The Pittsburgh Steelers are back in winner’s row after a solid performance vs. the Atlanta Falcons at Heinz Field in Week 5. With the Cincinnati Bengals looming ahead in Week 6, the Steelers will hope to “stack wins” for the first time this year and improve on their 2-2-1 record.
Something I did last season and I’m going to start again is the Black-and-Gold Links article.
This is an article where I take stories from quality news sources across the Internet, and add them here for your viewing pleasure. I won’t be posting the entire articles, but I’ll link each story and author so that you can read the full article.
Today we talk about how players are certainly expecting some carryover from last year’s debacle in Cincinnati. Fans must remember the last time these two teams met were when Ryan Shazier left the game without feeling in his lower body, Vontaze Burfict left on a stretcher after a debilitating hit from JuJu Smith-Schuster and George Iloka intentionally went high on Antonio Brown.
Yeah, this game could get really interesting...
Let’s get to the news:
Steelers’ Coty Sensabaugh expects last game vs. Bengals to carry over
By: Joe Rutter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Coty Sensabaugh is curious to see what the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals can muster for an encore.
In his first true involvement in the Steelers-Bengals series, Sensabaugh last December played in a game that featured jaw-rattling hits, blindside blocks, concussions, personal fouls of every variety, a notorious taunting penalty and an overall level of brutality that led to two suspensions (one overturned) and had national broadcasters reeling in disgust.
Oh, and there was that spinal cord injury to Ryan Shazier on a seemingly innocent tackle that left the star linebacker temporarily paralyzed and unable to play this season.
“It was different, for sure,” Sensabaugh, a veteran cornerback who is in his second year with the Steelers, said Monday. “I don’t think words can describe it. You have to be a part of it.”
The Steelers return to Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday for the first time since that December showdown that featured 20 combined penalties for 239 yards. Will the physicality carry over to a new season or do the Steelers expect to enter the game with a clean slate?
“What do you think?” Sensabaugh said. “I think it will definitely carry over. We don’t like them. They don’t like us. It’s not some big unknown.”
Other veterans on the roster who have more experience in the rivalry are hoping sanity prevails when the 2-2-1 Steelers visit the 4-1 Bengals with a chance to crawl closer to the AFC North leaders.
“I don’t think there should be bad blood or vendettas other than trying to win the game,” said guard Ramon Foster, a 10-year veteran. “We’ll feel it out and dip our toe in the water first before we make anything out of it. I don’t think those guys hold anything over us or us them. It’s just a wait-and-see game more than anything.”
That sentiment was echoed by defensive end Stephon Tuitt, who is entering his fifth season of the Steelers-Bengals matchups.
“We’ll definitely be ready for whatever they throw at us,” Tuitt said. “Make sure we keep our calm and play the game that we are supposed to play. Nobody try to do extra stuff. At the end of the day, we go in and try to win a football game.”
Steelers’ Mike Tomlin doesn’t expect fine for critical comments about officiating
By: Joe Rutter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday he does not expect to be fined by the NFL for his criticism of the officiating in games this season.
Tomlin, a member of the NFL’s competition committee, which proposes rules changes to ownership, said some of the flags thrown Sunday in the Steelers’ 41-17 win over the Atlanta Falcons were a “joke.”
“I said what I said after the game,” Tomlin said Tuesday at his weekly news conference.” I meant it, but I have no further comment. I’m choosing to move on and focus on this week’s challenge.”
The subject arose when Tomlin was asked about two hands-to-the-face penalties called against outside linebacker Bud Dupree.
Tomlin said he took no issue with those penalties, then added, “Some of the other stuff is a joke. We got to get better as a National Football League. Man, these penalties are costing people games and jobs. We got to get them correct, and so I’m (ticked) about it, to be quite honest with you, but that’s all I’m going to say on it.”
Paul Zeise: ‘Big people’ on the Steelers defense must continue to lead the way
By: Paul Zeise, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Steelers defense played its most complete game of the season in the 41-17 destruction of the Falcons on Sunday. The Steelers got pressure on the quarterback, they stopped the run, they covered well and they almost completely eliminated big plays by the Falcons offense.
It was a refreshing change for a unit that had been much maligned through the first four games. The Steelers had six sacks, 11 tackles for loss and 12 quarterback hits. They didn’t give Matt Ryan much time to throw the ball, and as a result the Falcons’ vaunted passing game was grounded for most of the afternoon. And when it came to giving up big plays, the Steelers really only gave up one — a 43-yard touchdown reception from Ryan to Mohamed Sanu.
There are a lot of reasons the Steelers defense was so effective. The biggest difference, however, was that the defensive line dominated the game physically and overwhelmed the Falcons’ offensive line. This was the first game that was the case this season.
As Mike Tomlin said after the game, the Steelers “big people” on defense came to play and won a lot of their individual battles. That has to continue to happen every week if the Steelers defense is legitimately going to turn things around. Tomlin said that provided a spark for the rest of the defense.
Three-game stretch against AFC North Division could make or break the Steelers
By: Ray Fittipaldo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Steelers have 11 games remaining, but the next three are likely to decide whether they make the playoffs. The Steelers play three consecutive games against AFC North Division opponents, starting with a date against the first-place Bengals Sunday in Cincinnati.
So how can three games to finish out the first half of the season determine a team’s playoff fate? Well, for a team that already has gone 0-1-1 in the division, it comes down to simple math.
Winning the division is the easiest way to get into the playoffs, and teams that have losing records within their own division rarely gain entrance to the postseason.
One reason Mike Tomlin has made the playoffs eight times in his 11 seasons as coach is his record within the division. Tomlin is 47-20-1 against the AFC North since taking over as head coach in 2007. He’s had a losing record within the division once in those 11 years, and they missed the playoffs that year.
“Our division right now is tight,” offensive lineman Ramon Foster said. “We’re all vying for a spot, trying to make it into the postseason. These games are crucial right now. It’s crazy we’re playing so many early. We have to be on point this week.”