Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Week 3 Rundown

Man, what a week of football. It started off with some of the best football you'll see with a slew of great 1:00 games on Sunday and ended with one of the worst displays of football you'll see in a Monday Night Snoozer in the Prime Time NFC East Game of the Week.

What We Learned
  1. Matthew Stafford was well-deserving of the #1 pick. He's a star in the making if he can stay healthy. Having Calvin Johnson to throw the ball to doesn't hurt either.
  2. After watching the Eagles in the preseason, it was pretty obvious they were going to have trouble stopping the run. Three games in, they are still having troubles and NFL.com writers are asking if Nnamdi Asomugha is a bust.
  3. Darren McFadden is an absolute beast. If he stays healthy this year, the Raiders will have a shot at finishing at least in second place in a weak AFC West.
  4. Wade Phillips may have been an uninspiring head coach in Dallas, but he's whipped the Texans league-worst defense into shape and now they're playing some solid ball (except in the 4th quarter against Drew Brees this week, but Brees is one of the best QBs in the league, he tore up Green Bay in Week 1 too).
  5. Getting rid of Brad Childress hasn't solved Minnesota's play-calling woes. They have outscored opponents 54-7 in the first half and been outscored 67-6 in the second half. Adrian Peterson had 12 first half carries on the way to the Vikings running up a 20-0 lead. In the second half, when they were trying to protect their lead, he had only 5 carries.

  1. Buffalo didn't get a whole lot of pressure on Brady, but their D-line did an excellent job of getting their hands up and tipping passes. The story of the game was Brady's 4 INTs, but none of them were actually thrown right to Bills players, most of them were tipped balls. Great defensive gameplan.
  2. Tampa finally getting over the hump and racking up a signature win. Granted, the NFL isn't the NCAA so "signature wins" don't mean much, but for an up-and-coming team that went through the rebuilding process, it's good to see them improving.
  3. Watching Victor Cruz run around through the Eagles secondary.
  4. The development of Ryan Fitzpatrick from a scrub journeyman quarterback to a guy who is having a great year for the Bills. Hard work certainly paid off, and Fitzpatrick is proof that work ethic can get you a long way in this league.
  5. Evgeni Malkin's twitter account. This is just full of awesome. And Russian. But the English tweets are amazing.

  1. Matt Cassel throwing the ball right to the Chargers D-line on the last drive of the game. The Chiefs gave a spirited effort to come back and have a chance at the end, but Cassel threw the ball right to the guy.
  2. Pretty much everything that happened Monday Night. It was just sloppy, bad football. Neither team looked very good at all.
  3. Atlanta jumping offsides on 4th and 1. Nothing is certain that they would've stopped Tampa on the play, but you at least want to see their defense have a chance to make a play.
  4. The Steelers offensive tackles against Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis.
  5. With the AFC North playing the NFC West this year, football fans on the West Coast are going to have to suffer through seeing both the Bengals and Browns play against their teams.

Going Streaking

Note: Including Playoffs

Futility Watch

Off the Schneid

The Panthers had lost 4 consecutive games dating back to last season. Cam Newton threw for a boatload of yards in the first two games, but the Panthers still lost. He didn't have as good of a game statistically, but he didn't throw any interceptions for the first time this season, and the Panthers got off the schneid.

Greg Lloyd "I Wasn't Hired For My Disposition" Badass of the Week Award

Rushel Shell

For those of you that follow high school football here in Western Pennsylvania, you probably heard that Hopewell running back Rushel Shell broke the WPIAL record for career rushing yards. Four games into his senior year, Shell now has 7,718 yards in his career. He is within 1309 yards of the state rushing record. With 5 games to go in the regular season, Shell would need to average 262 yards per game to break the mark before the end of the regular season. However, the Hopewell Vikings are currently undefeated and tied for first place in the Parkway Conference, meaning there is a very good chance Shell and the Vikings will reach the playoffs, giving him more games to chase down the mark. Shell has 952 yards so far this year, averaging 238 per game. He would need 6 more games at this pace to break the state record. As an added bonus, Shell recently said that his college decision was down to two schools: Alabama and the University of Pittsburgh.

Bob Smizik "Douchebag of the Week" Award

Mike Vukovcan

For those of you who have followed the blog for a while or follow us on Twitter, you know we've had our issues with Mike Vukovcan, who is the Sports Producer for KDKA and producer of the #1 Cochran Sports Showdown. We first took exception with Vuk back in July when, after news about the James Harrison article broke, he tweeted that he wished the Steelers would cut Harrison. We got into a bit of a tiff with him and Gerry Dulac then, which we detailed in this post.

Now, there are two kinds of people on the internet. There are people who say or do stupid things, and there are people who remember the stupid things that other people say or do and point it out to them. Most of the time, we fall into the first category. But every now and again we get the opportunity to be part of the second. Of course, after James Harrison made the biggest defensive play of the year, we couldn't help but reminding Vuk and Dulac about what they had said over the summer.

Now, Vuk took exception to this and decided to respond. Let's just say he didn't do himself any favors.

Um....did this guy even watch the game?

But it wasn't enough for Vuk to just blatantly ignore what actually happened in the game, he had to take it a step further and go the Fox News route - calling his opponents names and saying he never said something that he actually said.

Clown...tough guy...haha okay Mike, if we're at the point of name-calling then so be it. But in the mean time, I took the opportunity to remind him exactly what he had said:

 The link I posted (the 3.bp.blogspot.com part) was a link to this screenshot, which was from the aforementioned post.

So, according to MikeVukFoxNews, yesterday (September 26) he adamantly stated (backed up by full-out Glenn Beck-style name-calling) he said "I never said they should cut [Harrison]." But in reality, on July 13 he said actually said he "wish[ed] the Steelers would take a stance and get rid of [Harrison]." Correct me if I'm wrong, but short of giving Harrison a Vito Corelone-esque offer he couldn't refuse, the only way to "get rid" of him would have been to cut him. If only we were so lucky that MikeVukFoxNews could shed some light on his thought process.

Oh wait...he did? Awesome.

This makes even less sense than his previous assertion that he didn't say something that he actually did. So he said "get rid of" in his July 13 tweet. If, according to this tweet, he meant "cut" in that instance, then he was wishing the Steelers would cut Harrison, which he claims he never said and that I'm being a "tough guy" for putting words in his mouth. This doesn't make any sense, unless, like I said, MVFN was expecting the Steelers to bring in Luca Brasi to "get rid of" Harrison.

Here's the lesson folks: never say anything on the internet you don't want someone else throwing back in your face when you're wrong.

As an addendum to the longest ever Smizik Award, we have an early candidate for next week:

I've gone on record saying DK is the best sports writer in this city right now, and I have yet to actually read the article since it won't post until tomorrow. 

But here is what I do know. Woodley has 1.5 sacks and 11 tackles through 3 games (which is pretty consistent production for how he has played in his career thus far...through 3 games in 2010 he had 11 tackles and 2 sacks, through 3 games in 2009 he had 3 tackles and 0 sacks and through 3 games in 2008 he had 9 tackles and 2 sacks). Woodley is one of two Steelers in the entire history of the franchise to have 10+ sacks in 3 consecutive seasons (James Harrison is the other), so if his production is consistent again this year, I'm not going to complain about that. Timmons is leading the team in tackles and is 25th in the league in tackles. Considering the Steelers defense has only been on the field for 170 plays this season (5th fewest in the league), Timmons league ranking in tackles doesn't concern me yet. He's leading the team, so I'm not really sure how you can say he hasn't shown up to play. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Defense Does It Again: Steelers Win


First Quarter

Steelers win the toss and elect to receive.

The Steelers come out firing, going play-action and hitting Wallace down the sideline. Arians goes right to the WR screen and Wallace makes some guys miss, getting 30 yards down the sideline. The drive fizzles out and Suisham nails a 48-yarder to get us on the board.


The Colts respond by coming out throwing short quick passes and running a no huddle to nullify the Steelers pass rush. The defense locks it down and forces a punt.

Arians busts out the motif offense, and Ben hooks up with Brown down the seam for a big third down conversion to get across midfield. The offense can't do anything else and Sepulveda pins the Colts inside the 15.

The Steelers look to have things locked down, but Collins steps up in the pocket on 3rd down and hits Garcon across the middle for a conversion. The Colts do nothing else.

After a run that gets a few, Ben goes downtown and hits Wallace in stride and he blows past the safety and the corner and high steps all the way to the end zone for an 81-yard touchdown. 

What a grab.


The Colts come out and crap on themselves, with Troy absolutely blowing up a play in the backfield.

The Steelers find themselves in another third and long, which Ben converts hitting Heath down the seam.

Second Quarter

Ben converts another 3rd and 7 with another big-time pass to Brown down the middle, moving the sticks again and getting near midfield. The offense once again does nothing on first and second down, leaving us in third and long. Ben tries to roll left but Mathis gets him from behind and knocks the ball out. Colts recover.

The Steelers hold the Colts into third and long, but Collins converts with a pass to Air Bud. The Colts offense starts rolling with a WR screen to Wayne and a run by Addai gets them inside the red zone. Collins keeps working the short passes, and another screen to Wayne gets them inside the 5. After a holding call, Troy makes two huge plays by the goal line, including a 3rd down pass breakup on a fade to Clark.


Ben hits Brown down the sideline to get the drive rolling. A holding penalty sets us back, but 007 converts a 3rd and 13 with another pass to Brown down the sideline to get to midfield. On 2nd and 10, Ben gets hit by Freeney from the backside, knocking the ball out. The Colts scoop it up and take it all the way back. 

Jonathan Scott getting rocked by Dwight Freeney all game. Yikes.


Ben tries to go downtown on the first play and badly overthrows Sanders, getting the ball picked off. Sanders runs right past the safety and the Colts bring it back then get a personal foul penalty gives them the ball in the red zone.

The Colts don't do much, but it's an easy chip shot for Vinatieri.



Colts had all 13 points off turnovers and the Steelers shortest 3rd down was 3rd and 7.

Third Quarter

The Colts are able to pick up a few first downs, including one near midfield on a gift where Air Bud looked to be stopped short. The defense locks it down after that and forces a punt.

The Steelers come out with the exact same gameplan of running on first down. Wallace is able to move the sticks on 2nd and long on an out, then Mendenhall is able to get to the second level for the only time and move the chains again. Raise Some starts rolling, getting us to 3rd and short on a draw play. Ben sneaks it for the first down. 007 converts another 3rd and long with a huge pass to Heath down the middle. The Steelers get to the edge of the red zone, but come up short on 3rd down.

Suisham hits the post.

Luckily, the Colts offense can't do anything.

The Steelers FINALLY do something different on first down and go play-action with Ben hitting Heath down the seam for a big gain to get across midfield. The Steelers are able to pick up a first down thanks to a pass interference call.

Fourth Quarter

Jonathan Scott gets called for his 10th penalty in 11 games, but 007 bails us out by rolling left and hitting Manny Sanders to convert a 3rd and 18. Wow. Huge play. Another first down run gets nothing and we wind up in 3rd and long again. Arians play-calling has been so blatantly obvious in this game, it's painful. Ben's pass for Sanders almost gets picked, and Suisham connects from 44 to tie the game.


Curtis Painter comes in for Indy. He hands off twice then goes for a wide open Garcon, but luckily Painter sucks and badly overthrows it.

Antonio Brown finally gets a chance to return one and breaks it up the sidelines, bringing it back inside the 35.

Jonathan Scott is more of a liability than an asset at this point. He fails as a lead blocker for Mendenhall, then commits a penalty on 3rd down then gives up a sack, knocking us out of field goal range. Punt.

The Colts go to the ground and start getting solid gains from Addai. The Colts try to go to the air, but Curtis Painter is like Microsoft Paint to Collins' Adobe Photoshop.
When I posted this analogy on Twitter, some people asked what that makes Peyton Manning. Manning would be Final Cut Pro in this analogy.

Brown makes some moves and brings it back to the 35, but the offense still can't get out of it's own way, and goes 3-and-out.

After Harrison looks to get held on a run up the middle, he goes apeshit on the tackle and wrecks MS Painter from behind, knocking the ball out.

Troy is on the spot to pick it up and scamper in the end zone.




MS Painter completes his first pass of the game, then starts to get rolling, converting a 3rd down to Air Bud then hits Garcon down the sideline to get across midfield. Painter keeps going  after Keenan Lewis and hits Garcon again on the sideline to get down to the 25. A run and another pass to Garcon gets inside the 10. Troy almost blows up the play in the backfield, but Addai slips away and is able to scamper into the end zone for the tying score.


The Steelers get the ball with 2:09 on the clock and 80 yards to go. Ben hits Wallace on a slant to take us down to two minutes. Hines reels one in to get across the 35. Two plays later, 007 hits Moore in the flat and he makes a move and takes it down the sideline to get across midfield. The pocket collapses around Ben but he steps out of pressure and is able to scramble up the middle for 10 more. 

Jonathan Scott goes down with an ankle injury so the already banged-up Marcus Gilbert has to come back in to patch up the already battered Maginot Line.
Looks like we're bringing this graphic back out of retirement.

Moore is able to pick up 5 off right tackle and the Colts take a timeout. Moore dives up the middle and gets us to 3rd and 1. Redman picks it up. In a strange coaching decision, Tomlin calls timeout with 12 seconds left with the ball in the middle of the field. Ben takes the snap and dives to the left to get the ball closer to the left hash. Not sure why. Then Tomlin takes a timeout with 8 seconds left.

Suisham nails it.


With 4 seconds left, Suisham nails the kickoff out of the end zone to prevent a return.

Curtis Painter throws the ball at someone's feet on the last play of the game. 

Whew. Escape city. 

Players of the Game
Offensive Game Ball: Mike Wallace
Defensive Game Ball: Troy Polamalu

Honorable Mentions:
James Harrison
Ben Roethlisberger
Antonio Brown
Heath Miller
Shaun Suisham
Mewelde Moore
Trai Essex

Mr. Yuck Stickers of the Game

This game left such a bad feeling in our stomach, we had to give two of these.

Offensive Play-calling

Bruce Arians completely lacked any creativity tonight. Everything the Steelers ran was predictable. Almost every set of plays was a first down run, second down pass on 2nd and long, then either a 3rd and long or start over with a first down. Freeney and Mathis were destroying our tackles, but we rarely gave them any help with a tight end or running back to help slow down the outside pass rush. We went play-action once on first down and Ben was able to hit a big pass to Heath Miller, but we never went back to it. Wallace had a huge touchdown on a deep pass in the first quarter, but we never tried to test the safeties over the top again. It seemed like anything that worked, Arians crossed it off and didn't call it again. However, the plays that didn't work seemed to get circled and run again and again. Ben did a great job of creating more time with his feet and converting some long third downs but that doesn't change the fact that the play-calling was predictable and horrendous.

Jonathan Scott

Max Starks and Flozell Adams were salary cap casualties this offseason. And now we're paying the price. Jonathan Scott is more of a liability than an asset being in the game. He got utterly wrecked by Dwight Freeney tonight. He didn't even do much to slow Freeney down. At best, Scott was a turnstile between the line of scrimmage and the quarterback. At worst, he was like Casper the ghost trying to stop anyone. We need a new LT ASAP. Can't afford waiting. Ben had two fumbles tonight, one of which was Scott's fault. There were numerous other plays, both running and passing, that Scott just absolutely blew.

Final Thoughts
  • A win is a win, but this was ugly. The offensive play-calling was just horrendous, but you're probably tired of reading about that by now.
  • Man, we're lucky that Curtis Painter sucks.
  • Chalk this up as another game that the defense bailed the offense out. And people threw a fit when James Harrison made mention of the defense bailing out the offense in that article over the summer.
  • Speaking of Harrison, aren't we SO glad that the Steelers listened to Gerry Dulac and Mike Vukovcan over the summer and cut Harrison after that article came out? Oh wait, they didn't? Oh wait, media folk make terrible general managers? Where have I seen that played out before....
Oh, right.
  • Three linemen got injured in this game (Gilbert, Legursky, Scott). Gilbert came back in. Hope Colbert still has Max Starks on the speed dial.
  • How many good things can we say about Mike Wallace? Man, this guy is a star in the league. With his 144 yards tonight, he's back on pace for 2000 this season.
  • Huge game for Heath Miller. He was owning the middle of the field, great to see him getting involved in the offense again.
  • Steelers third downs yardage: 8, 10*, 7, 11, 7*, 7*, 11, 13*, 1*, 10*, 6, 3*, 18*, 9, 13, 8, 1* (* = converted). Their average distance on third down was 8.4 yards to go. Yikes.
  • We need help at LT. Big time. It's not going to get any easier with Scott facing Mario Williams next week.
  • Hope B-Mac can go next week, not so much because William Gay has been bad, but because Gay is much, much better than Keenan Lewis playing in the nickel package. Lewis is getting picked on all over the field when he's in there.
  • At the end of the day, a win is a win, but this isn't one we really feel good about. But you can't substitute anything for winning, and we're 2-1 heading into a big game against Houston.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Gameday: Indianapolis Colts

Lucas Oil Stadium
Radio: 102.5 WDVE and other affiliates

What To Watch For

1. Battle in the Trenches

The Colts are one of the best pass rushing teams in the league, with DEs Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. However, both Freeney and Mathis are dinged up so they won't be 100% if they play at all. Freeney only participated in 1 of the 3 Colts practices this week, and Mathis was limited in his practice participation. The Steelers tackles will have their hands full with Freeney and Mathis, and they will probably need to get help, either from the guards or tight ends in the blocking scheme, to slow down the pass rush. On the other side, Indianapolis has a young offensive line, including rookie Anthony Costanzo starting at LT. James Harrison should be able to eat Costanzo for dinner, and LaMarr Woodley should be able to terrorize Jeff Linkenbach. On paper, it looks like the defenses have the advantage in the trenches, so it will be important for both teams to get some semblance of decent offensive line play in order to move the ball.

2. Kerry Collins

From listening to Tomlin's press conference this week, you can tell he's not taking Kerry Collins lightly. Collins is not Peyton Manning, but he has had good games against the Steelers in the past. Collins has been most successful when he has had a strong running game and can build off that and work the play-action passes. The problem for Indy is that their running game sucks, so more weight is on Collins to make plays and make the offense move. With an inexperienced O-line, the Steelers should be able to get after Collins and make him uncomfortable in the pocket.

3. Pound the rock

While on paper this game seems like a prime opportunity for Ben Roethlisberger to just have a field day with the Colts depleted defense, we need to keep a balanced offense and give Indy a heavy dose of Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman. The Colts have a bad run defense and the Steelers need to take advantage of this and not get too pass-happy. Bruce Arians has a long history of trying to throw the ball all over the yard against teams with bad run defenses, so let's hope the gameplan includes a strong dose of the running game.

4. Score early, score often

The RCA Dome was known as one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL. The Colts new home, Lucas Oil Stadium, figures to be just as loud on Sunday night. The best way to negate the crowd noise is for the Steelers to jump out to an early lead. Jumping out to a quick lead will also take the Colts run game out of the equation and make them a one-dimensional offense that has to throw the ball behind a shaky offensive line.

5. Turnovers

After finishing 3rd in the league in defensive turnovers last season, the Steelers have yet to generate a takeaway in two games. They got better pressure on Tavaris Jackson last week than they did on Joe Flacco in Week 1, but they need to get more consistent pressure on Kerry Collins this week. Turnovers aren't a necessity, but it would be nice to generate some takeaways. The Steelers are still far from a complete team, but they have the opportunity to figure things out, starting tonight against the Colts.

Behind Enemy Lines

This week's Behind Enemy Lines guest is Nate from 18 to 88, which in our opinion is the best Colts blog out there. Nate has done some fantastic data analysis, including The Draft Project where he looks at the draft efficiency of every team from 2002 to 2009. Also, if you want to feel good about being a Steelers fan, check out his 18 Worst Losses in Colts History article. You can also find him on Twitter @18to88

1. With Kerry Collins entering the picture fairly late in the preseason, the Colts offense is still working on getting on track. Losses to the Texans and Browns have put the Colts in a precarious position entering this game. Besides winning the game, what do you want to see from the Colts for this game to be considered a "success"?

 On defense, if they can allow fewer than 20 points, that's success. On offense, no turnovers, fewer than 3 sacks, and at least one non-garbage time touchdown. Honestly, keeping it within 10 points will feel like a win.

2. The Colts added some new linemen in the draft this year. After getting almost no pressure on Joe Flacco the first week, the Steelers were able to get to Tavaris Jackson throughout the game last week. Looking at the Steelers tackles, it's pretty obvious the Colts edge rushers have the matchup advantage. We're of the opinion this game is going to be won and lost by whichever line performs better. Are there any matchups you're looking forward to watching?

 Honestly, no. It's going to be a slaughter. It will be interesting to see how the Indy line handles the Pittsburgh pressure. Everyone watches left tackle Anthony Castonzo closely. For the most part though, I don't expect the game to be competitive enough to worry about matchups.

 3. In addition to Manning's injury, defensive leaders Gary Brackett and Melvin Bullitt are also injured. With all of these guys out of the lineup, someone is going to have to step up. Who are you looking for to have a big game for Indianapolis?

Not to be pessimistic, but the team simply isn't very good right now. Freeney and Mathis have been playing excellent (as always), but the Colts are a wreck. Look for good performances from Joe Addai and Delone Carter in the run game, but I don't expect a big game from anyone person.

4. Any time we would play in the RCA Dome, we always heard about how the noise was a factor for the opposing team. Before the 2005 playoff game the Steelers installed a silent snap count to combat the noise. How does Lucas Oil Stadium compare with the old digs in terms of crowd noise?

It can be every bit as loud, though popular opinion says otherwise. It won't be loud at all on Sunday. This is a defeated, depressed fan base that expects nothing. The Colts enter this game with no chance to win and everyone knows it.

5. Any other final thoughts?

Pittsburgh 45 Indianapolis 10

Around the NFL

AFC North

San Francisco @ Cincinnati

Hard to believe one of these teams will be 2-1 and tied for their division lead.

Miami @ Cleveland

The Dolphins are riding the league's longest losing streak. They were 6-2 on the road last year.

Baltimore @ St Louis

If the Rams stop committing stupid penalties and turning the ball over, they'll have a chance.

 Game of the Week

Houston @ New Orleans

This game has all the makings of a shootout. Brees vs Schaub in a race to 6 TDs.

Reports are that Colts fans have been selling their tickets like hotcakes, so there figures to be a large contingent of Steelers fans at this game. If you're going, be loud, be proud, wave your towels high.

Go Steelers!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Week 2 Rundown

If this is your first season reading the blog, you're probably still getting used to some of our little idiosyncrasies around here. In addition to our game recaps, we try to give a rundown of various topics around the NFL once a week. 

What We Learned
  1. Like him or hate him, Cam Newton is the real deal. No way Jimmy Clausen or Derek Anderson would've played this well so far.
  2. Like I said in my season preview, Peyton Manning is the difference between the Colts being a 3-13 team and a Super Bowl contender.
  3. Tony Romo is one tough dude. He played with two cracked ribs? Ridiculous.
  4. The Bears offensive line still isn't very good.

  1. Sometimes a uniform change does wonders. Buffalo's new threads are sharp - they got rid of the "bib" uniforms and have sweet-looking white helmets. And guess what? They're 2-0.
  2. Detroit is 2-0 and riding a 6 game winning streak. It's great to see the way they've been able to rebuild the franchise after the complete shithole Matt Millen turned it into.
  3. Matt Hasselbeck leading the Titans over the Ravens.
  4. Tampa Bay rallying back in the second half to come back from 17 down to beat Minnesota.
  5. Tony Gonzalez made some fantastic catches for the Falcons last night, carrying them to victory over the Eagles.

  1. Everything going on with Jacksonville. As an organization, they really don't value player loyalty after they've cut guys like Mark Brunell, Byron Leftwich, Fred Taylor, and David Garrard. I'm surprised it's not easier to find a "McClown" photoshop.
  2. Arian Foster re-injuring his hamstring. I could care less about his value to fantasy football. I care more about his value to the Texans. Even though the rest of their division is bad, the Texans will need him down the stretch. Hope he gets well soon.
  3. San Diego's offense against New England. Every time they got close, they committed a turnover. New England is good, but you can't give them more chances by turning the ball over.
  4. Jamaal Charles tearing his ACL. He was integral to the Chiefs offense. They're in serious trouble now.

Going Streaking
Note: Regular season only

Note: Including Playoffs

Futility Watch

Off the Schneid
The Browns ended 2010 with the league's longest losing streak at 4 games. After losing to Cincy in Week 1, their streak extended to 5, but they got off the schneid with a victory over Indianapolis this week.

Greg Lloyd "I Wasn't Hired For My Disposition" Award


If you've been reading the blog for a while or follow us on twitter, you'll know that we love ACC basketball. When news broke that the ACC was contemplating adding Pitt and Syracuse, we got excited at the possibilities. Saturday night, word filtered out that it was pretty much a done deal and there would be a press conference Sunday morning. We love the move both for Pitt and for the ACC. From a conference perspective, the ACC lands two great basketball programs (and two great fanbases) and two schools with rich football tradition that are still in the rebuilding process. This opens the ACC market up in Pittsburgh and upstate New York, and we wouldn't be surprised to see the ACC go after schools in Philadelphia or New York City next to secure their geographic dominance of the east coast. For Pitt, they get a better football conference with more television exposure and the possibility of playing in a championship game. In basketball, they will get more television exposure as ESPN pretty much shows all of Duke and UNC's games. Pitt also gets reunited with several former Big East rivals. Pitt-Miami and Pitt-Virginia Tech were always great games. Pitt-Maryland is a rivalry waiting to happen.

Bob Smizik "Douchebag of the Week" Award

Dunta Robinson

One of the biggest news items of last season was the crackdown on leading-with-the-helmet hits. James Harrison had a much-publicized interview about the changes to the game. Across the league, you could tell a conscious effort was being made to avoid hitting with the crown of the helmet. Then, Dunta Robinson goes out and basically lays the same hit on Jeremy Maclin that he laid on DeSean Jackson last year. To make it worse, he did it on Sunday Night Football in front of a national audience.

The biggest joke here is that Robinson got a $50K fine for his hit on Jackson last year, but this year as a repeat offender, he only got a $40K fine. Roger Goodell's wheel of punishment system strikes again: