15 Minutes

DUMB AND DUMBER

The score: Pittsburgh 24, Cincinnati 20 The bottom line: The Steelers did just about everything you could imagine to lose a late-season road game against an inferior opponent, committing critical penalties and failing to finish on numerous drives. But when that inferior opponent is the ...

PREGAME STRETCH: Steelers at Bengals

Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5) at Cincinnati Bengals (5-7-1) at Paul Brown Stadium, capacity 65,515; Sunday at 1 p.m., CBS Announcers: Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts. We watched last week’s game in a crowded sports bar in the French Quarter in New Orleans and did not hear one word Jeem or Pheel ...

PREGAME STRETCH: Steelers at Bills

Blogger’s note: We’re traveling to New Orleans for vacation this weekend so this pregame blog is abbreviated and there probably won’t be a game blog this week. There will be plenty of witty, incisive tweets, though, @15MinutesBlog. (Not from me, mind you, but I’ll retweet some witty, ...

(NOT QUITE) GIANT STEPS

The score: Pittsburgh 24, New York Giants 14 The bottom line: We don’t think there’s any question the Steelers have enough talent to win Super Bowl 51, but whether they are a good enough TEAM to even get into the playoffs is yet to be seen. Sunday’s relatively easy 24-14 win over the ...

PREGAME STRETCH: Giants at Steelers

New York Giants (8-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5) at Heinz Field, capacity 65,050; Sunday at 4:25 p.m., FOX Announcers: Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. Annoyance factor: Minimal. One of the best things about this season full of fairly terrible football has been the absence of fairly terrible ...

TURKEY DROP

The score: Pittsburgh 28, Indianapolis 7 The bottom line: They say history is written by the winners so we guess the version of Thursday’s night’s game where Pittsburgh’s young defense came of age with a couple of goal line stands is just as valid as any version, but we saw the ...

PREGAME STRETCH: Steelers at Colts

Pittsburgh Steelers (5-5) at Indianapolis Colts (5-5) at Lucas Oil Stadium, capacity 70,000; Thursday at 8:30 p.m., NBC Announcers: Mike Tirico and Cris Collinsworth. Annoyance factor: Depends. There are those in the broadcasting business that would call this the ultimate dream team in the ...

WHAT CAN BROWNS DO FOR YOU?

The score: Pittsburgh 24, Pittsburgh 9 The bottom line: The Steelers did just about everything they could (field goals instead of touchdowns, dropped interceptions, missed tackles, dumb penalties) to lose to the hapless Browns (except turn the ball over), but Cleveland just would not be ...

PREGAME STRETCH: Steelers at Browns

Pittsburgh Steelers (4-5) at Cleveland Browns (0-10) at First Energy Stadium, capacity 67,431; Sunday at 1 p.m., CBS Announcers: Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon. Annoyance factor: Moderate. Harlan reached legend status with his epic “idiot on the field” play-by-play earlier this season ...

DUMBSTRUCK

The score: Dallas 35, Pittsburgh 30 The bottom line: The Steelers and their quarterback were good enough to beat the Dallas Cowboys in a critical showdown Sunday in Pittsburgh, but following the lead of their head coach and his coaching staff, they weren’t smart enough, cramming enough ...

Pregame stretch: Cowboys at Steelers

Dallas Cowboys (6-2) at Pittsburgh Steelers (4-4) at Heinz Field, capacity 68,400; Sunday at 4:25 p.m., FOX Announcers: Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. Annoyance factor: We know both of these guys have their faults (and tons of detractors) but they are Hall of Famers compared to Jeem and Pheel ...

‘MORE MISERY

The score: Baltimore 21, Pittsburgh 14 The bottom line: Super Bowl contenders are born in the offseason, when the glitz and glamour of superior skill players shines brightest and the blood and guts of an NFL scrum is far from people’s minds. Super Bowl winners are born in the trenches of ...

PREGAME STRETCH: Steelers at Ravens

Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3) at Baltimore Ravens (3-4) at M&T Bank Stadium, capacity 71,008; Sunday at 1 p.m., CBS. Announcers: Ian Eagle and Rich Gannon. Annoyance factor: Unknown. Hmmmmmm, Eagle had been working exclusively with Dan Fouts as CBS’ No. 2 team until the last few ...

BYE THE WAYSIDE

The score: New England 27, Pittsburgh 16 The bottom line: The final score shows the injury-plagued Steelers played the Patriots tighter than most would have imagined, but the game action told another story with New England turning in an uncharacteristically terrible performance and ...

Pregame stretch: Patriots at Steelers

New England Patriots (5-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2) Heinz Field, 68,400 Sunday, 4:25 p.m., CBS Announcers: Jeem Nantz and Pheel Seems Annoyance factor: Ultimate. This is the second of two Nantz-Simms games before the bye, but there’s good news later in the year as ...

BEACH SLAPPED Banged up and bumbling Steelers slammed in Miami

The score: Miami 30, Pittsburgh 15 The bottom line: In what likely will be a critical loss come playoff time, injuries finally caught up with the Steelers, who had no answers Sunday to the Dolphins physicality and who once again played down to the level of a lowly opponent with Ben ...