While it’s technically past the halfway point of the season, the bye week gave us a chance to look back to see if we’re still drinking the same beers as we were at the beginning of the season.
To jog your memory a little, at the beginning of the season I broke down this Steelers team in terms of what beer would represent certain aspects of the team.
Here they were:
- Offensive line – Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
- Ben Roethlisberger – Troegs Troegenator
- Running back and wide receivers – Heady Topper
- Defense – Yeungling Lager
I think a few of them have held up pretty well.
They are still a solid Pale Ale. It’s not always the best beer in the world, but it is reliable. Big Ben has been getting the right protection, for the most part, and they have been integral in the running game.
Looking forward, the offensive line will be good enough for the Steelers to make a deep run in the playoffs.
Barring any injuries.
Speaking of injuries. This guy is still pounding Troegenators on the field almost every Sunday.
After suffering two injuries this season (one serious, one not-so-much), he should be good to go. Ben looked fine last week in relief of Landry Jones and should be counted on for the rest of the season to put up video game type numbers.
Nator still fits our fearless fat-ass quarterback perfectly. In fact, when Troegs rebranded they should have used Ben’s grizzly mug for the new look.
Running backs and wide receivers
This core started off as a Heady Topper. It was the envy of all other teams. A one-two punch of Bell and Willams coupled with the head turning speed of Brown and Bryant made this team a nightmare to match-up with. They were unstoppable.
Well, almost. There is one thing that can stop any team’s march toward greatness — injuries.
Bell looked poised to have a historical year until a non-assuming tackle hampered our star for the season. Losing Big Ben also took its toll on the receivers as well. Antonio Brown looked pedestrian with Vick and Landry under center.
Considering all of that, they are still good. Heady good?
Possibly, but I’m down grading it slightly to Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA. This group is still one of the best, but the loss of Bell has to mean something.
Still, I’d rather have 90 Minute in my hand than the piss water the Ravens are dealing with right now.
I have said from the beginning that this defense doesn’t have to be great to make a deep playoff run. They just need to be good enough to keep the offense in the game.
They have exceeded my expectations. I give them a lot of credit now. I hope not too much, though.
Bud Dupree has been a revelation this season. If you pair his play with Ryan Shazier, when helathy, you have a damn good group of guys.
Throw that Yeungling out and pick up a Oskar Blues Pinner.
Yeah, one of our favorite beers here at SB.com is now the proud sponsor of the Pittsburgh Steelers defense.
It exceeds expectations of a session beer, just like the Steelers D exceeded my expectations thus far.
Let’s look ahead.
Pittsburgh has a brutal schedule in front of them. Seahawks, Colts, Bengals and Broncos are all teams in the playoff hunt. The other two games are against the Browns and Ravens away from Heinz.
That’s a rough stretch. I think a healthy Steelers team can win five of those six games, which could even put them in a position to win their division. Pittsburgh is two games behind the Bengals for the top spot in the AFC North.
Verdict: Pittsburgh makes the playoffs as the first Wild Card team and plays the Broncos in the first round.
It wont be easy, so saddle up with a fridge full of beers to keep the stress to a minimum.