Bills go Duck Hunting, Steelers margin of error to make postseason…………

 

A nightmare QB performance, A nightmare night for Randy Fichtner & More Buzz The Duck crumbled as the Buffalo Bills (10-4) picked off Devlin Hodges four times, en route to a 17-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers (8-6) on Sunday night. The Bills in clinching a playoff spot, went Duck Hunting in quarter 4, picking off Hodges three times over the Steelers final five possessions, as a 10-7 Steelers lead to open the 4th quarter, evaporated to a 17-10 loss. This was just a maddening game for the Steelers on a number of levels and in all three phases, yet, here they were with a three point lead entering the 4th and drove into Bill’s territory twice when trailing by seven on their final two possessions. When you dissect this game, it starts with the offensive game plan. It was either too conservative (1st/2nd QTR), just plain overthinking things (AllRead More »

Rumors: Pens, Sabres talked Galchenyuk – Vesey swap?

 

Tick-Tock on Alex Galchenyuk’s Future in PIT Penguins GM Jim Rutherford has soured on winger Alex Galchenyuk to the point that Rutherford has informed rival teams of his hope to move Galchenyuk by the middle of January, at the latest, one s MORE BUZZ — Despite back-to-back shutouts from Tristan Jarry and a short trip to Detroit, it was a no-brainer for the coaches to start Matt Murray against Detroit and an easy call for them. It’s early December……. — Multiple scouts tell me since playing on a line with Jake Guentzel, this is the most dominant Evgeni Malkin has been in driving play off zone entries in seven to eight years. Meanwhile, one of the biggest frustrations the organization has with Alex Galchenyuk is a lack of ability to make 1-on-1 plays off zone entries. — Dominik Kahun has done a phenomenal job in changing the narrative. His trainingRead More »

Penguins Impressive Showing; Ray Shero’s Future in NJ; Bill Peters was Pens’ top choice in 14′ search & More Buzz

 

Most Impressive Win of the Season? The Penguins’ man-games lost are right on par with the 2013-2014 season when they had over 500 man-games lost. One thing that always stood out with that season in how it started and ended was the Penguins being harder to play against when they had a depleted lineup. The same thing is playing out this season. Time will tell if come spring time a lot are saying ‘hey the Pittsburgh Penguins were a lot harder to play against when the minor league guys were out there playing like it was going to be the last NHL game of their career’. With the back-to-back losses over the weekend to Columbus and St. Louis, you had to wonder if an extended losing streak was coming and the lack of talent in the lineup was finally going to catch up. Over the Penguins’ last 17 games, theyRead More »

A mixed bag of opinions on the Penguins around the league; Tristan Jarry’s Trade Value, Jake Guentzel Elite & more Buzz

 

Penguins brass continues to see 2016 similarities in way Penguins push the pace 1. — The Pittsburgh Penguins internal models, especially the analytic based one’s, have screamed ‘2016 Penguins’ in the eyes of several members of the organization. Pittsburgh with all the injuries, has been exceptionally improved this season in offensive zone entries and scouts have seen an improvement in pressuring the puck carrier through the neutral zone that has Pittsburgh defending zone entries at a much greater rate, which until recently had led to less running around and getting overwhelmed down-low in defending the cycle and net-front. Not all evaluators are sold on this roster and some feel it’s going to be a lineup in a seven game series that that you can wear down below the dots at both ends of the rink and there’s no sense opposing teams fear Pittsburgh’s backend. That said, one former head coachRead More »

Steelers-Browns Fallout: Signficant Coaching Advantage plays out, Devlin Hodges/Deep Passing Game & a Special Defensive Unit

 

Mike Tomlin Moving up the Coach of the Year Power Rankings Coaching, Coaching, Coaching. You want to see an elite coach in crisis management go head-to-head vs a rookie coach over his head, go watch the game tape from Steelers – Browns again. Mike Tomlin for the second straight week put on a coaching clinic as he’s emerged near the top of the Coach of the Year chain. Falling behind 10-0 to the Cleveland Browns with Devlin Hodges as your QB might have looked like a death sentence but the final 35 minutes of play saw a complete reversal. What changed first was a defensive adjustment. Pittsburgh had great difficulty in stopping the Browns 2-back formation with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt in the misdirection passing game. The first quarter-in-a-half looked like it was going to be a long day for the Steelers defense where Pittsburgh could not pick upRead More »

Latest Steelers Buzz: Lean Hodges & Here’s Why

 

Mike Tomlin putting on a coaching clinic Somehow, someway Mike Tomlin has his football team in the final wildcard spot with five games to go. Say what you want about Tomlin’s game management but crisis management is a pivotal trait to succeeding in the NFL and he’s put on a coaching clinic this season. Not only are the Steelers miraculously 6-5 with their quarterback situation and injuries, they’ve won five of six and since week 2, have suffered just one loss by more than four points. They’re doing all of this with an horrific offense that’s also getting dud seasons from two of their most important offensive players in Juju Smith-Schuster and James Conner who have been unreliable on the field as the No. 1’s, have had costly turnovers late in close games, and are currently injured. What Tomlin is doing this season as one Steelers source says is stickingRead More »

On Myles Garrett, Pittsburgh Still Being Relevant at 10-Game Mark & Mason Rudolph getting Exposed

 

Steelers – Browns Fallout What I witnessed Thursday night might have been the most arrogant, cockiest 3-6 football team I’ve ever seen in the Cleveland Browns. You would have thought the Steelers were going up against a 9-0 football team destined for the Super Bowl. For the Browns part, the better team on the field on this specific night got the ‘W’. They set the tempo on the first drive of the game and legally/illegally physically punished the Steelers. But, everything about the Browns actions and performance Thursday night showed why they are now just a 4-6 football team instead of being a 7-3 team and right on the Ravens tail for the division lead. They’re a badly coached team with a bunch of maniacs on the field who think they are better than they are that kept Pittsburgh in the game with 8 penalties for 121 yards. They’re alwaysRead More »

Whispers on GM Search and why it’s been a surprisingly coveted job

 

Latest Pirates Buzz The Pittsburgh Pirates search for a new General Manager is starting to reach the final stages and movement has the Pirates expecting to introduce a new General Manager before the end of next week. The Three finalists: Former Boston Red Sox GM Ben Cherington Milwaukee Brewers Assistant GM Matt Arnold Pirates Interim GM Kevan Graves Cherington has been a favorite among the search firm hired by the Pirates as Cherington has close ties to the firm which has raised some eyebrows. Cherington who will have another interview with the club on Thursday, has great interest in the job because of an understanding throughout the process that the incoming General Manager will have full say and power on day-to-day baseball decisions. The scuttlebutt in MLB circles is the Pirates hiring of Travis Williams as Team President was strictly for the business side of the organization, a message that’sRead More »