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Steelers Digest December 30, 2017

Steelers Digest is the official fan publication of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Each issue provides game previews, inside information, award-winning columns and features, and complete statistics. Steelers Digest is published 12 times a year, twice per month throughout the NFL regular season, playoffs and Super Bowl.

United States
Curtis Publishing
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12 Issues


access_time5 min.
classic was all about three passes

It was billed as the regular season game of the year, and in terms of back-and-forth sustained action, it lived up to that billing. There were 119 snaps of the ball during almost three full hours of suspense, and there was plenty riding on the outcome, maybe most importantly the site of a rematch in the postseason that today seems inevitable. Months of work went into getting to the point where this game would mean what it did, and then once it began there was a lot of blood and sweat invested in achieving the desired outcome. There can be many interpretations of why the game ended the way it did, why the final score was 27-24 and the Patriots won and the Steelers lost, but here it will say it…

access_time5 min.
breaking down the new england game and always playing with an aggressive mind-set

It was a tough, hard-fought game. We came up short. I appreciate the efforts of the guys. Obviously, New England is a good group. You know, we’ve got to be better in an effort to finish it. But a lot of good effort (and) things there. On the injury front, Antonio Brown is getting his lower leg injury evaluated. I don’t have a lot of information there. James Conner has an MCL injury on his left knee. Other than that, bumps and bruises associated with playing. But I thought the guys played hard. I thought they made plays, obviously, in all three phases, just not quite enough to finish it. Such is life sometimes in the NFL. It’s been awhile since we’ve been unsuccessful when we’ve stepped into a stadium. It’s important…

access_time5 min.
patriots 27, steelers 24

WHAT WENT RIGHT • It took the Steelers just 3:28 of clock time to tie the game after New England scored on its opening possession. Ben Roethlisberger completed 5 of 7 for 68 yards on the drive, including the touchdown that came on an 18-yard pass to Eli Rogers. Roethlisberger converted a third-and-4 with a 19-yard pass to Antonio Brown, and a thirdand- 10 with a 13-yard touch pass to JuJu Smith- Schuster. • A sack by Cam Heyward for a loss of 8 yards ruined New England’s second possession, and New England was forced to punt on a fourth-and-9 from their own 36-yard line. • On the possession that ended with a field goal that allowed New England to tie the game, 10-10, the Steelers defense stiffened in the red zone, and…

access_time1 min.
by the numbers - vs. new england

10 Sacks on the season for Cameron Heyward, who became the first Steelers player since 2010 to reach double digits. 9 Consecutive home victories in December for the Steelers before the loss against New England. 80 Career games with a passer rating of 100.0 or better for Ben Roethlisberger, who is 71-9 in those games after the loss against New England. 33 Field goals on the season for Chris Boswell, who moved within one of the franchise record set by Norm Johnson in 1995. 3 Steelers players with 1,200 rushing yards in consecutive seasons after Le’Veon Bell joined Willie Parker and Jerome Bettis. 168 Receiving yards for Rob Gronkowski, the most allowed to a tight end by the Steelers since 2002 when Baltimore’s Todd Heap had 197. 69 Yards gained by JuJu Smith-Schuster on his late reception; it was the longest non-touchdown reception…

access_time3 min.
juju steps up in brown’s absence

JuJu Smith-Schuster might be the youngest player in the NFL, but for at least the next two games he’s the new leader of the Steelers wideouts. Antonio Brown had made NFL history with his first catch of the game, but after making one more catch Brown was helped from the field with an injured calf muscle. Brown, with his 101 catches, is the first NFL receiver to catch 100 passes in five consecutive seasons, but his regular season most likely ended after reportedly tearing the muscle. Brown might return for the playoffs, and the Steelers hope a bye week will guarantee his return, but to secure that bye the Steelers are going to need Smith-Schuster to continue making the type of plays he made against New England. “He stepped up,” said slot receiver Eli…

access_time4 min.
steelers 39, ravens 38

WHAT WENT RIGHT • It was third-and-4 at the Pittsburgh 30 for the Ravens, who had taken the opening kickoff and marched 50 yards to get to that spot. Joe Flacco tried to go deep down the middle to wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. Sean Davis undercut the route, made the interception at the 6-yard line and returned it 35 yards to the Pittsburgh 41-yard line. • It took the Steelers eight plays and 3:25 of game time to capitalize on the takeaway, with the touchdown coming on a 20-yard pass to Le’Veon Bell, who beat safety Tony Jefferson on the play. Ben Roethlisberger completed 4 of 5 for 48 yards plus the touchdown on the drive, and Jesse James caught two of those passes for 20 yards. The Steelers had a 7-0…