What’s up yinz? It’s been a little while so we have some catching up to do. All in all, the things are pretty good for our Steel City teams. The Steelers are off to their best start in a while, moving to 7-2 after a win against the Colts last Sunday. That places them 1st in the AFC North. The Penguins are doing decent, with a record of 10-7-3, they are 3rd in the metropolitan. Nothing to be concerned about there as we have a long season ahead of us and the Pens have been known to really crank it up in the second half of the season.
Speaking of cranking it up, how about that Phil Kessel! Often times Kessel’s talent goes unnoticed, as he can be shadowed by the two-headed monster of Crosby and Malkin, but so far this season it’s been hard to miss him. Kessel leads the team in nearly every major offensive stat (goals, assists, etc.) and has even worked his way to third in the league in goals. Thus far he has notched up 8 goals and 16 assists, with 9 of those points in the past five games alone. After struggling to put up points last year, Kessel seems to have turned around.
This year we’re seeing a new Phil Kessel, as the stats aren’t his only huge improvements. First off, he’s scoring very important goals, with multiple game-winning overtime and game-tying goals, as seen by last night’s gorgeous tying one-timer that led to an overtime victory against the Sabers. He continues to be a reliable asset, and his durability is proved by the fact that he has played in all 223 games since his signing in 2015. There’s just something different about Phil this year, he has improved his defensive presence with harder backchecks and rounds that off by being in perfect position to fire off his laser shot. If this output by Phil Kessel continues, combined with a rise in production from the other stars, the rest of the season is going to be more like the cup winning Pens we’ve come to love and we should be hot contenders for a three-peat.
Now, back to the Steeler. Last week it seemed as though they had to shake off some bye week rust after a very poor start against the struggling Indianapolis Colts. In the end, we pulled it off with two unanswered touchdowns and a last-second field goal to seal the deal. We won’t be able to plan on an epic comeback this week as we take on the Tennessee Titans for Thursday night football. The Titans are 6-3 thus far, placing them first in the AFC South. With the young quarterback Marcus Mariota leading the offense, Tennessee will be a challenging opponent for the Steelers. In the end, however, the Steelers have only one loss at home this season and now have three strong receivers to tear up a subpar Tennessee secondary.
Steelers: 27 Titans: 21
HERE WE GO STEELERS… AND PENS