PITTSBURGH (GSM) — Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster left practice with a groin injury this week. He intends on playing against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, despite being listed as questionable.
In head coach Mike Tomlin’s weekly press conference, Brian Cook asked about two young wideouts who could also be worked into the mix this weekend, after their performance on Dec. 16 against the New England Patriots.
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.
PITTSBURGH (GSM) – The Steelers put the game against the Falcons out of reach early and had a field day at Heinz Field.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger completed 19 of 29 passes for 250 yards and three touchdowns, two of which were to wide receiver Antonio Brown. JuJu Smith-Schuster (pictured above) also caught a strike, helping to put the game in the bag.
Running back James Conner rushed for 110 yards and scored 2 touchdowns of his own.
Next week, the Steelers travel to Cincinnati to face their AFC North rival Bengals.
PITTSBURGH (GSM) – The Steelers struck early via a 27-yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger to wide out Martavis Bryant for the game’s first touchdown. The final score was 26-9 in a one sided game that helped set the tone in the 2017 season’s second game.
Roethlisberger’s stats: 23-35, 243 YDS, 2 TD. He spread the ball effectively, connecting with 6 receivers.
Wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster was on the receiving end of Roethlisberger’s second touchdown pass in the second quarter, moments before the end of the first half.
Le’Veon Bell was held to only 87 yards rushing on 27 attempts. However, his performance helped move the clock as the Steelers controlled the time of possession (34:22) throughout the game.
Pittsburgh racked up 2 sacks on defense holding Vikings quarterback Case Keenum to only 167 yards passing on 37 attempts.