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PITTSBURGH (AP) — Members of the Pittsburgh
09-30-2019, 05:45 AM,
Post: #1
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Members of the Pittsburgh
Steelers‘ defense are eager to play again. They’re going to have to wait an extra day.They want to put a forgettable performance against Kansas City in the past and prove themselves this week against an upstart Tampa Bay offense. The Steelers will see where they stand during their first prime-time appearance of the season Monday night against veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and the undefeated Buccaneers.“We want to get that rotten taste out of our mouths and just get back to playing football Mason Rudolph Jersey ,” defensive end Cam Heyward said on Friday. “It’s a great opportunity against a good offense.”The two-time defending AFC North champions are winless through two weeks. The Steelers (0-1-1) are off to their worst start since 2013, which was also the last time they missed the playoffs.Last week, Chiefs first-year starter Patrick Mahomes became the second player to throw for six touchdowns against Pittsburgh, and the first since Hall of Famer Jim Kelly did it for Buffalo in 1991. Mahomes threw his six scores to five players and finished with more touchdowns than incomplete passes.“We’ve got a lot of stuff to prove,” linebacker Bud Dupree said. “There’s a lot of speculation of us not being a good defense, but we know in our heart and soul that we have one of the best defenses.”The Steelers statistically boasted a top-10 defense last season. They ranked No. 5 in yards and two spots back at No. 7 in points, while also establishing a franchise record for sacks in a season.This season has been much different. The defense has allowed an average of 31.5 points and close to 400 yards per contest through two games.“We just want to be established and known as one of the best defenses,” cornerback Joe Haden said. “We haven’t really put that on tape for the first two games. The quicker we can get back out there, the quicker we can show everybody what we can do.”Haden expects to play Monday after missing last week’s game against Kansas City with a hamstring injury. The ninth-year veteran was a full practice participant for the second straight day Friday. Haden will be a welcome addition to a defense that had communication issues, lacked a consistent pass rush and couldn’t get off the field.Defensive coordinator Keith Butler said this week that he simplified the game plan to allow players to play fast Ernie Stautner Jersey , improve communication and eliminate big plays through the secondary. Butler felt his players tried to overcompensate and do too much at times against the Chiefs.“I jumped offsides when we were down because I was trying to time the snap and get to the quarterback,” Dupree said. “Somebody has to make a play and I was trying to put it on my shoulders and make a play, and sometimes that’s trying to do too much.”Tampa Bay (2-0) is off to its best start in eight years and features the NFL’s top-ranked offense. The Bucs are unbeaten thanks in large part to Fitzpatrick, the 35-year-old journeyman who has thrived with suspended quarterback Jameis Winston sidelined. Fitzpatrick is playing the best football of his 14-year career, throwing for 819 yards and eight touchdowns in Tampa Bay’s first two games.The Steelers insist their defense is prepared for the challenge.“We’re just ready to go,” Heyward said. “I’m ready to move forward. I think we cleaned up a lot of problems. We had a lot to address, but it won’t be addressed until Monday. Hopefully, we can put on a good performance.”NOTES: S Morgan Burnett (groin), G David DeCastro (hand), T Marcus Gilbert (hamstring) and DE Stephon Tuitt (illness) did not practice on Friday. G Ramon Foster (knee) and DE Tyson Alualu (shoulder) were full practice participants for the second straight day. The Super Bowl is upon us. Soon Joe Haden Jersey , the most important football game in the history of western civilization will take place (for this year, anyway), when the New England Patriots take on the Los Angeles Rams for the right to be called kings of the National Football League (again, just for this year).So, who do I think will win Super Bowl LIII? As a writer who comes to you from my one-bedroom apartment in Crafton, Pa., home of the legendary Bill Cowher, it’s likely you were just waitingfor my opinion with the proverbial bated breath.As a die-hard Steelers fan since the moment I watched them vanquish the Los Angeles Rams (ironically enough) in Super Bowl XIV way back on January 20, 1980, I naturally want Los Angeles to win. This would give the Rams their second Super Bowl title and fourth championship in franchise history (yes James Washington Jersey , some franchises that won championships before the advent of the Super Bowl actually count them—they may even have trophies and stuff). More importantly, it would prevent New England from tying the Steelers with six Lombardi trophies, a point of pride for black and gold faithful for a decade now, even if the Green Bay Packers (13 world championships), Chicago Bears (nine world championships) and New York Giants (eight world championships) are all, “We got your pride right here!”However, since it’s debatable whether or not pre-Super Bowl championships actually count anymore, let’s stick to Lombardi trophies and the Patriots quest to tie Pittsburgh. Nobody really wants it to happen. I mean, even in cities without a dog in the fight, people really want New England to lose. Why? It’s about time the Patriots dynasty crumbles to the ground—something that will happen once Tom Brady actually retires and/or some other team in the AFC East realizes it’s allowed to try and win many games. Will the dynasty begin to crumble in Super Bowl LIII? Probably not. The Patriots have lost Super Bowls before (take last year Stephon Tuitt Jersey , for example), yet it hasn’t stopped them from appearing in more Super Bowls (take this year, for example). Therefore, I don’t see New England losing to the Rams. Don’t get me wrong, Los Angeles will spend about 90 percent of the game giving youthe impression the Patriots are toast (there will be memes posted by halftime declaring the king dead). Unfortunately, much like the Seahawks and Falcons, someone on the Rams will lend New England a helping hand (say, for example, by passing at the goal line, instead of giving the football to Todd Gurley or that C.J. Anderson fella; or taking a sack when you’re in field goal range and only need three points to seal the deal). And if that doesn’t work Jesse James Jersey , the officials will overturn some call without conclusive evidence to do so or uphold some call with clear visual evidence to overturn it—you know which team will benefit in either case. And if neither of those things happen, some team from the AFC East will show up and play in the Rams place for at least a quarter. And even if the Bills don’t show up, well, Brady is pretty awesome, as is Belichick (although, he’s more the John Oates of the duo—the franchise quarterback is really the one that makes Super Bowl dreams come true). I envision a game in-which Los Angeles controls the action for most of the way. Jared Goff will show us that he has what it takes to be one of the faces of the NFL for years to come. Aaron Donald will spend portions of the night being totally unblockable on his way to punishing Brady and making him do that thing where he slams the football out of frustration and then yells at his teammates (only non-receivers are allowed to “lead” in such a fashion). Marcus Peters may even get a pick-six and then proceed to challenge the entire state of Maine to a fight. Unfortunately, there will come a time when the Rams will have a chance to put the game away—either offensively or defensively—but they won’t be able to do so (maybe because the Jets show up and play in their place midway from the fourth quarter). And once they fail to close the door on Brady and Belichick (mostly Brady), the Patriots will do that thing where they pull a Super Bowl out either in the final moments or in overtime.I’m predicting the final moments.Patriots 34, Rams 31.And for most of us not living in those New England states—especially very prideful “Got Six?” Steelers fans—I’m predicting......PAIN.

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