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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Good news on injury front

Mike Tomlin had some pretty good injury news Tuesday, all things considered.

Ben Roethlisberger will be limited early in the week with his foot injury, but should be ready to go Sunday against Baltimore. Roethlisberger is in a walking boot, but that's more of a precautionary thing to help allow more healing to take place.

Rookie wide receiver Antonio Brown, who sat out with a swollen knee worked out Tuesday morning and Tomlin is optimistic Brown will be available to play at Baltimore Sunday.

Nick Eason, who suffered a sprained MCL against Buffalo, is feeling better Tuesday and, though he'll be limited early in the week, he could play against Baltimore.

The same could be said of cornerback Bryant McFadden, who left last Sunday's game with a hamstring injury, though Tomlin did note that hamstrings are tricky.

Troy Polamalu, as he has been the past couple of weeks, will be limited again in practice. Tomlin said the team is just taking precautions to make sure Polamalu stays healthy down the stretch.

Brett Keisel, hamstring, will be a full participant in practice this week and the Steelers are moving forward with the thought he'll play Sunday.

Tight end Matt Spaeth will get some post-concussion tests to determine his availability.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Post-Buffalo thoughts

Every week the talking heads talk about which team is the best in the NFL.

Good luck with that.

If this season has proven anything, it's that no game is a given.

The Steelers' 19-16 overtime win against the Bills showed that once again.

The Steelers dominated the first half as much as they had dominated any game this season. Yet Buffalo took them to overtime in a game in which the Steelers rushed for 200 yards.

The biggest difference was penalties for the Steelers.

Guard Chris Kemoeatu and Ramon Foster had a combined six holding penalties called against them - four by Kemoeatu.

That's a tough day at the office, despite the big rushing totals.

The bottom line in this league this season is wins and losses. And right now, the Steelers' record says they're 8-3.

That's not the best record in the AFC, but it's right there. And they will head to Baltimore next week with an opportunity to take control of the division.

That's all you can ask for.

© Shaun Suisham gets high scores for his four field goals - including the game-winner in overtime - but his kickoffs weren't anything special.

In fact, the special teams coverage units had easily their worst game of the season, nearly costing the Steelers the game - until Keenan Lewis came up with a big strip of Leodis McKelvin in overtime that cost the Bills another five yards.

But, since they've been solid all season, we'll write that off as one bad game.

© Had the Steelers lost the game to the Bills, would Kemoeatu have been released as Jeff Reed was earlier this season after having a bad game in a bad loss?

© The Steelers were blowing some ridiculous holes open in Buffalo's defensive line. I think I might have been able to get 50 yards Sunday.

Maybe not.

© James Harrison now has 10 sacks, the first player in team history to have three consecutive seasons with at least 10 sacks.

But, apparently, he's no longer allowed to hit the quarterback unless it happens to be a sack.

Steelers-Bills game day thread

Brett Keisel was downgraded to questionable Saturday with a calf injury and will be a game time decision to play today.

The guess here is that Keisel won't play as the Steelers will save him for next week's game at Baltimore and were just looking for a reason not to test his hamstring in the cold at Buffalo.

© Speaking of Buffalo, it's cold and windy here.

The bus in was also pelted with snowballs, so that gives you an idea about the conditions.

© Keisel is, in fact, inactive today.

Eason will start in his place.

Matt Spaeth is also down. Expect Trai Essex to see time as the third tight end.

Kraig Urbik will start at right guard for the Bills.

© On a side note that does not involve the Steelers, it appears Pitt is ready to pull the plug on Dave Wannstedt.

I'm hearing that Marvin Lewis is very interested in the Pitt job.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Who I like, Buffalo version

Many people are looking at Sunday's game between the Steelers and Bills as a possible trap game for Pittsburgh with a game against Baltimore coming up next week.

Having been in that locker room this week, I don't see it happening.

The memory of last season's collapse is still very fresh with this team and even if it wasn't, it has been brought up time and again by reporters.

Buffalo's defense, particularly its run defense, is awful.

The Steelers haven't gotten a 100-yard game out of Rashard Mendenhall since Ben Roethlisberger's return from suspension and will look to change that this week in an effort to get Mendenhall rolling into the game against Baltimore.

The Steelers have also faced Ryan Fitzpatrick on two occasions, holding him under 170 yards passing in both games. Yes, that was at Cincinnati in 2008, but the Steelers also sacked him seven times in those games and forced three fumbles.

They have a pretty good idea how to rattle him.

Take the Steelers, 27-13

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

No fines for Steelers

Further enforcing the idea that the Steelers had some very bad calls against them in Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders is the fact that no fines were assessed to any of the team's players by the NFL this week.

Under normal circumstances, when a player draws a personal foul, the league looks at it and assesses a fine - in addition to the in-game penalty.

In this case, no notice of fines were awaiting the players in the locker room when they returned Wednesday to prepare to play the Buffalo Bills this Sunday.

I spoke privately with a couple of players about the issue and they think they're being watched more closely than other teams, which may have been a factor in the flags that were thrown Sunday.

It's hard to argue that theory after watching Sunday's game.

© On a different note. Happy Thanksgiving to the readers of this blog. I want to thank all of you for making this a regular stop during your daily surfing of the net.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday with Tomlin

Mike Tomlin refused to comment on Richard Seymour's fine - not suspension - for slugging Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger during Sunday's 35-3 Pittsburgh win.

That's not all that surprising, since it would serve no purpose for Tomlin to comment on it.

But the Steelers aren't happy about having their quarterback attacked like that with little repercussion.

© Tomlin said he expects Brett Keisel to be a full participant in practice this week and will play Sunday against the Bills.

Safety Will Allen has also be cleared to return to practice.

Rookie wideout Antonio Brown has some knee swelling and it could limit him in practice. If he doesn't get at least two days of practice, he won't play this week.

© Don't forget to listen to me from 7 to 9 p.m. tonight on WBGG Fox 970-AM.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Seymour fined $25,000

I can hear the Steelers players complaining here in Washington following news Monday that Richard Seymour has been fined just $25,000 - according to - for his cheapshot punch in the face to Ben Roethlisberger in Sunday's 35-3 whipping of the Raiders.

James Harrison has a very legitimate point on this one.

If the league is going to fine or possibly suspend players for things that happen during the course of a play, how can it allow Seymour - who is a repeat offender himself - to walk away with a slap on the wrist on this?

It shouldn't matter what, if anything, Roethlisberger said that caused Seymour to do it. And Seymour has said he didn't hear Roethlisberger say anything. He was reacting to being bumped.

But this isn't the NHL. This is the NFL. And the league really messed this one up.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Post-Oakland thoughts

Was that a dominant enough performance to end any thoughts of a meltdown ala. 2009?

It should have been.

The Steelers dominated the Raiders in every fashion – with the lone exception being when Rashard Mendenhall was running the ball.

Outside of that, the Steelers should have won this game by 50.

It was that dominant of a performance and the Raiders were that overwhelmed.

© Much of the discussion regarding this game will be on the officiating.

The Steelers were penalized for six personal fouls and the Raiders had a player, Richard Seymour, ejected for punching Ben Roethlisberger after he threw a touchdown pass to make it 21-3.

It will be interesting to see the fines that come down from this one and you can bet your last dollar that the Steelers will be watching closely.

The call against James Harrison for tackling Jason Campbell with his full body weight was iffy. Harrison let up at the end of the play.

But he'll probably draw another fine because of who he is.

The call against LaMarr Woodley for roughing Campbell was ridiculous. Woodley bumped Campbell, who went down, tripping Woodley.

The call against Ryan Clark for a helmet-to-helmet hit should have been a personal foul. It just shouldn't have been for helmet-to-helmet contact.

Clark put his helmet into the receiver's back and should have been penalized for hitting a defenseless receiver - if anything.

But the only way that was a helmet-to-helmet hit by Clark is if the receiver was wearing his helmet on his back.

© The officials flat out lost control of this game and obviously decided at halftime - after Seymour's ejection - that they were going to regain control.

Hence, we had 11 flags thrown in the third quarter.

© What in the world were Harrison, Woodley and Roethlisberger doing in the game late in the fourth quarter after all the other starters had been pulled with the Steelers holding a 28-3 lead?

Just asking.

© It was nice to see Troy Polamalu up in the box more often in this one instead of playing deep centerfield.

© It still amazes me every time Mike Wallace runs by defenders like they're standing still.

Foster replaces Essex, Asomugha inactive

The Steelers have announced they will start Ramon Foster at right guard in place of Trai Essex.

While Essex struggled last week against New England, it could be a move that is greasing the skids for Essex to move to left tackle if Jonathan Scott struggles.

Brett Keisel is also inactive again today.

But the biggest injury news comes from Oakland, which has Nnamdi Asomugha inactive today, leaving the Raiders without their best cornerback.

Darius Heyward-Bey is also down.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Who I like, Oakland version

Revenge isn't often a factor in pro football games. Rosters change from year to year and, unless a team or individual does something truly remarkable, memories are short.

The Raiders did something remarkable last season in Pittsburgh, spending three quarters being unable to get out of their own way before rallying with 21 fourth-quarter points for a 27-24 win against the Steelers.

Some players this summer talked about that being the low point of a sub-par 2009 season.

The Steelers get a chance to avenge that loss Sunday when they host the Raiders again.

Both teams will be relatively healthy, so that will not likely be a factor.

But Oakland will try to play a lot of press coverage against the Steelers and that could be the Raiders' downfall. One mistake and Mike Wallace will be all by himself behind the secondary.

And that's something that has happened a bit to the Raiders this season. Despite allowing less than 200 yards passing per game and giving up an NFL-low in completions, the Raiders have permitted 16 touchdown passes, or one for just over every 10 completions they give up. That's a lot.

Oakland can get after the passer. The Raiders have 27 sacks this season, again, about one for every 10 pass attempts. But they have also allowed 26 – one per every 10 pass attempts.

You get the idea.

Oakland coach Tom Cable said this week when asked if the Raiders will try to spread the Steelers out, the way New Orleans and New England did, that his team is not built to do that. He's right.

There's a big difference between Jason Campbell, Oakland's quarterback, and Drew Brees and Tom Brady.

Campbell, by the way, has a passer rating of 67 in road games this season.

The Steelers are 7-point favorites and though that is a big number, I think they'll cover it, winning 24-13.

Sanders not fined, Woodley is

New England safety James Sanders was not fined for his helmet-to-helmet hit that knocked Hines Ward out of last Sunday's 39-26 loss to the Patriots.

Steelers' linebacker LaMarr Woodley did draw a $12,500 fine for a late hit on New England quarterback Tom Brady.

Go figure.

© The Steelers look pretty healthy going into Sunday's game against Oakland. Only Aaron Smith and Will Allen have been declared out.

Brett Keisel, who went through a full practice Friday, is questionable.

Troy Polamalu, Ward and Chris Kemoeatu are all probable. Polamalu returned to practice Friday after resting his sore Achilles' tendon Wednesday and Thursday.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Reed was no scapegoat

There was some feeling that the Steelers released placekicker Jeff Reed as a scapegoat following last Sunday’s 39-26 loss to the New England Patriots.

That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

It was obvious that Reed, the Steelers’ placekicker since 2002, had lost his confidence.

When players start blaming the playing surface, media and fans for failure, it means they really don’t have any answers.

And with that, the Steelers knew they had to move on.
Reed, who was scheduled to become a free agent at the conclusion of the season, wasn’t going to be in 2011. So why not try out a new kicker?

What’s the worst he could do, miss some kicks?

With Reed making an NFL-low 68.2 percent of his field goal attempts this season, there was no fear of that, either.

Of course, every kick Shaun Suisham misses the remainder of this season will be highly scrutinized. People will wonder if Reed would have made the kick.

But that’s part of the job description for NFL kickers.

© Chris Kemoeatu and Lawrence Timmons were back at practice Thursday, meaning both should be good to go on Sunday.

Brett Keisel was still limited.

Troy Polamalu sat out again, but plans on playing.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kemoeatu expects to play

Guard Chris Kemoeatu returned to practice on a limited basis today and said he expects to play Sunday against Oakland.

Defensive end Brett Keisel also returned on a limited basis, while outside linebacker Lawrence Timmons was also limited.

The fact that they are practicing on at least a limited basis suggests they, too, should be ready to play Sunday.

Hines Ward went through an entire practice and said he feels no ill-effects from the helmet-to-helmet hit he took from New England's James Sanders on Sunday.

There's still no word on whether Sanders has or will be fined by the league for the blow, something Ward admitted he was curious about.

Safety Troy Polamalu did not practice Wednesday as he rests his sore Achilles' tendon.

© Some Steelers expressed some displeasure with placekicker Jeff Reed's release Tuesday. Read more about it in Thursday's Observer-Reporter.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Steelers release Reed, sign Suisham

A few years ago, the Steelers brought young kicker Shaun Suisham to training camp to provide some daily relief to Jeff Reed.

Now, the Steelers have replaced Reed with Suisham.

The Steelers released the struggling Reed Tuesday, signing Suisham.

Reed, who had missed seven kicks this season, was making an NFL-low 68 percent of his kicks.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Steelers tiring of Reed

Jeff Reed, who got into a verbal confrontation with a fan while leaving the field Sunday night, may have finally worn out his welcome in Pittsburgh.

The Steelers will try out kickers on Tuesday in an attempt to find someone better, or, at the very least, light a fire under the struggling kicker.

There's no word on who the Steelers might bring in yet, but the best available guys would include Steven Hauschka, Piotr Czech, Shaun Suisham and Matt Stover.

Post-New England thoughts

It was a humbled group in the Steelers locker room following the team's 39-26 loss Sunday night to the New England Patriots.

And it should have been.

The Steelers were soundly beaten in every phase of the game.

Heck, the Patriots even ran for 103 yards.

You knew going in that New England's offense was going to score some points. That's what the Patriots do.

But Pittsburgh's offense took nearly two quarters to finally adjust to playing without wide receiver Hines Ward, who was knocked out of the game with a concussion on a helmet-to-helmet hit – that was not penalized – by safety James Sanders.

By the time that happened, the Steelers had already dropped three passes in the end zone and Jeff Reed had missed a 26-yard field goal, a chip-shot by any definition.

You can't beat good teams doing that.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger completed one of 10 passes attempts to wide receivers in the first half.

The Steelers were fortunate to be down just 10-3 at that point.

© I've seen about all of tight end David Johnson in the backfield that I care to see. If you're not going to block somebody, at least get in their way.

© The Steelers had done a good job of tackling in their secondary until Sunday night, limiting the damage from quarterbacks, who were completing over 65 percent of their passes against them.

That changed against New England, which had a number of plays where receivers picked up extra yardage after contact.

If you're not going to cover well, you'd better tackle well. The Steelers did neither Sunday night.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Harrison active for Steelers

James Harrison is active for tonight's game against New England.

Will Allen, Jonathan Dwyer, Chris Kemoeatu, Aaron Smith, Antonio Brown and Brett Keisel are down for the Steelers.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Who I like, New England version

Heath Miller returned to practice Friday for the Steelers, so that's one problem averted.

New England's defense is awful, having given up 400 or more yards in half of the Patriots' games this season. This isn't your father's New England club.

The Patriots can score, to be sure, but they've also limited just one opponent to under 20 points this season.

Tom Brady is also hobbled with a foot injury, something the Steelers may be able to take advantage of.

Finally, New England's pass rush has generated just 13 sacks. Even with two new starters on the left side of the Steelers' line, the Patriots may not be able to take full advantage.

I'll give a nod to Brady to keep things close, but I like the Steelers to win, 27-24.

Still think the Ravens don't have any holes?

For the people coming onto this blog and saying the Ravens have no holes, did you catch the game against Atlanta Thursday night?

Baltimore's pass defense was awful. The pass blocking was mediocre. And Joe Flacco was pretty bad as well.

The bottom line is that while the Steelers have their problems, there is no perfect team in the NFL this season. Period.

There are five or six pretty good teams, but they all have issues.

The two that get hot down the stretch will be in the Super Bowl.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Miller sits out again

Tight end Heath Miller missed his second consecutive day of practice with a swollen knee. That could be troublesome if Miller is unable to play Sunday against the Patriots.

With Max Starks out and Jonathan Scott slated to replace him at left tackle, the Steelers could use Miller to chip a lot out of the backfield.

But if he doesn't play, that would leave them with Matt Spaeth and David Johnson to work with at tight end.

Miller expects to play, but we'll see.

© Expect to see more of Casey Hampton in the Steelers' nickel defense from here on out. Read my story in Friday's O-R to find out more about the move.

© I'm sure a lot of Steelers fans will be watching tonight's big game with Baltimore at Atlanta.

Atlanta has been very tough with Matt Ryan at home. They are 17-3 at home under coach Mike Smith and Ryan has won 13 in a row at the Georgia Dome.

For that reason - and the short week - I like Atlanta, 24-20.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tomlin talks about offensive line

Mike Tomlin said Wednesday that Jonathan Scott is the team's left tackle moving forward and that there are no plans to move right tackle Flozell Adams to replace injured Max Starks.

Tomlin said that he likes what he's seen of Adams at right tackle and doesn't want to change that. The team also has confidence in Scott.

It also appears that Ramon Foster will start next to Scott at guard instead of Doug Legursky.

Foster started four games in place of Chris Kemoeatu in 2009 and the Steelers like him on the left side.

Starks placed on IR

Max Starks was placed on injured reserve this morning and will undergo surgery to repair a disc problem suffered in his neck in Monday night's game at Cincinnati.

To replace him on the roster, the Steelers activated rookie offensive tackle Chris Scott, who had been on the physically unable to perform list.

Scott, a fifth-round draft pick, suffered a foot injury prior to the opening of training camp.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The news just gets worse

The cause of left tackle Max Starks' stinger problem from the game at Cincinnati may cause him to miss the remainder of the 2010 season.

Starks left Monday night's 27-21 win at Cincinnati in the first half with what coach Mike Tomlin called a stinger. He returned for the opening series of the third quarter, but did not play again after that.

Post-Cincinnati thoughts

That James Harrison, he's a peach.

After shutting down the Bengals' last-gasp effort to win Monday night by taking Jordan Shipley's head off and knocking the ball free, he got on the intercom on the plane.

"Everybody take a seat so I can get this plane in the air," Harrison said.

He later came on and went through the entire pilot spiel about the length of the flight and such.

Go ahead, you tell him to put the mike down.

The only reason I know Harrison wasn't flying the plane is because our landing was way too gentle.

Had Harrison been flying the plane, we would have touched down violently.

© All kidding aside, it doesn't look like Harrison is changing too much about his game despite his numerous fines. And the Steelers are OK with that.

He did not, however, lead with his helmet on the hit to Shipley.

Harrison said he was free-lancing a bit on that play. It was a good move.

© That game shouldn't have been as close as it was.

That was a bad interception by Ben Roethlisberger at an inopportune time.

Follow that up with three bad penalties and you open the door right up to give Cincinnati an easy seven points.

© I did like the way the Steelers blitzed the heck out of Carson Palmer on the final drive.

© Jeff Reed's got to be able to bang a 45-yard field goal in the game's closing moments, especially after nailing a 53-yarder earlier in the game.

© Offensive line coach Sean Kugler must feel like he's been cursed.

The 2009 Buffalo Bills, his former employer, used about 25 different line combinations.

The Steelers are closing in on that number.

© Maurkice Pouncey looks to be OK, as does Max Starks.

Chris Kemoeatu said he already had an MRI and it doesn't look bad, though he's the worst of the bunch.

© Now, it's off to bed. It's nearly 4 a.m. and the inside of my eyelids are calling.
I talked to Isaac Redman after the game and he seems OK as well.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Beautiful day in Cincinnati

It's a beautiful day here in Cincinnati. The sun is shining and the temperature and conditions tonight should be perfect for football.

© There were some big, vicious hits doled out during Sunday's games that will test the commissioner's office's crackdown on such blows.

The one I thought was OK was the hit on Indianapolis' Austin Collie.

The original blow came from his back side after he had caught the ball and made a football move.

That blow lowered his head and knocked him into the second defender.

The play was penalized, but should not have been. It was a legal hit.

It's unfortunate that Collie was injured, but it was a football play.

The play that isn't being talked about a whole lot was the Jets' Trevor Pryce taking out Detroit kicker Jason Hanson's knee.

The play was penalized, but the Jets gained a distinct competitive advantage from an illegal hit.

That's one where the penalty should be severe.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Who I like, Cincinnati version

As I said last week when I picked the Steelers to lose a close game at New Orleans, I like the Steelers to win their remaining road games this season.

That starts Monday night in Cincinnati.

The Steelers are by far the more healthy team and should be extremely motivated after losing to the Saints.

The Bengals also swept Pittsburgh last season, adding a little fuel to the fire.

Pittsburgh enters this game as a 3 1/2-point favorite and that looks to be something of a gift.

Cincinnati will put some points on the board, but not enough to keep this close.

Take Pittsburgh to win, 27-17

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Harrison hit with $20,000 fine

Another day, another fine for James Harrison.

Two days after meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell, Harrison was fined $20,000 by the NFL for a late hit on New Orleans' quarterback Drew Brees last Sunday.

That brings Harrison's fine total this season to a cool $100,000.

Harrison won't appeal this fine.

© Defensive end Brett Keisel practiced for the second consecutive day on Thursday and looks to be a go for Monday night's game at Cincinnati.

In fact, the Steelers are so sure, they aren't even list Keisel on their injury report.

© Last Sunday's game at New Orleans was the first time this season the Steelers have really missed Sanontio Holmes.

Read more about it in Friday's Observer-Reporter.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Steelers now need two practice squad players

The Steelers now need to not only replace Steve McClendon on their practice squad, they have to find a replacement for Al Woods as well – at least according to one report.

Woods, according to the report. was signed by the Tampa Bay Bucs off the Steelers practice squad, leaving the Steelers short on defensive linemen with Aaron Smith out indefinitely.

Woods, however, was seen in the Steelers' practice facility today - though that could have been to clean out his locker here.

Expect the team to sign at least one defensive lineman today.

UPDATE: The Steelers just signed outside linebacker Chris Ellis to the practice squad. Ellis, a Virginia Tech product, was with the Bills in training camp.

UPDATE II: The Steelers have signed Sonny Harris to replace Woods on their practice squad.

© The line of the day came from Cincinnati head coach Marvin Lewis when asked about Randy Moss being available.

At first Lewis declined to comment. But when told he could have a "triple threat" at wide receiver with Moss, Terrell Owens and Chad Ocho Cinco, Lewis, without missing a beat replied, "I don't have enough bullets for my gun."

© Ben Roethlisberger admitted today to being a "little nervous" about calling a QB sneak on the goal line because New Orleans had a big nose tackle and rookie center Maurkice Pouncey was working on a silent count.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Keisel expected to return

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday he expects defensive end Brett Keisel to return after missing the past two games with a hamstring injury.

In fact, the only player Tomlin listed as unlikely to play this week is Aaron Smith.

Only Flozell Adams and Isaac Redman, who both suffered ankle sprains in the loss at New Orleans, will be limited in practice this week. Both are expected to play Monday at Cincinnati.

Tomlin again refused to speculate how long Smith, who suffered a triceps muscle tear two weeks ago, will be out of action.

He did say he was pleased with how Ziggy Hood played in Smith's absence.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Post-New Orleans thoughts

Sorry this is so late, but I didn't get in until 5 a.m. and I wanted to collect my thoughts before writing them.

I'm sure many fans are lamenting a wasted opportunity of first-and-goal from the 1. I'm sure offensive coordinator Bruce Arians is being lambasted. But Arians didn't miss any blocks at the goal line.

And I liked his play calling a lot better than that of New Orleans in the same situation later in the game.

The Saints, who had absolutely no success running the ball all night, attempted a pass on first down - to an offensive lineman.

They then ran the ball on back-to-back plays for losses.

© The Saints attempted to spread the Steelers out and beat them throwing the ball.

It didn't work all that well.

I know a loss is a loss. But the Saints attempted 44 passes and score 20 points - at home.

The Steelers struggled offensively in a very loud environment with a rookie center making the line calls.

That was a learning experience for Maurkice Pouncey that will pay dividends down the road.

© Brett Keisel should be back this week, which will help the Steelers moving forward. Nick Eason played well in Keisel's absence, but having Keisel in the lineup will help the pass rush.

© Is James Harrison a marked man?

That roughing the passer call on him in the fourth quarter was pretty borderline.