Wednesday Apple Pie

I had a chance to sit down with the most famous, homeless rock star, Wesley Willis, this week. He enlightened me with a brand new song dedicated to the hapless Bengals.

Cincinnati lost again. Cincinnati lost again. Cincinnati lost again. Cincinnati lost again.

The Bengals have a new coach. His name is Marvin Lewis. I wish it was Marvin Gaye. Marvin Gaye made good music. He is not a football player.

Cincinnati lost again. Cincinnati lost again. Cincinnati lost again. Cincinnati lost again.

I heard it through the grapevine. The Bengals are getting better. Grapes make good wine. I like Mad Dog. The Bengals are getting better.

Cincinnati lost again. Cincinnati lost again. Cincinnati lost again. Cincinnati lost again.

The Steelers are a good team. They whooped the Bengals' ass. I whooped Batman's ass. The Steelers whooped Batman's ass. I whooped the Steelers' ass.

Cincinnati lost again. Cincinnati lost again. Cincinnati lost again. Cincinnati lost again.

Rock over London, Rock on Chicago. Rice-a-Roni: the San Francisco treat.

Apple Pix-Six: Week 3 Review

Tampa Bay 31 Atlanta 10: Even with Michael Vick, Atlanta would have hard pressed to beat a Buc team fuming after last week's blown loss to the Panthers. Still, Vick can't return soon enough for the Falcons.

Denver 31 Oakland 10: Age has definitely caught up to the ageless wonders. When two Hall of Fame running backs and a Hall of Fame quarterback put up only 10 points, you know that something other than good defense is at play. Jake Plummer looked smooth, calm and cool. Then again the Oakland pass rush was non-existent.

Miami 17 Buffalo 7: Here's the final line on Drew Bledsoe: 10 of 25 for 98 yards and 2 interceptions. I don't think I've ever seen a game by Bledsoe where he was so horribly inefficient. It's almost as if the Dolphins made a deal with the Devil, like they did when they beat the Broncos last year on a Sunday night. That can only mean that things are gonna go downhill from here for the fish.

Seattle 24 St. Louis 23: Do you ever get the feeling that Mike Martz isn't a good coach? His skills will be tested to the limit now that Marshall Faulk's status looks downright awful. Turnovers and poor tackling once again are plaguing this team and they no longer have the offensive firepower to overcome it.

Baltimore 24 San Diego 10: The Ravens officially handed the Chargers their walking papers. I had bigger things in mind for this Charger team, especially when David Boston signed. But now? The future looks pretty dark for what is arguably one of the surprisingly worst teams in football, and there isn't any light at the end of the tunnel.

Cleveland 13 San Francisco 12: What? The Browns won a nail-biter? We are talking about the Browns, aren't we? You said they beat the Niners. So the Niners choked? Oh, that sounds more like it.

Apple Pix-Six

1. Kansas City at Baltimore: This game will prove just how much of a handle Brian Billick has on his young but talented team. For the Chiefs, this will be their first real test on the road this season.

2. Philadelphia at Buffalo: The Eagles desperately need a win. Against Buffalo though? In Orchard Park? I don't think so. But, if Bledsoe throws the way he did Sunday, the Eagles could win this one in their sleep.

3. San Francisco at Minnesota: Up 12 – 0 in the 4th quarter, you'd figure the Niners were cruising. Nope. The Vikings offense won't be shut out for three quarters like the Browns.

4. Green Bay at Chicago: The Pack needs a win this week much more than the Bears do. In fact, a loss by the Pack officially signals the end of the Brett Favre era. I doubt he'd play next year if the team fails to make the playoffs.

5. Dallas at NY Jets: Considering the rest of their schedule, the Jets' season hangs on a win against Dallas. If they lose, the rest of the AFC East is too tough and too far ahead to play catch-up.

6. Atlanta at Carolina: Can the Panthers stay in first place in the NFC South? With that defense and the special teams play, anything is possible. This is a prime opportunity for the Panthers to sneak into the mix before Michael Vick returns to save the Falcons' playoff hopes.

The Complete Power Core Rankings: Week 3

  1. Kansas City – This team looks unbeatable right now. Let's wait and see what injuries do during the season, though.
  2. Tampa Bay – Warren Sapp scores his first touchdown. You aren't the first, Warren. You won't be the last. Now stop dancing. Please.
  3. Denver – Clinton Portis was pulled early, but then again, Oakland never had a chance.
  4. Indianapolis – Big game against Minnesota in what looked like a pre-season laugher.
  5. Seattle – Shaun Alexander named his daughter Heaven. No comment.
  6. Tennessee – GOTW against Pittsburgh. This time the master thespian isn't playing.
  7. Pittsburgh – The Bus finally got to drive the offense.
  8. Miami – That was one great defensive display on Sunday.
  9. Minnesota – I still don't think Daunte Culpepper is THAT good, but he's winning right now.
  10. NY Giants – Almost blew another game. But, this week Shockey showed up.
  11. Baltimore – Except for the hiccup in Pittsburgh, this team would be sitting pretty at 3 – 0.
  12. Buffalo – That defense should have a fun time getting pressure on Donovan McNabb this week.
  13. New England – I don't know how many more injuries the Patriots can afford. They may have had too many already.
  14. Carolina – This year the Panthers may just stick around for a while.
  15. Washington – Did you see Jeremy Shockey beat Lavar Arrington up and down the field? I did.
  16. San Francisco – That running attack was special two years ago. But, age is catching up with Garrison Hearst.
  17. Oakland – The run defense got tore apart by the Bronco line. Seems as if this offense has been figured out.
  18. Atlanta – I'm not convinced they'd be THAT much better record-wise with Vick.
  19. New Orleans – Um Joe Horn. Calling Joe Horn. 1 catch for 5 yards? That's not going to cut it.
  20. Green Bay – Embarrassing loss in Arizona. Good teams don't lose at Arizona.
  21. St. Louis – Ram problems: Turnovers. Turnovers. Marshall Faulk's hand.
  22. Cleveland – Call me fool. I didn't think Kelly Holcomb had a comeback in him.
  23. Philadelphia – Don't move up or down until they play. But they play the Bills in Buffalo. I think they'll be moving down.
  24. Dallas – Could go to 2 - 1 with a winnable game against the Jets.
  25. Detroit – Mariucci had to love the Niner implosion this past weekend.
  26. San Diego – Oh Marty, you'll be out of a job soon if you don't get this offense rolling.
  27. Houston – Hung in for about a quarter against the Kansas City Rams…er…Chiefs.
  28. Arizona – Gutsy win in the Tempe sun. Biggest win in 3 years.
  29. NY Jets – Vinny is not a savior. Please repeat.
  30. Jacksonville – I agree with some that Mark Brunell should be happy to just be the backup this year and keep himself healthy for free-agency.
  31. Chicago – Kordell gets to open another new stadium.
  32. Cincinnati – Overmatched against the mighty Steelers.

Fruits of Labor (stock is rising)

  • Alan Faneca His best game in a while. That is why he is All-Pro.

Rotten Produce (stock is falling)

  • Jason Gildon He's hit the wall. And the wall isn't going to budge. I think LC is sleeping a little easier as each day goes by.

Missed Point Opportunities (MPO)

TeamPittsburghCincinnati
Drives1st Drive (Missed Field Goal)1st Drive (Red Zone Interception)
2nd Drive (0 Points after Interception)5th Drive (Field Goal after Interception)
7th Drive (Punt after great field position)
Score23

Season MPO Record: 2-1

Wisdom From the Girl Apple

Apple: The Steelers play Tennessee next week, the team that knocked them out of the playoffs.

Girl Apple: What's their nickname?

Apple: The Titans.

Girl Apple: They made you cry last year, didn't they?

Apple: Um…yes.

Girl Apple: I don't like that team.

Apple: Right…so my question is: What do the Steelers need to do to win the game?

Girl Apple: Score more points.

Apple: You're a comedienne.

Girl Apple: I know. But seriously, they need to tackle the guy who throws the football.

Apple: The quarterback.

Girl Apple: Yeah, the quarterback.

Apple: It's called a sack.

Girl Apple: Oh yeah, I forgot. Anyway, they need to sack the quarterback.

Apple: That's an astute point, since the Steve McNair is the hardest quarterback to sack.

Just more wisdom from the Girl Apple.

Super-Fan Pappy Fried Chicken's Keys To The Game

  • After venting their frustrations on the Saints for their loss to the Colts, we should see a well-adjusted team that is hitting its stride in the visiting Tennessee Titans. We can't let this happen. We need to not see them at all.
  • The short pass and a (still shoddy) running game are a must this week against a Titans team that held the ball for over 39 minutes versus the Saints. If the Steelers control the ball they can control the game.
  • Now, in order to control the ball you need to keep the ball. Tommy is going to throw an interception. That is almost a given, but not acceptable. No more boneheaded ball handling (a la Gildon to Porter, but hey! That's why...). NO TURNOVERS. That's it.
  • This is a Steeler team that is a couple of games away from firing on all cylinders, but until that happens strong fundamentals, high energy, and not killing themselves with stupid play are the keys.

John Biles
SteelCitySports.com


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