Steelers open as 3.5-point favorites over Broncos in Week 12

Pittsburgh are just over a field goal favorites for a tough matchup with the Broncos in Denver next Sunday.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are doing whatever it takes to win in 2018, be it blow out victories or last second comebacks and they will face another strong challenge in Week 12. At 4-6, the Denver Broncos might not be the toughest team the Steelers’ have left on their schedule, but they can be hard to beat at Mile High Stadium.

Coming off their own last minute win over an impressive Chargers team in Los Angeles on Sunday, the Broncos proved they are not a team to be taken lightly. They may only have won twice in their last eight outings, but it would appear the bookmakers are all too aware of the challenge the Broncos represent.

Pittsburgh has opened as 3.5-point favorites for the matchup in Denver, a venue they have not won at since 2009. Losers of their last three at Mile High, the Broncos currently enjoy a 19-11-1 record over the Steelers dating back to 1970. As of Tuesday this spread had fallen to 3-points with most online bookmakers, but was still at its opening position with most of the Las Vegas sportsbooks.

An early totals position of 47.5-points looks like a reasonable starting point for this contest, while an initial money line price of -192 has fallen somewhat since Sunday, with -170 now the more common offering from most online providers. Pittsburgh is 6-3-1 against the spread on the season and Denver is 4-5-1.

Podcast: Did Jaguars give away the game, or did the Steelers take it?

Time to check in on all things black-and-gold after the Steelers late win over the Jags on the podcast ‘Steelers Hangover’.

Once again, the Steelers won a game on the road. But they looked far from dominant doing it. Was the 20-16 win over Jacksonville proof that Pittsburgh can win while playing subpar football most of the game or will it eventually catch up? BTSC’s Bryan Anthony Davis and Anthony Defeo took a day to recover and asked your opinion of the terrain ahead in the latest edition of Steelers Hangover.

Take a look at the rundown for the latest episode of the call-in extravaganza. On this show, the fellas discussed the good, the bad and the ugly, plus the path ahead.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • Reactions
  • Grades/Valedictorian/Honor Roll
  • Calls
  • Did Jacksonville give away the game or did the Steelers take it?
  • Closing Time/Looking forward to Denver
  • and MUCH MORE!

If you missed the live show, be sure to check out all episodes on the following platforms:

Apple Users: CLICK HERE

Spotify: CLICK HERE

Google Play: CLICK HERE

If you’re old-school and just want the audio, you can listen to it in the player below.

Black and Gold Links: Steelers learned some very valuable lessons in the narrow win over the Jaguars

Time to check on the latest news surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have now won six straight games and continue to “stack wins.” After their 20-16 come from behind win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 11, the team now has to turn the page quickly before they travel again, this time to Denver to play the Broncos in Week 12.

Today in the Black-and-gold links article, we talk about how despite the win in Week 11, the Pittsburgh Steelers should have learned some very valuable lessons throughout the 20-16 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

These lessons are more than the typical “don’t play down to your opponents” type talk, but a focus on details which turned the tide against a very good defense, and stopped a very good running game, when it mattered the most.

Let’s get to the news:

Kevin Gorman: Steelers should learn lessons from Jaguars game

By: Kevin Gorman, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Mike Tomlin talked about the lessons to be learned for the Pittsburgh Steelers, not just from their comeback victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars but the failures that required the fourth-quarter rally.

Where Tomlin couldn’t overlook the deep hole the Steelers dug for themselves, he also was impressed with the character his team showed in the 20-16 victory over the Jaguars Sunday at TIAA Bank Field.

“That’s football, man. That’s team,” Tomlin said. “We weren’t perfect today but we did the job, rising up to support their brother. There was a lot of that because there was a lot of failure. But that failure has got something to do with the execution of the Jacksonville Jaguars and their plan and their coaching and their play. I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that.”

These weren’t the Jaguars that beat the Steelers twice at Heinz Field last season, ending their season in the AFC divisional playoff round. This was a Jacksonville team that had lost five consecutive games, and Jaguars coach Doug Marrone was trying not to lose his locker room.

The Steelers were riding a five-game winning streak, coming off an impressive 52-21 Thursday night victory over Carolina. Tomlin gave his players a five-day break as a reward for their short-week success. It was as if the Steelers went into a time warp, reverting back to the way they played through the first four games of the season.

What should have served the Steelers well proved instead to be disruptive to their rhythm. The offense had none in the first half, accounting for 66 yards total offense and two turnovers. Ben Roethlisberger had a 10.1 passer rating at halftime, and that was only after completing 5 of 6 passes in a late second-quarter drive.

The Jaguars were surprised to see the Steelers abandon the run game so quickly, as James Conner had five carries for 13 yards in the first half and Roethlisberger came up short on a quarterback sneak.

But the Steelers defense didn’t allow the Jaguars to turn Roethlisberger’s two first-half interceptions into touchdowns, a key after he had a pair of pick-sixes against the Jaguars in the 30-9 regular season loss last year and two turnovers that led to touchdowns in the 45-42 playoff loss. Instead, Jacksonville settled for three field goals and a 9-0 halftime lead.

When the Jaguars did just that in the third quarter, answering Jalen Ramsey’s end-zone interception with a 10-play, 80-yard scoring drive that ended with Leonard Fournette’s 2-yard touchdown dive, the Steelers could have fallen apart. Instead, they showed character.

“I think we always play better when we’re behind,” Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster said. “We stuck together. There was nobody doubting each other. We’re one team, one unity and we kept that faith.”

Steelers wide receivers win war of words with Jaguars corners

By: Kevin Gorman, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The Jacksonville Jaguars boasted the NFL’s top-ranked pass defense, and they let the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receivers hear about it all game.

“There was a lot of talking with them, in my ear talking a lot of stuff,” Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster said, self-censoring their comments by making a beeping sound. “But that’s what they do. I give it up to them. They played really great.”

Smith-Schuster and Antonio Brown played even better in the Steelers’ 20-16 victory Sunday over the Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field, as both eclipsed the 100-yard mark and made catches that propelled a comeback.

Brown finished with five receptions for 117 yards, none bigger than his 78-yard touchdown catch on a broken play late in the third quarter to put the Steelers on the scoreboard. Ben Roethlisberger’s pass appeared to be intended for Smith-Schuster, who drew a pass-interference penalty on free safety Jarrod Wilson, but Brown was all alone and ran under it.

Brown wouldn’t divulge what happened on the play.

“I’ve got to go back,” Brown said, smiling. “It’s a long day. I kind of don’t remember.”

Smith-Schuster had a game-high eight catches for 104 yards, and made some memorable plays to spark the second scoring drive. He caught three consecutive passes, for gains of 9, 21 and 9 yards, to set up tight end Vance McDonald’s touchdown catch that cut it to 16-13.

Smith-Schuster’s first two catches came against Pro Bowl cornerback A.J. Bouye; the next two came on back-shoulder throws against All-Pro corner Jalen Ramsey, who had two interceptions.

Bouye warned Ramsey not to take the fourth-quarter letdown personally despite their sixth consecutive loss.

“I told him it’s more of a mental thing,” Bouye said. “We threw our egos to the side and we knew that we weren’t doing what we needed to do as a defense, especially in the back end where we’re the No. 1 pass defense. But we’re busting plays, but we play as a group. We did a lot of good things out there but we can’t just let that last drive hurt our confidence.”

‘We can use this’: Steelers get ultimate win-win in Jax

By: Jeremy Fowler, ESPN

A voice boomed through the Pittsburgh Steelers’ postgame locker room scene, letting everyone know his team was supposed to get buried Sunday.

”But not us,” coach Mike Tomlin said after the 20-16 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Not only does a six-game win streak stay alive, but the Steelers also got the ultimate win-win by playing poorly enough to learn from an ugly victory.

The Steelers showed that they can find creative ways to win amid a collapsing game plan by exhausting every second of the 60-minute game clock, being the more physical team on defense and believing that their bevy of playmakers will prevail most weeks.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger used the words “terrible” and “horrible” to describe the offense and his three-interception performance, but he almost wore those words proudly because of what the win represents.

While the fourth-quarter offense racked up 179 yards and two touchdowns, the Steelers’ defense held Jacksonville to minus-3 yards.

Through it all, defensive players were encouraging Roethlisberger from the sideline, telling him, “All right, Ben, you’ve got this.”

”They never stopped believing in us. We believe in them and thank them,” Roethlisberger said. “I hope if we get in a situation again toward the end of the season where one of us isn’t playing well, we can show that, ‘Hey, remember that game in Jacksonville when it didn’t look good until the final eight seconds and we found way?’ Hopefully we can use this.”

Most importantly, the Steelers’ offense learned that it has a defense that can bail it out on occasion. That didn’t look like a possibility when the Steelers were giving up six touchdowns to Patrick Mahomes in Week 2. Things have settled down, and so has a defense that has adequately handled pure passers, read-option passers and run-heavy sets the past six weeks.

This defense might just be built for January.

“Those are the ones you want to win — when it’s ugly,” Cam Heyward said. “It shows a lot of character, lot of maturity.”

Podcast: ‘Steelers Hangover’ returns tonight at 9:30 p.m. EST

BTSC recaps the Steelers last second win in Jacksonville and opens the phones to you, the listener, to join in.

Join Bryan Davis and Anthony Defeo from BTSC for the day after extravaganza known as “Steelers Hangover”. The Steelers improved their record to 7-2-1 in a non-dominant fashion and a second half comeback not seen since 2007 with their 20-16 victory over Jacksonville. Tony and Bryan will discuss the game and look to hear from you.

Check out a rundown of the show:

– Reactions

– Grades/Valedictorian and Honor Roll

– Calls

– Did Jacksonville give away the game or did the Steelers take it?

– Looking ahead to Denver

– and MUCH MORE!

You can listen to the show live by logging onto our BlogTalkRadio page at 9:30 p.m. EST but WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! What did you think about the game, the upcoming regular season or whatever you want to talk about Steelers related. Simply dial (347) 850-8581 anytime during the show to make your voice heard!

Roosevelt Nix is a “Glue Guy” for the Pittsburgh Steelers

Every successful football team has a player or two that is universally respected by the other players and can be counted on to help hold things together when the proverbial crap hits the fan. Roosevelt Nix fits that description for the Steelers.

There is one in every kindergarten class. That one kid who would rather eat paste than use it to glue the pieces of macaroni to the paper in the shape of a turkey so his parents could stick it on the fridge proudly for the whole family to admire for Thanksgiving. “Little Timmy is so talented the other kids call him Elmer”, his parents joyously proclaim, not realizing the nickname was short for Elmer’s Glue. I always wondered if that nickname stuck with him his whole life.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have their own glue guy, and his name is Roosevelt ‘Rosie’ Nix. As the starting fullback for the Steelers powerful offense, Nix is often left standing on the sidelines for large portions of the Steelers offensive snaps, but he always finds a way to make his presence felt.

A fullback gets paid to have violent, full speed collisions with other individuals. Not a job for the faint of heart. Rosie does his job better than most, seeing how he represented the AFC in the Pro Bowl last season. He displays a certain zest for his job. He understands the leverage required to move an opponent, many larger than himself, in a direction against their will. His high school wrestling background undoubtedly proves invaluable in this endeavor. The running backs for whom he has lead the way may have changed, but their production has not, in no small way the result of his blocking prowess.

A exceptional fullback has to display incredible versatility, and that description fits Rosie Nix quite well. He is, all at the same time, a mini offensive lineman, a short yardage back, a QB protector, and a H back out of the backfield. He is also outstanding on special teams because of his all out effort and determination. It would be impossible to tell Nix’s story without mentioning his unbelievable determination and perseverance.

Rosie doesn’t even stand six feet tall but he was an all conference player for Kent State as a defensive lineman. Realizing the need for undersized defensive lineman in the NFL is miniscule, Rosie lost almost twenty pounds after graduation and worked out as a linebacker at his pro day. After predictably going undrafted in the 2014 NFL draft, Nix signed as a UDFA with the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons asked him to switch positions yet again, this time to fullback. Nix agreed, hoping it would give him a better chance to make the team. Sadly, he was released before the start of the season.

Undeterred, Nix even looked into the Arena League in hopes of keeping his professional football dreams alive. Then in January 2015 his persistence finally paid off and fate intervened. He signed a reserve/futures contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers as a inside linebacker, but was quickly moved to fullback again. He didn’t care, he was determined to take advantage of this opportunity. He initially excelled on special teams, before earning the starting fullback position. Now he is performing at a Pro Bowl level at both.

While Rosie Nix is no where near the most talented player on the Steelers offense, he is no doubt one of the most well respected by his teammates. They all know his story and realize how he sacrifices his body on the field each week so they can revel in the glory. You will see them acknowledge his contributions with a pat on the back or a slap of the helmet, and it seems extra special for all involved when they get to celebrate a touchdown or big play with him. In a league were most of the participants were being told how great they were by the eighth grade, Rosie Nix refused to take no for an answer.

It is a blessing to have so many superstar players like the Steelers possess, but it takes a well respected glue guy to help mesh all the eccentric personalities together and keep everyone focused and humble. That is the kind of young man we can all be happy to root for, and young people can look up to as a role model.

Rosie Nix is the definition of a glue guy.

Miami Dolphins WR/KR Jakeem Grant to Have Lower Leg Surgery Which Will End Season

Keep reading this article on NFL Gridiron Gab.

Dolphins wide receiver/kick returner Jakeem Grant is undergoing “season-ending lower leg surgery” according to Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald.

Grant reportedly avoided an Achilles’ rupture, but he still needs surgery to repair the issue.

Beasley reports Grant will be ready for the start of the 2019 season. Newly-signed Brice Butler will provide depth behind DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills, and Danny Amendola with Grant sidelined. Losing Grant, originally a sixth-round pick out of Texas Tech in 2016, is definitely a blow for an offense that was already struggling to manufacture big plays.

Thus far in 2018, the 26-year-old had contributed two receiving touchdowns, a kick return for touchdown, and a punt return touchdown

Report: Baltimore Ravens OL Marshal Yanda Spat at Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict

Keep reading this article on NFL Gridiron Gab.

Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict has the reputation-and deservingly so-for being one of the NFL’s dirtiest players but he was the recipient of a dirty play by Ravens offensive lineman Marshal Yanda on Sunday according to Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk.com.

Yanda reportedly spat at Burfict as the linebacker was lying on the ground. Smith stated that the video of the incident is clear: There’s a pileup with some pushing and shoving on both sides, and Burfict is in the middle of it, as he so often is. But afterward, Yanda stood up and leaned over Burfict, and spit clearly came out of Yanda’s mouth and toward Burfict. It is unclear whether the spit actually landed on Burfict as the linebacker did not react but the intent was clear.

The NFL has disciplined players for spitting on opponents in the past and Yanda should expect a hefty chunk taken out of his paycheck later in the week.

Cleveland Browns GM John Dorsey Says Team Has Not Discussed Condoleezza Rice as Coach

Keep reading this article on NFL Gridiron Gab.

Browns GM John Dorsey said in a statement on Sunday that the team has ‘not discussed’ interviewing former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for their head coaching vacancy despite an ESPN report that they’re interested in doing so, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

“Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is a great leader, possesses the highest possible character and also happens to be a Browns fan,” Dorsey said in the statement, released by the Browns after Adam Schefter’s report went viral. “I have the utmost respect and admiration for all she’s accomplished and was honored to meet her for the first time earlier this season. Our coaching search will be thorough and deliberate, but we are still in the process of composing the list of candidates and Secretary Rice has not been discussed.”

Rice, a lifelong Browns fan, released a statement via Facebook saying she’s not ready to coach, but called for more women to be groomed for the job.

“I love my Browns — and I know they will hire an experienced coach to take us to the next level.

“On a more serious note, I do hope that the NFL will start to bring women into the coaching profession as position coaches and eventually coordinators and head coaches. One doesn’t have to play the game to understand it and motivate players. But experience counts — and it is time to develop a pool of experienced women coaches.”

“BTW — I’m not ready to coach but I would like to call a play or two next season if the Browns need ideas! And at no time will I call for a ‘prevent defense.’”