Connect with us


Steelers Dominated by Tom Brady, Patriots



The New England Patriots unveiled their banner as six-time Super Bowl champions before their season-opening game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

Right after, they made their case as the team with the best shot at No. 7 next February.

The Patriots absolutely dominated the Steelers in every phase en route to a 33-3 victory at Gillette Stadium that not only left the Steelers with an 0-1 start in the standings, but significant questions about the ability of the team.

The Pittsburgh offense was out-matched from the very start, with punts on four straight drives to start the game — a streak that was only interrupted by a turnover on downs on the fifth drive.

Through the air, Ben Roethlisberger seemed to have time throw, but the Steelers receiving corps sans Antonio Brown had a hard time earning separation and had a significant number of dropped passes, particularly from veteran No. 2 Donte Moncrief.

Moncrief finished his Pittsburgh debut with three catches for seven yards on 10 targets. Slot man Ryan Switzer had six catches but managed just 29 yards. Those two benefitted from additional targets as the Patriots attempted to take away JuJu Smith-Schuster (six catches, 78 yards).

The running game never got going, either James Conner finished with 10 carries for 21 yards.

Third downs were crucially poor for the Steelers, as well. They missed on third or fourth and 1 on three straight drives at one point and finished with 25% third-down efficiency.

Defensively, the Steelers attempted to keep Tom Brady and company in check, but a pair of big plays broke the game open.

Brady found Phillip Dorsett from 25 yards out over Mike Hilton and Trey Edmunds late in the first half and then connected with Dorsett again, this time from 58 yards over fill-in starter Kameron Kelly, who replaced the injured Sean Davis at free safety.


JuJu Smith-Schuster Asks Fans to Give him Space



JuJu Smith-Schuster is experiencing the negative side effect of living so much of his personal life in the public eye. The Steelers receiver, who is looking for a new NFL contract, took to Instagram to ask fans to leave him alone.

This stems from allegations that fans are showing up to his family home in California while he is there. Obviously, fans have no right to show up unwelcome anywhere to stalk an an athlete or celebrity, but this is just another example of the polarization of Smith-Schuster’s career. While he’s received much criticism, most notably this past season, for his sometimes over-the-top behavior and seemingly prioritizing his brand at all times, he also has many avid supporters who would stop at nothing to defend one of their favorite players.

Smith-Schuster is set to be a free agent in March for the first time in his professional career. If the Steelers should try to bring back the receiver has become a hot debate among Pittsburgh fans, so much so Smith-Schuster himself addressed the situation during a live Twitch sessions with fans.

Even Smith-Schuster’s play on the field is often up for debate. He totaled 97 receptions, but for only 831 yards with an average of just 8.6 yards per catch, which is significantly lower than his average from past seasons, including 15.8 his rookie year and 13.1 in 2019.

When it comes to JuJu Smith-Schuster, it’s always best to just stay tuned.

Continue Reading


Steelers’ Vance McDonald Reflects on Stiff Arm Moment, Relationship with Ben Roethlisberger



Steelers tight end Vance McDonald spoke to the media after officially announcing his retirement from the NFL. McDonald responded to a question about the play he’s most synonymous with by saying he embraces the famous stiff arm moment. He also detailed his interaction with Ben Roethlisberger when he told his quarterback he was planning to retire.

Continue Reading


Steelers TE Kevin Rader Aced Week 17 Audition, More Coming in 2021?



The Steelers have an opening in their tight ends room, as four-year starter Vance McDonald retired on Friday.

That leaves Eric Ebron as the team’s projected starter for 2021, and that won’t be a big change, as Ebron out-snapped McDonald and started nine games to McDonald’s 12. Without another veteran option, it’s likely the Steelers will use fewer two-tight end sets, but the issue of backups will need to be addressed.

Michigan product and former fifth-round pick Zach Gentry has yet to be a factor through two seasons and missed most of 2020 with an injury, but as he’s under contract and the team is facing a salary cup crunch, he seems likely to hold onto that job.

The Steelers have options for a third tight end, securing the services of Dax Raymond and Charles Jones on reserve/future contracts for the 2021 season on Thursday. But the man that seems most likely to step up into that role is third-year pro Kevin Rader.

Rader, a Pine-Richland and Youngstown State alum spent his second season with the Steelers in 2020, but got his first taste of action in Week 17 at Cleveland with the Steelers choosing to rest starters.

He made the most of the opportunity, particularly on special teams, where he played in nearly half of the team’s snaps, made three tackles and drew praise from head coach Mike Tomlin.

“Guys like Kevin Rader had an opportunity to step up and play,” Tomlin said. “I think he had three tackles on kickoff. For an offensive player to have that type of contribution in net, in a coverage unit I think was impressive. That’s good for him. That’s good for us as we move forward.”

Rader is also on a reserve/future contract, with no guaranteed money for 2021, but if he can continue to show the ability to contribute on special teams and help as a blocker, where McDonald excelled and Ebron does not, it seems that he can certainly carve himself out a role in Pittsburgh in 2021.

Continue Reading

Steelers Now in Your Mailbox!

Enter your email address to subscribe and get notifications of new posts in your mailbox.

Moon Golf Club

Copyright © 2020 Pittsburgh Sports Now / Steelers Now. In no way affiliated with or endorsed by the Pittsburgh Steelers or NFL.

Steelers Now in your Inbox

Sign up and get all of our posts sent directly to your inbox!

Thank you!


Send this to a friend