  • Matt Canada
  • Teryl Austin
  • Injuries
  • Poor Player Performance

Here are the results:

The fans are clearly nearing the end of their proverbial rope with Tomlin at the helm, but it should shock no one how Canada is the second vote getter for who is most to blame for the Steelers’ failures this season.

A lot can change throughout the course of a regular season, and we’ll be sure to keep you up-to-speed on the fan base’s feelings of the team. But what say you? Do you have confidence in the direction of the team?

Let us know what you think in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Indianapolis Colts in Week 12 of the regular season.

Check out DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation.

How to dress with Steelers arrival style

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 11/26/2022 - 6:30am
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Get the drip the black & gold pros wear

There’s a rare moment each week, where Pittsburgh Steelers players shed the uniformed look of the black and gold and show off their individual personalities and styles. It’s the pre-game stadium arrival, sometimes known as “The Fashion Show.” Once upon a time, it was a serendipitous moment, caught by the network cameras in the hours before kickoff. Today, it’s a modern-day NFL tradition, complete with its own corporate sponsor.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers)

Some fans give this moment nothing more than a passing glance. Others go as far as to loathe it, complaining about the celebration of excess and wealth-flaunting. But for all the label watchers in Steelers nation, here’s how to get the same drip as the pros.

Kenny Pickett

It looks like when Kenny’s off the field, he’s not thinking about downfield passes, he’s thinking about downward dog. QB1 arrives in head-to-toe Lululemon, the patron saint of yoga studios everywhere.

Pittsburgh Steelers Kenny Pickett in Lululemon

For a professional athlete, Kenny is keeping it humble, but this simple outfit could give some a little sticker shock. The standard joggers run around $118, and the City Excursion jacket was $148 when it was in stock. Like many Lulu products, it’s been sold-out for a while. The jacket was released in 2020, making KP8’s fashion sense even thriftier.

Lululemon KP8: Lulu in the streets, Black & Gold in the cleats

George Pickens

NFL Youngboy is leaning into his nickname with a style as unique as his personality. Here he arrives wearing Gallery Dept. They’re a Los Angeles brand, founded by artist Josue Thomas. His mission is re-purpose and re-imagine garments into something new and inspiring. It’s the kind of store that asks you to schedule an appointment for your shopping.

No Harry, just Styles pic.twitter.com/lfokFYlQdB

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 20, 2022

Unfortunately, George’s look is probably impossible to duplicate. The vest is out of stock. But according to their other outerwear prices, it would’ve cost somewhere between $600-$1,500.

Farfetch Just like Pickens game: can’t touch this

Alex Highsmith

The pride of Wilmington knows how to keep his fit on brand. He arrives wearing his own Team Highsmith. A percentage of all sales are donated to the Alex Highsmith Family Foundation

Pittsburgh Steelers Alex Highsmith in Team Highsmith

Alex sells a couple of different versions of his “Deflect the Glory” hoodie. This color rush version is $50.

Alex stays on brand

Diontae Johnson

If a luxury fashion brand could lay claim to the phrase, “the standard is the standard,” it would be Louis Vuitton. Name-checked in song by everyone from Kanye West to Meghan Trainor, Louis V represents the top shelf of status.

Pittsburgh Steelers Diontae Johnson in Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton fans like DJ pay the cost to dress this well. In fact, Louis doesn’t even categorize his sweater as outerwear. It’s labeled an “investment piece.” Retail price: $1,535, but the steeper cost is looking like a Bengals fan.

Louis Vuitton DJ’s sweater aka “investment piece”

Levi Wallace

Number 29 is representing Raf Simons, a Belgian designer who’s been with Christian Dior, Calvin Klein and Prada. Simons was the primary influence for Kanye West’s first runway collection, and his 2008 album “808s & Heartbreak.”

Pittsburgh Steelers Levi Wallace in Raf Simons

This is not the kind of sweater you’d wear to the office Christmas party, where someone may spill their IC Light. It sells for $1,010, clutch not included.

Sense Do Not put this in the dryer

Pat Freiermuth

Muth is wearing Canada Goose, a brand that’s counterfeited so much, they had to start stitching hologram trademarks into the products. They’re made for the coldest places on earth, but these coats are more likely to be found wherever status is in excess. Marketers have called Canada Goose the uniform of inner city 16-to-24 year olds and the Swiss watch of apparel.

Pittsburgh Steelers Pat Freiermuth in Canada Goose

This is their Expedition Parka Heritage, which is said to withstand temperatures of -22 and below. But apparently everyone who wears one never zips it up. This will set you back $1,695. It looks comfy though.

Canada Goose Cold, but not zip-up cold

Kyle Chrise is the host of the BTSC podcast “What Yinz Talkin’ Bout.” New episodes are released every Thursday. Hear the latest show in the player below:

latest

Podcast Roundup: All the latest of the BTSC family podcasts

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 11/26/2022 - 5:30am

Get the latest BTSC podcast content in the ‘Podcast Roundup’.

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 three 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.

Nonetheless, enjoy the shows below with a brief description of each podcast.

Here We Go, The Pregame Show: Not deja vu for the Steelers and Colts 17 years later

The Steelers took a step back in the Week 11 loss to Cincinnati. What happened and where can the Steelers go with a Monday Night affair with Indy in the 17th anniversary of their last meeting on MNF w/ the Colts. Join Bryan Anthony Davis and Kevin Smith for Here We Go, the Steelers Pregame Show. The BTSC duo break down the Steelers like no one else does as Coach Smith and BAD talk the threat that is the Indianapolis Colts.

Check out the rundown

  • News and Notes
  • Recap
  • Steelers vs. Colts
  • Dude of the Week
  • and MUCH MORE!

Listen to the show on the player below:

Steelers Friday Night Six Pack with Tony: Steelers must continue to let the process play out with Pickett

Kenny Pickett has failed to lift the Steelers up on his shoulders and carry them to a great season. That’s actually normal. Why? Because he’s a rookie quarterback starting in the NFL. Not easy. That and more on this episode of Steelers Friday Night Six Pack w/BTSC veteran writer and podcaster Tony Defeo.

Checkout a rundown of the show:

  • Steelers News and Notes
  • Letting Kenny Pickett gel
  • Q&A
  • and MUCH MORE!

Listen to the show on the player below:

State of the Steelers: One step forward, two steps backwards

The Steelers redemption was short lived, as their 2022 season regressed in a loss to Cincinnati on Sunday. That’s the latest topic of discussion from Daniel Jay on the State of the Steelers. Join Daniel for the latest new offering from the Behind the Steel Curtain family of podcasts in addressing the State of the Steelers.

Checkout a rundown of the show:

  • Steelers News and Notes
  • Two Steps Back
  • Q&A
  • and MUCH MORE!

Listen to the show on the player below:

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

Apple Users: CLICK HERE

Spotify: CLICK HERE

Google Play: CLICK HERE

Friday Night Steelers Six Pack of questions and open thread: Week 12 Edition

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 11/25/2022 - 5:45pm
Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

There is always something to talk about when it comes to the Black & Gold!

It’s Friday again, so it’s time for the six pack of questions. It seems as if Jeff and Dave come to a consensus in cutting to the chase...

This week, I, Dave, will be tasked with the questions up for discussion.

The rules are still the same...

Quick rundown of the ground rules.

  • I’ll ask at least four questions strictly related to the Steelers.
  • The rest of the questions could be about anything.
  • Be respectful.
  • Have fun talking about the Black-and-gold.

Procedural Note: Since the title feature has gone away, please feel free to leave your usual title as the first line of your response and even bold it if you can for the ease of others.

So here we go! With the formalities out of the way, it’s time to jump on in. Hopefully this party is exactly what you’re looking for on a Friday night. Here goes:

1. The Steelers have their only game on Monday Night Football of the season this week. Since 2007, the Steelers are 19-4 on Monday night including 10-3 on the road.Do you think it’s a good thing for this young Steelers team to play on MNF or is this too different of a team from years past to tell?

2. The Steelers have only allowed a total of 91 rushing yards in the last two games combined. But the yards through the air the Steelers surrendered last week dropped them to last in the NFL in defending the pass. With what the passing game the NFL has become today, how important is it for teams to be able to stop the run versus the pass?

3. Kenny Pickett has now gone two-straight games without a turnover. How important is this to his growth as a rookie, or do you want to see him take more chances, throw more touchdowns, and the interceptions are just part of the growing pains?

4. I asked my brother this question this week, so I’ll give it a go here... if the game is on the line and the Steelers need either a score or a stop, which unit— the offense or the defense— would you prefer to be on the field to win the game at this point of the season?

5. The Colts are tied for the NFL lead with 40 sacks surrendered this season (noting they have yet to have their bye so they have an extra game). How many sacks do you think the Steelers will have in Week 12?

6. DraftKings just went live in Maryland (where both Jeff and I live) this week. This is something new for me to experience (their promotion gave a lot of free bets) and wagers can be placed for as little as $0.10 a bet. Is putting something down on a game or on player’s performances something of interest to you? Have you done it before? What are your thoughts on the expansion of sports betting?

Stay safe out there!

And it wouldn’t be a Friday night unless we said...

HERE WE GO STEELERS!

PODCASTS

We added some new shows and a new platform to our podcasts...if you haven’t checked out our full lineup of morning, noon, and evening shows, give them a try by listening below!

Steelers Injury Report: 3 new players added to the list on Friday

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 11/25/2022 - 2:49pm
Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

While other players returned to practice, three new names popped up on the injury report Friday.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are once again trying to get back on the winning track, this time on the road in Indianapolis for Monday Night Football. As the Steelers took the practice field for their second official day of preparation for the Colts, there were three players who did not participate while four were limited. In the second injury report of the week courtesy of the Steelers PR Department, three new names appeared on the list.

Steelers PR Department

In Sunday’s game, Jaylen Warren played only three offensive snaps before entering his hamstring and being ruled out for the game. In Tuesday’s press conference, Coach Tomlin said Warren‘s hamstring injury wasn’t significant but could still keep him out of the lineup. On Thursday and Friday, Warren was unable to take the practice field keeping his status for this week’s game in doubt.

Another player who was unable to finish last Sunday’s game was center Mason Cole with a foot injury. On Thursday, Cole was unable to practice in his first opportunity. With another chance to get on the practice field on Friday, Cole progressed to be a limited participant.

The third player injured in the Steelers previous game was wide receiver Miles Boykin who was missed in his role as a gunner on special teams. Dealing with an oblique injury, Boykin missed the first official practice of the week. But things are progressing in a positive manner as Boykin returned in a limited fashion on Friday.

After coming back to play in Week 8 after missing multiple games, Ahkello Witherspoon found himself missing another two games with his hamstring injury in Week 10 and Week 11. On both Thursday and Friday, Witherspoon was still unable to practice.

There were three players who did not practice on Thursday that were designated as rest and not being injury related. Those players were Cam Heyward, T.J. Watt, and Larry Ogunjobi. As expected, all three players returned as full participants on Friday.

As for the new names on the list, Connor Heyward did not participate in practice on Friday due to illness. Two other players on the list were Robert Spillane with a back injury and James Daniels with a groin injury as both players were listed as limited participants. What is unclear at this time is if the players began practice fully and suffered an injury during the workout or if it was an injury that had them limited from the very beginning. ultimately Saturday’s injury report will give a better indication as to the extent of the injuries for these two players.

As for the Colts’ injury report, you can see the names below courtesy of Steelers.com.

Indianapolis Colts Participation/Injury Report, Week 12

Friday, November 25

DT DeForest Buckner (Ribs/Illness) - DNP

TE Kylen Granson (Illness) - DNP

T Dennis Kelly (Illness) - DNP

DE Kwity Paye (Ankle) - DNP

DT Grover Steward (Shoulder/Not Injury Related - Resting Player) - DNP

C Ryan Kelly (Shoulder/Knee) - LP

DE Yannick Ngakoue (Back) - LP

WR Parris Campbell (Illness) - FP

G/T Matt Pryor (Illness) - FP

TE Jelani Woods (Shoulder) - FP

NFL Odds and Predictions: Picking all the Week 12 games against the spread

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 11/25/2022 - 12:30pm
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Several of the BTSC staff pick all the NFL games both against the spread and over/under point totals

The 2022 NFL season is well underway! There are no more undefeated teams remaining, but the Philadelphia Eagles only have one loss on the season. On the other end of the spectrum, there is one team with only one win going into Week 12 in Houston Texans who also have a tie.

For the 2022 NFL season, nine members of the BTSC will be picking every game against the spread and the over/under point totals. This feature will show all the games for the week including games on Thursday and Monday. Those specific game picks will be featured in the open thread articles for each game. Please remember we are not experts on betting or any kind of sports gamblers. We are just a group of Pittsburgh Steelers’ fans saying who we think will come through each week.

We are using the same program as the last two years called Tallysight. It allows us to show picks in a much more “friendly to the eye” manner. To understand how it works, the default tab is for our picks against the spread. To see the over/under picks, click the “O/U” tab in the upper left. Also, make sure you scroll on the graphic to see all the picks. If there are quotation marks next to a pick, it means the person making the selection made a comment about the game.

Last week, one performance stood out above the others and it was picking against the spread. Jeremy was the top honors this week and led the way at 10-4 ahead of seven others all landing between 6-7 and 7-6. Bringing up the rear was Geoffrey at only 4-9. I still currently lead for the season against the spread at 86-73 followed by Kyle at 82-78.

It was Kyle and Shannon who topped the over/under picks last week going 8-6 ahead of Matty and Bradley at 7-7. Everybody else brought up the rear this week at 6-8. For the season, Geoffrey continues to lead at 87-75 ahead of Shannon at 87-76. Combining both against the spread and the over/under, I continue to hold the lead at 162-160 ahead of Shannon at 162-162 and Jeff at 159-161.

So here are the picks for the games for Week 12 of the NFL season. Please feel free to list your choices in the comment section below and play along! Odds are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

2023 Mock Draft: Steelers go offensive tackle early in Round 1

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 11/25/2022 - 11:30am
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

There is a chance the Pittsburgh Steelers will be making a Top 10 selection in the 2023 NFL Draft, and the latest mock draft has them going offensive tackle with their top pick.

The Pittsburgh Steelers still have seven games left in the 2022 regular season, but after their 37-30 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals plunged their record to 3-7, many have turned their attention away from the remaining games and looking at the 2023 NFL Draft.

Some scoff at the idea, but it doesn’t hurt to start and take a look at not just which players are considered to be Top 10 talents, but also players who might be on the Steelers’ radar when the draft process begins shortly after the college football regular season wraps up.

The folks at ESPN recently put together their first mock draft for the Top 10 picks in the draft, and of course the Steelers are among those who will be picking in that area. To be specific, the experts have the Steelers picking 5th overall.

For clarity, here are the teams and players selected before the Steelers made their pick.

1. Houston Texans —Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
2. Carolina Panthers — C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
3. Seattle Seahawks — Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
4. Chicago Bears — Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama

It should be noted the experts at ESPN all gave their thoughts and opinions on who the Steelers should, or shouldn’t, take with their pick. Here is what they think, and the consensus of who they have the Steelers taking.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers

Miller: We’ve made it through four picks, and no offensive tackles are off the board. I like the Steelers to grab one here. Their offensive line has been pieced together with castoffs and late-round picks, so it’s time to build with a premium prospect. An anchor is needed, and Johnson feels like that kind of player.

Reid: I’m with you. After starting at right guard for the entirety of the 2021 season, Johnson has seamlessly transitioned to left tackle and has been very impressive. The Steelers desperately need help up front to protect Kenny Pickett, and Johnson’s ability as a pass-protector, demeanor as a run blocker and overall upside fit the billing of what Pittsburgh likes in its offensive tackles. He hasn’t allowed a single sack this season and has taken just one penalty.

Miller: The Steelers are never drafting in the top 10 picks, so this is a rare opportunity to grab a very pro-ready prospect at a premium position. Left tackle is arguably the second-most important position in football behind the quarterback — another position that might be in play here. Pickett hasn’t exactly set the NFL on fire in his first season, and the Steelers must at least have the conversation about where they grade Levis compared to Pickett. I’m still drafting Johnson, though. Levis isn’t a surefire upgrade over Pickett.

Reid: I wouldn’t put Pittsburgh entertaining a defensive player here out of the realm of possibilities. Cornerback is a huge need, and this draft class is very deep at the position. Penn State’s Joey Porter Jr. has been excellent this year, and Georgia’s Kelee Ringo has great size (6-foot-2) and toughness. And even still, the Steelers likely will be praying that Anderson or Carter fall to them.

Miller: Oh yeah, if Carter falls to the Steelers, that’s an immediate “yes” from me. He could be the next Cameron Heyward on that defensive line. My next best defender available is Clemson defensive end Myles Murphy. But does he fit?

Reid: He seems to be flying under the radar. A three-man rotation of T.J. Watt, Alex Highsmith and Murphy would be intriguing, but after investing a first-rounder on Pickett, Pittsburgh has to go all-in on protecting him.

Our pick for Pittsburgh: Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State

I know it’s early, but what do you think of the Steelers taking an offensive tackle in Round 1, but also them taking Johnson out of Ohio State? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the team as they prepare for the Indianapolis Colts in Week 12 of the 2022 regular season.

Steelers 2023 NFL Draft Stock Report: Linebackers steal the show in Week 12

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 11/25/2022 - 10:00am
Chris Pietsch/The Register-Guard / USA TODAY NETWORK

Linebackers were the highlight of Week 12 in college football.

The 2023 NFL Draft is still months in the distance, but with college football having arrived, the beginning stages of the 2023 draft process has begun. With that in mind, it is time to dive into this past week’s biggest games in the college football world, taking a look at draft prospects who improved their stock based on their performance.

Offensive line is definitely an area the Steelers need to address, and the most likely resource for the solution is indeed the draft. Concerns at cornerback and linebacker also loom large over the Pittsburgh’s head. Although we will certainly break down prospects at other positions this season as well, these will be the primary positions of emphasis, especially early in the season.

Nearly every week during the season, there are several highlight games that steal the headlines, but even when these games overshadow the rest of the college football landscape, we will not be negligent of the other games and prospects in action. Every week during the season, we will recap the previous week’s action and determine whose stock rose the most as it pertains to the NFL Draft.

As always, be sure to share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section below, but without further adieu, here are the highest of highs from Week 12 of college football!

John Marshall | LB | Navy | 6’1”, 209 lbs

John Marshall is an interesting draft prospect. Not often do we take the time to dive into prospects from the military academies, but Marshall’s play certainly deserves some attention. This past Saturday in an upset win against UCF, Marshall accounted for 10 tackles, 7 of which were solo tackles, and 4 sacks.

Marshall has now had at least one sack in each of the last four games, and two of those games have been against top-25 opponents. The big concern is his lack of size, and if he can’t add weight quickly, I could see a team attempting to move him to strong safety. We’ll see how good of an athlete he is come combine time, but Marshall is certainly a player to watch as we near draft season. His blitzing ability (10.5 sacks this season) and versatility will come in handy for an NFL team that can use him correctly.

Yasir Abdullah | LB | Louisville | 6’1” 242 lbs

Abdullah is another name you are probably unfamiliar with, but he is quietly putting together an impressive season for the Cardinals. The senior from Miramar, Florida, was at it again Saturday, amassing 7 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks in Louisville’s upset win against NC State. He has now accounted for 53 tackles, 8 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, and 2 interceptions.

What I like about Abdullah is his ability to play both on the inside as well as the outside. In the NFL, I see him best suited for a 4-3 scheme, as a good defensive coordinator could move him from SAM, to WILL, to MIKE at ease. He is capable of filling any of those roles, as his compact build and surprising speed give him the ability to defend the run at a high level while also being able to drop into coverage when asked. He reminds me a little of Jarrad Davis coming out of Florida in 2017. We will see if Abdullah can boost his draft stock the same way Davis did.

Noah Sewell | LB | Oregon | 6’2”, 253 lbs

This season has been slightly underwhelming for Sewell, who was once amid the first-round discussion. After posting pedestrian numbers for the majority of the season, Sewell is finally starting to heat up as we near season’s end. This past week against Utah, Sewell displayed great instincts and awareness in every facet of the game, recording 8 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and 1 interception.

NFL teams will love the size Sewell brings to the table. His short-area burst is solid for 250-pound linebacker, but his overall speed is still a concern. He is not the most aggressive of linebackers coming downhill, and he occasionally overthinks things and misses an opportunity to shoot a gap and make a big-time tackle in the backfield. Nonetheless, his Week 12 performance will get the attention back on him as Oregon gets ready to face in-state rival Oregon State.

Others Who Improved Their Stock

Antwane Wells, Jr. | WR | South Carolina (11 REC, 177 YDS)
Devon Witherspoon | CB | Illinois (5 TCKL, 1.5 TFL, 2 PD)
Zach Harrison | DE | Ohio State (2.5 TFL, 2 SCK)
Kelee Ringo | CB | Georgia (2 TCKL, 1 INT)
Brendan Mott | EDGE | Kansas State (6’5”, 240 lbs) 8 TCKL, 3 SCK
Xazavian Valladay | RB | Arizona State (13 CAR, 109 YDS, 1 TD)
SirVocea Dennis | ILB | Pittsburgh (14 TCKL, 1 TFL, 1 QB HUR)
Datrone Young | CB | Duke (5 TCKL, 1 PD, 1 INT)
Andrew Vorhees | G | USC

Which prospects caught your eye this past weekend? Who do you think made the biggest leap, or drop, in the draft rankings in Week 12? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

2 reasons for the Steelers second half offensive collapse no one is mentioning

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 11/25/2022 - 8:30am
Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Not enough people are talking about how much the injuries to Jaylen Warren and Mason Cole negatively impacted the Steelers on Sunday.

The Pittsburgh Steelers played their best half of football on offense this season in the first half of their season crushing loss to the division rival Cincinnati Bengals last Sunday. They produced possibly their worst in the second half.

What happened? Was the Bengals halftime adjustments that good, and the Steelers outcoached that bad? Probably, but there were a couple of absent performers for the Steelers that had a profound impact on the Steelers lack of second half production on offense.

Rookie backup running back Jaylen Warren has become a dynamic and dependable weapon for the Steelers, particularly on third downs. He utilizes his elusiveness, contact balance, and powerful lower body to consistently convert difficult third down situations. That keeps the chains moving and the Steelers offense on the field. Kenny Pickett has grown comfortable with Warren, both as an outlet, and in pass protection.

Those are underrated and underappreciated qualities that positively impact a young signal caller's development. Warren was lost for the game early in the first quarter due to a strained hamstring, ironically on a play where he utilized the attributes I mentioned earlier to pick up a first down. Pickett missed Warren's reliable prescence, especially when Najee Harris dropped a sure conversion later in the game.

The other proven performer lost in the game that few seem to be talking about was starting center Mason Cole. Cole missed the second half due to a foot injury. His abscence was even more impactful than Warren's. It should shock absolutely no one that the Steelers struggled in the second half offensively.

The Steelers offensive line is young, and has some talent. They are most definitely a work in progress. They need more talent, not less. The talent level drops precipitously from Mason Cole to J.C. Hassenauer. That's not a knock on Hassenauer, who has worked diligently to transform himself into a quality backup, but the execution dropped off with Cole's departure.

Yet again, Kenny Pickett was most effected. Negatively, I might add. Pickett depends on Cole's leadership and communication skills, as much if not more than his fundamentally sound blocking.

There is a special bond between a quarterback and his center. A trust factor if you will. Roethlisberger/Pouncey, Bradshaw/Webster, and Peyton Manning/Jeff Saturday to name a few. Friend, protector, enforcer; these are just some of the accolades earned by trusted centers during their work tenure.

There is an underrated level of confidence gained the moment a quarterback steps behind such a center. A trust factor often taken for granted until it's gone. Losing your starting center can be unnerving for any QB, much less a rookie.

Thus far in this discussion we have focused on how the absence of two vital offensive pieces impacted the product on the field, particularly Kenny Pickett, but what about behind the scenes? Specifically, Matt Canada's play calling.

As my colleague and Know Your Enemy podcast partner Geoffrey Benedict has been pointing out for awhile now, Canada's offense is only successful if the Steelers can effectively and efficiently run the football between the tackles. The Steelers were able to do just that in the first half, and they scored their most points in any half this season. The Steelers seemed to lose their blueprint for success in the second half, moving away from what worked so well in the first half.

The Steelers endured a second half of bad execution, ill timed play calls, penalties, and dropped passes. What changed? Was it the Bengals defensive adjustments, forcing the Steelers to abandon the effective first half strategy? Or did Matt Canada move away from what was working too soon in anticipation of the Bengals adjustments? Maybe a little of both, but possibly due to the aforementioned extenuating circumstances.

It stands to reason that Canada was overly concerned that the Steelers would struggle to maintain their first half success rushing the ball in the interior without Mason Cole's steady experience leading the way, and he adjusted his second half offensive attack accordingly.

It also seems entirely reasonable that some of Kenny Pickett's struggles in the second stanza was due to the loss of his trusted check down in the midst of the chaos created by the Bengals myriad of defensive alignments. Pickett also relies on Cole's steady demeanor and excellent communication skills.

After getting the opportunity to re-watch the game for clarity, I wholeheartedly believe that Jaylen Warren and Mason Cole would have been able to make a substantial impact during the second half, maybe even enough to change the final outcome.

Thankfully neither player's injuries sound serious enough to warrant extended absences, because their presence is definitely needed for sustained improvement during the remainder of this season, with an eye on a brighter future.

Previewing the Steelers vs. Colts Week 12 showdown

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 11/25/2022 - 7:15am
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are traveling to play the Indianapolis Colts in Week 12 of the 2022 regular season.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts are two teams who know each other relatively well considering they are AFC rivals and have seemingly played each other every season the past few years. For these teams, the game in Week 12 is as big one. Throw in the fact the Steelers are coming off a tough loss in Week 11, and this game gets even more attention.

Here is the game preview for the Steelers and Colts for their Week 12 matchup in Indianapolis.

Team Records

Pittsburgh Steelers: 3-7
Indianapolis Colts: 4-6-1

Odds (Courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook)

Steelers (+2.5)
OVER/UNDER: 39.0
Moneyline: Steelers +120; Colts -140

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.

Last 5 Games in series

Steelers: 5-0 (PIT won 7 in a row)

Matchup History

Pittsburgh Steelers lead series 26-6-0

Injury Report (Note: This will be updated throughout the week as more injury reports are released) Steelers

Thursday, November 24

WR Miles Boykin (Oblique) - DNP
CB Ahkello Witherspoon (Hamstring) - DNP
RB Jaylen Warren (Hamstring) - DNP
OL Mason Cole (Foot) - DNP
LB T.J. Watt (Coaches Decision/Resting Player) - DNP
DL Cameron Heyward (Coaches Decision/Resting Player) - DNP
DL Larry Ogunjobi (Coaches Decision/Resting Player) - DNP

Colts

Thursday, November 24*

DT DeForest Buckner (Ribs) - DNP
TE Kylen Granson (Illness) - DNP
C Ryan Kelly (Shoulder/Knee) - DNP
DE Kwity Paye (Ankle) - DNP
WR Parris Campbell (Illness) - LP
DT Grover Stewart (Shoulder) - LP
G/T Matt Pryor (Illness) - FP
TE Jelani Woods (Shoulder) - FP

**The Colts conducted a walk-through on Thursday. Thursday’s practice report is only an estimation of a player’s participation if there was a practice.**

News and Notes

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts head into Week 12 with plenty of uncertainty surrounding their respective teams. The Colts, now led by former center Jeff Saturday, are looking to reverse the trends set forth by former coach Frank Reich and return to a run-first team. They’ve seen success with this theory, and look to continue that trend vs. Pittsburgh’s run defense.

As for the Steelers, they continue to try and work on an identity on both the offensive and defensive sides of the football. Are they a run-first, and run to set up the past type team, or are they a team who is looking to remain balanced, sometimes using the pass to set up the run? When it comes to the defense, the question is whether they are dominant in any particular area? The pass rush? Taking the ball away? Making a team one-dimensional?

The Steelers have plenty of work to do, and the Colts will be a good test for them in Week 12. Sure, they are still road underdogs, but that is not just familiar, but also expected. A 3-7 team isn’t going to be favored too much during the season, especially on the road.

Will the Colts inch closer to the .500 mark, or will the Steelers avoid losing back-to-back games with a win in prime time? The table is set for a Monday night game to remember.

Related Articles Podcasts

Be sure to check out the many BTSC podcasts in the player below:

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold for all the coverage of their game with the Colts in Indianapolis in Week 12 of the 2022 regular season.

It’s way too early to be sure of anything when it comes to Kenny Pickett

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 11/25/2022 - 6:00am
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Are you unsure of Kenny Pickett’s ability to be the Steelers starting quarterback of the future? Good. That’s actually normal.

“Gee, I’m still not sure if Kenny Pickett has what it takes to be a starting quarterback in the NFL,” says at least one person in every comment section/Twitter thread about Kenny Pickett and/or the Pittsburgh Steelers.

You’re really not sure, like after six-plus games of NFL experience? That’s a shocker.

Anyway, welcome to the modern Steelers fan take but on steroids.

Why steroids? Because Steelers fans are witnessing a new quarterback for the first time in 18 years. Heck, many of them are dealing with a new quarterback for the first time ever. Not only are these fans experiencing the realities of a Steelers quarterback who isn’t named Big Ben Roethlisberger, but they’re doing so in the age of social media, where logic and rational thought go to die and come back as the ghosts of ALL-CAPS rants and steaming-mad emojis. Making matters worse is the fact that the man replacing No. 7, the aforementioned Pickett, is a rookie, meaning, he’s just a baby in the world of NFL quarterbacks. Sure, he’s 24 and “NFL-ready,” but age means nothing if it doesn’t come with experience. And as far as being “NFL-ready,” to quote my high school geometry teacher when asked about extra credit: “There’s no such creature.”

Nobody is NFL-ready until the league makes them ready.

Pickett clearly isn’t ready, and if you don’t believe me, you can check out his small sample size of a career stat line that includes three touchdowns to eight interceptions, along with a “career” quarterback rating of 71.8. If numbers aren’t enough for you, you can also retweet those All-22 videos that the arm-chair Ron Jaworski's of the world incessantly post on Twitter which highlight the many times Pickett missed a wide-open receiver or threw a ball into the ground in the most-recent Steelers game.

It’s not that Steelers fans are mad or upset that Pickett is struggling during his rookie campaign as the starting quarterback. It’s that they have the nerve to act surprised.

Why are they surprised? If you’re one of them, let me ask you directly: Why are you surprised? What did you expect, sunshine and roses after six-plus games? Did you realistically expect Pickett to have a career that started out just like Dan Marino, the fellow University of Pittsburgh Panthers quarterback who the Steelers famously passed on in the 1983 NFL Draft? The Dolphins were lucky enough to not pass on Marino, a man who was head and shoulders above every other quarterback in Miami the moment he signed his rookie contract.

That’s incredibly rare, so rare, in fact, that it’s hard to come up with many more examples of rookie quarterbacks who excelled out of the gate.

Being a rookie quarterback in the NFL is a lot like singing karaoke in a loud bar when you’re unsure of the lyrics to the song you’re trying to perform; you likely don’t have the confidence to sing the song without following the words on the monitor, which makes you look silly and sound off-key.

Pickett is still out of tune after six-plus singing lessons, which is more normal than it is alarming.

The worst thing the Steelers can do right now is pull Pickett out of the lineup in favor of (insert your preferred bandaid of a quarterback here).

Another bad thing would be to use a second-straight first-round pick on a quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Steelers must avoid that temptation at all costs. Why? There is no guarantee that this second-straight first-round pick (presumably a top-five selection) won’t be the next Baker Mayfield or Sam Darnold.

Also, that’s the kind of panic move a bad organization usually makes.

One thing the Steelers have going for them right now—despite the fact that it infuriates the media and their fans—is their willingness to be patient and allow the process to play out.

There isn’t a more thorough and important process than the development of a young quarterback.

It’s not always pretty, and it’s usually not instantaneous, but if it works out, you’ve bought yourself about 10 years of relevance.

The Steelers have to allow the process to play out before they can be sure of anything regarding Kenny Pickett and his future as their starting quarterback.

I would suggest you do the same thing.

How to watch Steelers vs. Colts: Time, TV Schedule, and game information

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 11/25/2022 - 5:30am
Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

All the information needed to watch, listen, stream, or follow the Steelers game on Monday night against the Colts in Indianapolis.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are hitting the road after their only set of back-to-back home games this season. This week, it’s a prime time matchup for Monday Night Football in Indianapolis against the Colts.

Can the Steelers offense keep from checking out for a good portion of the game? Will the Steelers defense be able to stop the Colts potent running attack like they have been able to do the last two games? Will the two units play complimentary football?

This Monday will answer these questions as the Steelers look to get their second road win of the season. Make sure you get all the information you need below so you can enjoy the Steelers Week 12 showdown. The latest odds are per DraftKings Sportsbook.

Week 12:

Game: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Indianapolis Colts

Date: Monday, November 28

Kickoff: 4:25 P.M. ET

Venue: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN

Odds: Pittsburgh (+2.5); O/U (39)

Weather: Live weather update

TV Channel: Broadcast locally on WPXI and nationally on ESPN with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman as commentators and Lisa Salters as the sideline reporter.

Online: NFL Game Pass offers live games for international viewers (excluding USA, Canada, and China) and replays of every game upon conclusion with a paid subscription. A subscription to NFL+ Premium offers nationally televised games with a subscription in the U.S. fuboTV also allows you to stream NFL games online with a subscription. NFL Game Center will update the action on a play-by-play basis.

Radio: Steeler Nation Radio with Bill Hillgrove, Craig Wolfley, and Max Starks. The broadcast will be live on WDVE 102.5 FM and WBGG 970 AM in the Pittsburgh area or check the list of Steelers Radio Affiliates. Viewers can listen anywhere in the world online via Steelers.com, but the Steelers Official Mobile App does have geographical restrictions. The Steelers broadcast is also available on Westwood One radio or SiriusXM Radio on channel 226 or channel 81.

You can also follow Behind the Steel Curtain on Twitter or in the game thread article to catch all of the highlights. Be sure to check back with BTSC after the game for our post-match roundup, and subscribe to BTSC Steelers Radio on YouTube to catch The Steelers Post Game Show with Jeff Hartman, Bryan Anthony Davis, and Dave Schofield.

Podcast Roundup: All the latest of the BTSC family podcasts

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 11/25/2022 - 4:30am

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 three 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:

What Yinz Talkin’ Bout: Blames, Games and Automobiles

What Yinz Talkin’ Bout is the conversation about the Steelers social media conversation. Hosts Kyle Chrise (@KyleChrise) & Greg Benevent (@GregBenevent) expose the hottest and most toxic takes on the black and gold. This Thanksgiving, fans aren’t just blaming Matt Canada, they’re blaming Teryl Austin now too! Plus, another episode of Kenny’s Growing Pains. And we’ll break down the latest Hall of Fame semi-finalists, and the recently released texts between Big Ben and AB.

Rundown of the show:

  • Toxic Takes
  • Blame Canada
  • Blame Austin
  • Draft Watchers in Nov
  • Kenny’s Growing Pains
  • Hall of Fame Semi-Finalists
  • AB’s Texts with Ben
  • Much, Much More

Take a deep dive into the world of Steelers social media from a yinzer perspective as BTSC proudly presents a very unique show that highlights “What Yinz Talkin’ Bout”.

The BTSC Thanksgiving Day Q&A: Giving Thanks

BTSC gives thanks with a Thanksgiving edition of the Q&A. Join Bryan Anthony Davis answering questions about turkey days and the Steelers.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • Giving Thanks
  • Steelers Q&A
Let’s Ride Friday: Hope still exists for the Steelers rebuild

The Pittsburgh Steelers are in the midst of a rebuild, and while the 3-7 start has been far from ideal, there is still hope for the future of the franchise. Jeff Hartman talks about this, the latest Steelers news, a rookie recap and the All Betz Are Off segment with Jeremy Betz on the latest episode of “Let’s Ride”.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • News and Notes
  • Steelers still rebuilding
  • A visit from Jeremy Betz in the All Betz Are Off segment
  • Hart to Heart
  • and MUCH MORE!

Jeff Hartman of BTSC walks you through everything you need to know regarding the black-and-gold.

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

Apple Users: CLICK HERE

Spotify: CLICK HERE

Google Play: CLICK HERE

Vikings vs. Patriots: Thanksgiving day open thread

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 11/24/2022 - 7:10pm
Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Enjoy the final game on Thanksgiving with fellow Steelers fans!

The Pittsburgh Steelers aren’t playing on Thanksgiving, which is something to be thankful for, but it doesn’t mean people here in the United States won’t be glued to their televisions to watch the football games.

Below is the schedule, and more information, on the late game on Thanksgiving:

How to Watch:

New England Patriots vs. Minnesota Vikings
Date: Thursday, Nov. 23
Venue: US Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
TV: NBC
Streaming: NFL+ / NBC Sports / Peacock

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

NE: +2.5
O/U: 42.5
Moneyline:
NE: +120
MIN: -140

Who do you think will win these games? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Indianapolis Colts in Week 12 of the regular season.

Steelers Injury Report: 7 players miss practice on Thursday

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 11/24/2022 - 12:51pm
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

With an extra day before submitting an injury report, almost half the report is players deemed to not be injury related.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are once again trying to get back on the winning track, this time on the road in Indianapolis for Monday Night Football. As the Steelers took the practice field for their first official day of preparation for the Colts, there were seven players who did not participate while none were limited. In the first injury report of the week courtesy of the Steelers PR Department, four players missed due to injury while three others were coaches decisions.

Steelers PR Department

In Sunday’s game, Jaylen Warren played only three offensive snaps before entering his hamstring and being ruled out for the game. In Tuesday’s press conference, Coach Tomlin said Warren‘s hamstring injury wasn’t significant but could still keep him out of the lineup. On Thursday, Warren was unable to take the practice field.

Another player who was unable to finish last Sunday’s game was center Mason Cole with a foot injury. On Thursday, Cole was unable to practice in his first opportunity.

The third player injured in the Steelers previous game was wide receiver Miles Boykin who was missed in his role as a gunner on special teams. Dealing with an oblique injury, Boykin missed the first official practice of the week.

After coming back to play in Week 8 after missing multiple games, Ahkello Witherspoon found himself missing another two games with his hamstring injury in Week 10 and Week 11. On Thursday, Witherspoon was still unable to practice.

There were three players who did not practice on Thursday that were designated as rest and not being injury related. Those players were Cam Heyward, T.J. Watt, and Larry Ogunjobi.

As for the Colts’ injury report, you can see the names below when available.

Bills vs. Lions / Giants vs. Cowboys: Thanksgiving day open thread

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 11/24/2022 - 11:25am
Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Enjoy the first two games on Thanksgiving with fellow Steelers fans!

The Pittsburgh Steelers aren’t playing on Thanksgiving, which is something to be thankful for, but it doesn’t mean people here in the United States won’t be glued to their televisions to watch the football games.

Below is the schedule, and more information, on the two early games on Thanksgiving:

How to Watch:

Buffalo Bills vs. Detroit Lions
Date: Thursday, Nov. 23
Venue: Ford Field, Detroit, MI
Time: 12:30 p.m. ET
TV: CBS
Streaming: NFL+ / Paramount+

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

DET: +9.5
O/U: 54
Moneyline:
DET: +370
BUF: -460

How to Watch:

New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys
Date: Thursday, Nov. 23
Venue: AT&T Field, Arlington, TX
Time: 4:30 p.m. ET
TV: FOX
Streaming: NFL+ / FOX Sports

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

NYG: +10
O/U: 45.5
Moneyline:
NYG: +390
DAL: -490

Who do you think will win these games? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Indianapolis Colts in Week 12 of the regular season.

Thanksgiving Day Games: Picks, odds and open threads

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 11/24/2022 - 10:30am
Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Thanksgiving Day Football is here! Check out the latest odds, picks and more.

The 2022 NFL regular season is here, and it’s not just Thursday, it’s Thanksgiving!! This means it’s time for NFL Football. There are three games on the holiday, and none of the games are on Amazon, so if you don’t have the streaming service you are in luck. But when it comes to storylines for these games, there are plenty surrounding this game.

As for the games themselves, below you’ll see some vital information for you to enjoy the contests. You’ll get odds for the game, check out our staff picks for the games and to use this comment section as an open thread for the games.

Let’s take a closer look...

How to Watch:

Buffalo Bills vs. Detroit Lions
Date: Thursday, Nov. 23
Venue: Ford Field, Detroit, MI
Time: 12:30 p.m. ET
TV: CBS
Streaming: NFL+ / Paramount+

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

DET: +9.5
O/U: 54
Moneyline:
DET: +370
BUF: -460

How to Watch:

New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys
Date: Thursday, Nov. 23
Venue: AT&T Field, Arlington, TX
Time: 4:30 p.m. ET
TV: FOX
Streaming: NFL+ / FOX Sports

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

NYG: +10
O/U: 45.5
Moneyline:
NYG: +390
DAL: -490

How to Watch:

New England Patriots vs. Minnesota Vikings
Date: Thursday, Nov. 23
Venue: US Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
TV: NBC
Streaming: NFL+ / NBC Sports / Peacock

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

NE: +2.5
O/U: 42.5
Moneyline:
NE: +120
MIN: -140

Staff Picks:

There are some prime time games where fans of the black-and-gold couldn’t care less who is victorious. This slate of Thanksgiving games would certainly fall into that category. A game between NFC North Detroit and AFC East Buffalo doesn’t register on most Pittsburgh fans’ minds right now. Throw in an NFC East grudge match followed by NFC North vs. AFC East and it should be a relaxing day of watching games. Plus, when the Steelers are 3-7 and have plenty of issues of their own there isn’t much to worry about for the rest of the league. However, it is football, and some football is better than no football at all.

Nonetheless, hopefully it’s a good game. Follow along with other Pittsburgh Steelers fans in the comment section below as the open thread.

In the meantime, be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold. And continue counting down the days until the Steelers travel to play the Indianapolis Colts in Week 12 of the regular season.

A Letter From the Editor: Giving thanks to BTSC, and the Steelers

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 11/24/2022 - 9:00am
Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

On this Thanksgiving, I want to take a minute to give thanks...

Today is Thanksgiving here in the continental United States, and I realize many reading this don’t celebrate this holiday.

That’s okay.

Is there ever a bad time to give thanks? To show appreciation? To me, I don’t think that time exists.

On this Thanksgiving I wanted to take the time to give thanks to a lot of people, and I want to start with you. Yes, you, the reader. Without you reading articles, being a part of the community and telling other Pittsburgh Steelers fans about the site makes this entire thing special.

I want to thank everyone who contributes to the editorial side of the site in some way. I have been so proud of the quality of the content which has been produced this season, and I’m not talking about the drivel I write every day. Whether it’s the long form features, film rooms or the latest news, it all makes this site unique and special. Without the editorial side, nothing else exists.

The podcast platform has turned into a network of shows which I didn’t see coming when we fully committed to the project prior to the 2020 season. However, this season I have thoroughly all of the shows we have put out. Sure, the season hasn’t turned out the way anyone thought or hoped, but the podcast team has been a steady force throughout the wins and losses.

It may seem odd, but I also want to thank the Steelers. 3-7 is not the start many expected, but I still love this football team. Watching them play still gets the juices flowing, and reignites the passion I have for the team. Without that passion I wouldn’t have this job, or the willingness to provide the content everyone who comes to this site regularly expects on a daily basis.

Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank my family. It isn’t always easy when people watch games with me and I have a laptop open and am feverishly typing during the game. It isn’t always easy when Dad has to leave the dinner table to go write a breaking news article. It isn’t always fun when I have to give an abbreviated “goodnight” regime due to having to record a podcast. A special thanks to my wife who has always recognized how this site/podcasts is a passion project.

While this is a job, I still find this site a lot of fun. I wish I had time to be in the comment section more, but I hope everyone realizes how thankful, and fortunate, I am to be the one steering this ship.

I hope you all enjoy this holiday, and let’s hope for some Steelers win down the stretch!

3 must-watch games for Steelers fans in Week 12

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 11/24/2022 - 7:30am
Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

There are several NFL games this week which Steelers fans could be interested in the outcome.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have to wait until Monday night in order to get back to their winning ways. With 15 other NFL games happening in Week 12 before the Steelers kick off, there are plenty of games to take in as fans wait through the weekend. Since most of the games involving the Steelers upcoming opponents are pretty lackluster, I’m outlining my favorite three games this week even if there is no connection to the Steelers.

First off, lets check out how the three games from last week ended up. Of the three games, only one ended up within one score. When it comes to the betting lines for the game, the following information is the current consensus spread this week as reported by DraftKings Sportsbook.

Cleveland Browns (23) at Buffalo Bills (31)

If Steelers fans believe they scored a touchdown in garbage time, then the Browns last touchdown definitely fits the definition as they scored with 0:25 left to bring the game to within eight points. So after scoring on their first possession and last possession, the Browns only put up nine points throughout the rest of the game compared to the Bills’ 31.

Philadelphia Eagles (17) at Indianapolis Colts (16)

If there’s anything that could be taken from this game, it’s that the Indianapolis Colts defense is legit. They are at the top of the league in yardage surrendered and do all they can to keep their poorly run offense in the game. In fact, it wasn’t until the final two minutes where the Eagles scored a touchdown to take their first and only lead in the game.

Carolina Panthers (3) at Baltimore Ravens (13)

I don’t know what to make of this game. Do the Panthers really have a good defense, or were the Ravens just flat beyond anything else. This game was 3–3 until there was less than 10 minutes left in the game. We’ll see what this means for Baltimore moving forward if they are struggling or if the Panthers just happened to catch them on a down day but couldn’t take full advantage.

For Week 12, here are the three games which I think are the most much-watch games, whether or not they affect the Steelers:

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys Thursday at 4:30 PM on FOX
Spread: DAL (-10)

It’s a 10-point spread, but this is an NFC East matchup between two teams who are 7–3 and yet neither one of them leads the division. One of the Giants three losses was to Dallas early in the season, and a lot of their wins are over teams that are struggling at various times throughout the season. After the Cowboys crushed the Vikings on Sunday, are they still going to be flying high on Thursday or will they have a bit of a letdown? This game I think is the most intriguing matchup on Thanksgiving as it will ultimately determine who has the advantage of making a run at the division.

Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans Sunday at 1:00 PM on CBS
Spread: CIN (-2)

Not only does this matchup involve an AFC North team, but it’s one of the lower point spreads on the week. It will be interesting to see how the Bengals handle the Titans on a regular week of preparation after facing the Steelers following their bye week. This is the part of the season for the Bengals which they will either make some noise or fade into obscurity. Personally, I want to see the Titans run all over them.

Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday at 1:00 PM on CBS
Spread: BAL (-3.5)

This is the only game I featured with a team that is a future opponent of the Steelers as they still have to play the Ravens twice in 2022. Technically one of the game is in 2023, but it is the 2022 season. After the Ravens struggled mightily with the Panthers at home, I’m curious to see how they respond on the road to a team that has kept things close in most of their losses and are coming off their bye week.

So there are the three main matchups which I believe Steelers fans would see as a must-watch game. This week, I just went with what I thought could be fun games to view and some AFC North teams with intriguing matchups.

Obviously Steelers games are the ones fans care the most about, but there is other good football to be watched. Which of these other games will be the one you will check in on the most? Make sure you vote in the poll and give your thoughts in the comments below.

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