September 21

Browns, Vikings, and Bears Oh My.

Well how about them Steelers!! 2-0 yeahhhh babyyy!! The killer B’s (Ben, Brown, and Bell) are rolling and the steel curtain is shutting teams down. Browns, no problem. Vikings, no problem. Next challenge: the Bears

Let’s dive back into week one against Cleveland where the Steelers took the win away with a surprisingly close 21-18 victory. I really thought going into that game the Steelers would clean house and run the score on the Browns all afternoon. I thought my prediction was confirmed when special teams recovered the blocked punt for a touchdown a few minutes in, but the Browns kept fighting. Guess I really underestimated their rookie QB DeShone Kizer, who played well in his debut, going 20/30 for 222 yards, one TD, and one interception. With that said, in your face Browns because we still took the win.

This past week I felt was a better performance on the Steelers part. We stepped it up against a tougher Vikings defense and our added depth proved worthy. Le’Veon Bell was much more effective this time around rushing for 87 yards (more than double last weeks of 32). Antonio Brown was shut down a lot of the game with the Vikings putting him in multiple coverages and always against their top corner Xavier Rhodes. With that, however, the Steelers realized how much they have missed Martavis Bryant, who caught 4 passes for 91 yards and a TD. Rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster also caught his first career TD pass from Ben to help secure the 26-9 victory.

Our depth in the receiving core is what won us the game (along with help from a lot of Vikings penalties.) This is what the Steelers were lacking last year and is what is going to put them ahead this year. Last year Antonio Brown saw an average on 12 targets per game and was constantly over covered. The Steelers lacked a solid number two WR and were forced to over-rely on Brown (even though most times he could handle it).

This year when teams are caught rolling that extra coverage towards Brown, it leaves Bryant open where he can make that big play. My prediction is that Martavis Bryant will be the subtle difference maker for the Steelers this season, if he can stay clean.


As for this coming Sunday, the Steelers hope to keep the streak as they head to Chicago to take on the Bears at 1:00 pm. The Bears are off to a slightly struggling start, as they are 0-2 going into week 3. They put up a respectable contest with the NFC champion Falcons, but still lost 17-23. Now they are coming home from an embarrassing 7-29 trip to Tampa Bay, and their top running back Jordan Howard is questionable with a shoulder injury. The Steelers also have injury troubles, with star rookie T.J. Watt leaving the Vikings game with a groin injury, no update on him released. Also on defense Stephon Tuitt is questionable with a bicep injury. Luckily our powerhouse offense is still completely healthy (knock on wood).

My prediction for the week: Steelers- 27    Bears- 13


September 7

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (Football season)

Hey yinz fellow Pittsburghers and Pittsburgh fans, my name is Jarred Vasinko (left in the picture). I grew up in the small town of Latrobe, home of Steelers training camp, and was raised to bleed black and gold. This blog is for me to share my Pittsburgh pride with you, keeping you up to date on weekly scores, stats, news, and all things Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates. Warning: I am by no means a sports analyst (so bear with me), I just love sports.

I’ll start us off with a quick Pirates report. As the regular season wraps up and teams are preparing for playoffs, we Pittsburghers are once again left in the dust, preparing to lower the Jolly Rodger. The Pirates had a good run in the recent Cincinnati series, winning 2 of 3, also winning the first two of the cubs series (with help from Arrietta leaving with a leg injury). Despite this recent upswing, the Pirates are still 6 games behind .500 and 9.5 games behind the division leading Cubs, so our playoff chances are looking rough. Sorry to break the news.

With the bad news out of the way, tis the season to be jolly, for football is back. Time to dust off the terrible towels and unhang that number seven jersey. The pains of last season’s AFC final are behind us and, with a promising off and preseason, we can look into this season with optimism.

This offseason has been a roller coaster of emotions for us. Between the failed negotiations with Le’Veon Bell and the delayed reinstation of Martavis Bryant, us Steeler fans were hanging on edge. However, everything seems to have panned out. Bryant has been fully reinstated, adding much-needed depth to the receiving core beyond Antonio Brown. Also, Bell has finally signed his franchise tag worth $12.1 million and returned with the team after missing all of August. Both players are healthy and ready for week 1.

Preseason wrapped up last week with a 17-14 victory over the Carolina Panthers. That leaves the Steelers with a preseason record of 3-1, with wins over Carolina, Atlanta, and the Giants and the only loss to Indianapolis. To me however, preseason is no indicator of the season to come as it is just the time for coaches to figure out their backups and who they can rely on in the future.

With preseason over, it’s time for the real fun to begin, and what better way to start off the regular season than by kicking the crap out of the Browns. That’s right, our Steelers travel to the mistake on the lake this Sunday to take on the rival Cleveland Browns at 1:00 PM. Is it even a rivalry anymore? Pittsburgh has won eight of the last nine contests and the Browns have not seen playoff action since we beat them in the 2002 wild card. The Browns situation doesn’t appear to be getting any better as they lost star receiver Terrelle Pryor and have a rookie at starting quarterback. The Steelers are healthier than ever, so I’m liking our odds. HERE WE GO STEELERS!!