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Ben Roethlisberger: Steelers deserved to get booed

The Pittsburgh Steelers embarrassed themselves during a 34-24 Week 14 home loss to the San Diego Chargers last Sunday, and the fans even booed the team at different points in the game.

The boos were most noticeable after receiver Mike Wallace dropped a pass during the second quarter when the team was only down 3-0. Even though Wallace finished with seven catches for 112 yards and two touchdowns, what stood out to the fans was that play, especially after Wallace had limited production the previous four games.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger seemed to come to Wallace’s defense by grouping the entire offense together. He says he really let his teammates hear it during halftime of the game.

“I laid into the whole offense, not just Mike,” Roethlisberger told reporters this week, per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I think we all deserved to get booed, which I feel like we did.”

It’s odd to hear Roethlisberger say the offense deserved to get booed when, earlier in the week, he seemed to be upset with fans for booing the team.

“Nobody should ever get booed. We are out there busting our butt,” Roethlisberger said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Nobody intentionally does anything to hurt the team. I don’t intentionally throw interceptions and guys don’t intentionally miss blocks or fumble. We don’t intentionally do it.”

Wallace probably is a different case from the rest of the team. Steelers fans didn’t like it when he held out and were probably upset over his contract demands, which were reported to be outrageous.

The bottom line is the Steelers are 7-6 and in danger of missing the playoffs. They need to start playing better and winning if they want the booing to stop. They have a big game on Sunday in Dallas that will have a huge impact on the postseason chances for both teams.

via SBB Live

Rashard Mendenhall reportedly suspended for not attending Steelers’ game

The Pittsburgh Steelers announced on Tuesday that running back Rashard Mendenhall was suspended one game for conduct detrimental to the team.

Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Mendenhall did not attend the team’s home game against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday after being told he would not be active for the game.

Mendenhall has had a difficult season. He tore his ACL in January and was attempting to return from the injury. He saw his first action in Week 5 against the Philadelphia Eagles, and then missed four games after injuring his Achilles’ tendon the next game. He returned for a Week 11 game against the Ravens and had 33 yards on 11 carries. The following week, Mendenhall fumbled twice against the Cleveland Browns. He was a healthy scratch for Week 13 after that poor performance, and he was a healthy scratch again against San Diego.

Mendenhall is undoubtedly frustrated with the way his season has gone and with his limited role on the team. He was demoted to third string behind Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman and he hasn’t played the last two weeks.

I understand why Mendenhall is upset, but he’s only hurting himself with his poor behavior. Not only is he set to lose just over $41,000 for missing the game, but fewer teams will be willing to sign a free agent running back who not only is coming off a knee surgery, but who also has a bad attitude when things don’t go his way.

Giants lose to Steelers despite help from referees on questionable calls

The NFL replacement referees have not been around for over a month, but you wouldn’t have been able to tell that watching Sunday’s Pittsburgh Steelers-New York Giants game.

The Steelers overcame at least two bad calls from the officials to beat the Giants 24-20.

In the second quarter, the Giants were down 7-0 and had a third-and-goal from the two. Eli Manning scrambled after not being able to find anything in the end zone, and then he fired for Victor Cruz. The ball was nearly intercepted by Steelers CB Ike Taylor, who stepped in front of Cruz. Safety Ryan Clark came across and crushed Cruz, laying him out with a shoulder-first hit. Clark was penalized for a personal foul after the officials say he hit Cruz in the head. Replays showed that he led with his shoulder.

FOX NFL rules analyst Mike Pereira disagreed with the call. “That is not a blow to the head and not a foul. Pass had not even hit the ground yet,” he wrote on Twitter.

Instead of having a fourth-and-goal from the two, the Giants were first-and-goal from the one and scored on the next play. That was a four-point difference.

The Giants benefited from another questionable call a few plays later.

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Justin Tuck: Steelers offensive line has ‘gotten away with murder’

One of the best ways for the New York Giants to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend would be to put some pressure on Ben Roethlisberger — something very few teams have had success doing this season. Roethlisberger has been sacked only 13 times through the first seven games, which is one of the reasons he has completely nearly 67% of his passes and has an impressive QB rating of 101.4.

According to Justin Tuck, the reason Pittsburgh’s offensive line has protected Roethlisberger so well is that the unit gets away with holding.

“I hope we get some holding calls because they have gotten away with murder,” Tuck told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols. “They’ve done a very good job protecting Ben — they don’t hold on every play. But we’ve seen a whole lot of it.”

The Steelers have only been called for holding five times this season, which means some of their seven starting lineman have yet to commit a holding penalty. That’s a pretty impressive statistic.

Tuck is obviously trying to work the refs over in an attempt to help the Giants’ front seven break the trend of Roethlisberger keeping his jersey clean. Holding happens on nearly every play in the NFL, so I doubt Pittsburgh is doing anything more than other teams do. Could they be getting away with it more? Tuck is hoping the refs think they have.

Photo credit: Jim O’Connor-US PRESSWIRE

Steelers unveil their 80th season throwback jerseys (Pictures)

The Steelers unveiled throwback jerseys they will wear this season to celebrate their 80th anniversary (the franchise began playing in the NFL in 1933). The team’s official Twitter account shared photos of running back Isaac Redman modeling the jersey, and I must say, they are hideous. They would definitely be right up there with the Broncos on our list of worst throwback jerseys ever.

Here are a few more photos of the uniforms:

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More Than 70% of People in Denver Think the Broncos Will Lose to Steelers

Anyone who puts a lot of stock into momentum leading up to the NFL playoffs likely won’t be giving the Broncos any kind of shot to beat the Steelers this weekend. Denver has lost its last three games, including an embarrassing offensive performance and a 7-3 loss against the Chiefs last weekend. Very few would argue that they are a better team than the Steelers, but Denver gets to play at home and we have seen much stranger things happen in the NFL playoffs (see: 2010 Seattle Seahawks). Broncos fans, however, do not seem very confident heading into the Wild Card round.

According to a poll taken by FOX 31 in Denver, 73 percent of the people in Denver believe Tim Tebow and company will lose to Pittsburgh this weekend. The voting is now closed with 840 people having responded. Obviously that does not represent the entire population of Broncos fans, but it is a fairly decent indication of the toll the last three weeks have taken on their confidence.

The Broncos may need a little extra assistance from Jesus if they want to advance deeper into the playoffs, but where there’s a will there’s a way.  We certainly know Tebow isn’t lacking in the will category.  Head coach John Fox is also hoping Broncos fans will do their part and hold onto their tickets.

“We’ve got unique fans here,” Fox said. “I would encourage all of them to keep their seats and not sell them to Pittsburgh fans.”

Denver will need an edge from the home crowd and will need Tebow to be on his game.  If the game were in Pittsburgh, I’d be predicting a rout.  Since I fully expect Mile High to bring the noise, the Broncos have a shot.

Who is the Favorite to Reach the Super Bowl from this Year’s Mediocre AFC?

This has truly been a strange year in the NFL.  Granted, every year is strange in the world of professional football.  We have teams that start out smoking hot and finish the season 6-10.  We have others that start out 1-4 and scratch and claw their way into the playoffs.  This season, however, seems to be more of a mystery than ever — particularly in the AFC.  The Packers are the clear-cut favorite to win the NFC and the Super Bowl at this point, but what about the rest?  With the AFC up for grabs, here’s a look at the teams that are in the hunt. We start with the least likely to play in Indianapolis on Feb. 5 and end with the most.

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