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Week 6 Post-Game Show
Send your postgame critiques, analysis, ranting and raving about the last game as well as your predictions, smak, & insults about our upcoming opponent. Whether your message is a simple, "These guys SUCK," or a detailed, in-depth analysis, tell us what you think.
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Steelers at Jets (20-3)
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Week 6 1 2 3 4 F
Steelers (2-3) 3 7 0 10 20
N.Y. Jets (4-1) 0 3 0 0 3

Key Stats & Facts
• Kordell Stewart 17 of 26, 65.4%, 140 yards, 1 TD, 0 Int, 6 runs, 34 yards: His numbers weren't huge, but his performance was gargantuan. Stewart was precise, smart, and poised; he was a composed QB completely in control of the offense, and a total team leader. When was the last time we saw 94 and 87-yard TD drives in the same game? Welcome back, Kordell!
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• Bettis 25 carries, 104 yards, 1 TD: Once again, the Bus was running right on schedule, folks. THIS is Steelers football, and I love it! Hats off to the offensive line and Jon Witman for some outstanding blocking.
• Jason Gildon 7 tackles, 1 blocked FG, 1 QB knockout: Wow. Another outstanding game by Gildon, who it seems is in the running for player of the game every week. His knockout of Vinnie on Testeverde's very first pass was quite possibly the biggest play of the game.
• For the 2nd straight week, NO BIG PLAYS against the defense: These guys haven't just stopped giving up big plays... they're MAKING big plays. Four forced turnovers against the Jets (2 Ints, 2 fumbles), 7 sacks against the Jags, 3 QB knockouts in as many weeks... playmaking like that is gonna win ballgames nearly every time.
• Another complete TEAM effort: To me, this is the most encouraging aspect of what the Steelers have accomplished so far this season. The steady improvement and maturation of this young team wreaks of great coaching. It's hard to believe that the same team who limped away from a week-1 whipping by the Ravens now swaggers onto the field every week with the confidence of a contender who expects to win. Hats off to you, coach Cowher.

Take One Down, Pass It Around!
Resurgent Steelers Shock Jets 20-3

Two for Two
A composed, confident Kordell Stewart led the Steelers to their 2nd straight victory.
What the Steelers have done to the opposition the last few weeks kinda reminds me of pouring a mug of Iron City Beer too fast. The Jets & Jags didn't really think much of it at first... yeah, they noticed the foam rising about halfway up the glass, but they continued to pour, thinking they had it under control. The next thing they knew, the foam was suddenly and unexpectedly rushing toward the top of their frosted mug. Surprised, they yanked the bottle away from the glass hoping to stop the inevitable, but it was too late... the foam gushed over the rim of their glass and spilled out onto the table.

As they reached for the paper towels, shaking their heads in disgust, you could hear the Jets & Jags mumbling to themselves, "We never even saw it coming."

That's our Steelers... just when most of the football world (myself included) had 'em pegged as one of the worst teams in the league, our boys unexpectedly did a 180, stringing together four pretty darn good games, each one progressively better, ultimately "foaming over" to beat two playoff-caliber teams in a row. The string won't stop at two wins, folks. With the Bungles & Browns on the horizon, I expect the Steelers to win 4 in a row and be 4-3 heading into the Ravens game Oct. 29th.

Is this really the same team that lost 10 of its last 11 games?

Actually, it's not. These "new and improved" Steelers are a team of confidence... of character. We got a sense of it even during an exasperating loss to Cleveland. Pittsburgh's gutty performance against the Titans the following week gave us an even better taste of it. During the win over Jacksonville, the kettle came to a boil. And last Sunday in New York, the kettle done blew up.

So what's the "diff?" What has changed? Is it the re-emergence of Kordell Stewart as a legitimate QB? This seems to be the only topic people in the 'Burgh wants to talk about this week. But as much as I'd love to credit Kordell with the turnaround, it's not quite that simple. Yes, Stewart has played sound, mistake-free football and has demonstrated leadership capabilities I thought died in '98. I mean, WOW, TD drives of 94 and 87 yards! When was the last time we saw anything like that out of the Steeler offense? But frankly, the Steelers would've beaten the Jags and Jets had Graham been at the helm.

There are three primary reasons this club has turned things around, and Kordell is only a minor piece of that equation at best.

1) The offensive line is playing as a cohesive unit. I must be honest, this is the LAST unit I expected to get its act together this season. The fact that I now actually consider them a strong point astounds me. Dermontti has been Dermontti; no shock there (although I must admit some relief... I feared his hamstring problems would slow him down). What is shocking is that the rest of the line is playing superb football. Wayne Gandy, who was the poster child for poor free agent aquisitions last season, is earning every penny of his fat paycheck this season. Most importantly, these guys are playing as a UNIT. They're playing so well, in fact, that it hasn't even mattered who's been playing at the injury-plagued left tackle position. Marvel Smith gets injured? No problem... plug in Shar Pourdanesh. Shar gets hurt? No prob... plug in Larry Tharpe. With the rest of the line finally healthy for an extended period of time (a luxury we DIDN"T have last season), these guys have been able to get on the same page. In my mind, that's the single most important factor in having a good offensive line: cohesiveness. Pray for good health, bruthas.

2) The defense has gelled and adjusted. Remember when multiple 50+ yard pass plays per game were the norm against our defense? Suddenly, the breakdowns have stopped, and with them, the losing has stopped. I hate to finger any one guy, but let's face it... the less the Steelers have used Scott Shields, the better they've played. Simply a co-ink-y-dink? Don't think so. Cohesiveness is every bit as important on defense as it is on the offensive line. It only takes one weak link, folks, and in my opinion, Shields has been it. Not that there haven't been other reasons for the defense's lackluster performance early in the season. Pittsburgh's inability to pressure the QB against the Ravens and Browns was paramount. I've said it before, I'll say it again... isn't it amazing how much better our secondary looks when our front seven put some heat on the QB? In those early games, our DBs were getting toasted because the Tim Couch's of the world were enjoying seemingly hours of pocket time. Washington, Flowers, and Scott have been outstanding recently, and not surprisingly, their improved play coincides with the increased pressure applied by our linebackers & linemen. Speaking of our linebackers, has Jason Gildon been playing outstanding ball or what? Versus the Jets, Gildon knocked Vinnie out on the Jets' first play from scrimmage, and also blocked a FG which lead to the 94-yard TD drive. And hats off to defensive coordinator Tim Lewis, not only for stopping the bleeding, but for transforming these guys into a formidable defense.

3) Bill Cowher has this club playing as a TEAM. In my mnd, Bill Cowher is the single biggest reason for the TEAM's turnaround. Cowher weathered the storm of an 0-3 start and did not lose his club. He has transformed a TEAM that was perceived as a loser into a TEAM on the rise that plays with confidence and intensity for the full 60 minutes. As I said in my Jags postgame comments, the "quitter" mentality that reared its ugly head during the '98-'99 campaigns has been eradicated. Certainly, you can make the case that Cowher should've never allowed a loser mentallity to permeate the TEAM. That is true. But as is his trademark, Cowher adjusted... he realized his mistakes, took 'em by the horns, and corrected 'em. True, the Steelers are still unlikely to contend for a playoff spot this season, but they will be a "spoiler" for a number of opponents. We've got several games late in the season against teams that will probably be fighting for their playoff lives. If I'm the Skins, Giants, or Raiders, the Steelers are definitely a TEAM I wouldn't want to face in December. Mark my words... the Steelers are gonna end the playoff hopes for at least one of these clubs. The Steelers may not be headed to the Super Bowl this year, but this TEAM can still deal a little death.

Next up, the Bungles and the Brownies. Bruthas & Sistas, I can't WAIT! I haven't felt this good about the TEAM in a long time. HERE WE GO, STEELERS!

Tim McMillen
Webmaster, McMillen & Wife

Fan Smak & Analysis
The following articles are listed in the order they were received (with the most recent entries at the top). This isn't a "guestbook" format... I read and manually insert every message, so you may not see your submission show up immediately. Thanks a million for your comments, people!
Submitted by Will Smith
I'm starting to get worried... it's Wednesday and still no game comments? I thought that after the way we manhandled the Jets, you would have been dying to get comments up there, just checking to make sure everyone is feeling okay.


[Ed. Note: As you can see, we're doin' fine, brutha Will... it's just been an insanely busy couple of weeks for both of us, so the time available to devote to the site has been just a "wee" bit short. But thanks for your concern, dude... rest assured we're all alive and well.]

Submitted by Ken Hoffmaster
Wow! What else can you say about Sunday's Awesome performance by the STEELERS! I listened to the whole game on live internet radio. Our boys whooped the Jets a$$.

Thank God Kordell is playing like I know he can. Graham is good but Kordell is on a roll. I hope Cowher knows what he is doing. Maybe Graham's hip will stay slightly injured. All I can say is "GO STEELERS, GO!!!!!!"

Submitted by Tom Bragg
Let me be the first to say , congratulations to you Kordell Stewart , its long overdue . You played two exceptional games and you definitely deserve to be commended for it . However , I do agree with Bill Cowhers decision to start Kent Graham Sunday against the Bengals . If the Steelers played all of their remaining games on the road , I would say Kordells the man , but the fact is that wont happen . Kordell is a totally different player on the road compared to when hes playing in Three Rivers . Stewert has been crucified by the press and the fans in Pittsburgh and he has proven repeatedly that he cannot handle it . When the boos start coming , Kordell climbs back into his shell and his play suffers badly . On the road , its totally different . Stewert is cool , calm and collected and very poised . His last two games have proven that . With all that said , this had to weigh heavily into Bill Cowhers thinking on starting Kent Graham Sunday against the Bengals . Finally , I will say this , if God forbid , the Steelers should lose to the Bengals on Sunday and Graham is the starter , then you have to set Graham down and go with Stewert after that . The decision will be made for you . Plus if that scenario does play out I would not want to be Bill Cowher trying to explain his way out of that one . He may have to have a bullet proof vest .

Submitted by Barry Fox
hey is there anybody that's a little scared to see graham come back as starting qb. let's face it folks i want to stay on a winning streak and i'm not saying that kordell a savior but i feel a little more confident now if stewart is starting. i really hope the home fans will give stewart a big welcome in pittsburgh. please, please, please. hey we booed him when he played bad now it's time to cheer him on. how about that defense let's keep it up. keep the momentum going. take one game at a time and play hard like you've been. continue to persevere. i like that offensive line. let's go and beat those bungles decisively. but i tell you what i'll take a win with stewart or graham let's be honest to ourselves. HERE WE GO STEELERS!

Submitted by Geoff Hager
Just one comment this week.... WHOOOOOOOOO!!!!! My Steelers are back and they are BAD!

Submitted by Jonathan Pasterick
Old-fashioned Steelers football appears to be back. I think that Bill Cowher has done a marvelous job this season of rebuilding the confidence of these guys. Ordinarily, coaches cannot take a team whose confidence has crumbled and rebuild it with the same core of guys. And yet Cowher appears to be doing so right now.

As for the MVP so far, many people will offer the obvious suggestions: Bettis, Stewart, Kirkland, etc. All good suggestions. But I'd like to suggest another possibility for the team MVP so far: Lee Flowers. I know that the Webmaster here is a big Lethon fan, so I won't get too much argument, but my reasoning is this: the single biggest thing that was killing them earlier in the season, even more so than the QB problem, had been giving up the big plays, especially on 3rd and long. It killed them against the Browns and Titans. Much of it appeared to have to do with the fact that either a) the corners and safeties were constantly getting mixed up on their zone coverages, thus leaving guys wide open, or b) when the corners and safeties were not miscommunicating, the safeties were not picking up the coverages well enough when the corners fell off of coverage. The biggest transgressor by far in this regard was Scott Shields. Since Lee Flowers has come back from injury a couple weeks ago, you have seen zero blown assignments in the defensive backfield and no significant throws downfield. In addition to that, Flowers has been hitting like a tank on running plays (any guess as to who caused Curtis Martin's first fumble in like 500 carries on Sunday?), which is usual for Lee.

So if you all want to consider the usual guys for the game ball so far, you'll certainly get no arguments here. All the guys have played great these past two games. But considering that safeties are like umpires, in the sense that you only notice them when they screw up, I don't think that Flowers is getting as much credit for the team's resurgence as he deserves, so he gets my vote. Bring on the Bungles.

Jonathan Pasterick

Submitted by Keith "KT" Thomas
The Steelers came out four square today against the AFC's only undefeated team, the New York Jets. Had they followed the script that the pundits in the Pittsburgh media wrote after week two they'd be 0-5 now.

But that's not quite the way it worked out.

After beating a battered Jacksonville team last week, the Steelers came out again to combine focused and physical defense, with smash-mouth football on offense to grind the Vinnyless Jets into the loss column.

Our defense was excellent against Curtis Martin, a back who run very well against Cowher's defenses before. Not today. Martin did break a few runs, but generally he was battered at the line of scrimmage and then gang tackled for loss or short gain. Our secondary continued with good coverage down field, turning in two consecutive games without a big play. Lucas helped with some wildly inaccurate passes (he's lucky he didn't throw 3 more picks) but overall, I think our coverage was good.

Lucas was able to nickel and dime us for underneath from some moderate gains, but in the end, that proved to be insignificant, since the Jets' offense posed no down field threat all day.

I thought that Kimo, Gildon, Holmes, and our secondary all shined today.

One area on defense that concerns me is our lack of pass rush. Gildon got to Testaverdre in the beginning, and Porter got to Lucas in the end, but their was scant little in between. This could a negative difference maker down the stretch that could hurt us.

On offense the script was much the same as it was last week. We rammed Bettis and Fu down the their throats all day. They knew it was coming, but for the most part, the Steelers couldn't be stopped. The offensive line is clearly better than I even I thought it would be at this point in the season, this is especially clear when you consider that the run defense was considered one of the strengths of this Jets team. (Need I say again that Bettis continued to show he's not lost a step and that he needs to be resigned?)

Jon Witman is becoming a punishing blocker and Fu is blossoming into a good third down back and developing into a threat. Part of me says that Fu, Amos, or Huntley should be used to spell Bettis for a series or two, but the way our running offense has worked, I don't think I'd tinker too much.

I like the rapport that Stewart had with the receivers, and I like that Plaxico got involved in the passing game. Bobby Shaw was there when he was needed, and Hines had a nice catch although he dropped one he should have had. Tory Edwards put in another gutty performance, showing that he can run after the catch. (I like the fact that the coaches are getting Ward and Edwards on the field.)

Part of me wants to say that our lack of a deep passing game is a concern, particularly since that has been a major liability of number 10 over the past two years. But I think the Steelers are passing well enough to allow our blockers win the battles up front.

The Steelers now stand at 2-3, with their fortunes looking markedly up from a short time ago. Next week the Steelers take on the Cincinnati Bengals, a team that has beaten us twice in a row at home. Make no mistake about it, Cincinnati is better than their 0-whatever record, and these guy want a win.

If the Steelers maintain the focus and the execution they've displayed these last two weeks, then next week they can begin to establish Three Rivers Stadium as a feared place to play once again. And that would be nice.


Submitted by Joe Roberts
Mac and Lovely Sandy,

I think the Steelers should start Tee Martin and Amos Zeroue. NOT!!!!!!! Now that that's out of the way it's a pleasure to know that the Steelers have knocked off another overrated team. Last week it was the Jagwads. This week it was the Jet Jockeys from New Jersey. There are three things certain in this life. Death, taxes, and the Steelers beating up on a team QB'd by Vinnie Testaverde. Some people have themselves cyrogenically (sp) frozen to avoid death. Others cheat and avoid paying taxes. That leaves only number three. It happened again today.

Of course I know that Vinnie was knocked out on the opening play of the game. I only wish he'd stayed in. The Steelers would have won by a wider margin. It really doesn't matter. The Steelers are back and so, apparently, is Kordell Stewart. Not a spectacular game but a solid one. He made no mistakes and led the Steelers to a victory. That's the name of the game. Right now the Steelers look to be ready to go on a roll. They should beat the Bungles and the Clowns in the next two weeks to get to 4-3. After that, who knows? Only time will tell.

Joe Roberts

Submitted by Brian
So I noticed you took off the "as if" part on the top corner. Steelers 20, Jets 3. We're Back

Submitted by Mike DeLancey
Damn, this team is really getting better. And, now we do have a QB controversy. Stewart has played very well on the road against to 2 good football teams. He has relied on his running game and has made good decisions in the passing game. In fact, his passing against the Jets was very good. I hope the Pittsburgh fans give him a little slack if he starts next week, which I hope he does. His running ability is a VERY big plus for this team. I am not saying he has become a super qb, but I believe he deserves another shot at running this team.

As for the defense, this unit has really come of age. I think we are looking at 4-3 after 7 games. Then we can go and see who the hell we can upset. Goooo Steelers

Visit my web page at

Ps. Tim, "HOME" is now 2-3....careful, I may catch the master.

Submitted by Jay
Steelers win!!!!!! And in good style, things are looking up!! Pitt owns the Jets.

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MVP Award
Who deserves the game ball for the win over the Jets?
Kordell Stewart
 ( 53%)
Jason Gildon
 ( 30%)
Jerome Bettis
 ( 13%)
Bill Cowher
 ( 2%)
Levon Kirkland
 ( 1%)
D. Washington
 ( 1%)
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