PITTSBURGH (GSM) – The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Carolina Panthers 52-21 on Thursday Night Football. This was highest amount of points any one team has scored at Heinz Field.
In a one-sided game, Pittsburgh had 7 different players score touchdowns in the game. Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger connected on a 75-yard touchdown on the first play of their opening drive. Also finding the endzone were Vance McDonald, James Conner, Antonio Brown, Jesse James and Jaylen Samuels.
Roethlisberger was perfect from the pocket as he secured a 158.3 passing percentage. The best in his career.
The Steelers have Jaguars and Broncos on the road before they return to Heinz Field on December 2 to face the Chargers.
BALTIMORE (GSM) – It was a win on the road in a short week.
The Steelers are on a 4-game winning streak after defeating the Baltimore Ravens 23-13 at M&T Bank Stadium, Sunday. It was an AFC North win that keeps them in the catbird seat atop the division. Now with a record of 5-2-1 running back James Conner, referenced the last time these two organizations met. The Steelers came up short when they played on September 30. The score was 26-14. He acknowledged that it was imperative to get out of the gate early. “Last time we played them, we had some turnovers early and some penalties.” Conner said. “[We tried] to do the opposite of that and start out fast.”
Linebacker Bud Dupree had a half-sack in the game and says now that playing divisional opponents are almost complete 9-weeks into the season, there is still a lot of ahead of them. “It’s going to be a long ride again. It was great that we became at the top of the division after this game. We have one more, it’s Bengals again. I’m glad we played everyone (AFC North opponents) at the beginning of the season. Now we can just focus on other conference games and dominate those as well.”
Defensive back Mike Hilton says racking up victories against divisional opponents are key especially against the likes of Baltimore, as they move down the stretch. However, the immediate game plan now centers around the short turnaround. “It was big,” Hilton said “Especially on the road against a team like Baltimore. Everybody knows how big the rivalry is. It was a big win for us and now we have to get ready for the quick turnaround for Thursday.”
With only a few days off, the Steelers gear up to host the Carolina Panthers at Heinz Field who are on the prowl as well. Their overall record is 6-2, and are coming off of a win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The score was 42-28. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was 19 for 25 in the passing game with two touchdowns and no interceptions, which contributed significantly to his team’s victory.
The Panthers are currently in second place in the NFC South, 1-game behind the New Orleans Saints (7-1).
The Steelers and Panthers met in the pre-season however the speed of this game will include the starters in mid-season form which can guarantee a physical matchup.
CLEVELAND (GSM) – The Cleveland Browns have fired head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley during week 8 of the 2018 NFL season.
Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam released the following statement:
“We greatly appreciate Hue’s commitment to the Cleveland Browns organization over the last two and a half years,” the Haslams said in a joint statement released Monday afternoon. “We understand how critical this time period is in the development of our football team, individually and collectively, and believed it was in the organization’s best interest to make the move at this time, in order to maximize our opportunities the rest of this season. We certainly only wish Hue, Michelle, and his family the best moving forward.”
Offensive coordinator Todd Haley was also relieved of his duties, the team confirmed.
Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams will be the team’s interim head coach until a new selection is made.
PITTSBURGH – The Steelers were victorious in the wake of tragedy.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, although proud of his team’s 33-18 victory against the Browns Sunday, started his opening remarks referencing the shooting at Tree of Life synagogue where 11 people lost their lives over the weekend. A resident of the Squirrel Hill community himself he said the massacre hit close to home.
Let me start by representing our organization and saying that our hearts go out to the victims of yesterday’s shooting, the Squirrel Hill community and the community of Pittsburgh at large. I am a member of the Squirrel Hill community, personally, and words cannot express how we feel as members of this community. We are prayerful.
As for the game, Running back James Conner rushed for 146 yards and two touchdowns to help his team seal the win. Tomlin, who watched Conner play at Pitt, not surprised by what he can do. “I had a front row seat for his college exploits,” Tomlin Said. “Not that we’re surprised by his talents or his play demeanor or his displays of will. It’s pretty impressive.”
Conner, humble in his approach, says he loves football and will do what it takes to win. “I’m just doing what I love to do. I’m trying to be in the right sport for Ben in the check-downs [and] trying to put the ball in the right spots in the run game.”
In what some are calling a blowout, offensive lineman Ramon foster says even though the score was high, Their AFC North rival has improved over time. “They are a really good team. They’re not the Browns of old. They’ve got a lot of high picks. They’ve got guys who understand how to play the game a little bit better.”
The Steelers head to Baltimore this weekend to face the Ravens on November 4. The Ravens lost to the Carolina Panthers 36-21.
Touching on a myriad of topics in his weekly press conference Tuesday, Pittsburgh SteelersHead Coach Mike Tomlin mentioned his team’s offensive line and how switching linebackers Budd Dupree and T.J. Watt to opposite sides in the off season is working thus far.