The Pittsburgh Steelers have turned their attention away from the embarrassing tie with the Cleveland Browns and are solely focused on the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 2. 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 focus on how reserve guard B.J. Finney is no stranger to filling in for either Ramon Foster or David DeCastro, but also very comfortable going against the Chiefs — again. With DeCastro looking as if he won’t be able to play Sunday, Finney is set to get his first start of the 2018 regular season.
Let’s get to the news:
By: Ray Fittipaldo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
It’s Kansas City week, which can only mean one thing: B.J. Finney is going to start.
For the third consecutive year, Finney will step into the starting lineup due to an injury. He filled in for Ramon Foster the past two years. This year, he’ll start at right guard for David DeCastro, who is officially listed as doubtful but is not going to be able to play due to a fractured bone in his right hand.
This will be Finney’s eighth career start and three of them have come against the Chiefs.
“It’s kind of funny,” said Finney, a Kansas native who played at Kansas State. “We all get a laugh out of it. Somehow, some way, it always falls into place for me to play Kansas City.”
The offensive line hasn’t missed a beat when Finney starts. The Steelers have won all seven games, and in the past two against the Chiefs, Finney and the other linemen have paved the way for big games by Le’Veon Bell, who rushed for 144 and 179 yards in those games.
James Conner will get the start in place of Bell for a second consecutive week, but the Steelers will be looking for Finney to help keep the ground game moving against the Chiefs.
“It’s just a great opportunity for him,” center Maurkice Pouncey said. “Obviously, every year a lot more linemen play than just five guys. You know how physical it is in there inside the trenches. Finney is locked in. He’s always been a key guy. He’s basically like a starter.”
By: Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Ties are good. Instead of finding ways to eliminate them, the NFL should banish overtime in the regular season.
Embrace the tie!
Now that the Steelers were involved in a tie game for the first time in 16 years, we’re hearing from many corners how bad they are, how everyone hates them and offering suggestions how to play a game until a winner and loser are determined.
The NFL minimized the number of ties starting in 1974 (as did America with the coming of the leisure suit) when it moved to overtime in the regular season. The Steelers were involved in the very first tie under the new rule, 35-35 in Denver that year. That tie hurt them so much that they went on to a 10-3-1 season and won their first Super Bowl.
Their next tie did not happen until 28 years later, in 2002, when Michael Vick and the Atlanta Falcons came from 17 points down in the fourth quarter to forge a 34-34 tie. The Steelers finished 10-5-1 that season, won the division and beat Cleveland in the playoff opener. Then they lost at Tennessee ... in overtime.
What’s interesting about those two previous ties is that so many points were scored in regulation, then the teams were shut out in the 15-minute overtimes.
So the Steelers committed their third tie in 45 years since the league decided overtime in the regular season was a good idea.
Well, ties can help rid us of the most unfair playoff system in pro sports — the tiebreaker. Why should a team’s playoff hopes possibly hinge on the best net touchdowns scored in all games (procedure No. 10 in a two-team tie) or a coin toss (No. 11)?
Ties can help make tiebreakers moot because instead of using some statistical category to put one team in the playoffs over another, the record actually could do it. There still might be teams tied for a playoff spot because their records could match, tied games or no tied games on their resume. But it would be easier for all if they could tie a game or two. The Steelers saved all of us from tiebreaker hell.
By Tim Benz, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Think Sunday’s Steelers game against the Chiefs is a pretty big deal? After a season-opening tie against Cleveland, I’m sure you do.
It’s probably even bigger than you think, especially if you envisioned the Steelers as a true Super Bowl contender. If the Steelers drop to 0-1-1, good luck with that.
Last year, 13-3 wasn’t even good enough to get homefield advantage over the Patriots. And there’s no indication New England has slipped off its perch as perennial AFC favorite, or even that it’ll lose more than four games this season to jeopardize earning the top seed in the conference.
The specter of going to New England and winning the AFC championship game is no less daunting in 2018 than it was in 2017, and we spent the entire 2017 season in Pittsburgh fretting about that potential.
That was until “surviving the ground” became part of our collective vocabulary in mid-December.
The point is, the margin for error when chasing the Patriots is scant, regardless of what year it is. Or what time of year it is. That’s an augmented reality when you have to play them later in the season, as the Steelers do Dec. 16.
The Steelers had a screw-up loss in Chicago last year. That proved fatal when trying to avoid a tiebreaker with the Pats. Might that tie in Cleveland leave them a half-game back in 2018?
The Patriots have won at least 12 games per season since the start of the 2010 campaign. Winning 12 of 16 games over one year is hard enough, although Mike Tomlin teams have done it three times in that stretch. Winning 12 of 14 to close out a year wouldn’t be unprecedented, but it would be rare.
It was done by the Steelers in 1979, 2001 and ‘04.