1. Steelers S Mike Mitchell fines 48k for hit-I’m not surprised. It was a foolish hit by a player who plays foolishly at times. Mitchell was supposed to be the replacement of Ryan Clark, and he’s looking nothing like it. He hit KC Chiefs QB Alex Smith after he threw the pass and a week before, he celebrated after getting ran over by Jacksonville RB Leonard Fournette. If Mitchell would just focus on being a safety and not the big hit, then maybe we’ll see how good he can be.
  2. Steelers vs. Bengals-This Sunday, these 2 teams meet at Heinz Field and it could be more of a battle than anticipated because the Bengals are on a 2-game winning streak after starting 0-3. Apparently, the Bengals defense has improved as they are now ranked #2. Impressive. But the Steelers own this team as well.
  3. Can the Steelers beat the Bengals? I think they can, provided they take the same approach they did against the Chiefs. Establish the run and bring the pass rush against QB Andy Dalton. It’s not about QB Ben Roethlisberger and the passing game right now, it’s about the W, period.
  4. Vontaze Burfict-Ah yes, him again. We shall see if he will self-destruct against the Steelers like he’s done in games past. Like Mike Mitchell, Burfict’s transgressions get in the way of his ability. He’s made Pro-Bowls, so obviously he’s pretty good. But he plays dirty and his many suspensions confirm it. The Steelers need to keep an eye on him.
  5. James Harrison-Once upon a time, the NFL needed to keep a watch on this dude, but these days, Harrison has changed his game and at 39, he’s proving that he’s still got it as he got that key sack on Smith on Sunday. I’m thinking that Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin needs to dress him in every He’s too valuable to be in sweats.
  6. Le’Veon Bell-Is he back? He’s getting there as he shredded the Chiefs for 179 yards Sunday. I like his style. That patient-running approach is unique and awesome. He’s done well against the Bengals in the past and he’ll be needed Sunday as well.
  7. Steelers Injury Report-Apparently there are some concerns, especially on the offensive line. T Marcus Gilbert (hamstring) still didn’t practice, and he was joined by DE Stepheon Tuitt (back) and LB Vince Williams (hip). I’m thinking that only Gilbert won’t play Sunday with means that Chris Hubbard will start in his place, and he’s no Gilbert.
  8. Packers Aaron Rodgers has collarbone surgery-It’s a shame that this happened to Green Bay’s All-Pro QB and for the 2nd time as Rodgers also broke his collarbone in 2013. Now the question is, will the Packers put him on injured reserve (8 weeks) or will he miss the rest of the season? Time will tell.
  9. The Eagles are 5-1-I’m still shocked over this. This strong start is easily the surprise of the NFL thus far (with the 4-1 LA Rams right behind them) apparently their defense continues to get better, but I think the addition to of LaGarette Blount to the running game is the difference. They haven’t had a running back like this since Duce Staley.
  10. Rooney Weighs in on Player Protests-In the wake of NFL not enforcing players should stand for the National Anthem, Steelers President Art Rooney II had this to say: “Why pick a fight where it looks like I need a fight? I think having this dialogue with players has given them a level of understanding we are willing to talk about this. We’re not going to try to force anyone to do anything.” Excellent points Mr. Rooney.
  11. Pitt vs. Duke-Yep, Pitt’s interesting season continues, and this week will take them to Durham to face the Blue Devils on Saturday. Duke is 4-3 (1-3 ACC) while the Panthers are 2-5 (0-3 ACC). It would be nice to see the Panthers get their first ACC win of the season against the Blue Devils, but as you know, winning hasn’t been easy for them.
  12. DiNucci vs. Pickett- a few weeks ago it was DiNucci vs. Max Browne, but the Graduate-Transfer from USC had a season-ending surgery leading Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi to burn freshman Kenny Pickett’s redshirt and play him, albeit rather desperately in their loss to NC State last Saturday. But Pickett looked impressive and I think he should start the rest of the season, but you know that’s not going to happen.
  13. Pitt’s Running Game-I’m disappointed in this unit. After the departure of James Conner, I was hoping that Quardee Ollison (2015 ACC Offensive Player of the Year) would take the bull by the horns, but he can’t even get on the field. Shawntez Moss is suspended, Daren hall is Ok, and freshman AJ Davis hasn’t got much playing time. Plus, they’ve used S Jordan Whitehead for more than gimmick plays, That’s not good.
  14. How can the running game be fixed? I think Pitt needs to put more emphasis on it. Especially with DiNucci at QB. Plus, the offensive line has also taken a step back from last season. Plus, Narduzzi needs to focus on one running back, and not 3 at a time.
  15. Is Pitt a Bowl Team? It would honestly take a miracle for this year’s team to win 6 games this season, and this is already the worst of Narduzzi’s Pitt teams. A 2-5 record is just too hard to overcome, especially with ranked teams Virginia Tech and Miami still on the schedule. If they miss a Bowl this season it will be their first since 2010.
  16. AP Top 5-Of course Alabama is still #1, but there’s a new #2 in Penn State (Proud!) who took the spot from Clemson when they lost to Syracuse. Georgia is now #3, and TCU is #4. Paul Chryst’s Wisconsin Badgers is #5. It’ll be excited to see how this ends up, especially come playoff time.
  17. The NBA Season-It has begun and it started with the Cleveland Cavaliers vs. the Boston Celtics Tuesday night with the Cavs prevailing 102-99. It was good to see LeBron James mix it up against former Cav Kyrie Irving who wanted out of Cleveland in the Summer and eventually got his wish.
  18. Gordon Heyward-In his first game as a Celtic, the former Utah Jazz All-Star may have played his only game of this season after he fell and broke his ankle while trying to dunk the ball against the Cavs Tuesday. I wish this young man the best and hoe he recovers.
  19. Golden State gets its rings-For the second time in 3 years the NBA Champion Warriors get their rings, and they’re impressive. Then they lost against the improved Houston Rockets. I’m feeling like the Western Conference will be more equipped to take on the defending champs this season, but the question is, which Western Conference team will it be?
  20. MLB Playoffs-Congrats to the LA Dodgers for advancing to their first World Series since 1988 after beating defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs 11-1. Hopefully, Aaron Judge and the NY Yankees will join them if they can beat the Astros on Friday.

 

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

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