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Updated 2023 NFL Draft order after Week 11

Behind the Steel Curtain - Tue, 11/22/2022 - 6:00am
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Some are looking at the playoff picture, while others are looking at the 2023 NFL Draft order.

After Week 11 of NFL action, there are some teams who are enamored with the Playoff Picture. Regardless of conference, trying to figure out the jockeying for playoff positioning is always an enjoyable time for everyone involved.

Then there are the teams who find themselves on the outside looking in, and the only thing they are waiting for is the news they are mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. For those teams, it is never too late to start looking ahead. Not to the playoffs, but to the upcoming draft.

Where will their favorite team draft? Will they have a Top 10 pick?

Well, for those teams wondering, here is an updated Top 10 for the 2023 NFL Draft:

1. Houston Texans (1-8-1)
2. Carolina Panthers (3-8)
3. Chicago Bears (3-8)
4. Las Vegas Raiders (3-7)
5. Seattle Seahawks (from Denver Broncos) (3-7)
6. Detroit Lions (from Los Angeles Rams) (3-7)
7. Houston Texans (from Cleveland Browns) (3-7)
8. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-7)
9. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-7)
10. Philadelphia Eagles (from New Orleans Saints) (4-7)

For the Pittsburgh Steelers faithful, it is depressing having to look at the NFL Draft order with a 3-7 record, but this is where the team finds itself after a very underwhelming first half of the season.

Some find solace of a bad season in the team’s potential draft positioning, and when you throw in the 2nd Round pick the Steelers received from the Chicago Bears for Chase Claypool, it makes this draft order even sweeter. Three potential picks in the Top 40 could be what the team needs to turn their fortunes around.

Picks are nice, but the organization has to hit on those draft picks to truly turn things around. Nonetheless, we’ll keep you updated on the draft order as the season progresses, 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 on Monday Night Football.

Podcast Roundup: All the latest of the BTSC family podcasts

Behind the Steel Curtain - Tue, 11/22/2022 - 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:

BAD Language: Hard Times for the Steelers, Daddy!

The Steelers are officially enduring hard times, let’s take a look at how all hope was dashed in a loss to Cincinnati. BTSC podcast producer Bryan Anthony Davis decided to make no apologies and share his black-and-gold brand of enlightenment. Join BAD preaching his own gospel of the hypocycloids on the new show, BAD Language.

  • News and Notes
  • How the Steelers reach hard times
  • and MUCH MORE!
Steelers Hangover: Bad scheme, worse execution and more make up the myriad of ‘22 Steelers woes

The Pittsburgh Steelers are struggling an we, outside of the locker room, have been trying to pinpoint the problem all season. What is it? Join BTSC’s Bryan Anthony Davis, Tony Defeo and Shannon White for another Steelers Hangover in the 2022 season.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • Lack of Scheme, Execution, or Both for the ‘22 Steelers?
  • and MUCH MORE!
From the Steelers’ Cutting Room Floor: The Bengals exposed key flaws on the improving Steelers

The Steelers have been showing improvement and, despite the loss to Cincy, looked to be taking a step forward. Cincinnati, however, managed to uncover flaws and expose them to the football world. Geoffrey Benedict examines this and more on the latest episode of BTSC’s “From the Cutting Room Floor”.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • Lessons from the loss to Cincinnati
  • Major flaws exposed
  • and MUCH MORE!

Geoffrey walks you through everything you need to know regarding the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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

Apple Users: CLICK HERE

Spotify: CLICK HERE

Google Play: CLICK HERE

Cardinals vs. 49ers: Monday Night Football picks, odds and open thread

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 11/21/2022 - 6:15pm
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Monday Night Football is here! Check out the latest odds, picks and more.

The 2022 NFL regular season is in full swing, and it’s an NFC West battle in Week 11. The Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers go head-to-head. When it comes to storylines, there are plenty surrounding this game.

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

Let’s take a closer look ...

How to Watch:

Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers
Date: Monday, Nov. 21
Venue: International Series: Mexico
Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN
Streaming: ESPN App, ESPN+

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

ARI: +10
O/U: 43.5
Moneyline:
SF: -450
SF: +360

Staff Picks:

This is a game black-and-gold fans won’t be watching intently considering this game has no ramifications on the team’s season, or draft order. Obviously, Steelers fans care about teams they might face in the future, which is neither of these two teams in prime time, and teams who could potentially impact where they draft in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Cardinals are going to be without Kyler Murray for another week, making this game an uphill battle for the 49ers. Still, some football is better than no football, so 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 play the Indianapolis Colts in Week 12 of the regular season.

Cardinals vs. 49ers: Monday Night Football picks, odds and open thread

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 11/21/2022 - 6:15pm
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Monday Night Football is here! Check out the latest odds, picks and more.

The 2022 NFL regular season is in full swing, and it’s an NFC West battle in Week 11. The Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers go head-to-head. When it comes to storylines, there are plenty surrounding this game.

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

Let’s take a closer look...

How to Watch:

Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers
Date: Monday, Nov. 21
Venue: State Farm Stadium, Scottsdale, AZ
Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN
Streaming: ESPN App, ESPN+

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

ARI: +10
O/U: 43.5
Moneyline:
SF: -450
SF: +360

Staff Picks:

This is a game black-and-gold fans won’t be watching intently considering this game has no ramifications on the team’s season, or draft order. Obviously, Steelers fans care about teams they might face in the future, which is neither of these two teams in prime time, and teams who could potentially impact where they draft in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Cardinals are going to be without Kyler Murray for another week, making this game an uphill battle for the 49ers. Still, some football is better than no football, so 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 play the Indianapolis Colts in Week 12 of the regular season.

AFC North Recap: The line of demarcation is clear in the AFC North

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 11/21/2022 - 2:00pm
Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

There were two winners, and two losers in Week 11 of the regular season.

The eleventh week of NFL football is behind us, and it was quite the week in the AFC North division. With that said, it is time to see how the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns all did in the week that was.

Baltimore Ravens - 13
Carolina Panthers - 3

The Ravens were coming off their bye week, and it looked like they were mentally still on their bye week throughout the majority of the game vs. Carolina at M&T Bank Stadium. Nonetheless, good teams find ways to win ugly games, and I’d call the Ravens a good team. I’d also call this game a very ugly win, but better to win ugly than to lose pretty. The Ravens win and move on.

Buffalo Bills - 31
Cleveland Browns - 23

This game was intended to be played in Buffalo, but after 6 feet of snow caused the game to be moved to Detroit at Ford Field, it turned this game into a track meet. A track meet the Browns couldn’t withstand against the high-flying Bills. For Cleveland fans, they only have one more week to get through before Deshaun Watson is able to play for the team against his former team, the Texans. Either way, the Browns find themselves looking at the future, not necessarily the playoffs in 2022.

Cincinnati Bengals - 37
Pittsburgh Steelers - 30

The Bengals had an up-and-down start to the 2022 season, but coming off the bye week they were more than prepared for the Steelers in Week 11. They orchestrated their game plan to near perfection, and while the Steelers put up a fight, it wasn’t enough to take out the AFC representative in the Super Bowl last year. Either way, the Steelers, now at 3-7, are wondering what will become of this roster this offseason as they try to must what pride is remaining of their disappointing season.

AFC North Standings

Baltimore Ravens - 7-3
Cincinnati Bengals - 6-4
Cleveland Browns - 3-7
Pittsburgh Steelers - 3-7

Week 12 AFC North Schedule:

Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans — 1 p.m. ET, Sunday
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cleveland Browns — 1 p.m. ET, Sunday
Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars — 1 p.m. ET, Sunday
Pittsburgh Steelers at Indianapolis Colts — 8:15 p.m. ET, Monday (MNF)

A look ahead...

The next four opponents for all AFC North teams:

Baltimore Ravens: at Jaguars, vs. Broncos, at Steelers, at Browns
Cleveland Browns: vs. Buccaneers, at Texans, at Bengals, vs. Ravens
Pittsburgh Steelers: at Colts (MNF), at Falcons, vs. Ravens, at Panthers
Cincinnati Bengals: at Titans, vs. Chiefs, vs. Browns, at Buccaneers

Steelers Week 11 snap counts show a team that is better, but still not good

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 11/21/2022 - 12:30pm
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Steelers score 30 points, and still lose.

The Steelers highest scoring offensive output in a year came right with their defense giving up the most points they have given up in...5 weeks. The Bengals asserted themselves as the better team often in this game, and yet the Steelers only lost by a touchdown. We don’t usually take moral victories in Pittsburgh, but the growth of the young talent on offense is heartening, with their best two games on offense coming the last two weeks.

Offense

The offensive line outside of Mason Cole and Kenny Pickett all played the entire game again. The offensive line played well, especially when you consider the quality of the Bengals defensive line. The Steelers ran for the 6th most yards the Bengals have given up this year, and passed for the 4th most yards the Bengals have given up. They scored the second most points the Bengals have allowed also. The 30 points the Steelers scored was the 6th time in the last two seasons, they allow 30 points in less than 20% of their games.

Kenny Pickett has played better, throwing for 262 yards per game, 1 TD and 0 INT for an 83.3 passer rating the last two games, compared to 192 yards a game, 2 TDs and 8 INTs for a 66.8 passer rating in the first five games he played.

With Jaylen Warren out after only three snaps, the Steelers kept Najee Harris on the field for all but 6 snaps, and again Harris delivered, running for 90 yards on 20 carries. Harris now has 2 TDs and 189 yards on 40 carries (4.7ypc) the last two weeks, compared to 361 yards on 108 carries (3.3ypc) and 1 TD the previous 8 games. Benny Snell saw his first three snaps of the season with Warren out, but did not touch the football.

The Steelers tight ends played less than they did in Week 10, and dropped back to 1.2 snaps per play, with Derek Watt getting more snaps than Connor Heyward. Pat Freiermuth led the team in targets, gaining 79 yards and taking over the title of the Steelers leading receiver. Fifteen tight end targets compared to 16 wide receiver targets is an interesting balance, and really shows that Kenny Pickett knows the tight end position and Pat Freiermuth in specific are a key strength of the Steelers offense.

Diontae Johnson caught 4 passes on 5 targets, and George Pickens caught 4 of his 6, but their results were very different, with Pickens recording 83 yards and a touchdown and Diontae Johnson managing only 21 yards. And now George Pickens has passed Johnson in receiving yards on the season despite Johnson being targeted 62% more times than Pickens. Johnson dropped from the Steelers leading receiver to third place in this game.

Steven Sims struggled in this game, failing to catch either of his two targets and running for -3 yards to go with some rough plays on returns, and Gunner Olszewski saw more snaps as the game went on, where he was more effective, catching two of three targets for 39 yards.

The Steelers offense was by far the best it has been this season, and yet there are problems that are easy to point out. The Steelers have young talent that is growing together and playing better right now, they need to fill in the gaps with better support players and. . . you know...maybe...a better scheme?

Defense

The Steelers finally got to show their three safety sets, with Minkah Fitzpatrick, Terrell Edmunds and Damontae Kazee all playing in the same game for the first time this season. They were joined by Levi Wallace and Arthur Maulet as the main defensive backs.

That’s not an inspiring group of cornerbacks. Sutton and Wallace are fine No. 2 corners, but have both shown they struggle to cover high end talents like Tee Higgins, who torched the Steelers for 148 yards on 13 targets. Arthur Maulet similarly is a depth piece more than a good nickel back.

It also stands out that Kazee played almost the same percentage of snaps as Tre Norwood did in Week 1. I’ll need to see the All-22 film to see how he was used, but in pure snap counts, it looks like the Steelers addition of Kazee is just an upgrade on Tre Norwood.

With the problems the secondary has, upgrading Tre Norwood wouldn’t make my list of needed improvements.

Beyond the Steelers inability to cover Higgins, the linebackers being torched by the Bengals running backs stands out as a serious problem from this game. The Bengals backs combined to gain 94 yards and score 3 touchdowns on 7 targets. Those 242 yards and 3 touchdowns from Higgins, Mixon, and Perine represent almost 60% of the Bengals total yards and 75% of their touchdowns.

It makes sense when you look at the snap counts and see their best cover linebacker, Devin Bush, playing less than either Myles Jack or Robert Spillane, who are much better defenders against the run. The Bengals run a lot of receivers in their offense and the Steelers run a lot of dime against the Bengals. With the Steelers consistently using Robert Spillane as their dime linebacker, it isn’t hard for the Bengals to reliably get a back matched up on Spillane and it worked in this game a lot.

The best part of the Steelers defense in this game was the front. Cameron Heyward played another great game, Larry Ogunjobi struggled, but not too much, and while the effort and talent was obvious all day from Alex Highsmith and T.J. Watt, the Bengals tackles played great and kept them in check most of the time. T.J. Watt is still on a snap count, playing significantly fewer snaps than Highsmith did.

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 on Monday Night Football.

What went right, and wrong, for the Steelers vs. the Bengals in Week 11

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 11/21/2022 - 11:31am
Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Not everything was bad, and we try to help decipher both after the Week 11 loss.

The Pittsburgh Steelers were losers in Week 11, dropping their seventh game of the season by the score of 37-30 to the Cincinnati Bengals at Acrisure Stadium. This was a big game, and many believed the future of the Steelers’ 2022 season hung in the balance during the game. Well, after the fall out you can imagine how fans felt as if things are done for the team this year.

While hard to disagree with this sentiment, the fact remains not everything that took place for the Steelers in Week 11 was bad. In all reality, there was a lot of good which can be gleaned from the loss, even though there was plenty of bad to go around too.

This makes it extremely difficult to decipher the good from the bad, so it is at this time you let us, the BTSC podcast team, help you understand what went right, and what went wrong.

Check out the Post-Game podcast where we dive head-first into the numbers of the game that was, as well as give fans a voice with the show which is also simulcast live on YouTube and Facebook Live.

If you want a more studio sound, check out Let’s Ride for a recap of the game, commentary and the fan-favorite Winners and Losers segment which airs after every game.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news, notes and podcasts surrounding the Steelers as they hope to right the ship in Week 12 on Monday Night Football vs. the Indianapolis Colts.

Check out the aforementioned shows in the players below:

BTSC Post-Game Podcast

Let’s Ride

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

Apple Users: CLICK HERE

Spotify: CLICK HERE

Google Play: CLICK HERE

Betting Preview: Steelers currently 3-point underdogs vs. the Colts

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 11/21/2022 - 11:00am
Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

According to the oddsmakers, the home field advantage is about all that separates the two teams.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off another loss, this time at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals. Next up for the Steelers is a trip to Indianapolis to take on the Colts on Monday Night Football. When it comes to the betting lines for Monday’s game, the following information is the current consensus spread and over/under for the Steelers this week as reported by DraftKings Sportsbook.

Game Info: Week 12 Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Indianapolis Colts Monday, Nov. 28, 2022 at 8:15 PM

Steelers betting line: +3

Over/under: 39.5

Last Regular Season Meeting: Steelers (W) 28-24 vs Colts

Win streak: 7 games PIT

Last 3 Meetings: PIT 3 - 0 IND

Last 10 Meetings: PIT 8 - 2 IND

The opening line on the game was at +4.5 after the schedule was announced in May. Based on the first eleven weeks of the NFL season the line has moved somewhat in favor of the Steelers, but not enough to make them the favorite. The line was actually +2.5 earlier this morning before moving to +3.

Being the underdogs on Sunday, the Steelers have a current moneyline of +130 to win the game straight up, which is the equivalent of 13/10 odds. So a $20 bet placed on the Steelers over the Colts would have a payout of $46 ($26 plus the original $20 bet). The Colts have a current moneyline of -150, or 2/3 odds. Therefore the same $20 bet placed on Indianapolis to win straight up would have a payout of $33.33 ($13.33 plus the original $20 bet).

The Steelers are 3-5 against the spread in their last 8 games played and are 5-1 against the spread in their last 6 games against the Colts. The Steelers also have gone UNDER in 4 of their last 6 games and have gone UNDER in 6 of their last 7 games played in Indianapolis.

If looking at the futures bets at DraftKings.com, the Steelers odds to win the Super Bowl are at 500/1 after Week 11. The Steelers odds to win the AFC Championship are 400/1 odds. As for winning the AFC North, the Steelers are currently at 60/1 odds behind the Browns at 40/1 odds, the Bengals at 9/2, and the Ravens as the favorite at 1/6 odds.

5 Winners and 7 Losers after the Steelers loss to the Bengals

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 11/21/2022 - 9:30am
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Time to take a look at who would be considered a ‘Winner’ and a ‘Loser’ after the Steelers latest action on the gridiron.

The Pittsburgh Steelers were back on the field Sunday when they played the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 11 of regular season action. The Steelers were losers in the contest, but that doesn’t mean every player had a good or bad performance.

Players who play well can be considered ‘Winners’, while those who left a lot to be desired can be called ‘Losers’. It may sound harsh, but it is the crux of this exercise.

Let’s check in to see who fell on which side of the ledger after the latest game...

Winners

George Pickens
Stat Line: 4 catches, 83 yards, 20.8 average, 1 TD, 33 long, 6 targets

On a day when Diontae Johnson wasn’t the focus of the offensive plan, Pickens seemed to have his way with the Bengals’ secondary. When you consider what his stat line could have looked like had Kenny Pickett’s pass not been overthrown, and Dan Moore not held on that same play, or if Pickens hadn’t dropped the would-be touchdown in the 4th quarter. Nonetheless, Pickens still had a tremendous game, and has shown he is more than just a one-trick pony. Sure, Pickens got disqualified from the game, but that isn’t enough for me to keep him off the winners list.

1st Half Offense
Stat Line: 20 1st half points

I’m not about to let how the game ended skew my view of how the game started. If the halves had been flipped and the Steelers finished the game strong, narratives would be different, in my opinion. There were moments when fans wondered if the offense would ever score 20 points in a game. They did it in the first half. Matt Canada called a tremendous game in the first half, but sadly it was followed by the second half.

Najee Harris
Stat Line: 20 carries, 90 yards, 4.5 ave., 2 TD, 19 long / 4 catches, 26 yards, 6.5 ave., 12 long, 6 targets

When the team was without Jaylen Warren due to a hamstring injury, it was a bell cow night for Najee Harris. Harris responded with a tremendous game on the ground, averaging 4.5 yards per carry. Sadly, when the offense lose Mason Cole to a foot injury midway through the game, they were unable to continue to run the ball between the tackles, which they were extremely successful doing in the first half, and it forced Harris to the outside where he is less effective. Nonetheless, since the bye Harris has had 99 and 90 yards rushing, and the hope is he is on his way back to the form we saw in 2021.

T.J. Watt
Stat Line: 6 tackles, 2 solo, 0.5 sack, 2 pass defenses, 1 QB Hit, 1 INT

If I had a vote for Steelers MVP, it would go to T.J. Watt. He is that valuable to the team. His interception of Joe Burrow, his second interception of the Bengals quarterback this season, just shows how freakish and athletic Watt is when on the field. The Bengals did everything they could to eliminate Watt from the game, and he still made plays. Watt is a winner.

Levi Wallace
Stat Line: 4 tackles, 3 solo, 2 pass defenses, 1 INT

Is Levi Wallace Ahkello Witherspoon 2.0? When I say this, I think back to how Witherspoon finished the 2021 season on his tear of interceptions. Since coming off his injured shoulder, and the bye week, Wallace has had two interceptions in two games. While he might not be the answer at cornerback for the Steelers, he absolutely could be a piece of the puzzle moving forward.

Losers

2nd Half Offense
Stat Line: 10 points scored

For as good as the offense was in the first half, they were equally bad in the second half. The Steelers didn’t even register a first down till almost the end of the third quarter, and even when they were gifted good field position they did nothing with it. The play calling in the second half was abysmal, and downright strange at times. An example would be after their lone third down conversion in third quarter, a go route to Pickens along the right sideline, the offense goes hurry up and tries one of the more awkward flea flickers you’ll ever see. Pickett has to throw it away, followed by a negative run and a sack. The success they saw vanished, and that was the trend for the third and fourth quarters until garbage time.

Matt Canada
Stat Line: Mind numbing play calls/predictability

Yes, I did say earlier in the winners section how Canada called a good first half, but the second half was bad enough to get the play caller on the losers list. It wasn’t just the aforementioned sequence, but a series of play calls which became very predictable. Plays where you could tell based on the down, distance, and formation the Bengals knew exactly what the Steelers wanted to do offensively. There is no greater slap in the face as a play caller than someone saying you are predictable, and that’s what Canada was in the second half.

Whoever was guarding Tee Higgins
Stat Line: 9 catches, 148 yards, 16.4 average, 33 yard long, 13 targets

No Ja’Marr Chase, no problem, right? Wrong. Tee Higgins did his best Chase impersonation Sunday, and he did it to near perfection. The only thing Higgins didn’t do was to score a touchdown. 148 yards, and he was breaking off chunk plays with ease. He was beating anyone who stepped opposite him, and it was painful to watch.

Whoever was tasked with stopping Perine
Stat Line: 11 carries, 30 yards, 2.7 average, 8 yard long / 4 receptions, 52 yards, 13.0 average, 3 TDs, 29 yard long, 4 targets

The Bengals were coming off their bye week, and you could tell their plan of attack, especially in the first half, was to stretch the Steelers defense by using their running backs in the passing game. And it worked. Perine and Mixon both had solid days, and after Mixon left with a concussion Perine continued to do damage to the tune of 3 receiving touchdowns. He beat Myles Jack, Robert Spillane and Devin Bush. It didn’t matter, and it, too, was painful to watch.

Penalties
Stat Line: 8-for-70

The Steelers are a team who cannot withstand several self-inflicted wounds, but the penalties were a big issue in Week 11. Pat Freiermuth and Dan Moore both notched holding calls, Diontae Johnson and Kenny Pickett had false starts and of course there was the illegal man downfield call. These penalties are the things which can be fixed, but clearly get overlooked.

Red-Zone Defense
Stat Line: 3-for-3

Bend, but don’t break defense is a philosophy which can win you a lot of games in the NFL. The key to this philosophy though is to not break. The Steelers broke plenty as the Bengals were perfect in the red-zone, and they surrendered 37 points. Yes, 37 points. There wasn’t a pick-six thrown by Pickett, and while the offense didn’t bail out the defense, the defense certainly didn’t help by giving up 37 points. Not sure if I mentioned the point total...

2nd Half Adjustments
Stat Line: Where were they?

I think back to the defensive adjustments made in vs. the Miami Dolphins on Sunday Night Football, and I expected those type of changes vs. the Bengals Sunday. If they happened, it didn’t work. On offense, I was hoping to see the offense continue to move the ball and get creative when it was a good time to do so. If it happened, it didn’t work. This is when coaching matters, and it feels as if the Steelers were left on the short end of that stick more often than not this season.

If you want a more detailed look at the above list, check out my “Let’s Ride” podcast where I outline each Winner and Loser, and MORE!

Report Card: Grading the Steelers Week 11 loss to the Bengals

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 11/21/2022 - 8:30am
Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Looking at how the Steelers played against the Bengals.

The Steelers entered Week 11 with a chance to improve their record to 4-6 and a 2-1 AFC North record. Instead, the Steelers sit at 3-7, needing to go 5-1-1 or better to get back to .500.

But in this pivotal loss, the Steelers showed a lot of good mixed in with their failings. Let’s look at who played well, and who didn’t, in Week 11.

Offense

In Week 10 Kenny Pickett and the Steelers passing game were better than they had been so far in 2022, with Pickett setting season highs for passer rating and yards per attempt for full games of play. One of the keys for Week 11 was for Pickett to continue to play well against a much better Bengals defense, and he did, setting a new high for passer rating and his second-best yards per attempt, while throwing for a touchdown and again avoiding turnovers.

Pickett’s top target was Pat Freiermuth, who was targeted a career high 12 times, gaining 79 yards. George Pickens was targeted 6 times, catching 4 for 83 yards and a TD, while dropping a pass that would have very likely added a touchdown and 49 yards to his total. Pickens, like many of his teammates, had a roller coaster of a day, making big plays, but also his big drop, and worse, his actions on the onside kick that rightly got him ejected and will likely also see him getting a letter from the league this week.

It stood out to me that it was the Bengals pulling out a hard-fought win while it was the Steelers losing their composure. Let’s hope the team solves that issue quickly. The Bengals are one of the better run defending teams, and even with defensive tackle D.J. Reader returning, the Steelers ran for 102 yards and 2 touchdowns, with Najee Harris averaging 4.5 yards on his 20 carries.

The Steelers 30 points is their highest total in 364 days, and their 2.3 points per drive would be a top ten offense this season. At the same time the Steelers failed to gain even 10 yards on 7 of their 13 possessions, the Steelers were a mixture of the team we’ve been hoping they could become and the team we are hoping they can stop being all at the same time, but it was a big improvement and they put up plenty enough points to win.

Honor Roll: Run blocking, Kenny Pickett’s continued growth, Pat Freiermuth, Pickens’ catches.

Demerits: Pass blocking, Kenny Pickett’s random dumb plays, Diontae Johnson, Pickens’ dirty play on the onside kick.

Final Grade: B Defense

T.J. Watt’s second game back is usually the one where he shows up in a big way, and while he only recorded a half-sack, he also had a ridiculous interception. Alex Highsmith got the other half of that sack, and despite good effort only had one tackle to go with it. The big story of this game for me was the job the Bengals’ tackles did facing Watt and Highsmith. Cameron Heyward had a strong game, though the rest of the line didn’t stand out much at all.

The linebackers did a good job in run defense, but Myles Jack and Robert Spillane were exploited in coverage, and the Bengals running backs gained 94 yards and 3 touchdowns on 7 combined targets.

Levi Wallace joins the list of players who had an up and down game, recording an interception, and showing some top notch coverage snaps but also getting absolutely destroyed on several snaps that led to big plays.

Honor Roll: Cameron Heyward, T.J. Watt’s interception.

Demerits: Inability to cover Tee Higgins, or any running back, or even Trenton Irwin, who more than doubled his career receiving yards.

Final Grade: F Special Teams

The theme of the game was mixing really good plays and terrible ones, and special teams is no different, especially Steven Sims who had a number of really good returns mixed in with horrible ones. Pressley Harvin III had some disappointing punts, but at least the good outweighed the bad for him. Matthew Wright had a very good game, hitting all three of his field goals and consistently dropping kickoffs right outside the end zone, leading to a good number of Bengals drives starting behind the 25-yard line.

Honor Roll: Matthew Wright, punt coverage.

Demerits: Steven Sims going backward.

Final Grade: C Overall

This loss was costly, and it feels bad, but frankly? This game felt like the Bengals being back to the team they should be more than the Steelers being bad. It took a lot of mistakes from the Bengals for the Steelers to win in Week 1, the Steelers were right in this game despite the Bengals playing a much better game. That doesn’t make up for the results, just tempers the harshness of my grading. Frankly, the Steelers looked like a much better team than they have for most of the season. I nearly gave this team a C for this game.

Final Grade: D

Now it’s your turn to tell us what you think. Vote your grade for the Steelers overall performance and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Analyzing the Steelers Week 11 loss to the Bengals, by the numbers

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 11/21/2022 - 7:15am
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Steelers scored their most points of the season, but it ultimately didn’t matter

The Pittsburgh Steelers came out strong in the first half against the Cincinnati Bengals, but had a string of problems in the final 30 minutes. It was a tale of two halves for the Steelers offense, and the defense had problems in the passing games all night.

So without further ado, here are some of the numbers involved in the Steelers loss to the Bengals.

+2

Just like the previous week, the Pittsburgh Steelers won the turnover battle as they intercepted Joe Burrow twice while playing a clean game. While this number goes a long way, it wasn’t enough for Steelers. In the first half the Levi Wallace interception was possibly a six-point swing as the Steelers did not give up a field goal at the end of the first half and instead got one for themselves. The three points off the other takeaway was quite disappointing as the Steelers didn’t take advantage of great field position and settled for a field goal without a first down. Although the Steelers need to continue to win this battle each game, sometimes it just isn’t enough.

71% vs. 30%

It definitely was a tale of two halves for the Steelers on Sunday against the Bengals. Looking at their third-down conversion, the Steelers were 5 of 7 in the first half for a 71% conversion rate. But in the second half, the Steelers were only 3 of 10 for 30% with no third-down conversions in the third quarter as they didn’t even have a first down. Additionally, the Steelers were 0 for 1 on fourth-down conversion in the second half.

7

The biggest problem with the Steelers defense throughout the game was the number of chunk plays they surrendered. In the passing game, Steelers gave up seven plays of 20 yards or more. Of those seven receptions, they went to six different players.

8 for 70

After only having three accepted penalties the previous week, two of which came on special teams, the Steelers had eight penalties for 70 yards against the Bengals. Not only were the penalties costly, they came at very inopportune times. In the first quarter, a 15-yard facemask penalty by Robert Spillane turned a third-down stop into a first down and ultimately a touchdown. The Steelers also had back-to-back penalties when they were on the edge of field goal range and ended up punting.

10

One issue which has plagued the Steelers in the past is surrendering points at the end of the first half. Managing things properly this week, the Steelers scored 10 points in the final two minutes of the first half against the Bengals and also received the second half kickoff. The Steelers scored a touchdown with 1:52 left in the first half. As the Bengals crossed midfield with just over 30 seconds to go, Levi Wallace came up with an interception after the ball was tipped by Robert Spillane. The Steelers then moved the ball 44 yards in four plays and ended the half with a 30-yard field goal.

62

Although it wasn’t nearly to the level it was the previous week, the Pittsburgh Steelers once again did a nice job of shutting down the Bengals rushing attack. In all, Cincinnati ran for 62 yards on 24 attempts for a 2.6 yards per carry average. Even though Joe Mixon left the game with a concussion, he was not effective at running the ball before he exited as he had 20 yards on seven carries.

7 for 94

Even though the Steelers were able to bottle up the Bengals rushing attack, their usage of running backs in the passing game was a whole different story. Between Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine, the Bengals running backs had 7 receptions for 94 yards with three plays over 20 yards.

9 for 148

Even more than the running backs, it was wide receiver Tee Higgins who torched the Steelers for 148 yards on nine receptions. Higgins had a long reception of 33 yards and ultimately had 44 yards after the catch in the game.

6

What ultimately doomed the Steelers offense in the game was having six drives with which they did not achieve a first down. Starting the game with the three and out on the first possession, the other five drives all came in the second half. Three of them were of the three and out variety while one was a drive which started at the Bengals 21 yard line and ended in a field goal. The other drive was late in the game where the Steelers went for it on fourth down and did not convert.

0

It’s what I end with every week as it’s the most important number of them all. Steelers did not add another total to their win column but instead added one to their losses.

So there are some numbers to help put the Steelers Week 11 loss in perspective. While the Steelers did some nice things, particularly in the first half, they failed to play complimentary football in the second half.

So what numbers from Sunday’s game stand out to you? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

What was the game-changing moment in the Steelers loss to the Bengals?

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 11/21/2022 - 6:30am
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Steelers were still in the game in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t take advantage of opportunities.

The Pittsburgh Steelers once again fell in defeat for the seventh time in the 2022 season. Even though the offense scored 30 points, it was failing to put up points when they needed which made things get away from them in the fourth quarter. As for the defense, surrendering over 400 yards and giving up 37 points is not a recipe for winning games.

But what was the biggest moment that sent the Steelers down the path to the loss?

With each win for the Steelers this season being where we hand out a game ball and look at the top individual performance, each loss we will take a look at what we will call the “game-changing moment” of the game. What was the individual play or a set of plays that ended up being the biggest contribution to the loss? While it does not necessarily come down to just one thing that keeps a team from winning, it also doesn’t mean that all the moments share equal blame.

For the Week 8 loss, the biggest game-changing moment was determined to be A.J. Brown’s first touchdown reception. After the Steelers opened the game on a three-play drive that netted -7 yards, the Philadelphia Eagles went on a nine-play drive which covered 68 yards and ultimately ended with 39-yard touchdown pass from Jalen Hurts to A.J. Brown. Although it looked as if Minkah Fitzpatrick would possibly be able to come down with the interception, he mistimed the play and the Eagles took a 7–0 lead and forced the Steelers offense to have to play from behind.

I will reiterate for everyone of the rules that it is individual plays or series of plays that will be highlighted from this game (and the coin toss officially occurs before the game). Although it could be applicable, it will not be total performances as they are more in line for Jeff Hartman’s Winners and Losers article.

So here are the nominations in chronological order:

The 3 & outs to start the 2nd half

The Steelers had a fantastic end of the first half when they scored 10 points in the final two minutes to take a three point lead and were set to receive the second half kickoff. Unfortunately, their first drive resulted in only one yard on three plays and ended in a punt. Even after giving the ball back to the Bengals, who gained 16 yards on the first play, the Steelers drove the Bengals back and forced them to punt . But things did not improve much for the Steelers offense as they gained only six yards on three plays and had back-to-back three and outs. Even though their streak of three and outs wasn’t over, these were two possessions the Steelers had a chance to extend their lead and in ultimately ended up being their last possessions in which they held the lead at all.

Settling for the field goal

Trailing by four points in the third quarter, T.J. Watt came up with an interception of Joe Burrow and set the Steelers offense up at the Bengals 21-yard line. With a chance to grab the lead back, the Steelers once again could not gain a first down and ended up settling for a 34-yard field goal and still trailed by a point.

The flea flicker sequence

On the second play of the fourth quarter on third and four from their own 28, the Steelers crossed midfield with a 33-yard pass to George Pickens with their first first down of the half. After the completion, the Steelers rushed to the line and quickly ran a play. The play ended up being a flea flicker which looked discombobulated from the start. Luckily Kenny Pickett was able to throw the ball away and not take a loss. The Steelers then ran for a 2-yard loss on second down and quickly had Kenny Pickett in a situation where he needed to convert a third and 12 in order to continue the drive and work their way into field goal range. Instead, they ended up taking a sack at midfield and punting the ball away again.

Squandering the drive that started in Bengals territory

The Steelers pinned the Bengals deep at their own 10 yard line with over 12 minutes left in the game and trailing by four points. After playing Renegade and getting a false start to begin the drive, the Bengals managed to gain 2 yards and punt of the ball to the Steelers at the Cincinnati 47-yard line. Set up on a short field, Najee Harris ran for 13 yards on the first play setting the Steelers up on the edge of field goal range. That was where everything fell apart. The Steelers were called for an offensive hold on first down. On the next play, Najee Harris missed the handoff and Kenny Pickett ended up throwing a 7-yard pass to George Pickens only to have pretty much the entire offensive line down field because it was supposed to be a run. Facing a first and 25 at the Bengals 49 yard line, the next two plays saw inaccurate check-down passes which fell incomplete. On third and 25, the Steelers ran a draw play for 7 yards and punted the ball back to the Bengals.

The 93-yard TD drive

Despite the offense squandering away opportunities, the defense had their own part in things as the Bengals followed up the Steelers missed opportunity on a short field with an eight play, 93 yard touchdown drive to take an 11-point lead with less than five minutes remaining in the game.

So what do you think? What was the biggest moment that had the most effect on the Steelers loss this week? Make sure you vote in the poll as this is how the winner (which is ultimately the loser) will be determined. And of course, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Post-Game Sound: Hear from Steelers coaches and players after the loss to the Bengals

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 11/21/2022 - 6:00am
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers were back on the field in Week 11 of the regular season. Take a look and listen to what was said after the game.

The Pittsburgh Steelers were losers for the seventh time this regular season with their loss to the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday.

After the game, there was plenty of video/audio to take in from the locker room and down at field level. Here at BTSC we try to gather as much information as possible for those fans who might not be on social media and see this on a weekly basis.

Therefore, in the post-game sound article you will hear from head coach Mike Tomlin, and a myriad of other players as the Steelers official Twitter account goes around the room to hear from all who participated on Sunday.

Enjoy the content and be sure to stay with BTSC for all things black-and-gold as they prepare for the next game of the regular season. The next game on the docket is the Week 12 game vs. the Indianapolis Colts, but first, the post-game sound:

Mike Tomlin Post-Game Press Conference

Coach Tomlin addresses the media following our game against the Bengals. pic.twitter.com/sCA6Fuf8Xb

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 21, 2022

T.J. Watt Post-Game Press Conference

T.J. Watt addresses the media following our game against the Bengals. pic.twitter.com/KLvDIhI2Yw

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 21, 2022

Kenny Pickett Post-Game Press Conference

Kenny Pickett addresses the media following our game against the Bengals. pic.twitter.com/If8bA8c5JI

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 21, 2022

Around the Locker Room

Najee Harris, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Cam Heyward, Diontae Johnson, Terrell Edmunds, Levi Wallace and Alex Highsmith speak to the media following the Steelers loss to the Bengals in Week 11. @SIRIUSXM pic.twitter.com/E1mNcuoF5X

— Steelers Live (@SteelersLive) November 21, 2022

Podcast Roundup: All the latest of the BTSC family podcasts

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 11/21/2022 - 4:30am

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

Here at BTSC, and our podcast platform, we are here with you every step of the way. In the past we have given you the podcasts in individual articles on the website but have 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 and written, enjoy the shows below with a brief description of each show:

The BTSC Steelers Mike Tomlin Post-Game Presser Recap: Bengals 37, Steelers 30

The Steelers beat the Saints in Week 10 of the NFL season, but the question all week has been if the victory was an aberration or the beginning of a revival. It was or wasn’t as the Steelers-Bengals tilt ended in a 37-30 win for the Steelers. Of course, Mike Tomlin had a lot to say to the media afterwards. Join BTSC editor Dave Schofield as he recaps the post-game presser.

The BTSC Steelers Post-Game Show: Steelers lose the broom in rematch loss to Cincy

The Pittsburgh Steelers had a chance to break out the brooms and sweep their AFC North rivals in 2022 during Week 11 at Acrisure Stadium. In the end, the Steelers didn’t execute enough to win. Join Jeff Hartman, Dave Schofield and Bryan Anthony Davis as they break down the game like no one else does on the latest edition of The Steelers Post-Game Show.

Let’s Ride, Monday: Winners and Losers after the Steelers Week 11 loss to Cincinnati

The Pittsburgh Steelers were 337-30 losers in Week 11 of the NFL season and there was good, bad, ugly, and unfortunate. BTSC Senior Editor Jeff Hartman diagnoses all, and gives his thoughts on the game, on the latest episode of “Let’s Ride”.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • News and Notes
  • Steelers Winners and Losers from the rematch with Cincinnati in the Iron City
  • and MUCH MORE!

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

Apple Users: CLICK HERE

Spotify: CLICK HERE

Google Play: CLICK HERE

Steelers dealing with several injuries following the Week 11 loss to the Bengals

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 11/20/2022 - 8:35pm
Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the Bengals in Week 11, and they also lost several key members in the process.

The Pittsburgh Steelers were losers in Week 11 when they lost 37-30 to the Cincinnati Bengals at Acrisure Stadium. While the loss certainly stings, there was more lost than just the game.

Throughout the game, and mainly the first half, the Steelers were without several key contributors for a variety of reasons. Following the loss, Mike Tomlin addressed the media and spoke about three players who were injured in-game, and were unable to return.

The first injury of note was the wide receiver/special teams ace Miles Boykin. Boykin left the game with an oblique injury and was unable to return. While Boykin’s role as a special teams gunner and backup wide receiver is valuable, it isn’t close to as valuable as the other two players mentioned by Tomlin.

Early in the first half running back Jaylen Warren left the game after a catch and run and was deemed questionable to return. He didn’t return, and was eventually ruled out with a hamstring injury. Tomlin said the injury would be evaluated, but hamstring injuries have a tendency to linger, just ask Ahkello Witherspoon.

To make matters worse, the team also lost center Mason Cole with what Tomlin called a mid-foot injury. Tomlin said his injury will need to be further evaluated, but you hope it isn’t an injury which is serious and could result in Cole going on Injured Reserve (IR) and being lost for any length of time.

Any other injuries sustained in the game were deemed the typical “bumps and bruises” associated with the game.

The Steelers now have to gear up for a prime time game vs. the Indianapolis Colts in Week 12 on Monday Night Football. The team will have a slightly longer break before their next game, and the hope is some of these players can get back to health before the team’s next road game. In the meantime, be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the team.

Knee Jerk Reaction to the Steelers 37-30 loss to the Bengals

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 11/20/2022 - 6:50pm
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Steelers offense just couldn’t keep things going in the second half.

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 11 of the NFL Regular Season.

1st Quarter

  • Not happy to see the Bengals return go almost to the 40.
  • The defense does its job and holds the Bengals to a three and out.
  • Terrible muff there by Sims. Circles way back into the end zone and brings it out to the five.
  • Hard to run on second down and long when everybody at the stadium and watching on TV knows it's going to be a run play.
  • Complete on third down but way short of the sticks. The Steelers offense returns the favor of the three and out.
  • Come on that's too easy to the tight end.
  • The defense holds them to a field goal try. It's good. Bengals 3, Steelers 0.
  • McPherson almost got Charlie Browned on that kickoff attempt.
  • I like seeing that Pickett had a lot of time in the pocket there.
  • Jalen Warren picks up the first down on a nice catch and run.
  • The Steelers drive grinds to a halt and the field goal unit comes on. Wright knocks it through. Steelers 3, Bengals 3.
  • Did anybody even touch Cameron Hayward on that play?
  • Spillane gets flagged for a face mask on third down.
  • Again the Bengals had a wide open player, this time a running back in the middle of the field for a nice gain
  • And the Steelers get burned by a screen pass for almost 30 yards and a touchdown. Bengals 10, Steelers 3.
  • Nice return by Sims on the kickoff.
  • Pickett's first pass was thrown behind Pickens. Kenny's been throwing a lot of balls behind the receivers the past couple weeks.
  • End of the first quarter. Bengals 10, Steelers 3.

2nd Quarter

  • Muth converts the first down on third and seven.
  • Kenny throws behind Muth. He's got to get the ball in front of the receivers.
  • Najee runs it in, for what is now the Steelers longest touchdown on the season at 19 yards. Steelers 10, Bengals 10.
  • Another pass in the middle of the field completed for a decently long play for the Bengals.
  • Is it me or is the secondary playing way too soft?
  • The Bengals are methodically moving the ball down the field. Would like to see the defense of the Steelers stiffen up here.
  • Completion after completion. Way too easy.
  • Steelers give up another touchdown catch to a running back. The defense is not looking very good. Bengals 17, Steelers 10.
  • There was one that Muth should have caught that he didn't.
  • Pickens was wide open in the end zone and Pickett couldn't get it to him. It wouldn't have mattered anyway as Dan Moore got called for holding.
  • Steelers face another third down. Pickens draws a flag. The drive will continue.
  • On 3rd and 4 Pickett gets called for a false start. I didn't get a replay of that so I have no clue if it was the right call or not.
  • Pickett to Pickens for the touchdown on 3rd down and nine. Beautiful. Now the longest touchdown for the Steelers on the year is that play, at 24 yards. Steelers 17, Bengals 17.
  • The question here is do the Steelers play soft zone and let the Bengals get into at least field goal range?
  • Middle of the field exploited again.
  • The ball is tipped by Spillane and Levi Wallace picks it off!
  • Coming off the interception Diontae gets called for a false start. These kind of presnap penalty shouldn't be happening.
  • MUUUUTTHH!!!!
  • The Steelers try a field goal on the last play of the half. Wright knocks it through and the Steelers take the lead. Score at the half Steelers 20, Bengals 17.

3rd Quarter

  • Steelers first two plays do nothing and they will be faced with a 3rd and 9 to start the second half.
  • The third down pass was nowhere close to being completed and the Steelers go three and out.
  • First play for the Bengals goes for 17 yards. Already not liking the start of the second half.
  • Get down Mr President! Highsmith and Watt meet at the quarterback.
  • The defense holds after that first big play and the Steelers get the ball back.
  • The Steelers quickly get to a third down.
  • Pickett overthrows Muth, and Muth is down. Steelers to punt.
  • Terrible punt by Harvin.
  • Higgins is tearing this defense apart tonight. I wonder what it would look like if Chase was playing as well.
  • Burrow completes the touchdown pass. Bengals 24, Steelers 20.
  • Terrible play on first down, incomplete on second down so now the Steelers face a 3rd and 13. Nice catch but it's short of the first down. I think the boo birds are out at the stadium wanting Matt Canada's head.
  • Somehow T.J. Watt intercepted that ball! That guy is a freak of nature.
  • Pickett's third down pass is well short of Diontae's feet. Terrible. The offense needed to turn that Burrow interception into a touchdown not a field goal. Bengals 24, Steelers 23.
  • The offense does nothing with the turnover and then the special teams gives up a good return. The Bengals are right back in business.
  • Alualu bats one down at the line.
  • Cameron Heyward sacks Joe Burrow!
  • The Bengals hit a 54-yard field goal to extend their lead. Bengals 27, Steelers 23 at the end of the 3rd.

4th Quarter

  • George Pickens is the offensive freak to T.J.'s defensive freak.
  • After the great play to Pickens the Steelers do nothing and Pickett gets sacked on 3rd down and the Steelers will punt.
  • I'm sorry but the offensive play calling in the second half has been rediculously poor. The only first down the Steelers have managed was the ridiculous catch made by Pickens.
  • After Renegade plays in the stadium the Steelers now have the Bengals at 3rd and 12. They need to get off the field. And the pass is incomplete.
  • The Steelers will start with the ball in Bengals territory.
  • Nice run by Najee there.
  • The next play they hand it to Najee, but lots of laundry on the field. Probably back in the Steelers up ten.
  • Kenny is even missing the receivers in easy checkdowns. His accuracy today has been very hit or miss.
  • This drive, if you can actually call it that, has been atrocious.
  • The Steelers started with the ball in the Bengals territory and end up punting. What a waste of a Renegade.
  • A big play for the Bengals out past the 30. Not looking good here for the Steelers.
  • The Bengals are now in the red zone.
  • The Steelers give up their third touchdown of the game to Perine. Bengals 34, Steelers 23.
  • The offense is just absolutely atrocious. My turn to say fire Matt Canada.
  • Steelers have to go for it on 4th and 9. And Pickett throws it away. Doesn't he realize that throwing it deep and having it intercepted is better than throwing it away?
  • The Bengals tack on a field goal. Bengals 37, Steelers 23.
  • How does Pickens not catch that sure touchdown throw?
  • Najee gets in for the score. Bengals 37, Steelers 30.
  • The Bengals recover the onside kick, Pickens gets tossed from the game and that would be the ball game.
  • Final score Bengals 37, Steelers 30.

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

FINAL: Second half Steelers struggles result in 37-30 loss to Bengals

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 11/20/2022 - 6:43pm
Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Pittsburgh Steelers loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 11 drops their record to 3-7 on the season.

The Pittsburgh Steelers entered their Week 11 game vs. the Cincinnati Bengals coming off their third win of the season by beating the New Orleans Saints. At home for the second week in a row, the Bengals and Steelers would wrap up their regular season series, with the Steelers looking to sweep the AFC representative in the Super Bowl last year.

The Steelers won the opening coin toss, and elected to defer to the second half. Joe Burrow and company took over for the opening possession of the game, and a false start penalty doomed the drive which resulted in a three-and-out.

Following a three-and-out themselves, Pressley Harvin III was called onto early duty before giving Burrow his second possession of the game. Starting with good field position, a 21-yard pass to Hayden Hurts moved the Bengals into field goal range. From there, it equated in a 3-0 lead after Evan McPherson nailed a 45-yard field goal with 8:54 left in the opening quarter.

The Steelers started their second possession with great field position after Steven Sims gave the offense the ball at the 35-yard line. From there, it was Kenny Pickett orchestrating a nice drive with strikes to George Pickens and Jaylen Warren to get the offense on the cusp of field goal range. The drive stalled and resulted in a Matthew Wright 42-yard kick to tie the game 3-3 with 4:37 left in the opening frame.

On Cincinnati’s next possession, they started to use the Steelers’ defensive aggressiveness against them. Several draws and screen gashed the Pittsburgh defense, and the biggest play was the last play of the drive, a screen to Samaje Perine which went 29-yards for the first touchdown of the game. The McPherson extra point was good, making the score 10-3 with 59 seconds left in the first quarter.

The Steelers started the second quarter with great field position after Steven Sims set them up at the 44-yard line. The Pittsburgh offense did what they’ve done this year, and that is grind out the clock and move methodically down the field. Following a Kenny Pickett run for a first down, a 19-yard second down run by Najee Harris went the distance for the Steelers’ first touchdown of the game.

.@ohthatsNajee22 for six‼️

Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/E0NYNURgPa pic.twitter.com/Az26Rgkj1o

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 20, 2022

The Wright extra point was good, making the score 10-10 with 12:58 left in the half.

The tie game didn’t last long as the Bengals moved quickly down the field and capped off their drive the same way they did their previous scoring drive, with a Perine receiving touchdown. McPherson’s extra point was good, giving Cincinnati a 17-10 lead with 6:38 left in the second quarter.

Receiving the football the start the third quarter, the Steelers offense could put together a scoring drive and compound it with getting the ball first in the second half. Sims set up the offense at the 35-yard line, and the offense went to work on the Cincinnati defense.

Thanks to two defensive penalties in Cincinnati’s secondary, the Steelers drive moved quickly into Bengals territory. On the cusp of the red-zone, Pickett threw a beautiful pass to George Pickens for the Steelers touchdown.

GEORGE PICKENS

Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/E0NYNURgPa pic.twitter.com/4FOvkQBKtG

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 20, 2022

Matthew Wright’s extra point was good, tying the game 17-17 with 1:48 left in the half.

Trying to add to their point total before halftime, Burrow had a pass deflected at the line of scrimmage by Robert Spillane, and was intercepted by Levi Wallace. With 31 seconds left in the half, the Steelers had all three timeouts remaining.

INT LEVI WALLACE ‼️

Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/E0NYNURgPa pic.twitter.com/UP3vnkgeeq

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 20, 2022

Pickett and company moved the ball quickly down the field, and set up Matthew Wright for a 30-yard field goal. The kick was good, making the score 20-17 heading into halftime.

The Steelers received the football to start the third quarter, but were unable to even muster a first down before giving the ball right back to Joe Burrow and the Bengals offense. Luckily for the Steelers, the Bengals’ next drive didn’t result in points after a sack by Alex Highsmith stalled the drive.

Another Steelers 3-and-out gave the Bengals their second possession of the third quarter, and Joe Burrow started to warm up at just the right time. A Burrow pass to Tee Higgins set up the Bengals in a 1st and goal situation, and a pass to Trenton Irwin gave the Bengals the lead. The McPherson extra point made the score 24-20 with 7:02 left in the third quarter.

Yet another Steelers 3-and-out saw Harvin punt the ball back to the Bengals. On Burrow’s first pass attempt, T.J. Watt timed it perfectly and intercepted the pass.

HOW?! @_TJWatt

Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/E0NYNURgPa pic.twitter.com/J5zE88M3eA

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 20, 2022

It set up the Steelers in prime position offensively, but all they could do was set up Matthew Wright for a field goal, making the score 24-23 with 4:28 left in the third quarter.

Cincinnati’s offense was still able to consistently move the football, but thanks to a sack by Cam Heyward on a critical 3rd and 10, it set up a 54-yard field goal attempt for McPherson. The Bengals’ placekicker nailed the kick, giving Cincinnati a 27-23 lead with 31 seconds left in the 3rd quarter.

In the final frame, the Steelers started with the football, and up until this drive failed to gain a first down once. On 3rd and 7, Pickett hit George Pickens down the sideline for a huge gain, and the first down. They followed that play up with a botched flea flicker, a negative run by Najee Harris and a sack. The end result was another punt.

Following Renegade, the Bengals had more negative yards than positive yards before punting the ball back to Pittsburgh after just three plays. Starting with the ball on the 48-yard line, it looked as if the offense would be set up for success. Nonetheless, following a 13-yard run on first down, the offense started moving the wrong way. Penalties and negative plays resulted in another Harvin punt with 9:33 left in regulation.

Burrow and the Bengals wasted little time moving the ball deep into Pittsburgh territory. Two plays, to be exact. Once they hit a first-and-goal situation, it was a familiar play and result. A swing pass to Perine for another, his third, touchdown. The extra point made the score 34-23 with 4:30 left in the 4th quarter.

The Steelers failed to get a first down, and turned the ball over on downs with 3:35 left in the game. The Bengals turned that into another field goal to make the score 37-23 with 3:18 left in the game.

In garbage time, Pickett moved the ball into Cincinnati territory, and the drive was capped off by a Najee Harris touchdown run. The extra point made the score 37-30, but the ensuing onside kick failed. The final score would read 37-30.

The loss moves the Steelers record to 3-7 on the season as they now prepare for a Monday Night Football matchup with the Indianapolis Colts in Week 12. Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the team.

Steelers vs. Bengals, Week 11: 3rd quarter in-game update

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 11/20/2022 - 5:55pm
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

2nd Quarter In-Game Update

The Steelers received the football to start the third quarter, but were unable to even muster a first down before giving the ball right back to Joe Burrow and the Bengals offense. Luckily for the Steelers, the Bengals’ next drive didn’t result in points after a sack by Alex Highsmith stalled the drive.

Another Steelers 3-and-out gave the Bengals their second possession of the third quarter, and Joe Burrow started to warm up at just the right time. A Burrow pass to Tee Higgins set up the Bengals in a 1st and goal situation, and a pass to Trenton Irwin gave the Bengals the lead. The McPherson extra point made the score 24-20 with 7:02 left in the third quarter.

Yet another Steelers 3-and-out saw Harvin punt the ball back to the Bengals. On Burrow’s first pass attempt, T.J. Watt timed it perfectly and intercepted the pass.

HOW?! @_TJWatt

Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/E0NYNURgPa pic.twitter.com/J5zE88M3eA

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 20, 2022

It set up the Steelers in prime position offensively, but all they could do was set up Matthew Wright for a field goal, making the score 24-23 with 4:28 left in the third quarter.

Cincinnati’s offense was still able to consistently move the football, but thanks to a sack by Cam Heyward on a critical 3rd and 10, it set up a 54-yard field goal attempt for McPherson. The Bengals’ placekicker nailed the kick, giving Cincinnati a 27-23 lead with 31 seconds left in the 3rd quarter.

The score would stand heading into the 4th quarter.

Mason Cole questionable to return against the Bengals

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 11/20/2022 - 5:19pm
Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Steelers center was not available at the end of the first half.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are dealing with another injury on the offensive side of the ball. According to Steelers Senior Director of Communications Burt Lauten, center Mason Cole is questionable to return with a foot injury.

#Steelers C Mason Cole has a foot injury and is questionable to return to today's game.

— Burt Lauten (@SteelersPRBurt) November 20, 2022

In the Steelers final drive of the first half after the Levi Wallace interception, Cole was not on the field for the offense when they moved the ball into field goal range. Instead, he was replaced by J.C. Hasenauer.

The cohesion of the Steelers offensive line has been a big deal through the 2022 season. Coming into Week 11, the offensive line only had five snaps in which they did not all play together. Of those five snaps, it was a Mason Cole who had missed all of them and Hassenauer who was on the field.

Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain for continued coverage and updates as the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Cincinnati Bengals at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh.

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

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 11/20/2022 - 5:05pm
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Steelers are back on the gridiron! The 2022 season continues with the Steelers and Bengals locking horns in Week 11. Keep tabs on all things Black-and-gold with our updates and open thread.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back on the field for the fifth time in the 2022 regular season as they prepare to face off against the Cincinnati Bengals.

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!

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