Happy Friday to all of you and welcome to yet another football-filled weekend as we all get ready for the Pittsburgh Steelers to play their Week 3 game Sunday against the Chicago Bears on the road.
The Steelers have only won once in Chicago in 12 previous tries and their only win in the Windy City came in overtime. The Bears are also one of two teams that Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has yet to beat. We’ve analyzed this game already fro every angle and there’s no real reason to believe the Steelers will lose Sunday to the Bears. With that said, we’ve seen Tomlin coached teams lose a few of these games in the past.
Fall has arrived and you can already tell it out here in Las Vegas. The weather was tremendous all day today. I think the 100-degree days are now behind us and Christmas will be here before you know it.
The Emmitt Smith “A Football Life” will air later tonight on the NFL Network and I suspect they will show a little footage of him from high school when he played at Escambia. Hopefully that footage isn’t from any of the games he played against Catholic as that man-child ran me over a few times. In his first game, in 1983, Smith rushed for 115 yards against us. It seems like in 1985 or 1986 he ran for almost 300 yards against us.
Ok, now on to this week’s five Friday questions. As usual, I am looking forward to several of you answering each of them in the comments below.
Have a safe weekend and peace and love to all of you.
1 – Rookie outside linebacker T.J. Watt will sit out Sunday’s game against the Bears so what percentage of the defensive snaps will veteran outside linebacker James Harrison play against the Bears?
2 – Will Harrison ever be a healthy scratch on the team’s inactive list this season?
3 – Will the Steelers defense have at least 4 sacks on Sunday against the Bears? Predict Sunday’s sackers.
4- How many catches and receiving yards will Bears wide receiver Markus Wheaton have against his former team on Sunday?
5 – Which of these 8 losses below is the most inexcusable and which one was the easiest to swallow?
— Steelers Depot (@Steelersdepot) September 21, 2017
Bonus – Will Stephon Tuitt play against the Bears?
Question 1 – We named 14 Steelers defensive rookies that excited us after a first regular season game. The latest were Javon Hargrave & Artie Burns who debuted just last season in the 38-16 over the Redskins. Neither started or recorded any defensive stats. Surprisingly, Sean Davis who did start that game as a rookie was not mentioned by anyone. The others include Bud Dupree (2015) who DNS but did sack Brady. Ryan Shazier (2014) started in a win over Cleveland; had 6 tackles and defended 1 pass. Jarvis Jones (2013) DNS but played in a loss to the Titans when we scored a safety on the opening kickoff. He played behind LaMarr Woodley & Jason Worilds: all three are no longer with the team. LaMarr Woodley & Lawrence Timmons (2007) DNS but played in a 34-7 win over Cleveland. Troy Polamalu (2003) DNS in Pittsburgh’s 34-15 win over Ravens. He recorded no stats with safeties Mike Logan & Brent Alexander starting in front of him. Kendrell Bell (2001) started his very first game but did not record any stats. Levon Kirkland (1992) DNS in a 29-14 win over the Oilers. Rod Woodson & Delton Hall (1987): Hall started in the game ahead of Woodson at CB and scored the first points with a 50-yard return of a recovered fumble in the 1st quarter. Gabe Rivera (1983) DNS in a 10-14 loss to Denver. He played behind D-Linemen Tom Beasley, Gary Dunn, Keith Gary & Keith Willis who all recorded at least one sack in that game totaling 6 with Lambert adding a 7th. Joe Greene (1969) started in a 16-13 win over Detroit (their only win that season). No one mentioned ‘Bullet’ Bill Dudley (1942) who started in a 14-24 loss to Eagles. He rushed for 107 yards including a 44 -yard touchdown run and threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Don Looney. He also played on defense that game so merits mentioning here with such a grand opening game for a rookie. Kendrell Bell (8) & Ryan Shazier (7) got the most mentions but it is encouraging to see all the current defensive players that excited us from the very beginning.
Question 2 – Le’Veon Bell ran for 87 yards plus 4 yards receiving for 91 total yards. As a group, our median prediction was that he would gain 120 total yards. DirtDawg1964 & Marcel Chris Chauvet were closest both saying he would tally 88 yards.
Question 3 – Responses ranged from 0-14 plays with a median prediction of 7 snaps with the Steelers using the 01 personnel grouping. We were overly optimistic. There was only one play without a running back on the field; an 8-yard pass to Antonio Brown. The folks that said 0 or 2 got a point since no one could say just 1.
Question 4 – Ten of 45 folks predicted Ben would throw under 273 yards and got points. Guillermo Garcia-Gomez got an additional point for the closest prediction coming within 4 yards of Ben’s 243 yards passing.
Question 5 – No one was so bold as to predict the Browns having a winning season with total victories ranging from 2-8 this year. The median response is 5 – they have 14 more games to reach that mark.
This week Guillermo Garcia-Gomez led the scoring with two points. 15 others scored one point. Mea culpa, I forgot to bring the Friday Night Questions spreadsheet on my trip but will update the leaderboard on my return at the end of the month.